The Koran (Al-Qur'an) eBook

The Koran (Al-Qur'an)

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section Page

Start of eBook1
Introduction Preface Index1
INTRODUCTION2
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY5
TO5
BY5
PREFACE5
SURA1 XCVI.-THICK BLOOD, OR CLOTS OF BLOOD [I.]20
SURA LXXIV.-THE ENWRAPPED1 [II.]23
SURA LXXIII.  THE ENFOLDED1 [III.]25
SURA XCIII.1-THE BRIGHTNESS [IV.]26
SURA XCIV.-THE OPENING [V.]27
SURA CXIII.-THE DAYBREAK [VI.]27
SURA CXIV.-MEN [VII.]28
SURA I.1 [VIII.]28
SURA CIX.-UNBELIEVERS [IX.]29
SURA CXII.-THE UNITY [X.]29
SURA CXI.  ABU LAHAB [XI.]29
SURA CVIII.-THE ABUNDANCE [XII.]29
SURA CIV.-THE BACKBITER [XII.]30
SURA CVII.-RELIGION [XIV.]30
SURA CII.-DESIRE [XV.]30
SURA XCII.-THE NIGHT [XVI.]30
SURA LXVIII.-THE PEN [XVII.]31
SURA XC.-THE SOIL [XVIII.]33
SURA CV.-THE ELEPHANT [XIX.]33
SURA CVI.-THE KOREISCH [XX.]34
SURA XCVII.-POWER [XXI.]34
SURA LXXXVI.  THE NIGHT-COMER [XXII.]34
SURA XCI.-THE SUN [XXIII.]35
SURA LXXX.-HE FROWNED [XXIV.]35
SURA LXXXVII.-THE MOST HIGH [XXV.]36
SURA XCV.-THE FIG [XXVI.]37
SURA CIII.-THE AFTERNOON [XXVII.]37
SURA LXXXV.-THE STARRY [XXVIII.]37
SURA CI.-THE BLOW [XXIX.]38
SURA XCIX.-THE EARTHQUAKE [XXX.]38
SURA LXXXII.-THE CLEAVING [XXXI.]39
SURA LXXXI.-THE FOLDED UP [XXXII.]39
SURA LXXXIV.-THE SPLITTING ASUNDER [XXXIII.]40
SURA C.-THE CHARGERS [XXXIV.]41
SURA LXXIX.1-THOSE WHO DRAG FORTH [XXXV.]41
SURA LXXVII.-THE SENT [XXXVI.]42
SURA LXXVIII.-THE NEWS [XXXVII.]43
SURA LXXXVIII.-THE OVERSHADOWING [XXXVIII.]45
SURA LXXXIX.-THE DAYBREAK [XXXIX.]45
SURA LXXV.-THE RESURRECTION [XL.]46
SURA LXXXIII.-THOSE WHO STINT [XLI.]47
SURA LXIX.-THE INEVITABLE [XLII.]48
SURA LI.-THE SCATTERING [XLIII.]50
SURA LII.-THE MOUNTAIN [XLIV.]52
SURA LVI.-THE INEVITABLE [XLV.]53
SURA1-LIII.  THE STAR [XLVI.]56
SURA LXX.-THE STEPS OR ASCENTS [XLVII.]58
SURA LV.-THE MERCIFUL [XLVIII.]60
SURA LIV.-THE MOON [XLIX.]61
SURA XXXVII.-THE RANKS [L.]63
SURA LXXI.-NOAH [LI.]68
SURA LXXVI.-MAN [LII.]69
SURA XLIV.-SMOKE [LIII.]70
SURA L.-KAF [LIV.]72
SURA XX.1-TA.  HA. [LV.]74
SURA XXVI.-THE POETS1 [LVI.]81
SURA XV.-HEDJR1 [LVII.]87
SURA XIX.1-MARY [LVIII.]91
SURA XXXVIII.-SAD [LIX.]97
SURA XXXVI.-YA.  SIN [LX.]101
SURA XLIII.-ORNAMENTS OF GOLD [LXI.]105
SURA LXXII.-DJINN [LXII.]109
SURA LXVII.-THE KINGDOM [LXIII.]111
SURA XXIII.-THE BELIEVERS [LXIV.]112
SURA XXI.-THE PROPHETS [LXV.]117
SURA XXV.-AL FURKAN [LXVI.]123
SURA XVII.-THE NIGHT JOURNEY [LXVII.]128
SURA XXVII.-THE ANT [LXVIII.]135
SURA XVIII.-THE CAVE [LXIX.]140
SURA XXXII.-ADORATION [LXX.]147
SURA1 XLI.-THE MADE PLAIN [LXXI.]149
SURA XLV.-THE KNEELING [LXXII.]152
SURA XVI.-THE BEE [LXXIII.]154
SURA XXX.-THE GREEKS [LXXIV.]163
SURA XI.-HOUD [LXXV.]167
SURA XIV.-ABRAHAM, ON WHOM BE PEACE [LXXVI.]175
SURA XL.-THE BELIEVER [LXXVIII.]186
SURA XXVIII.-THE STORY [LXXIX.]191
SURA XXXIX.-THE TROOPS [LXXX.]197
SURA XXIX.-THE SPIDER [LXXXI.]202
SURA XXXI.-LOKMAN1 [LXXXII.]207
SURA XLII.-COUNSEL [LXXXIII.]210
SURA X.-JONAH, PEACE BE ON HIM! [LXXXIV.]213
SURA XXXIV.-SABA1 [LXXXV.]220
SURA XXXV.-THE CREATOR, OR THE ANGELS [LXXXVI.]224
SURA VII.-AL ARAF [LXXXVII.]227
SURA XLVI.-AL AHKAF [LXXXVIII.]242
SURA VI.-CATTLE [LXXXIX.]245
SURA XIII.-THUNDER [XC.]258
SURA II.-THE COW1 [XCI.]262
SURA XCVIII.-CLEAR EVIDENCE [XCII.]289
SURA LXIV.-MUTUAL DECEIT [XCIII.]289
SURA LXII.-THE ASSEMBLY [XCIV.]291
SURA VIII.-THE SPOILS1 [XCV.]292
SURA1 XLVII.-MUHAMMAD [XCVI.]297
SURA III.-THE FAMILY OF IMRAN1 [XCVII.]299
SURA LXI.-BATTLE ARRAY [XCVIII.]316
SURA LVII.-IRON [XCIX.]317
SURA IV.-WOMEN1 [C.]320
SURA LXV.-DIVORCE1 [CI.]335
SURA LIX.-THE EMIGRATION [CII.]336
SURA XXXIII.-THE CONFEDERATES1 [CIII.]338
SURA LXIII.1-THE HYPOCRITES [CIV.]344
SURA XXIV.-LIGHT [CV.]345
SURA LVIII.-SHE WHO PLEADED [CVI.]351
SURA XXII.-THE PILGRIMAGE [CVII.]353
SURA XLVIII.-THE VICTORY [CVIII.]359
SURA LXVI.-THE FORBIDDING [CIX.]361
SURA1 LX.-SHE WHO IS TRIED [CX.]363
SURA1 CX.-HELP [CXI.]364
SURA XLIX.-THE APARTMENTS [CXII.]365
SURA IX.1-IMMUNITY [CXIII.]366
SURA V.-THE TABLE [CXIV.]378

Page 1

Introduction Preface Index

Sura Number (this edition) Sura Number (Arabic text) Title

1    96      Thick Blood or Clots of Blood
2    74      The Enwrapped
3    73      The Enfolded
4    93      The Brightness
5    94      The Opening
6    113     The Daybreak
7    114     Men
8    1       Sura I.
9    109     Unbelievers
10   112     The Unity
11   111     Abu Lahab
12   108     The Abundance
13   104     The Backbiter
14   107     Religion
15   102     Desire
16   92      The Night
17   68      The Pen
18   90      The Soil
19   105     The Elephant
20   106     The Koreisch
21   97      Power
22   86      The Night-Comer
23   91      The Sun
24   80      He Frowned
25   87      The Most High
26   95      The Fig
27   103     The Afternoon
28   85      The Starry
29   101     The Blow
30   99      The Earthquake
31   82      The Cleaving
32   81      The Folded Up
33   84      The Splitting Asunder
34   100     The Chargers
35   79      Those Who Drag Forth
36   77      The Sent
37   78      The News
38   88      The Overshadowing
39   89      The Daybreak
40   75      The Resurrection
41   83      Those Who Stint
42   69      The Inevitable
43   51      The Scattering
44   52      The Mountain
45   56      The Inevitable
46   53      The Star
47   70      The Steps or Ascents
48   55      The Merciful
49   54      The Moon
50   37      The Ranks
51   71      Noah
52   76      Man
53   44      Smoke
54   50      Kaf
55   20      Ta.  Ha.
56   26      The Poets
57   15      Hedjr
58   19      Mary
59   38      Sad
60   36      Ya.  Sin
61   43      Ornaments of Gold
62   72      Djinn
63   67      The Kingdom
64   23      The Believers
65   21      The Prophets
66   25      Al Furkan
67   17      The Night Journey
68   27      The Ant
69   18      The Cave
70   32      Adoration
71   41      The Made Plain
72   45      The Kneeling
73   16      The Bee
74   30      The Greeks
75   11      Houd
76   14      Abraham, On Whom Be Peace
77   12      Joseph, Peace Be On Him
78   40      The Believer
79   28      The Story
80   39      The Troops
81   29      The Spider
82   31      Lokman
83   42      Counsel
84   10      Jonah, Peace Be On Him!
85   34      Saba
86   35      The Creator, or The Angels
87   7       Al Araf
88   46      Al Ahkaf
89   6       Cattle
90   13      Thunder
91   2       The Cow
92   98      Clear Evidence
93   64      Mutual Deceit
94   62      The Assembly
95   8       The Spoils
96   47      Muhammad
97   3       The Family of Imran
98   61      Battle Array
99   57      Iron
100  4       Women
101  65      Divorce
102  59      The Emigration
103  33      The Confederates
104  63      The Hypocrites
105  24      Light
106  58      She Who Pleaded
107  22      The Pilgrimage
108  48      The Victory
109  66      The Forbidding
110  60      She Who Is Tried
111  110     help
112  49      The Apartments
113  9       Immunity
114  5       The Table

Mohammed was born at Mecca in A.D. 567 or 569.  His flight (hijra) to Medina, which marks the beginning of the Mohammedan era, took place on 16th June 622.  He died on 7th June 632.

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INTRODUCTION

The Koran admittedly occupies an important position among the great religious books of the world.  Though the youngest of the epoch-making works belonging to this class of literature, it yields to hardly any in the wonderful effect which it has produced on large masses of men.  It has created an all but new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character.  It first transformed a number of heterogeneous desert tribes of the Arabian peninsula into a nation of heroes, and then proceeded to create the vast politico-religious organisations of the Muhammedan world which are one of the great forces with which Europe and the East have to reckon to-day.

The secret of the power exercised by the book, of course, lay in the mind which produced it.  It was, in fact, at first not a book, but a strong living voice, a kind of wild authoritative proclamation, a series of admonitions, promises, threats, and instructions addressed to turbulent and largely hostile assemblies of untutored Arabs.  As a book it was published after the prophet’s death.  In Muhammed’s life-time there were only disjointed notes, speeches, and the retentive memories of those who listened to them.  To speak of the Koran is, therefore, practically the same as speaking of Muhammed, and in trying to appraise the religious value of the book one is at the same time attempting to form an opinion of the prophet himself.  It would indeed be difficult to find another case in which there is such a complete identity between the literary work and the mind of the man who produced it.

That widely different estimates have been formed of Muhammed is well-known.  To Moslems he is, of course, the prophet par excellence, and the Koran is regarded by the orthodox as nothing less than the eternal utterance of Allah.  The eulogy pronounced by Carlyle on Muhammed in Heroes and Hero Worship will probably be endorsed by not a few at the present day.  The extreme contrary opinion, which in a fresh form has recently been revived1 by an able writer, is hardly likely to find much lasting support.  The correct view very probably lies between the two extremes.  The relative value of any given system of religious thought must depend on the amount of truth which it embodies as well as on the ethical standard which its adherents are bidden to follow.  Another important test is the degree of originality that is to be assigned to it, for it can manifestly only claim credit for that which is new in it, not for that which it borrowed from other systems.

With regard to the first-named criterion, there is a growing opinion among students of religious history that Muhammed may in a real sense be regarded as a prophet of certain truths, though by no means of truth in the absolute meaning of the term.  The shortcomings of the moral teaching contained in the Koran are striking enough if judged from the highest ethical standpoint with which we are acquainted; but a much more favourable view is arrived at if a comparison is made between the ethics of the Koran and the moral tenets of Arabian and other forms of heathenism which it supplanted.

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The method followed by Muhammed in the promulgation of the Koran also requires to be treated with discrimination.  From the first flash of prophetic inspiration which is clearly discernible in the earlier portions of the book he, later on, frequently descended to deliberate invention and artful rhetoric.  He, in fact, accommodated his moral sense to the circumstances in which the r\oc\le he had to play involved him.

On the question of originality there can hardly be two opinions now that the Koran has been thoroughly compared with the Christian and Jewish traditions of the time; and it is, besides some original Arabian legends, to those only that the book stands in any close relationship.  The matter is for the most part borrowed, but the manner is all the prophet’s own.  This is emphatically a case in which originality consists not so much in the creation of new materials of thought as in the manner in which existing traditions of various kinds are utilised and freshly blended to suit the special exigencies of the occasion.  Biblical reminiscences, Rabbinic legends, Christian traditions mostly drawn from distorted apocryphal sources, and native heathen stories, all first pass through the prophet’s fervid mind, and thence issue in strange new forms, tinged with poetry and enthusiasm, and well adapted to enforce his own view of life and duty, to serve as an encouragement to his faithful adherents, and to strike terror into the hearts of his opponents.

There is, however, apart from its religious value, a more general view from which the book should be considered.  The Koran enjoys the distinction of having been the starting-point of a new literary and philosophical movement which has powerfully affected the finest and most cultivated minds among both Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages.  This general progress of the Muhammedan world has somehow been arrested, but research has shown that what European scholars knew of Greek philosophy, of mathematics, astronomy, and like sciences, for several centuries before the Renaissance, was, roughly speaking, all derived from Latin treatises ultimately based on Arabic originals; and it was the Koran which, though indirectly, gave the first impetus to these studies among the Arabs and their allies.  Linguistic investigations, poetry, and other branches of literature, also made their appearance soon after or simultaneously with the publication of the Koran; and the literary movement thus initiated has resulted in some of the finest products of genius and learning.

The style in which the Koran is written requires some special attention in this introduction.  The literary form is for the most part different from anything else we know.  In its finest passages we indeed seem to hear a voice akin to that of the ancient Hebrew prophets, but there is much in the book which Europeans usually regard as faulty.  The tendency to repetition which is an inherent characteristic of the Semitic mind appears here in an exaggerated form, and there is in addition much in the Koran which strikes us as wild and fantastic.  The most unfavourable criticism ever passed on Muhammed’s style has in fact been penned by the prophet’s greatest British admirer, Carlyle himself; and there are probably many now who find themselves in the same dilemma with that great writer.

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The fault appears, however, to lie partly in our difficulty to appreciate the psychology of the Arab prophet.  We must, in order to do him justice, give full consideration to his temperament and to the condition of things around him.  We are here in touch with an untutored but fervent mind, trying to realise itself and to assimilate certain great truths which have been powerfully borne in upon him, in order to impart them in a convincing form to his fellow-tribesmen.  He is surrounded by obstacles of every kind, yet he manfully struggles on with the message that is within him.  Learning he has none, or next to none.  His chief objects of knowledge are floating stories and traditions largely picked up from hearsay, and his over-wrought mind is his only teacher.  The literary compositions to which he had ever listened were the half-cultured, yet often wildly powerful rhapsodies of early Arabian minstrels, akin to Ossian rather than to anything else within our knowledge.  What wonder then that his Koran took a form which to our colder temperaments sounds strange, unbalanced, and fantastic?

Yet the Moslems themselves consider the book the finest that ever appeared among men.  They find no incongruity in the style.  To them the matter is all true and the manner all perfect.  Their eastern temperament responds readily to the crude, strong, and wild appeal which its cadences make to them, and the jingling rhyme in which the sentences of a discourse generally end adds to the charm of the whole.  The Koran, even if viewed from the point of view of style alone, was to them from the first nothing less than a miracle, as great a miracle as ever was wrought.

But to return to our own view of the case.  Our difficulty in appreciating the style of the Koran even moderately is, of course, increased if, instead of the original, we have a translation before us.  But one is happy to be able to say that Rodwell’s rendering is one of the best that have as yet been produced.  It seems to a great extent to carry with it the atmosphere in which Muhammed lived, and its sentences are imbued with the flavour of the East.  The quasi-verse form, with its unfettered and irregular rhythmic flow of the lines, which has in suitable cases been adopted, helps to bring out much of the wild charm of the Arabic.  Not the least among its recommendations is, perhaps, that it is scholarly without being pedantic that is to say, that it aims at correctness without sacrificing the right effect of the whole to over-insistence on small details.

Another important merit of Rodwell’s edition is its chronological arrangement of the Suras or chapters.  As he tells us himself in his preface, it is now in a number of cases impossible to ascertain the exact occasion on which a discourse, or part of a discourse, was delivered, so that the system could not be carried through with entire consistency.  But the sequence adopted is in the main based on the best available historical and literary evidence; and in following the order of the chapters as here printed, the reader will be able to trace the development of the prophet’s mind as he gradually advanced from the early flush of inspiration to the less spiritual and more equivocal r\oc\le of warrior, politician, and founder of an empire.

Page 5

G. Margoliouth.

1 Mahommed and the Rise of Islam, in “Heroes of Nations” series.

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

English translations.  From the original Arabic by G. Sale, 1734, 1764, 1795, 1801; many later editions, which include a memoir of the translator by R. A. Davenport, and notes from Savary’s version of the Koran; an edition issued by E. M. Wherry, with additional notes and commentary (Tr\du\ubner’s Oriental Series), 1882, etc.; Sale’s translation has also been edited in the Chandos Classics, and among Lubbock’s Hundred Books (No. 22).  The Holy Qur\da\an, translated by Dr. Mohammad Abdul Hakim Khan, with short notes, 1905; Translation by J. M. Rodwell, with notes and index (the Suras arranged in chronological order), 1861, 2nd ed., 1876; by E. H. Palmer (Sacred Books of the East, vols. vi., ix.).

Selections:  Chiefly from Sale’s edition, by E. W. Lane, 1843; revised and enlarged with introduction by S. Lane-Poole. (Tr\du\ubner’s Oriental Series), 1879; The Speeches and Table-Talk of the Prophet Mohammad, etc., chosen and translated, with introduction and notes by S. Lane-Poole, 1882 (Golden Treasury Series); Selections with introduction and explanatory notes (from Sale and other writers), by J. Murdock (Sacred Books of the East), 2nd ed., 1902; The Religion of the Koran, selections with an introduction by A. N. Wollaston (The Wisdom of the East), 1904. 
        See also:  Sir W. Muir:  The Koran, its Composition and Teaching, 1878;
H. Hirschfeld:  New Researches into the Composition and Exegesis of the Qoran, 1902; W. St C. Tisdale:  Sources of the Qur’ân, 1905; H. U. W. Stanton:  The Teaching of the Qur’án, 1919; A. Mingana:  Syriac Influence on the Style of the Kur’ân, 1927.

TO

Sir William Martin, K.T., D.C.L. 
Late chief justice of new Zealand,

This volume is dedicated,

With sincere feelings of esteem for his private worth,

Public services,

And eminent literary attainments,

BY

The translator.

PREFACE

It is necessary that some brief explanation should be given with reference to the arrangement of the Suras, or chapters, adopted in this translation of the Koran.  It should be premised that their order as it stands in all Arabic manuscripts, and in all hitherto printed editions, whether Arabic or European, is not chronological, neither is there any authentic tradition to shew that it rests upon the authority of Muhammad himself.  The scattered fragments

Page 6

of the Koran were in the first instance collected by his immediate successor Abu Bekr, about a year after the Prophet’s death, at the suggestion of Omar, who foresaw that, as the Muslim warriors, whose memories were the sole depositaries of large portions of the revelations, died off or were slain, as had been the case with many in the battle of Yemâma, A.H. 12, the loss of the greater part, or even of the whole, was imminent.  Zaid Ibn Thâbit, a native of Medina, and one of the Ansars, or helpers, who had been Muhammad’s amanuensis, was the person fixed upon to carry out the task, and we are told that he “gathered together” the fragments of the Koran from every quarter, “from date leaves and tablets of white stone, and from the breasts of men."1 The copy thus formed by Zaid probably remained in the possession of Abu Bekr during the remainder of his brief caliphate, who committed it to the custody of Haphsa, one of Muhammad’s widows, and this text continued during the ten years of Omar’s caliphate to be the standard.  In the copies made from it, various readings naturally and necessarily sprung up; and these, under the caliphate of Othman, led to such serious disputes between the faithful, that it became necessary to interpose, and in accordance with the warning of Hodzeifa, “to stop the people, before they should differ regarding their scriptures, as did the Jews and Christians."2 In accordance with this advice, Othman determined to establish a text which should be the sole standard, and entrusted the redaction to the Zaid already mentioned, with whom he associated as colleagues, three, according to others, twelve3 of the Koreisch, in order to secure the purity of that Meccan idiom in which Muhammad had spoken, should any occasions arise in which the collators might have to decide upon various readings.  Copies of the text formed were thus forwarded to several of the chief military stations in the new empire, and all previously existing copies were committed to the flames.

Zaid and his coadjutors, however, do not appear to have arranged the materials which came into their hands upon any system more definite than that of placing the longest and best known Suras first, immediately after the Fatthah, or opening chapter (the eighth in this edition); although even this rule, artless and unscientific as it is, has not been adhered to with strictness.  Anything approaching to a chronological arrangement was entirely lost sight of.  Late Medina Suras are often placed before early Meccan Suras; the short Suras at the end of the Koran are its earliest portions; while, as will be seen from the notes, verses of Meccan origin are to be found embedded in Medina Suras, and verses promulged at Medina scattered up and down in the Meccan Suras.  It would seem as if Zaid had to a great extent put his materials together just as they came to hand, and often with entire disregard to continuity of subject and uniformity of style.  The text, therefore, as hitherto arranged, necessarily

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assumes the form of a most unreadable and incongruous patchwork; “une assemblage,” says M. Kasimirski in his Preface, “informe et incohérent de préceptes moraux, religieux, civils et politiques, mêlés d’exhortations, de promesses, et de menaces"-and conveys no idea whatever of the development and growth of any plan in the mind of the founder of Islam, or of the circumstances by which he was surrounded and influenced.  It is true that the manner in which Zaid contented himself with simply bringing together his materials and transcribing them, without any attempt to mould them into shape or sequence, and without any effort to supply connecting links between adjacent verses, to fill up obvious chasms, or to suppress details of a nature discreditable to the founder of Islam, proves his scrupulous honesty as a compiler, as well as his reverence for the sacred text, and to a certain extent guarantees the genuineness and authenticity of the entire volume.  But it is deeply to be regretted that he did not combine some measure of historical criticism with that simplicity and honesty of purpose which forbade him, as it certainly did, in any way to tamper with the sacred text, to suppress contradictory, and exclude or soften down inaccurate, statements.

The arrangement of the Suras in this translation is based partly upon the traditions of the Muhammadans themselves, with reference especially to the ancient chronological list printed by Weil in his Mohammed der Prophet, as well as upon a careful consideration of the subject matter of each separate Sura and its probable connection with the sequence of events in the life of Muhammad.  Great attention has been paid to this subject by Dr. Weil in the work just mentioned; by Mr. Muir in his Life of Mahomet, who also publishes a chronological list of Suras, 21 however of which he admits have “not yet been carefully fixed;” and especially by Nöldeke, in his Geschichte des Qôrans, a work to which public honours were awarded in 1859 by the Paris Academy of Inscriptions.  From the arrangement of this author I see no reason to depart in regard to the later Suras.  It is based upon a searching criticism and minute analysis of the component verses of each, and may be safely taken as a standard, which ought not to be departed from without weighty reasons.  I have, however, placed the earlier and more fragmentary Suras, after the two first, in an order which has reference rather to their subject matter than to points of historical allusion, which in these Suras are very few; whilst on the other hand, they are mainly couched in the language of self-communion, of aspirations after truth, and of mental struggle, are vivid pictures of Heaven and Hell, or descriptions of natural objects, and refer also largely to the opposition met with by Muhammad from his townsmen of Mecca at the outset of his public career.  This remark applies to what Nöldeke terms “the Suras of the First Period.”

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The contrast between the earlier, middle, and later Suras is very striking and interesting, and will be at once apparent from the arrangement here adopted.  In the Suras as far as the 54th, p. 76, we cannot but notice the entire predominance of the poetical element, a deep appreciation (as in Sura xci. p. 38) of the beauty of natural objects, brief fragmentary and impassioned utterances, denunciations of woe and punishment, expressed for the most part in lines of extreme brevity.  With a change, however, in the position of Muhammad when he openly assumes the office of “public warner,” the Suras begin to assume a more prosaic and didactic tone, though the poetical ornament of rhyme is preserved throughout.  We gradually lose the Poet in the missionary aiming to convert, the warm asserter of dogmatic truths; the descriptions of natural objects, of the judgment, of Heaven and Hell, make way for gradually increasing historical statements, first from Jewish, and subsequently from Christian histories; while, in the 29 Suras revealed at Medina, we no longer listen to vague words, often as it would seem without positive aim, but to the earnest disputant with the enemies of his faith, the Apostle pleading the cause of what he believes to be the Truth of God.  He who at Mecca is the admonisher and persuader, at Medina is the legislator and the warrior, who dictates obedience, and uses other weapons than the pen of the Poet and the Scribe.  When business pressed, as at Medina, Poetry makes way for Prose, and although touches of the Poetical element occasionally break forth, and he has to defend himself up to a very late period against the charge of being merely a Poet, yet this is rarely the case in the Medina Suras; and we are startled by finding obedience to God and the Apostle, God’s gifts and the Apostle’s, God’s pleasure and the Apostle’s, spoken of in the same breath, and epithets and attributes elsewhere applied to Allah openly applied to himself as in Sura ix., 118, 129.

The Suras, viewed as a whole, strike me as being the work of one who began his career as a thoughtful enquirer after truth, and an earnest asserter of it in such rhetorical and poetical forms as he deemed most likely to win and attract his countrymen, and who gradually proceeded from the dogmatic teacher to the politic founder of a system for which laws and regulations had to be provided as occasions arose.  And of all the Suras it must be remarked that they were intended not for readers but for hearers-that they were all promulgated by public recital-and that much was left, as the imperfect sentences shew, to the manner and suggestive action of the reciter.  It would be impossible, and indeed it is unnecessary, to attempt a detailed life of Muhammad within the narrow limits of a Preface.  The main events thereof with which the Suras of the Koran stand in connection, are-The visions of Gabriel, seen, or said to have been seen, at the outset of his career in his 40th year, during

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one of his seasons of annual monthly retirement, for devotion and meditation to Mount Hirâ, near Mecca,-the period of mental depression and re-assurance previous to the assumption of the office of public teacher-the Fatrah or pause (see n. p. 20) during which he probably waited for a repetition of the angelic vision-his labours in comparative privacy for three years, issuing in about 40 converts, of whom his wife Chadijah was the first, and Abu Bekr the most important:  (for it is to him and to Abu Jahl the Sura xcii. p. 32, refers)-struggles with Meccan unbelief and idolatry followed by a period during which probably he had the second vision, Sura liii. p. 69, and was listened to and respected as a person “possessed” (Sura lxix. 42, p. 60, lii. 29, p. 64)-the first emigration to Abyssinia in A.D. 616, in consequence of the Meccan persecutions brought on by his now open attacks upon idolatry (Taghout)-increasing reference to Jewish and Christian histories, shewing that much time had been devoted to their study the conversion of Omar in 617-the journey to the Thaquifites at Taief in A.D. 620-the intercourse with pilgrims from Medina, who believed in Islam, and spread the knowledge thereof in their native town, in the same year-the vision of the midnight journey to Jerusalem and the Heavens-the meetings by night at Acaba, a mountain near Mecca, in the 11th year of his mission, and the pledges of fealty there given to him-the command given to the believers to emigrate to Yathrib, henceforth Medinat-en-nabi (the city of the Prophet) or El-Medina (the city), in April of A.D. 622-the escape of Muhammad and Abu Bekr from Mecca to the cave of Thaur-the flight to Medina in June 20, A.D. 622-treaties made with Christian tribes-increasing, but still very imperfect acquaintance with Christian doctrines-the Battle of Bedr in Hej. 2, and of Ohod-the coalition formed against Muhammad by the Jews and idolatrous Arabians, issuing in the siege of Medina, Hej. 5 (A.D. 627)-the convention, with reference to the liberty of making the pilgrimage, of Hudaibiya, Hej. 6- the embassy to Chosroes King of Persia in the same year, to the Governor of Egypt and to the King of Abyssinia, desiring them to embrace Islam-the conquest of several Jewish tribes, the most important of which was that of Chaibar in Hej. 7, a year marked by the embassy sent to Heraclius, then in Syria, on his return from the Persian campaign, and by a solemn and peaceful pilgrimage to Mecca-the triumphant entry into Mecca in Hej. 8 (A.D. 630), and the demolition of the idols of the Caaba-the submission of the Christians of Nedjran, of Aila on the Red Sea, and of Taief, etc., in Hej. 9, called “the year of embassies or deputations,” from the numerous deputations which flocked to Mecca proffering submission-and lastly in Hej. 10, the submission of Hadramont, Yemen, the greater part of the southern and eastern provinces of Arabia-and the final solemn pilgrimage to Mecca.

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While, however, there is no great difficulty in ascertaining the Suras which stand in connection with the more salient features of Muhammad’s life, it is a much more arduous, and often impracticable task, to point out the precise events to which individual verses refer, and out of which they sprung.  It is quite possible that Muhammad himself, in a later period of his career, designedly mixed up later with earlier revelations in the same Suras not for the sake of producing that mysterious style which seems so pleasing to the mind of those who value truth least when it is most clear and obvious but for the purpose of softening down some of the earlier statements which represent the last hour and awful judgment as imminent; and thus leading his followers to continue still in the attitude of expectation, and to see in his later successes the truth of his earlier predictions.  If after-thoughts of this kind are to be traced, and they will often strike the attentive reader, it then follows that the perplexed state of the text in individual Suras is to be considered as due to Muhammad himself, and we are furnished with a series of constant hints for attaining to chronological accuracy.  And it may be remarked in passing, that a belief that the end of all things was at hand, may have tended to promote the earlier successes of Islam at Mecca, as it unquestionably was an argument with the Apostles, to flee from “the wrath to come.”  It must be borne in mind that the allusions to contemporary minor events, and to the local efforts made by the new religion to gain the ascendant are very few, and often couched in terms so vague and general, that we are forced to interpret the Koran solely by the Koran itself.  And for this, the frequent repetitions of the same histories and the same sentiments, afford much facility:  and the peculiar manner in which the details of each history are increased by fresh traits at each recurrence, enables us to trace their growth in the author’s mind, and to ascertain the manner in which a part of the Koran was composed.  The absence of the historical element from the Koran as regards the details of Muhammad’s daily life, may be judged of by the fact, that only two of his contemporaries are mentioned in the entire volume, and that Muhammad’s name occurs but five times, although he is all the way through addressed by the Angel Gabriel as the recipient of the divine revelations, with the word say.  Perhaps such passages as Sura ii. 15, p. 339, and v. 246, p. 365, and the constant mention of guidance, direction, wandering, may have been suggested by reminiscences of his mercantile journeys in his earlier years.

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It may be considered quite certain that it was not customary to reduce to writing any traditions concerning Muhammad himself for at least the greater part of a century.  They rested entirely on the memory of those who have handed them down, and must necessarily have been coloured by their prejudices and convictions, to say nothing of the tendency to the formation of myths and to actual fabrication, which early shews itself, especially in interpretations of the Koran, to subserve the purposes of the contending factions of the Ommeyads and Abbâsides.  It was under the 5th Caliph, Al-Mâmûn, that three writers (mentioned below) on whom we mainly depend for all really reliable information, flourished:  and even their writings are necessarily coloured by the theological tendencies of their master and patron, who was a decided partizan of the divine right of Ali and of his descendants.  The incidents mentioned in the Koran itself, for the interpretation of which early tradition is available, are comparatively few, and there are many passages with which it is totally at variance; as, for instance, that Muhammad worked miracles, which the Koran expressly disclaims.  Traditions can never be considered as at all reliable, unless they are traceable to some common origin, have descended to us by independent witnesses, and correspond with the statements of the Koran itself-always of course deducting such texts as (which is not unfrequently the case) have themselves given rise to the tradition.  It soon becomes obvious to the reader of Muslim traditions and commentators that both miracles and historical events have been invented for the sake of expounding a dark and perplexing text; and that even the earlier traditions are largely tinged with the mythical element.

The first biographer of Muhammad of whom we have any information was Zohri, who died A.H. 124, aged 72; but his works, though abundantly quoted by later writers, are no longer extant.  Much of his information was derived from Orwa, who died A.H. 94, and was a near relative of Ayesha, the prophet’s favourite wife.

Ibn Ishaq, who died in A.H. 151, and who had been a hearer of Zohri, composed a Biography of Muhammad for the use of the Caliph Al Mánsûr.  On this work, considerable remains of which have come down to us, Ibn Hisham, who died A.H. 213, based his Life of Muhammad.

Waquidi of Medina, who died A.H. 207, composed a biographical work, which has reached us in an abbreviated form through his secretary (Katib).  It is composed entirely of traditions.

Tabari, “the Livy of the Arabians” (Gibbon, 51, n. 1), who died at Baghdad A.H. 310, composed annals of Muhammad’s life and of the progress of Islam.

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These ancient writers are the principal sources whence anything like authentic information as to the life of Muhammad has been derived.  And it may be safely concluded that after the diligent investigations carried on by the professed collectors of traditions in the second century after the Hejira, that little or nothing remains to be added to our stores of information relative to the details of Muhammad’s life, or to facts which may further illustrate the text of the Koran.  But however this may be, no records which are posterior in date to these authorities can be considered as at all deserving of dependance.  “To consider,” says Dr. Sprenger, “late historians like Abulfeda as authorities, and to suppose that an account gains in certainty because it is mentioned by several of them, is highly uncritical.”  Life of Mohammad, p. 73.

The sources whence Muhammad derived the materials of his Koran are, over and above the more poetical parts, which are his own creation, the legends of his time and country, Jewish traditions based upon the Talmud, or perverted to suit his own purposes, and the floating Christian traditions of Arabia and of S. Syria.  At a later period of his career no one would venture to doubt the divine origin of the entire book.  But at its commencement the case was different.  The people of Mecca spoke openly and tauntingly of it as the work of a poet, as a collection of antiquated or fabulous legends, or as palpable sorcery.4 They accused him of having confederates, and even specified foreigners who had been his coadjutors.  Such were Salman the Persian, to whom he may have owed the descriptions of Heaven and Hell, which are analogous to those of the Zendavesta; and the Christian monk Sergius, or as the Muhammadans term him, Boheira.  From the latter, and perhaps from other Christians, especially slaves naturalised at Mecca, Muhammad obtained access to the teaching of the Apocryphal Gospels, and to many popular traditions of which those Gospels are the concrete expression.  His wife Chadijah, as well as her cousin Waraka, a reputed convert to Christianity, and Muhammad’s intimate friend, are said to have been well acquainted with the doctrines and sacred books both of Jews and Christians.  And not only were several Arab tribes in the neighbourhood of Mecca converts to the Christian faith, but on two occasions Muhammad had travelled with his uncle, Abu Talib, as far as Bostra, where he must have had opportunities of learning the general outlines of Oriental Christian doctrine, and perhaps of witnessing the ceremonial of their worship.  And it appears tolerably certain that previous to and at the period of his entering into public life, there was a large number of enquirers at Mecca, who like Zaid, Omayah of Taief, Waraka, etc., were dissatisfied equally with the religion of their fathers, the Judaism and the Christianity which they saw around them, and were anxiously enquiring for some better way.  The names and details of the

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lives of twelve of the “companions” of Muhammad who lived in Mecca, Medina, and Taief, are recorded, who previous to his assumption of the Prophetic office, called themselves Hanyfs, i.e., converts, puritans, and were believers in one God, and regarded Abraham as the founder of their religion.  Muhammad publicly acknowledged that he was a Hanyf-and this sect of the Hanyfites (who are in no way to be confounded with the later sect of the same name) were among his Meccan precursors.  See n. pp. 209, 387.  Their history is to be found in the Fihrist-Ms. Paris, anc. fonds, nr. 874 (and in other treatises)-which Dr. Sprenger believes to have been in the library of the Caliph El-Mâmûn.  In this treatise, the Hanyfs are termed Sabeites, and said to have received the Volumes (Sohof) or Books of Abraham, mentioned in Sura lxxxvii. 19, p. 40, 41, which most commentators affirm to have been borrowed from them, as is also the case with the latter part of Sura liii. 37, ad f. p. 71; so that from these “Books” Muhammad derived the legends of Ad and Themoud, whose downfall, recent as it was (see note p. 300), he throws back to a period previous to that of Moses, who is made to ask (Sura xiv. 9, p. 226) “whether their history had reached his hearers.”  Muhammad is said to have discovered these “Books” to be a recent forgery, and that this is the reason why no mention of them occurs after the fourth year of his Prophetic function, A.D. 616.  Hence too, possibly, the title Hanyf was so soon dropped and exchanged for that of Muslim, one who surrenders or resigns himself to God.  The Waraka above mentioned, and cousin of Chadijah, is said to have believed on Muhammad as long as he continued true to the principles of the Hanyfs, but to have quitted him in disgust at his subsequent proceedings, and to have died an orthodox Christian.

It has been supposed that Muhammad derived many of his notions concerning Christianity from Gnosticism, and that it is to the numerous gnostic sects the Koran alludes when it reproaches the Christians with having “split up their religion into parties.”  But for Muhammad thus to have confounded Gnosticism with Christianity itself, its prevalence in Arabia must have been far more universal than we have any reason to believe it really was.  In fact, we have no historical authority for supposing that the doctrines of these heretics were taught or professed in Arabia at all.  It is certain, on the other hand, that the Basilidans, Valentinians, and other gnostic sects had either died out, or been reabsorbed into the orthodox Church, towards the middle of the fifth century, and had disappeared from Egypt before the sixth.  It is nevertheless possible that the gnostic doctrine concerning the Crucifixion was adopted by Muhammad as likely to reconcile the Jews to Islam, as a religion embracing both Judaism and Christianity, if they might believe that Jesus had not been put to death, and thus find the stumbling-block of the

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atonement removed out of their path.  The Jews would in this case have simply been called upon to believe in Jesus as being what the Koran represents him, a holy teacher, who, like the patriarch Enoch or the prophet Elijah, had been miraculously taken from the earth.  But, in all other respects, the sober and matter-of-fact statements of the Koran relative to the family and history of Jesus, are altogether opposed to the wild and fantastic doctrines of Gnostic emanations, and especially to the manner in which they supposed Jesus, at his Baptism, to have been brought into union with a higher nature.  It is quite clear that Muhammad borrowed in several points from the doctrines of the Ebionites, Essenes, and Sabeites.  Epiphanius (H‘r. x.) describes the notions of the Ebionites of Nabath‘a, Moabitis, and Basanitis with regard to Adam and Jesus, almost in the very words of Sura iii. 52.  He tells us that they observed circumcision, were opposed to celibacy, forbad turning to the sunrise, but enjoined Jerusalem as their Kebla (as did Muhammad during twelve years), that they prescribed (as did the Sabeites), washings, very similar to those enjoined in the Koran, and allowed oaths (by certain natural objects, as clouds, signs of the Zodiac, oil, the winds, etc.), which we find adopted in the Koran.  These points of contact with Islam, knowing as we do Muhammad’s eclecticism, can hardly be accidental.

We have no evidence that Muhammad had access to the Christian Scriptures, though it is just possible that fragments of the Old or New Testament may have reached him through Chadijah or Waraka, or other Meccan Christians, possessing MSS. of the sacred volume.  There is but one direct quotation (Sura xxi. 105) in the whole Koran from the Scriptures; and though there are a few passages, as where alms are said to be given to be seen of men, and as, none forgiveth sins but God only, which might seem to be identical with texts of the New Testament, yet this similarity is probably merely accidental.  It is, however, curious to compare such passages as Deut. xxvi. 14, 17; 1 Peter v. 2, with Sura xxiv. 50, p. 448, and x. 73, p. 281 John vii. 15, with the “illiterate” Prophet-Matt. xxiv. 36, and John xii. 27, with the use of the word hour as meaning any judgment or crisis, and The last judgment-the voice of the Son of God which the dead are to hear, with the exterminating or awakening cry of Gabriel, etc.  The passages of this kind, with which the Koran abounds, result from Muhammad’s general acquaintance with Scriptural phraseology, partly through the popular legends, partly from personal intercourse with Jews and Christians.  And we may be quite certain that whatever materials Muhammad may have derived from our Scriptures, directly or indirectly, were carefully recast.  He did not even use its words without due consideration.  For instance, except in the phrase “the Lord of the worlds,” he seems carefully to have avoided the expression the Lord, probably because it was applied by the Christians to Christ, or to God the Father.

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It should also be borne in mind that we have no traces of the existence of Arabic versions of the Old or New Testament previous to the time of Muhammad.  The passage of St. Jerome-"Hæc autem translatio nullum de veteribus sequitur interpretem; sed ex ipso Hebraico, Arabicoque sermone, et interdum Syro, nunc verba, nunc sensum, nunc simul utrumque resonabit,” (Prol.  Gal.) obviously does not refer to versions, but to idiom.  The earliest Ar. version of the Old Testament, of which we have any knowledge, is that of R. Saadias Gaon, A.D. 900; and the oldest Ar. version of the New Testament, is that published by Erpenius in 1616, and transcribed in the Thebais, in the year 1171, by a Coptic Bishop, from a copy made by a person whose name is known, but whose date is uncertain.  Michaelis thinks that the Arabic versions of the New Testament were made between the Saracen conquests in the seventh century, and the Crusades in the eleventh century-an opinion in which he follows, or coincides with, Walton (Prol. in Polygl. § xiv.) who remarks-"Plane constat versionem Arabicam apud eas (ecclesias orientales) factam esse postquam lingua Arabica per victorias et religionem Muhammedanicam per Orientem propagata fuerat, et in multis locis facta esset vernacula.”  If, indeed, in these comparatively late versions, the general phraseology, especially in the histories common to the Scriptures and to the Koran, bore any similarity to each other, and if the orthography of the proper names had been the same in each, it might have been fair to suppose that such versions had been made, more or less, upon the basis of others, which, though now lost, existed in the ages prior to Muhammad, and influenced, if they did not directly form, his sources of information.  But5 this does not appear to be the case.  The phraseology of our existing versions is not that of the Koran-and these versions appear to have been made from the Septuagint, the Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Greek; the four Gospels, says Tischendorf6 originem mixtam habere videntur.

From the Arab Jews, Muhammad would be enabled to derive an abundant, though most distorted, knowledge of the Scripture histories.  The secrecy in which he received his instructions from them, and from his Christian informants, enabled him boldly to declare to the ignorant pagan Meccans that God had revealed those Biblical histories to him.  But there can be no doubt, from the constant identity between the Talmudic perversions of Scripture histories and Rabbinic moral precepts, that the Rabbins of the Hejaz communicated their legends to Muhammad.  And it should be remembered that the Talmud was completed a century previous to the era of Muhammad,7 and cannot fail to have extensively influenced the religious creed of all the Jews of the Arabian peninsula.  In one passage,8 Muhammad speaks of an individual Jew-perhaps some one of note among his professed followers, as a witness to his mission; and there can be no doubt that his relations

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with the Jews were, at one time, those of friendship and intimacy, when we find him speak of their recognising him as they do their own children, and hear him blaming their most colloquial expressions.9 It is impossible, however, for us at this distance of time to penetrate the mystery in which this subject is involved.  Yet certain it is, that, although their testimony against Muhammad was speedily silenced, the Koreisch knew enough of his private history to disbelieve and to disprove his pretensions of being the recipient of a divine revelation, and that they accused him of writing from the dictation of teachers morning and evening.10 And it is equally certain, that all the information received by Muhammad was embellished and recast in his own mind and with his own words.  There is a unity of thought, a directness and simplicity of purpose, a peculiar and laboured style, a uniformity of diction, coupled with a certain deficiency of imaginative power, which proves the ayats (signs or verses) of the Koran at least to be the product of a single pen.  The longer narratives were, probably, elaborated in his leisure hours, while the shorter verses, each claiming to be a sign or miracle, were promulgated as occasion required them.  And, whatever Muhammad may himself profess in the Koran11 as to his ignorance, even of reading and writing, and however strongly modern Muhammadans may insist upon the same point an assertion by the way contradicted by many good authors12-there can be no doubt that to assimilate and work up his materials, to fashion them into elaborate Suras, to fit them for public recital, must have been a work requiring much time, study, and meditation, and presumes a far greater degree of general culture than any orthodox Muslim will be disposed to admit.

In close connection with the above remarks, stands the question of Muhammad’s sincerity and honesty of purpose in coming forward as a messenger from God.  For if he was indeed the illiterate person the Muslims represent him to have been, then it will be hard to escape their inference that the Koran is, as they assert it to be, a standing miracle.  But if, on the other hand, it was a Book carefully concocted from various sources, and with much extraneous aid, and published as a divine oracle, then it would seem that the author is at once open to the charge of the grossest imposture, and even of impious blasphemy.  The evidence rather shews, that in all he did and wrote, Muhammad was actuated by a sincere desire to deliver his countrymen from the grossness of its debasing idolatries-that he was urged on by an intense desire to proclaim that great truth of the Unity of the Godhead which had taken full possession of his own soul-that the end to be attained justified to his mind the means he adopted in the production of his Suras-that he worked himself up into a belief that he had received a divine call-and that he was carried on by the force of circumstances, and by gradually increasing successes, to believe

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himself the accredited messenger of Heaven.  The earnestness of those convictions which at Mecca sustained him under persecution, and which perhaps led him, at any price as it were, and by any means, not even excluding deceit and falsehood, to endeavour to rescue his countrymen from idolatry,-naturally stiffened at Medina into tyranny and unscrupulous violence.  At the same time, he was probably, more or less, throughout his whole career, the victim of a certain amount of self-deception.  A cataleptic13 subject from his early youth, born-according to the traditions-of a highly nervous and excitable mother, he would be peculiarly liable to morbid and fantastic hallucinations, and alternations of excitement and depression, which would win for him, in the eyes of his ignorant countrymen, the credit of being inspired.  It would be easy for him to persuade himself that he was “the seal of the Prophets,” the proclaimer of a doctrine of the Divine Unity, held and taught by the Patriarchs, especially by Abraham-a doctrine that should present to mankind Judaism divested of its Mosaic ceremonial, and Christianity divested of the Atonement and the Trinity14-doctrine, as he might have believed, fitted and destined to absorb Judaism, Christianity, and Idolatry; and this persuasion, once admitted into his mind as a conviction, retained possession of it, and carried him on, though often in the use of means, towards the end of his career, far different from those with which he commenced it, to a victorious consummation.  It is true that the state of Arabia previous to the time of Muhammad was one of preparedness for a new religion that the scattered elements were there, and wanted only the mind of a master to harmonise and enforce them and that Islam was, so to speak, a necessity of the time.15 Still Muhammad’s career is a wonderful instance of the force and life that resides in him who possesses an intense Faith in God and in the unseen world; and whatever deductions may be made-and they are many and serious-from the noble and truthful in his character, he will always be regarded as one of those who have had that influence over the faith, morals, and whole earthly life of their fellow-men, which none but a really great man ever did, or can, exercise; and as one of those, whose efforts to propagate some great verity will prosper, in spite of manifold personal errors and defects, both of principle and character.

The more insight we obtain, from undoubted historical sources, into the actual character of Muhammad, the less reason do we find to justify the strong vituperative language poured out upon his head by Maracci, Prideaux, and others, in recent days, one of whom has found, in the Byzantine “Maometis,” the number of the Beast (Rev. xii)!  It is nearer to the truth to say that he was a great though imperfect character, an earnest though mistaken teacher, and that many of his mistakes and imperfections were the result of circumstances, of temperament, and constitution;

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and that there must be elements both of truth and goodness in the system of which he was the main author, to account for the world-wide phenomenon, that whatever may be the intellectual inferiority (if such is, indeed, the fact) of the Muslim races, the influence of his teaching, aided, it is true, by the vast impulse given to it by the victorious arms of his followers, has now lasted for nearly thirteen centuries, and embraces more than one hundred millions of our race-more than one-tenth part of the inhabitants of the globe.

It must be acknowledged, too, that the Koran deserves the highest praise for its conceptions of the Divine nature, in reference to the attributes of Power, Knowledge, and universal Providence and Unity-that its belief and trust in the One God of Heaven and Earth is deep and fervent-and that, though it contains fantastic visions and legends, teaches a childish ceremonial, and justifies bloodshedding, persecution, slavery, and polygamy, yet that at the same time it embodies much of a noble and deep moral earnestness, and sententious oracular wisdom, and has proved that there are elements in it on which mighty nations, and conquering though not, perhaps, durable-empires can be built up.  It is due to the Koran, that the occupants in the sixth century of an arid peninsula, whose poverty was only equalled by their ignorance, become not only the fervent and sincere votaries of a new creed, but, like Amru and many more, its warlike propagators.  Impelled possibly by drought and famine, actuated partly by desire of conquest, partly by religious convictions, they had conquered Persia in the seventh century, the northern coasts of Africa, and a large portion of Spain in the eighth, the Punjaub and nearly the whole of India in the ninth.  The simple shepherds and wandering Bedouins of Arabia, are transformed, as if by a magician’s wand, into the founders of empires, the builders of cities, the collectors of more libraries than they at first destroyed, while cities like Fostât, Baghdad, Cordova, and Delhi, attest the power at which Christian Europe trembled.  And thus, while the Koran, which underlays this vast energy and contains the principles which are its springs of action, reflects to a great extent the mixed character of its author, its merits as a code of laws, and as a system of religious teaching, must always be estimated by the changes which it introduced into the customs and beliefs of those who willingly or by compulsion embraced it.  In the suppression of their idolatries, in the substitution of the worship of Allah for that of the powers of nature and genii with Him, in the abolition of child murder, in the extinction of manifold superstitious usages, in the reduction of the number of wives to a fixed standard, it was to the Arabians an unquestionable blessing, and an accession, though not in the Christian sense a Revelation, of Truth; and while every Christian must deplore the overthrow of so many flourishing Eastern churches by the arms

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of the victorious Muslims, it must not be forgotten that Europe, in the middle ages, owed much of her knowledge of dialectic philosophy, of medicine, and architecture, to Arabian writers, and that Muslims formed the connecting link between the West and the East for the importation of numerous articles of luxury and use.  That an immense mass of fable and silly legend has been built up upon the basis of the Koran is beyond a doubt, but for this Muhammad is not answerable, any more than he is for the wild and bloodthirsty excesses of his followers in after ages.  I agree with Sale in thinking that, “how criminal soever Muhammad may have been in imposing a false religion on mankind, the praises due to his real virtues ought not to be denied him” (Preface), and venture to think that no one can rise from the perusal of his Koran without argeeing with that motto from St. Augustin, which Sale has prefixed to his title page, “Nulla falsa doctrina est, quæ non aliquid veri permisceat.”  Qu‘st.  Evang. ii. 40.

The Arabic text from which this translation has been made is that of Fluegel.  Leips. 1841.  The translations of Sale, Ullmann, Wahl, Hammer von Purgstall in the Fundgruben des Orients, and M. Kasimirski, have been collated throughout; and above all, the great work of Father Maracci, to whose accuracy and research search Sale’s work mainly owes its merits.  Sale has, however, followed Maracci too closely, especially by introducing his paraphrastic comments into the body of the text, as well as by his constant use of Latinised instead of Saxon words.  But to Sale’s “Preliminary Discourse” the reader is referred, as to a storehouse of valuable information; as well as to the works of Geiger, Gerock, and Freytag, and to the lives of Muhammad by Dr. Weil, Mr. Muir, and that of Dr. Sprenger now issuing from the press, in German.  The more brief and poetical verses of the earlier Suras are translated with a freedom from which I have altogether abstained in the historical and prosaic portions; but I have endeavoured nowhere to use a greater amount of paraphrase than is necessary to convey the sense of the original.  “Vel verbum e verbo,” says S. Jerome (Præf. in Jobum) of versions, “vel sensum e sensu, vel ex utroque commixtum, et medie temperatum genus translationis.”  The proper names are usually given as in our Scriptures:  the English reader would not easily recognise Noah as Nûh, Lot as Lût, Moses as Musa, Abraham as Ibrahym, Pharaoh as Firaun, Aaron as Harun, Jesus as Isa, John as Yahia, etc.; and it has been thought best to give different renderings of the same constantly recurring words and phrases, in order more fully to convey their meaning.  For instance, the Arabic words which mean Companions of the fire, are also rendered inmates of, etc., given up to, etc.; the People of the Book, i.e.  Jews, Christians and Sabeites, is sometimes retained, sometimes paraphrased.  This remark applies to such words as tanzyl, lit. downsending or Revelation; zikr, the remembrance or constant repetition or mention of God’s name as an act of devotion; saha, the Hour of present or final judgment; and various epithets of Allah.

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I have nowhere attempted to represent the rhymes of the original.  The “Proben” of H. v.  Purgstall, in the Fundgruben des Orients, excellent as they are in many respects, shew that this can only be done with a sacrifice of literal translation.  I subjoin as a specimen Lieut.  Burton’s version of the Fatthah, or opening chapter of previous editions.  See Sura [viii.] p. 28.

        1 In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate!
        2 Praise be to Allah, who the three worlds made.
        3 The Merciful, the Compassionate,
        4 The King of the day of Fate.
        5 Thee alone do we worship, and of thee alone do we ask aid.
        6 Guide us to the path that is straight-
        7 The path of those to whom thy love is great,
                Not those on whom is hate,
                Nor they that deviate.  Amen.

“I have endeavoured,” he adds, “in this translation to imitate the imperfect rhyme of the original Arabic.  Such an attempt, however, is full of difficulties.  The Arabic is a language in which, like Italian, it is almost impossible not to rhyme.”  Pilgr. ii. 78.

1 Mishcât, vol. i. p. 524.  E. Trans.  B. viii. 3, 3.

2 Mishcât, as above.  Muir, i. p. xiii.  Freyt.  Einl., p. 384.  Memoires de l’Acad.  T. 50, p. 426.  Nöld. p. 205.

3 Kitâb al Waquidi, p. 278

4 See Suras xxxvi. xxv. xvii.

5 See Walton’s Prol. ad Polygl.  Lond. § xiv. 2.

6 Prol. in N.T. p. lxxviii.

7 The date of the Bab.  Gemara is A.D. 530; of the Jerusalem Gamara, A.D. 430; of the Mischina A.D. 220; See Gfrörer’s Jahrhundert des Heils, pp. 11- 44.

8 Sura xlvi. 10, p. 314.

9 Sura vi. 20, p. 318.  Sura ii. 13 (p. 339), verse 98, etc.

10 Sura xxv. 5, 6, p. 159.

11 Sura. vii. 156, p. 307; xxix. 47, p. 265.

12 See Dr. Sprenger’s “Life,” p. 101.

13 Or, epileptic.

14 A line of argument to be adopted by a Christian missionary in dealing with a Muhammadan should be, not to attack Islam as a mass of error, but to shew that it contains fragments of disjointed truth-that it is based upon Christianity and Judaism partially understood-especially upon the latter, without any appreciation of its typical character pointing to Christianity as a final dispensation.

15 Muhammad can scarcely have failed to observe the opportunity offered for the growth of a new power, by the ruinous strifes of the Persians and Greeks.  Abulfeda (Life of Muhammad, p. 76) expressly says that he had promised his followers the spoils o Chosroes and Cæsar.

SURA1 XCVI.-THICK BLOOD, OR CLOTS OF BLOOD [I.]

Mecca.-19 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful2

Recite3 thou, in the name of thy Lord who created;-

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Created man from clots of blood:-

Recite thou!  For thy Lord is the most Beneficent,

Who hath taught the use of the pen;-

Hath taught Man that which he knoweth not.

Nay, verily,4 Man is insolent,

Because he seeth himself possessed of riches.

Verily, to thy Lord is the return of all.

What thinkest thou of him that holdeth back

A servant5 of God when he prayeth?

What thinkest thou?6 Hath he followed the true Guidance, or enjoined Piety?

What thinkest thou?  Hath he treated the truth as a lie and turned his back?

What! doth he not know how that God seeth?

Nay, verily, if he desist not, We shall seize him by the forelock,

The lying sinful forelock!

Then let him summon his associates;7

We too will summon the guards of Hell: 

Nay! obey him not; but adore, and draw nigh to God.8

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1 The word Sura occurs nine times in the Koran, viz.  Sur. ix. 65, 87, 125, 128; xxiv. 1; xlvii. 22 (twice); ii. 21; x. 39; but it is not easy to determine whether it means a whole chapter, or part only of a chapter, or is used in the sense of “revelation.”  See Weil’s Mohammed der Prophet, pp. 361- 363.  It is understood by the Muhammadan commentators to have a primary reference to the succession of subjects or parts, like the rows of bricks in a wall.  The titles of the Suras are generally taken from some word occurring in each, which is printed in large type throughout, where practicable.

2 This formula-Bismillahi ’rrahmani ’rrahim-is of Jewish origin.  It was in the first instance taught to the Koreisch by Omayah of Taief, the poet, who was a contemporary with, but somewhat older than, Muhammad; and who, during his mercantile journeys into Arabia Petr‘a and Syria, had made himself acquainted with the sacred books and doctrines of Jews and Christians. (Kitab al-Aghâni, 16.  Delhi.) Muhammad adopted and constantly used it, and it is prefixed to each Sura except the ninth.  The former of the two epithets implies that the mercy of God is exercised as occasions arise, towards all his creatures; the latter that the quality of mercy is inherent in God and permanent, so that there is only a shade of difference between the two words.  Maracci well renders, In Nomine Dei Miseratoris, Misericordis.  The rendering I have adopted is that of Mr. Lane in his extracts from the Koran.  See also Freytag’s Lex. ii. p. 133.  Perhaps, In the name of Allah, the God of Mercy, the Merciful, would more fully express the original Arabic.  The first five verses of this Sura are, in the opinion of nearly all commentators, ancient and modern, the earliest revelations made to Muhammad, in the 40th year of his life, and the starting point of El-Islam. (See the authorities quoted in detail in Nöldeke’s Geschichte des Qorâns, p. 62, n.)

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3 The usual rendering is read.  But the word qaraa, which is the root of the word Koran, analogous to the Rabbinic mikra, rather means to address, recite; and with regard to its etymology and use in the kindred dialects to call, cry aloud, proclaim.  Compare Isai. lviii. 1; 1 Kings xviii. 37; and Gesen.  Thesaur. on the Hebrew root.  I understand this passage to mean, “Preach to thy fellow men what thou believest to be true of thy Lord who has created man from the meanest materials, and can in like manner prosper the truth which thou proclaimest.  He has taught man the art of writing (recently introduced at Mecca) and in this thou wilt find a powerful help for propagating the knowledge of the divine Unity.”  The speaker in this, as in all the Suras, is Gabriel, of whom Muhammad had, as he believed, a vision on the mountain Hirâ, near Mecca.  See note 1 on the next page.  The details of the vision are quite unhistorical.

4 This, and the following verses, may have been added at a later period, though previous to the Flight, and with special reference, if we are to believe the commentators Beidhawi, etc., to the opposition which Muhammad experienced at the hands of his opponent, Abu Jahl, who had threatened to set his foot on the Prophet’s neck when prostrate in prayer.  But the whole passage admits of application to mankind in general.

5 That is Muhammad.  Nöldeke, however, proposes to render “a slave.”  And it is certain that the doctrines of Islam were in the first instance embraced by slaves, many of whom had been carried away from Christian homes, or born of Christian parents at Mecca.  “Men of this description,” says Dr. Sprenger (Life of Mohammad.  Allahabad. p. 159), “no doubt prepared the way for the Islam by inculcating purer notions respecting God upon their masters and their brethren.  These men saw in Mohammad their liberator; and being superstitious enough to consider his fits as the consequence of an inspiration, they were among the first who acknowledged him as a prophet.  Many of them suffered torture for their faith in him, and two of them died as martyrs.  The excitement among the slaves when Mohammad first assumed his office was so great, that Abd Allah bin Jod’an, who had one hundred of these sufferers, found it necessary to remove them from Makkah, lest they should all turn converts.”  See Sura xvi. 105, 111; ii. 220.

6 Lit. hast thou seen if he be upon the guidance.

7 The principal men of the Koreisch who adhered to Abu Jahl.

8 During a period variously estimated from six months to three years from the revelation of this Sura, or of its earliest verses, the prophetic inspiration and the revelation of fresh Suras is said to have been suspended.  This interval is called the Fatrah or intermission; and the Meccan Suras delivered at its close show that at or during this period Muhammad had gained an increasing and more intimate acquaintance with the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.  “The

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accounts, however,” says Mr. Muir (vol. ii. 86) “are throughout confused, if not contradictory; and we can only gather with certainty that there was a time during which his mind hung in suspense, and doubted the divine mission.”  The idea of any supernatural influence is of course to be entirely excluded; although there is no doubt that Muhammad himself had a full belief in the personality and influence of Satans and Djinn.  Profound meditation, the struggles of an earnest mind anxious to attain to truth, the morbid excitability of an epileptic subject, visions seen in epileptic swoons, disgust at Meccan idolatry, and a desire to teach his countrymen the divine Unity will sufficiently account for the period of indecision termed the Fatrah, and for the determination which led Muhammad, in all sincerity, but still self-deceived, to take upon himself the office and work of a Messenger from God.  We may perhaps infer from such passages as Sura ii. 123, what had ever been the leading idea in Muhammad’s mind.

SURA LXXIV.-THE ENWRAPPED1 [II.]

Mecca.-55 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

O thou, Enwrapped in thy mantle!

Arise and warn!

Thy Lord-magnify Him!

Thy raiment-purify it!

The abomination-flee it!

And bestow not favours that thou mayest receive again with increase;

And for thy Lord wait thou patiently.

For when there shall be a trump on the trumpet,2

That shall be a distressful day,

A day, to the Infidels, devoid of ease.

Leave me alone to deal with him3 whom I have created,

And on whom I have bestowed vast riches,

And sons dwelling before him,

And for whom I have smoothed all things smoothly down;-

Yet desireth he that I should add more!

But no! because to our signs he is a foe

I will lay grievous woes upon him.

For he plotted and he planned!

May he be cursed!  How he planned!

Again, may he be cursed!  How he planned!

Then looked he around him,

Then frowned and scowled,

Then turned his back and swelled with disdain,

And said, “This is merely magic that will be wrought;

It is merely the word of a mortal.”

We will surely cast him into Hell-fire.

And who shall teach thee what Hell-fire is?

It leaveth nought, it spareth nought,

Blackening the skin.

Over it are nineteen angels.

None but angels have we made guardians of the fire:4 nor have we made this to be their number but to perplex the unbelievers, and that they who possess the Scriptures may be certain of the truth of the Koran, and that they who believe may increase their faith;

And that they to whom the Scriptures have been given, and the believers, may not doubt;

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And that the infirm of heart and the unbelievers may say, What meaneth God by this parable?

Thus God misleadeth whom He will, and whom He will doth He guide aright:  and none knoweth the armies of thy Lord but Himself:  and this is no other than a warning to mankind.

Nay, by the Moon!

By the Night when it retreateth!

By the Morn when it brighteneth!

Hell is one of the most grievous woes,

Fraught with warning to man,

To him among you who desireth to press forward, or to remain behind.5

For its own works lieth every soul in pledge.  But they of God’s right hand

In their gardens shall ask of the wicked;-

“What hath cast you into Hell-fire?”6

They will say, “We were not of those who prayed,

And we were not of those who fed the poor,

And we plunged into vain disputes with vain disputers,

And we rejected as a lie, the day of reckoning,

Till the certainty7 came upon us”-

And intercession of the interceders shall not avail them.

Then what hath come to them that they turn aside from the Warning

As if they were affrighted asses fleeing from a lion?

And every one of them would fain have open pages given to him out of Heaven.

It shall not be.  They fear not the life to come.

It shall not be.  For this Koran is warning enough.  And whoso will, it warneth him.

But not unless God please, shall they be warned.  Meet is He to be feared. 
Meet is forgiveness in Him.

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1 This Sura is placed by Muir in the “second stage” of Meccan Suras, and twenty-first in chronological order, in the third or fourth year of the Prophet’s career.  According, however, to the chronological list of Suras given by Weil (Leben M. p. 364) from ancient tradition, as well as from the consentient voice of tradionists and commentaries (v.  Nöld.  Geschichte, p. 69; Sprenger’s Life of Mohammad, p. 111) it was the next revealed after the Fatrah, and the designation to the prophetic office.  The main features of the tradition are, that Muhammad while wandering about in the hills near Mecca, distracted by doubts and by anxiety after truth, had a vision of the Angel Gabriel seated on a throne between heaven and earth, that he ran to his wife, Chadijah, in the greatest alarm, and desired her, perhaps from superstitious motives (and believing that if covered with clothes he should be shielded from the glances of evil spirits-comp.  Stanley on I Cor. xi. 10), to envelope him in his mantle; that then Gabriel came down and addressed him as in v.  I. This vision, like that which preceded Sura xcvi., may actually have occurred during the hallucinations of one of the epileptic fits from which Muhammad from early youth appears to have suffered.  Hence Muhammad in Sura lxxxi. appeals to it as a

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matter of fact, and such he doubtless believe it to be.  It may here be observed, that however absurd the Muslim traditions may be in many of their details, it will generally be found that where there is an ancient and tolerably universal consent, there will be found at the bottom a residuum of fact and historical truth.  At the same time there can be no doubt but that the details of the traditions are too commonly founded upon the attempt to explain or to throw light upon a dark passage of the Koran, and are pure inventions of a later age.

2 The Arabic words are not those used in later Suras to express the same idea.

3 Said to be Walid b.  Mogheira, a person of note among the unbelieving Meccans.  This portion of the Sura seems to be of a different date from the first seven verses, though very ancient, and the change of subject is similar to that at v. 9 of the previous Sura.

4 This and the three following verses wear the appearance of having been inserted at a later period to meet objections respecting the number of the angels who guard hell, raised by the Jews; perhaps at Medina, as the four classes of persons specified are those whom Muhammad had to deal with in that city, viz., the Jews, Believers, the Hypocrites, or undecided, and Idolaters.  These are constantly mentioned together in the Medina Suras.

5 That is, who believe, and do not believe.

6 As the word sakar disturbs the rhyme, it may have been inserted by a mistake of the copyist for the usual word, which suits it.

7 That is, death.  Beidh.  Comp.  Sura xv. 99.

SURA LXXIII.  THE ENFOLDED1 [III.]

Mecca. 20 Verses.

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

O thou Enfolded in thy mantle,

Stand up all night, except a small portion of it, for prayer: 

Half; or curtail the half a little,-

Or add to it:  And with measured tone intone the Koran,2

For we shall devolve on thee weighty words.

Verily, at the oncoming of night are devout impressions strongest, and words are most collected;3

But in the day time thou hast continual employ-

And commemorate the name of thy Lord, and devote thyself to Him with entire devotion.

Lord of the East and of the West!  No God is there but He!  Take Him for thy protector,

And endure what they say with patience, and depart from them with a decorous departure.

And let Me alone with the gainsayers, rich in the pleasures of this life; and bear thou with them yet a little while: 

For with Us are strong fetters, and a flaming fire,

And food that choketh, and a sore torment.

The day cometh when the earth and the mountains shall be shaken; and the mountains shall become a loose sand heap.

Verily, we have sent you an Apostle to witness against you, even as we sent an Apostle to Pharaoh: 

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But Pharaoh rebelled against the Apostle, and we therefore laid hold on him with a severe chastisement.

And how, if ye believe not, will you screen yourselves from the day that shall turn children greyheaded?

The very heaven shall be reft asunder by it:  this threat shall be carried into effect.

Lo! this is a warning.  Let him then who will, take the way to his Lord.

Of a truth,4 thy Lord knoweth that thou prayest almost two-thirds, or half, or a third of the night, as do a part of thy followers.  But God measureth the night and the day:  He knoweth that ye cannot count its hours aright, and therefore, turneth to you mercifully.  Recite then so much of the Koran as may be easy to you.  He knoweth that there will be some among you sick, while others travel through the earth in quest of the bounties of God; and others do battle in his cause.  Recite therefore so much of it as may be easy.  And observe the Prayers and pay the legal Alms,5 and lend God a liberal loan:  for whatever good works ye send on before for your own behoof, ye shall find with God.  This will be best and richest in the recompense.  And seek the forgiveness of God:  verily, God is forgiving, Merciful.

_______________________

1 From the first line of this Sura, and its expressions concerning the Koran, Prayer, and Future Punishment:  from the similarity of the tradition with regard to its having been preceded by a vision of Gabriel (Beidh., etc.), it seems to belong to, or at least to describe, a period, perhaps immediately succeeding the Fatrah, during which the hours of night were spent by Muhammad in devotion and in the labour of working up his materials in rhythmical and rhyming Suras, and in preparation for the public assumption of the prophetic office.  Comp. especially verses 11, 19, 20, at the end, with 11, 54, 55, of the preceding Sura.

2 Singe den Koran laut.  H.v.P.  Psalle Alcoranum psallendo.  Mar.  Singe den Koran mit singender und lauter Stimme ab.  Ullm.

3 Lit. most firm, perhaps, distinct.

4 This verse, according to a tradition of Ayesha, was revealed one year later than the previous part of the Sura.  Nöldeke says it is “offenbar ein Medinischer.”

5 The reader will not be surprised to find in the very outset of Muhammad’s career a frequent mention of Alms, Prayer, Heaven, Hell, Judgment, Apostles, etc., in their usual sense, when he remembers that Judaism was extensively naturalised in Arabia, and Christianity, also, although to a smaller extent.  The words and phrases of these religions were doubtless familiar to the Meccans, especially to that numerous body who were anxiously searching after some better religion than the idolatries of their fathers (v. on Sura iii. 19, 60), and provided Muhammad with a copious fund from which to draw.

SURA XCIII.1-THE BRIGHTNESS [IV.]

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Mecca.-11 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the noon-day brightness,

And by the night when it darkeneth!

Thy Lord hath not forsaken thee, neither hath he been displeased.

And surely the Future shall be better for thee than the Past,

And in the end shall thy Lord be bounteous to thee and thou be satisfied.

Did he not find thee an orphan2 and gave thee a home?

And found thee erring and guided thee,3

And found thee needy and enriched thee.

As to the orphan therefore wrong him not;

And as to him that asketh of thee, chide him not away;

And as for the favours of thy Lord tell them abroad.

_______________________

1 This and the six following Suras are expressions of a state of deep mental anxiety and depression, in which Muhammad seeks to reassure himself by calling to mind the past favours of God, and by fixing his mind steadfastly on the Divine Unity.  They belong to a period either before the public commencement of his ministry or when his success was very dubious, and his future career by no means clearly marked out.

2 The charge of the orphaned Muhammad was undertaken by Abd-al-Mutalib, his grandfather, A.D. 576.  Hishami, p. 35; Kitab al Wakidi, p. 22, have preserved traditions of the fondness with which the old man of fourscore years treated the child, spreading a rug for him under the shadow of the Kaaba, protecting him from the rudeness of his own sons, etc.

3 Up to his 40th year Muhammad followed the religion of his countrymen.  Waq.  Tabari says that when he first entered on his office of Prophet, even his wife Chadijah had read the Scriptures, and was acquainted with the History of the Prophets.  Spreng. p. 100.  But his conformity can only have been partial.

SURA XCIV.-THE OPENING [V.]

Mecca.-8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Have we not opened thine heart for thee?

And taken off from thee thy burden,

Which galled thy back?

And have we not raised thy name for thee?

Then verily along with trouble cometh ease.

Verily along with trouble cometh ease.

But when thou art set at liberty, then prosecute thy toil.

And seek thy Lord with fervour.

SURA CXIII.-THE DAYBREAK [VI.]

Mecca or Medina.-5 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Say:  I betake me for refuge to the Lord of the day break

Against the mischiefs of his creation;

And against the mischief of the night when it overtaketh me;

And against the mischief of weird women;1

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And against the mischief of the envier when he envieth.

_______________________

1 Lit. who blow on knots.  According to some commentators an allusion to a species of charm.  Comp.  Virg.Ec. vi.  But the reference more probably is to women in general, who disconcert schemes as thread is disentangled by blowing upon it.  Suras cxiii. are called the el mouwwidhetani, or preservative chapters, are engraved on amulets,etc.

SURA CXIV.-MEN [VII.]

Mecca or Medina.-6 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Say:  I betake me for refuge to the Lord of men,

The King of men,

The God of men,

Against the mischief of the stealthily withdrawing whisperer,1

Who whispereth in man’s breast-

Against djinn and men.

_______________________

1 Satan.

SURA I.1 [VIII.]

Mecca.-7 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds!

The compassionate, the merciful!

King on the day of reckoning!

Thee only do we worship, and to Thee do we cry for help.

Guide Thou us on the straight path,2

The path of those to whom Thou hast been gracious;-with whom thou art not angry, and who go not astray.3

_______________________

1 This Sura, which Nöldeke places last, and Muir sixth, in the earliest class of Meccan Suras, must at least have been composed prior to Sura xxxvii. 182,where it is quoted, and to Sura xv. 87, which refers to it.  And it can scarcely be an accidental circumstance that the words of the first, second, and fifth verses do not occur in any other Suras of the first Meccan period as given by N”ldeke, but frequently in those of the second, which it therefore, in N”ldeke, opinion, immediately precedes.  But this may be accounted for by its having been recast for the purposes of private and public devotion by Muhammad himself, which is the meaning probably of the Muhammadan tradition that it was revealed twice.  It should also be observed that, including the auspicatory formula, there are the same number of petitions in this Sura as in the Lord’s Prayer.  It is recited several times in each of the five daily prayers, and on many other occassions, as in concluding a bargain, etc.  It is termed “the Opening of the Book,” “the Completion,” “the Sufficing Sura,” the Sura of Praise, Thanks, and Prayer,” “the Healer,” “the Remedy,” “the Basis,” “the Treasure,” “the Mother of the Book,” “the Seven Verses of Repetition.”  The Muhammadans always say “Amen” after this prayer, Muhammad having been instructed, says the Sonna, to do so by the Angel Gabriel.

2 Islam

3 The following transfer of this Sura from the Arabic into the corresponding English characters may give some idea of the rhyming prose in which the Koran is written: 

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Bismillahi ’rahhmani ’rrahheem. 
El-hamdoo lillahi rabi ’lalameen. 
Arrahhmani raheem. 
Maliki yowmi-d-deen. 
Eyaka naboodoo, wa‚yaka nest aeen. 
Ihdina ’ssirat almostakeem. 
Sirat alezeena anhamta aleihim, gheiri-’l mughdoobi aleihim, wala dsaleen. 
Ameen.

SURA CIX.-UNBELIEVERS [IX.]

Mecca.-6 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Say:  O ye unbelievers!

I worship not that which ye worship,

And ye do not worship that which I worship;

I shall never worship that which ye worship,

Neither will ye worship that which I worship.

To you be your religion; to me my religion.1

_______________________

1 This Sura is said to have been revealed when Walîd urged Muhammad to consent that his God should be worshipped at the same time with the old Meccan deities, or alternately every year.  Hishâmi, p. 79; Tabari, p. 139.  It is a distinct renunciation of Meccan idolatry, as the following Sura is a distinct recognition of the Divine Unity.

SURA CXII.-THE UNITY [X.]

Mecca.-4 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Say:  He is God alone: 

God the eternal!

He begetteth not, and He is not begotten;

And there is none like unto Him.

SURA CXI.  ABU LAHAB [XI.]

Mecca. 5 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Let the hands of Abu Lahab1 perish,and let himself perish!

His wealth and his gains shall avail him not.

Burned shall he be at the fiery flame,2

And his wife laden with fire wood,-

On her neck a rope of palm fibre.

_______________________

1 Undoubtedly one of the earliest Suras, and refers to the rejection of Muhammad’s claim to the prophetic office by his uncle, Abu Lahab, at the instigation of his wife, Omm Djemil, who is said to have strewn the path of Muhammad on one occasion with thorns.  The following six Suras, like the two first, have special reference to the difficulties which the Prophet met with the outset of his career, especially from the rich.

2 In allusion to the meaning of Abu Lahab, father of flame.

SURA CVIII.-THE ABUNDANCE [XII.]

Mecca.-3 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Truly we have given thee an abundance;

Pray therefore to the Lord, and slay the victims.

Verily whose hateth thee shall be childless.1

_______________________

1 A reply to those who had taunted Muhammad with the death of his sons, as a mark of the divine displeasure.

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SURA CIV.-THE BACKBITER [XII.]

Mecca.-9 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Woe to every backbiter, Defamer!

Who amasseth wealth and storeth it against the future!

He thinketh surely that his wealth shall be with him for ever.

Nay! for verily he shall be flung into the Crushing Fire;

And who shall teach thee what the Crushing Fire is?

It is God’s kindled fire,

Which shall mount above the hearts of the damned;

It shall verily rise over them like a vault,

On outstretched columns.

SURA CVII.-RELIGION [XIV.]

Mecca.-7 Verses

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

What thinkest thou of him who treateth our religion as a lie?

He it is who trusteth away the orphan,

And stirreth not others up to feed the poor.

Woe to those who pray,

But in their prayer are careless;

Who make a shew of devotion,

But refuse help to the needy.

SURA CII.-DESIRE [XV.]

Mecca.-8 Verses

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The desire of increasing riches occupieth you,

Till ye come to the grave.

Nay! but in the end ye shall know

Nay! once more,in the end ye shall know your folly.

Nay! would that ye knew it with knowledge of certainty!

Surely ye shall see hell-fire.

Then shall ye surely see it with the eye of certainty;

Then shall ye on that day be taken to task concerning pleasures.

SURA XCII.-THE NIGHT [XVI.]

Mecca.-21 Verses

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the night when she spreads her veil;

By the Day when it brightly shineth;

By Him who made male and female;

At different ends truly do ye aim!1

But as to him who giveth alms and feareth God,

And yieldeth assent to the Good;

To him will we make easy the path to happiness.

But as to him who is covetous and bent on riches,

And calleth the Good a lie,

To him will we make easy the path to misery: 

And what shall his wealth avail him when he goeth down?

Truly man’s guidance is with Us

And Our’s, the Future and the Past.

I warn you therefore of the flaming fire;

None shall be cast to it but the most wretched,-

Who hath called the truth a lie and turned his back.

But the God-fearing shall escape it,-

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Who giveth away his substance that he may become pure;2

And who offereth not favours to any one for the sake of recompense,

But only as seeking the face of his Lord the Most High.

And surely in the end he shall be well content.

_______________________

1 See Pref., p. 5, line I. 2 Comp.  Luke xi. 41.  Muhammad perhaps derived this view of the meritorious anture of almsgiving from the Jewish oral law.

SURA LXVIII.-THE PEN [XVII.]

Mecca.-52 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Nun.1 By the pen2 and by what they write,

Thou, O Prophet; by the grace of thy Lord art not possessed!3

And truly a boundless recompense doth await thee,

For thou art of a noble nature.4

But thou shalt see and they shall see Which of you is the demented.

Now thy Lord! well knoweth He the man who erreth from his path, and well doth he know those who have yielded to Guidance;

Give not place, therefore, to those who treat thee as a liar: 

They desire thee to deal smoothly with them:  then would they be smooth as oil with thee: 

But yield not to the man of oaths, a despicable person,

Defamer, going about with slander,

Hinderer of the good, transgressor, criminal,

Harsh-beside this, impure by birth,

Though a man of riches and blessed with sons.

Who when our wondrous verses are recited to him saith-"Fables of the ancients.”

We will brand him on the nostrils.

Verily, we have proved them (the Meccans) as we proved the owners of the garden, when they swore that at morn they would cut its fruits;

But added no reserve.5

Wherefore an encircling desolation from thy Lord swept round it while they slumbered,

And in the morning it was like a garden whose fruits had all been cut.

Then at dawn they called to each other,

“Go out early to your field, if ye would cut your dates.”

So on they went whispering to each other,

“No poor man shall set foot this day within your garden;”

And they went out at daybreak with this settled purpose.

But when they beheld it, they said, “Truly we have been in fault: 

Yes! we are forbidden our fruits.”

The most rightminded of them said, “Did I not say to you, Will ye not give praise to God?”

They said, “Glory to our Lord!  Truly we have done amiss.”

And they fell to blaming one another: 

They said, “Oh woe to us! we have indeed transgressed!

Haply our Lord will give us in exchange a better garden than this:  verily we crave it of our Lord.”

Such hath been our chastisement-but heavier shall be the chastisement of the next world.  Ah! did they but know it.

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Verily, for the God-fearing are gardens of delight in the presence of their
Lord.

Shall we then deal with those who have surrendered themselves to God, as with those who offend him?

What hath befallen you that ye thus judge?

Have ye a Scripture wherein ye can search out

That ye shall have the things ye choose?

Or have ye received oaths which shall bind Us even until the day of the resurrection, that ye shall have what yourselves judge right?

Ask them which of them will guarantee this?

Or is it that they have joined gods with God? let them produce those associate-gods of theirs, if they speak truth.

On the day when men’s legs shall be bared,6 and they shall be called upon to bow in adoration, they shall not be able: 

Their looks shall be downcast:  shame shall cover them:  because, while yet in safety, they were invited to bow in worship, but would not obey.

Leave me alone therefore with him who chargeth this revelation with imposture.  We will lead them by degrees to their ruin; by ways which they know not;

Yet will I bear long with them; for my plan is sure.

Askest thou any recompense from them?  But they are burdened with debt.

Are the secret things within their ken?  Do they copy them from the Book of
God?

Patiently then await the judgment of thy Lord, and be not like him who was in the fish,7 when in deep distress he cried to God.

Had not favour from his Lord reached him, cast forth would he have been on the naked shore, overwhelmed with shame: 

But his Lord chose him and made him of the just.

Almost would the infidels strike thee down with their very looks when they hear the warning of the Koran.  And they say, “He is certainly possessed.”

Yet is it nothing less than a warning for all creatures.

_______________________

1 It has been conjectured that as the word Nun means fish, there may be a reference to the fish which swallowed Jonas (v. 48).  The fact, however, is that the meaning of this and of the similar symbols, throughout the Koran, was unknown to the Muhammadans themselves even in the first century.  Possibly the letters Ha, Mim, which are prefixed to numerous successive Suras were private marks, or initial letters, attached by their proprietor to the copies furnished to Said when effecting his recension of the text under Othman.  In the same way, the letters prefixed to other Suras may be monograms, or abbreviations, or initial letters of the names of the persons to whom the copies of the respective Suras belonged.

addenda:  The symbol nun may possibly refer to this letter as forming the Rhyme in most of the verses of this Sura.

2 This Sura has been supposed by ancient Muslim authorities to be, if not the oldest, the second revelation, and to have followed Sura xcvi.  But this opinion probably originated from the expression in v. 1 compared with Sura xcvi. 4.  Verses 17-33 read like a later addition, and this passage, as well as verse 48-50, has been classed with the Medina revelations.  In the absence of any reliable criterion for fixing the date, I have placed this Sura with those which detail the opposition encountered by the Prophet at Mecca.

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3 By djinn.  Comp.  Sur. xxxiv. 45.

4 In bearing the taunts of the unbelievers with patience.

5 They did not add the restriction, if God will.

6 An expression implying a grievous calamity; borrowed probably from the action of stripping previous to wrestling, swimming, etc.

7 Lit. the companion of the fish.  Comp. on Jonah Sura xxxvii. 139-148, and Sura xxi. 87.

SURA XC.-THE SOIL [XVIII.]

Mecca.-20 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I need not to swear by this soil,

This soil on which thou dost dwell,

Or by sire and offspring!1

Surely in trouble have we created man.

What! thinketh he that no one hath power over him?

“I have wasted,” saith he, “enormous riches!”

What! thinketh he that no one regardeth him?

What! have we not made him eyes,

And tongue, and lips,

And guided him to the two highways?2

Yet he attempted not the steep.

And who shall teach thee what the steep is?

It is to ransom the captive,3

Or to feed in the day of famine,

The orphan who is near of kin, or the poor that lieth in the dust;

Beside this, to be of those who believe, and enjoin stedfastness on each other, and enjoin compassion on each other.

These shall be the people of the right hand: 

While they who disbelieve our signs,

Shall be the people of the left.

Around them the fire shall close.

_______________________

1 Lit. and begetter and what he hath begotten

2 Of good and evil.

3 Thus we read in Hilchoth Matt’noth Aniim, c. 8, “The ransoming of captives takes precedence of the feeding and clothing of the poor, and there is no commandment so great as this.”

SURA CV.-THE ELEPHANT [XIX.]

Mecca.-5 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Hast thou not seen1 how thy Lord dealt with the army of the elephant?

Did he not cause their stratagem to miscarry?

And he sent against them birds in flocks (ababils),

Claystones did they hurl down upon them,

And he made them like stubble eaten down!

_______________________

1 This Sura is probably Muhammad’s appeal to the Meccans, intended at the same time for his own encouragement, on the ground of their deliverance from the army of Abraha, the Christian King of Abyssinia and Arabia Felix, said to have been lost in the year of Muhammad’s birth in an expedition against Mecca for the purpose of destroying the Caaba.  This army was cut off by small-pox (Wakidi; Hishami), and there is no doubt, as the Arabic word for small-pox

Page 34

also means “small stones,” in reference to the hard gravelly feeling of the pustules, what is the true interpretation of the fourth line of this Sura, which, like many other poetical passages in the Koran, has formed the starting point for the most puerile and extravagant legends.  Vide Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, c. 1.  The small-pox first shewed itself in Arabia at the time of the invasion by Abraha.  M. de Hammer Gemaldesaal, i. 24.  Reiske opusc.  Med.  Arabum.  Hal‘, 1776, p. 8.

SURA CVI.-THE KOREISCH [XX.]

Mecca.-4 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

For the union of the Koreisch:-

Their union in equipping caravans winter and summer.

And let them worship the Lord of this house, who hath provided them with food against hunger,

And secured them against alarm.1

_______________________

1 In allusion to the ancient inviolability of the Haram, or precinct round Mecca.  See Sura, xcv. n. p. 41.  This Sura, therefore, like the preceding, is a brief appeal to the Meccans on the ground of their peculiar privileges.

SURA XCVII.-POWER [XXI.]

Mecca.-5 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Verily, we have caused It1 to descend on the night of power.

And who shall teach thee what the night of power is?

The night of power excelleth a thousand months: 

Therein descend the angels and the spirit by permission of their Lord for every matter;2

And all is peace till the breaking of the morn.

_______________________

1 The Koran, which is now pressed on the Meccans with increased prominence, as will be seen in many succeeding Suras of this period.

2 The night of Al Kadr is one of the last ten nights of Ramadhan, and as is commonly believed the seventh of those nights reckoning backward.  See Sura xliv. 2.  “Three books are opened on the New Year’s Day, one of the perfectly righteous, one of the perfectly wicked, one of the intermediate.  The perfectly righteous are inscribed and sealed for life,” etc.  Bab.  Talm.  Rosh.  Hash., § I.

SURA LXXXVI.  THE NIGHT-COMER [XXII.]

Mecca. 17 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the heaven, and by the night-comer!

But who shall teach thee what the night-comer is?

’Tis the star of piercing radiance.

Over every soul is set a guardian.

Let man then reflect out of what he was created.

He was created of the poured-forth germs,

Which issue from the loins and breastbones: 

Well able then is God to restore him to life,-

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On the day when all secrets shall be searched out,

And he shall have no other might or helper.

I swear by the heaven which accomplisheth its cycle,

And by the earth which openeth her bosom,

That this Koran is a discriminating discourse,

And that it is not frivolous.

They plot a plot against thee,

And I will plot a plot against them.

Deal calmly therefore with the infidels; leave them awhile alone.

SURA XCI.-THE SUN [XXIII.]

Mecca.-15 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the sun and his noonday brightness!

By the Moon when she followeth him!

By the Day when it revealeth his glory!

By the Night when it enshroudeth him!

By the Heaven and Him who built it!

By the Earth and Him who spread it forth!

By a Soul and Him who balanced it,

And breathed into it its wickedness and its piety,

Blessed now is he who hath kept it pure,

And undone is he who hath corrupted it!

Themoud1 in his impiety rejected the message of the Lord,

When the greatest wretch among them rushed up:-

Said the Apostle of God to them,-"The Camel of God! let her drink.”

But they treated him as an impostor and hamstrung her.

So their Lord destroyed them for their crime, and visited all alike: 

Nor feared he the issue.

_______________________

1 See Sura vii. 33, for the story of Themoud.

SURA LXXX.-HE FROWNED [XXIV.]

Mecca.-42 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

He frowned, and he turned his back,1

Because the blind man came to him!

But what assured thee that he would not be cleansed by the Faith,

Or be warned, and the warning profit him?

As to him who is wealthy-

To him thou wast all attention: 

Yet is it not thy concern if he be not cleansed:2

But as to him who cometh to thee in earnest,

And full of fears-

Him dost thou neglect.

Nay! but it (the Koran) is a warning;

(And whoso is willing beareth it in mind)

Written on honoured pages,

Exalted, purified,

By the hands of Scribes, honoured, righteous.

Cursed be man!  What hath made him unbelieving?

Of what thing did God create him?

Out of moist germs.3

He created him and fashioned him,

Then made him an easy passage from the womb,

Then causeth him to die and burieth him;

Then, when he pleaseth, will raise him again to life.

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Aye! but man hath not yet fulfilled the bidding of his Lord.

Let man look at his food: 

It was We who rained down the copious rains,

Then cleft the earth with clefts,

And caused the upgrowth of the grain,

And grapes and healing herbs,

And the olive and the palm,

And enclosed gardens thick with trees,

And fruits and herbage,

For the service of yourselves and of your cattle.

But when the stunning trumpet-blast shall arrive,4

On that day shall a man fly from his brother,

And his mother and his father,

And his wife and his children;

For every man of them on that day his own concerns shall be enough.

There shall be faces on that day radiant,

Laughing and joyous: 

And faces on that day with dust upon them: 

Blackness shall cover them!

These are the Infidels, the Impure.

_______________________

1 We are told in the traditions, etc., that when engaged in converse with Walid, a chief man among the Koreisch, Muhammad was interrupted by the blind Abdallah Ibn Omm Maktûm, who asked to hear the Koran.  The Prophet spoke very roughly to him at the time, but afterwards repented, and treated him ever after with the greatest respect.  So much so, that he twice made him Governor of Medina.

2 That is, if he does not embrace Islam, and so become pure from sin, thou wilt not be to blame; thou art simply charged with the delivery of a message of warning.

3 Ex spermate.

4 Descriptions of the Day of Judgment now become very frequent.  See Sura lxxxv. p. 42, and almost every Sura to the lv., after which they become gradually more historical.

SURA LXXXVII.-THE MOST HIGH [XXV.]

Mecca.-19 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Praise the name of thy Lord the most high,

Who hath created and balanced all things,

Who hath fixed their destinies and guideth them,

Who bringeth forth the pasture,

And reduceth it to dusky stubble.

We will teach thee to recite the Koran, nor aught shalt thou forget,

Save what God pleaseth; for he knoweth alike things manifest and hidden;

And we will make easy to thee our easy ways.

Warn, therefore, for the warning is profitable: 

He that feareth God will receive the warning,-

And the most reprobate only will turn aside from it,

Who shall be exposed to the terrible fire,

In which he shall not die, and shall not live.

Happy he who is purified by Islam,

And who remembereth the name of his Lord and prayeth.

But ye prefer this present life,

Page 37

Though the life to come is better and more enduring.

This truly is in the Books of old,

The Books of Abraham1 and Moses.

_______________________

1 Thus the Rabbins attribute the Book Jezirah to Abraham.  See Fabr.  Cod.  Apoc.  V. T. p. 349.

SURA XCV.-THE FIG [XXVI.]

Mecca.-8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I swear by the Fig and by the olive,

By Mount Sinai,

And by this inviolate soil!1

That of goodliest fabric we created man,

Then brought him down to be the lowest of the low;-

Save who believe and do the things that are right, for theirs shall be a reward that faileth not.

Then, who after this shall make thee treat the Judgment as a lie?

What! is not God the most just of judges?

_______________________

1 In allusion to the sacredness of the territory of Mecca.  This valley in about the fourth century of our ‘ra was a kind of sacred forest of 37 miles in circumference, and called Haram a name applied to it as early as the time of Pliny (vi. 32).  It had the privilege of asylum, but it was not lawful to inhabit it, or to carry on commerce within its limits, and its religious ceremonies were a bond of union to several of the Bedouin tribes of the Hejaz.  The Koreisch had monopolised most of the offices and advantages of the Haram in the time of Muhammad.  See Sprenger’s Life of Mohammad, pp. 7 20.

SURA CIII.-THE AFTERNOON [XXVII.]

Mecca.-3 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I swear by the declining day!

Verily, man’s lot is cast amid destruction,1

Save those who believe and do the things which be right, and enjoin truth and enjoin stedfastness on each other.

_______________________

1 Said to have been recited in the Mosque shortly before his death by Muhammad.  See Weil, p. 328.

SURA LXXXV.-THE STARRY [XXVIII.]

Mecca.-22 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the star-bespangled Heaven!1

By the promised Day!

By the witness and the witnessed!2

Cursed the masters of the trench3

Of the fuel-fed fire,

When they sat around it

Witnesses of what they inflicted on the believers!

Nor did they torment them but for their faith in God, the Mighty, the
Praiseworthy:4

His the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth; and God is the witness of everything.

Verily, those who vexed the believers, men and women, and repented not, doth the torment of Hell, and the torment of the burning, await.

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But for those who shall have believed and done the things that be right, are the Gardens beneath whose shades the rivers flow.  This the immense bliss!

Verily, right terrible will be thy Lord’s vengeance!

He it is who produceth all things, and causeth them to return;

And is He the Indulgent, the Loving;

Possessor of the Glorious throne;

Worker of that he willeth.

Hath not the story reached thee of the hosts

Of Pharaoh and Themoud?

Nay! the infields are all for denial: 

But God surroundeth them from behind.

Yet it is a glorious Koran,

Written on the preserved Table.

_______________________

1 Lit.  By the Heaven furnished with towers, where the angels keep watch; also, the signs of the Zodiac:  this is the usual interpretation.  See Sura xv. 15.

2 That is, by Muhammad and by Islam; or, angels and men.  See, however, v. 7.

3 Prepared by Dhu Nowas, King of Yemen, A.D. 523, for the Christians.  See Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, chap. xii. towards the end.  Pocock Sp.  Hist.  Ar. p. 62.  And thus the comm. generally.  But Geiger (p. 192) and Nöldeke (p. 77 n.) understand the passage of Dan. iii.  But it should be borne in mind that the Suras of this early period contain very little allusion to Jewish or Christian legends.

4 Verses 8-11 wear the appearance of a late insertion, on account of their length, which is a characteristic of the more advanced period.  Observe also the change in the rhymes.

SURA CI.-THE BLOW [XXIX.]

Mecca.-8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The blow! what is the Blow?

Who shall teach thee what the Blow is?

The Day when men shall be like scattered moths,

And the mountains shall be like flocks of carded wool,

Then as to him whose balances are heavy-his shall be a life that shall please him well: 

And as to him whose balances are light-his dwelling-place1 shall be the pit.

And who shall teach thee what the pit (El-Hawiya) is?

A raging fire!

_______________________

1 Lit.  Mother.

SURA XCIX.-THE EARTHQUAKE [XXX.]

Mecca.-8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

When the Earth with her quaking shall quake

And the Earth shall cast forth her burdens,

And man shall say, What aileth her?

On that day shall she tell out her tidings,

Because thy Lord shall have inspired her.

On that day shall men come forward in throngs to behold their works,

And whosoever shall have wrought an atom’s weight of good shall behold it,

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And whosoever shall have wrought an atom’s weight of evil shall behold it.

SURA LXXXII.-THE CLEAVING [XXXI.]

Mecca.-19 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

When the Heaven shall cleave asunder,

And when the stars shall disperse,

And when the seas1 shall be commingled,

And when the graves shall be turned upside down,

Each soul shall recognise its earliest and its latest actions.

O man! what hath misled thee against thy generous Lord,

Who hath created thee and moulded thee and shaped thee aright?

In the form which pleased Him hath He fashioned thee.

Even so; but ye treat the Judgment as a lie.

Yet truly there are guardians over you-

Illustrious recorders-

Cognisant of your actions.

Surely amid delights shall the righteous dwell,

But verily the impure in Hell-fire: 

They shall be burned at it on the day of doom,

And they shall not be able to hide themselves from it.

Who shall teach thee what the day of doom is?

Once more.  Who shall teach thee what the day of doom is?

It is a day when one soul shall be powerless for another soul:  all sovereignty on that day shall be with God.

_______________________

1 Salt water and fresh water.

SURA LXXXI.-THE FOLDED UP [XXXII.]

Mecca.-29 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

When the sun shall be folded up,1

And when the stars shall fall,

And when the mountains shall be set in motion,

And when the she-camels shall be abandoned,

And when the wild beasts shall be gathered together,2

And when the seas shall boil,

And when souls shall be paired with their bodies,

And when the female child that had been buried alive shall be asked

For what crime she was put to death,3

And when the leaves of the Book shall be unrolled,

And when the Heaven shall be stripped away,4

And when Hell shall be made to blaze,

And when Paradise shall be brought near,

Every soul shall know what it hath produced.

It needs not that I swear by the stars5 of retrograde motions

Which move swiftly and hide themselves away,

And by the night when it cometh darkening on,

And by the dawn when it brighteneth,

That this is the word of an illustrious Messenger,6

Endued with power, having influence with the Lord of the Throne,

Obeyed there by Angels, faithful to his trust,

And your compatriot is not one possessed by djinn;

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For he saw him in the clear horizon:7

Nor doth he grapple with heaven’s secrets,8

Nor doth he teach the doctrine of a cursed9 Satan.

Whither then are ye going?

Verily, this is no other than a warning to all creatures;

To him among you who willeth to walk in a straight path: 

But will it ye shall not, unless as God willeth it,10 the Lord of the worlds.

_______________________

1 Involutus fuerit tenebris.  Mar.  Or, thrown down.

2 Thus Bab.  Talm.  Erchin, 3.  “In the day to come (i.e., of judgment) all the beasts will assemble and come, etc.”

3 See Sura xvi. 61; xvii. 33.

4 Like a skin from an animal when flayed.  The idea is perhaps borrowed from the Sept.  V. of Psalm civ. 2.  Vulg. sicut pellem.

5 Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn.

6 Gabriel; of the meaning of whose name the next verse is probably a paraphrase.

7 Sura 1iii. 7.

8 Like a mere Kahin, or soothsayer.

9 Lit. stoned.  Sura iii. 31.  This vision or hallucination is one of the few clearly stated miracles, to which Muhammad appeals in the Koran.  According to the tradition of Ibn-Abbas in Waquidi he was preserved by it from committing suicide by throwing himself down from Mount Hira, and that after it, God cheered him and strengthened his heart, and one revelation speedily followed another.

10 Comp. the doctrine of predestination in Sura 1xxvi. v. 25 to end.

SURA LXXXIV.-THE SPLITTING ASUNDER [XXXIII.]

Mecca.-25 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

When the Heaven shall have split asunder

And duteously obeyed its Lord;1

And when Earth shall have been stretched out as a plain,

And shall have cast forth what was in her and become empty,

And duteously obeyed its Lord;

Then verily, O man, who desirest to reach thy Lord, shalt thou meet him.

And he into whose right hand his Book shall be given,

Shall be reckoned with in an easy reckoning,

And shall turn, rejoicing, to his kindred.

But he whose Book shall be given him behind his back2

Shall invoke destruction: 

But in the fire shall he burn,

For that he lived joyously among his kindred,

Without a thought that he should return to God.

Yea, but his Lord beheld him.

It needs not therefore that I swear by the sunset redness,

And by the night and its gatherings,

And by the moon when at her full,

That from state to state shall ye be surely carried onward.3

What then hath come to them that they believe not?

And that when the Koran is recited to them they adore not?

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Yea, the unbelievers treat it as a lie.

But God knoweth their secret hatreds: 

Let their only tidings4 be those of painful punishment;

Save to those who believe and do the things that be right.

An unfailing recompense shall be theirs.

_______________________

1 Lit. and obeyed its Lord, and shall be worthy, or capable, i.e., of obedience.

2 That is, into his left hand.  The Muhammadans believe that the right hand of the damned will be chained to the neck; the left chained behind the back.

3 From Life to Death, from the Grave to Resurrection, thence to Paradise.

4 The expression is ironical.  See Freyt. on the word.  Lit. tell them glad tidings.

SURA C.-THE CHARGERS [XXXIV.]

Mecca.-11 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the snorting chargers!

And those that dash off sparks of fire!

And those that scour to the attack at morn!

And stir therein the dust aloft;

And cleave therein their midway through a host!

Truly, Man is to his Lord ungrateful.

And of this he is himself a witness;

And truly, he is vehement in the love of this world’s good.

Ah! knoweth he not, that when that which is in the graves shall be laid bare,

And that which is in men’s breasts shall be brought forth,

Verily their Lord shall on that day be informed concerning them?

SURA LXXIX.1-THOSE WHO DRAG FORTH [XXXV.]

Mecca.-46 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By those angels who drag forth souls with violence,

And by those who with joyous release release them;

By those who swim swimmingly along;

By those who are foremost with foremost speed;2

By those who conduct the affairs of the universe!

One day, the disturbing trumpet-blast shall disturb it,

Which the second blast shall follow: 

Men’s hearts on that day shall quake:-

Their looks be downcast.

The infidels will say, “Shall we indeed be restored as at first?

What! when we have become rotten bones?”

“This then,” say they, “will be a return to loss.”

Verily, it will be but a single blast,

And lo! they are on the surface of the earth.

Hath the story of Moses reached thee?

When his Lord called to him in Towa’s holy vale: 

Go to Pharaoh, for he hath burst all bounds: 

And say, “Wouldest thou become just?

Then I will guide thee to thy Lord that thou mayest fear him.”

And he showed him a great miracle,-

But he treated him as an impostor, and rebelled;

Page 42

Then turned he his back all hastily,

And gathered an assembly and proclaimed,

And said, “I am your Lord supreme.”

So God visited on him the punishment of this life and of the other.

Verily, herein is a lesson for him who hath the fear of God.

Are ye the harder to create, or the heaven which he hath built?

He reared its height and fashioned it,

And gave darkness to its night, and brought out its light,

And afterwards stretched forth the earth,-

He brought forth from it its waters and its pastures;

And set the mountains firm

For you and your cattle to enjoy.

But when the grand overthrow shall come,

The day when a man shall reflect on the pains that he hath taken,

And Hell shall be in full view of all who are looking on;

Then, as for him who hath transgressed

And hath chosen this present life,

Verily, Hell-that shall be his dwelling-place: 

But as to him who shall have feared the majesty of his Lord, and shall have refrained his soul from lust,

Verily, Paradise-that shall be his dwelling-place.

They will ask thee of “the Hour,” when will be its fixed time?

But what knowledge hast thou of it?

Its period is known only to thy Lord;

And thou art only charged with the warning of those who fear it.

On the day when they shall see it, it shall seem to them as though they had not tarried in the tomb, longer than its evening or its morn.

_______________________

1 This Sura obviously consists of three portions, verses 1-14, 15-26, 27-46, of which the third is the latest in point of style, and the second, more detailed than is usual in the Suras of the early period, which allude to Jewish and other legend only in brief and vague terms.  It may therefore be considered as one of the short and early Suras.

2 Or, By those angels which precede, i.e., the souls of the pious into Paradise.  Or, are beforehand with the Satans and djinn in learning the decrees of God.

SURA LXXVII.-THE SENT [XXXVI.]

Mecca.-50 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the train of the sent ones,1

And the swift in their swiftness;

By the scatterers who scatter,

And the distinguishers who distinguish;

And by those that give forth the word

To excuse or warn;

Verily that which ye are promised is imminent.

When the stars, therefore, shall be blotted out,

And when the heaven shall be cleft,

And when the mountains shall be scattered in dust,

And when the Apostles shall have a time assigned them;

Until what day shall that time be deferred?

Page 43

To the day of severing!

And who shall teach thee what the day of severing is?

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

Have we not destroyed them of old?

We will next cause those of later times to follow them.2

Thus deal we with the evil doers.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

Have we not created you of a sorry germ,

Which we laid up in a secure place,

Till the term decreed for birth?

Such is our power! and, how powerful are We!

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

Have we not made the earth to hold

The living and the dead?

And placed on it the tall firm mountains, and given you to drink of sweet water.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

Begone to that Hell which ye called a lie:-

Begone to the shadows that lie in triple masses;

“But not against the flame shall they shade or help you:"-

The sparks which it casteth out are like towers-

Like tawny camels.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

On that day they shall not speak,

Nor shall it be permitted them to allege excuses.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

This is the day of severing, when we will assemble you and your ancestors.

If now ye have any craft try your craft on me.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

But the god-fearing shall be placed amid shades and fountains,

And fruits, whatsoever they shall desire: 

“Eat and drink, with health,3 as the meed of your toils.”

Thus recompense we the good.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

“Eat ye and enjoy yourselves a little while.  Verily, ye are doers of evil.”

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

For when it is said to them, bend the knee, they bend it not.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture

In what other revelation after this will they believe?

_______________________

1 Lit. by the sent (fem.) one after another.  Per missas.  Mar.  Either angels following in a continued series; or, winds, which disperse rain over the earth; or the successive verses of the Koran which disperse truth and distinguish truth from error.

2 Sura xliv. 40.

3 Maimonides says that the majority of the Jews hope that Messiah shall come and “raise the dead, and they shall be gathered into Paradise, and there shall eat and drink and be in good health to all eternity."-Sanhedrin, fol. 119, col.  I.

SURA LXXVIII.-THE NEWS [XXXVII.]

Mecca.-41 Verses

Page 44

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Of what ask they of one another?

Of the great news.1

The theme of their disputes.

Nay! they shall certainly knows its truth!

Again.  Nay! they shall certainly know it.

Have we not made the Earth a couch?

And the mountains its tent-stakes?

We have created you of two sexes,

And ordained your sleep for rest,

And ordained the night as a mantle,

And ordained the day for gaining livelihood,

And built above you seven solid2 heavens,

And placed therein a burning lamp;

And we send down water in abundance from the rain-clouds,

That we may bring forth by it corn and herbs,

And gardens thick with trees.

Lo! the day of Severance is fixed;

The day when there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and ye shall come in crowds,

And the heaven shall be opened and be full of portals,

And the mountains shall be set in motion, and melt into thin vapour.

Hell truly shall be a place of snares,

The home of transgressors,

To abide therein ages;

No coolness shall they taste therein nor any drink,

Save boiling water and running sores;

Meet recompense!

For they looked not forward to their account;

And they gave the lie to our signs, charging them with falsehood;

But we noted and wrote down all: 

“Taste this then:  and we will give you increase of nought but torment.”

But, for the God-fearing is a blissful abode,

Enclosed gardens and vineyards;

And damsels with swelling breasts, their peers in age,

And a full cup: 

There shall they hear no vain discourse nor any falsehood: 

A recompense from thy Lord-sufficing gift!-

Lord of the heavens and of the earth, and of all that between3 them lieth-the
God of Mercy!  But not a word shall they obtain from Him.

On the day whereon the Spirit4 and the Angels shall be ranged in order, they shall not speak:  save he whom the God of Mercy shall permit, and who shall say that which is right.

This is the sure day.  Whoso then will, let him take the path of return to his
Lord.

Verily, we warn you of a chastisement close at hand: 

The day on which a man shall see the deeds which his hands have sent before him; and when the unbeliever shall say, “Oh! would I were dust!”

_______________________

1 Of the Resurrection.  With regard to the date of this Sura, we can only be guided (I) by the general style of the earlier portion (to verse 37, which is analogous to that of the early Meccan Suras; (2) by verse 17, which pre-supposes lxxvii. 12; (3) by the obviously later style of verse 37 to the end.

Page 45

2 See Sura ii. 27.  This is the title given by the Talmudists to the fifth of the seven heavens.

3 This phrase is of constant recurrence in the Talmud.  Maimonides, Yad Hach. i. 3, makes it one of the positive commands of the Rabbins to believe “that there exists a first Being . . . and that all things existing, Heaven and Earth, and whatever is between them, exist only through the truth of his existence.”

4 Gabriel.

SURA LXXXVIII.-THE OVERSHADOWING [XXXVIII.]

Mecca.-26 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Hath the tidings of the day that shall overshadow, reached thee?

Downcast on that day shall be the countenances of some,

Travailing and worn,

Burnt at the scorching fire,

Made to drink from a fountain fiercely boiling.

No food shall they have but the fruit of Darih,1

Which shall not fatten, nor appease their hunger.

Joyous too, on that day, the countenances of others,

Well pleased with their labours past,

In a lofty garden: 

No vain discourse shalt thou hear therein: 

Therein shall be a gushing fountain,

Therein shall be raised couches,

And goblets ready placed,

And cushions laid in order,

And carpets spread forth.

Can they not look up to the clouds, how they are created;

And to the heaven how it is upraised;

And to the mountains how they are rooted;

And to the earth how it is outspread?

Warn thou then; for thou art a warner only: 

Thou hast no authority over them: 

But whoever shall turn back and disbelieve,

God shall punish him with the greater punishment.

Verily to Us shall they return;

Then shall it be Our’s to reckon with them.

_______________________

1 The name of a bitter, thorny shrub.

SURA LXXXIX.-THE DAYBREAK [XXXIX.]

Mecca.-30 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the daybreak and ten nights.1

By that which is double and that which is single,

By the night when it pursues its course!

Is there not in this an oath becoming a man of sense?

Hast thou not seen how thy Lord dealt with Ad,

At Irem adorned with pillars,

Whose like have not been reared in these lands!

And with Themoud who hewed out the rocks in the valley;

And with Pharaoh the impaler;

Who all committed excesses in the lands,

And multiplied wickedness therein.

Wherefore thy Lord let loose on them the scourge of chastisement,2

For thy Lord standeth on a watch tower.

Page 46

As to man, when his Lord trieth him and honoureth him and is bounteous to him,

Then saith he, “My Lord honoureth me:” 

But when he proveth him and limiteth his gifts to him,

He saith, “My Lord despiseth me.”

Aye.  But ye honour not the orphan,

Nor urge ye one another to feed the poor,

And ye devour heritages, devouring greedily,

And ye love riches with exceeding love.

Aye.  But when the earth shall be crushed with crushing, crushing,

And thy Lord shall come and the angels rank on rank,

And Hell on that day shall be moved up,3-Man shall on that day remember himself.  But how shall remembrance help him?

He shall say, Oh! would that I had prepared for this my life!  On that day none shall punish as God punisheth,

And none shall bind with such bonds as He.

Oh, thou soul which art at rest,

Return to thy Lord, pleased, and pleasing him: 

Enter thou among my servants,

And enter thou my Paradise.

_______________________

1 Of the sacred month Dhu’lhajja.

2 Or, poured on them the mixed cup of chastisement.

3 The orthodox Muhammadans take this passage literally.  Djelal says that hell will “be dragged up by 70,000 chains, each pulled by 70,000 angels,” as if it were an enormous animal or locomotive engine.

SURA LXXV.-THE RESURRECTION [XL.]

Mecca.-40 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

It needeth not that I swear by the day of the resurrection,

Or that I swear by the self-accusing soul.

Thinketh man that we shall not re-unite his bones?

Aye! his very finger tips are we able evenly to replace.

But man chooseth to deny what is before him: 

He asketh, “When this day of Resurrection?”

But when the eye shall be dazzled,

And when the moon shall be darkened,

And the sun and the moon shall be together,1

On that day man shall cry, “Where is there a place to flee to?”

But in vain-there is no refuge-

With thy Lord on that day shall be the sole asylum.

On that day shall man be told of all that he hath done first and last;

Yea, a man shall be the eye witness against himself: 

And even if he put forth his plea. . . .2

(Move not thy tongue in haste to follow and master this revelation:3

For we will see to the collecting and the recital of it;

But when we have recited it, then follow thou the recital,

And, verily, afterwards it shall be ours to make it clear to thee.)

Aye, but ye love the transitory,

And ye neglect the life to come.

On that day shall faces beam with light,

Page 47

Outlooking towards their Lord;

And faces on that day shall be dismal,

As if they thought that some great calamity would befal them.

Aye, when the soul shall come up into the throat,

And there shall be a cry, “Who hath a charm that can restore him?”

And the man feeleth that the time of his departure is come,

And when one leg shall be laid over the other,4

To thy Lord on that day shall he be driven on;

For he believed not, and he did not pray,

But he called the truth a lie and turned his back,

Then, walking with haughty men, rejoined his people.

That Hour is nearer to thee and nearer,5

It is ever nearer to thee and nearer still.

Thinketh man that he shall be left supreme?

Was he not a mere embryo?6

Then he became thick blood of which God formed him and fashioned him;

And made him twain, male and female.

Is not He powerful enough to quicken the dead?

_______________________

1 Lit. shall be united.  In the loss of light, or in the rising in the west.- Beidh.

2 Supply, it shall not be accepted.

3 Verses 16-19 are parenthetic, and either an address to Muhammad by Gabriel desiring him (I) not to be overcome by any fear of being unable to follow and retain the revelation of this particular Sura; (2) or, not to interrupt him, but to await the completion of the entire revelation before he should proceed to its public recital.  In either case we are led to the conclusion that, from the first, Muhammad had formed the plan of promulging a written book.  Comp.  Sura xx. 112.

4 In the death-struggle.

5 Or, Therefore woe to thee, woe!  And, again, woe to thee, woe.  Thus Sale, Ullm.  Beidhawi; who also gives the rendering in the text, which is that of Maracci.

6 Nonne fuit humor ex spermate quod spermatizatur.

SURA LXXXIII.-THOSE WHO STINT [XLI.]

Mecca.-36 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Woe to those who stint the measure: 

Who when they take by measure from others, exact the full;

But when they mete to them or weigh to them, minish-

What! have they no thought that they shall be raised again

For the great day?

The day when mankind shall stand before the Lord of the worlds.

Yes! the register of the wicked is in Sidjin.1

And who shall make thee understand what Sidjin is?

It is a book distinctly written.

Woe, on that day, to those who treated our signs as lies,

Who treated the day of judgment as a lie!

None treat it as a lie, save the transgressor, the criminal,

Who, when our signs are rehearsed to him, saith, “Tales of the Ancients!”

Page 48

Yes; but their own works have got the mastery over their hearts.

Yes; they shall be shut out as by a veil from their Lord on that day;

Then shall they be burned in Hell-fire: 

Then shall it be said to them, “This is what ye deemed a lie.”

Even so.  But the register of the righteous is in Illiyoun.

And who shall make thee understand what Illiyoun is?

A book distinctly written;

The angels who draw nigh unto God attest it.

Surely, among delights shall the righteous dwell!

Seated on bridal couches they will gaze around;

Thou shalt mark in their faces the brightness of delight;

Choice sealed wine shall be given them to quaff,

The seal of musk.  For this let those pant who pant for bliss-

Mingled therewith shall be the waters of Tasnim-2

Fount whereof they who draw nigh to God shall drink.

The sinners indeed laugh the faithful to scorn: 

And when they pass by them they wink at one another,-

And when they return to their own people, they return jesting,

And when they see them they say, “These are the erring ones.”

And yet they have no mission to be their guardians.

Therefore, on that day the faithful shall laugh the infidels to scorn,

As reclining on bridal couches they behold them.

Shall not the infidels be recompensed according to their works?

_______________________

1 Sidjin is a prison in Hell which gives its name to the register of actions there kept, as Illiyoun, a name of the lofty apartments of Paradise, is transferred to the register of the righteous.

2 Derived from the root sanima, to be high:  this water being conveyed to the highest apartments in the Pavilions of Paradise.

SURA LXIX.-THE INEVITABLE [XLII.]

Mecca.-52 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The inevitable!

And who shall make thee comprehend what the Inevitable is?

Themoud and Ad treated the day of Terrors1 as a lie.

So as to Themoud,2 they were destroyed by crashing thunder bolts;

And as to Ad, they were destroyed by a roaring and furious blast.

It did the bidding of God3 against them seven nights and eight days together, during which thou mightest have seen the people laid low, as though they had been the trunks of hollow palms;

And couldst thou have seen one of them surviving?

Pharaoh also, and those who flourished before him, and the overthrown cities, committed sin,-

And disobeyed the Sent one of their Lord; therefore did he chastise them with an accumulated chastisement.

When the Flood rose high, we bare you in the Ark,

That we might make that event a warning to you, and that the retaining ear might retain it.

Page 49

But when one blast shall be blown on the trumpet,

And the earth and the mountains shall be upheaved, and shall both be crushed into dust at a single crushing,

On that day the woe that must come suddenly shall suddenly come,4

And the heaven shall cleave asunder, for on that day it shall be fragile;

And the angels shall be on its sides, and over them on that day eight shall bear up the throne of thy Lord.

On that day ye shall be brought before Him:  none of your hidden deeds shall remain hidden: 

And he who shall have his book given to him in his right hand, will say to his friends, “Take ye it; read ye my book;

I ever thought that to this my reckoning I should come.”

And his shall be a life that shall please him well,

In a lofty garden,

Whose clusters shall be near at hand: 

“Eat ye and drink with healthy relish, as the meed of what ye sent on beforehand in the days which are past.”

But he who shall have his book given into his left hand, will say, “O that my book had never been given me!

And that I had never known my reckoning!

O that death had made an end of me!

My wealth hath not profited me!

My power hath perished from me!”

“Lay ye hold on him and chain him,

Then at the Hell-fire burn him,

Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits thrust him;

For he believed not in God, the Great,

And was not careful to feed the poor;

No friend therefore shall he have here this day,

Nor food, but corrupt sores,

Which none shall eat but the sinners.”

It needs not that I swear by what ye see,

And by that which ye see not,

That this verily is the word of an apostle worthy of all honour!

And that it is not the word of a poet-how little do ye believe!

Neither is it the word of a soothsayer (Kahin)-how little do ye receive warning!

It is a missive from the Lord of the worlds.

But if Muhammad had fabricated concerning us any sayings,

We had surely seized him by the right hand,

And had cut through the vein of his neck.5

Nor would We have withheld any one of you from him.

But, verily, It (the Koran) is a warning for the God-fearing;

And we well know that there are of you who treat it as a falsehood.

But it shall be the despair of infidels,

For it is the very truth of sure knowledge.

Praise, then, the name of thy Lord, the Great.

_______________________

1 Thus Beidh., Sale, etc.  But with reference to another sense of the root karaa, it may be rendered the day of decision, the day on which man’s lot shall be decided.

2 On Ad and Themoud.  See Sura vii. 63-77.

Page 50

3 Lit.  God subjected it to himself, availed himself of it against them.

4 El-wakia, the sudden event, the calamity; the woe that must break in upon Heaven and Earth.  The same word is used, Sura lvi. 1, and ci. 1, for the Resurrection and Day of Judgment.

5 In allusion to the mode of executing criminals in many eastern countries.

SURA LI.-THE SCATTERING [XLIII.]

Mecca.-60 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the clouds1 which scatter with scattering,

And those which bear their load,

And by those which speed lightly along,

And those which apportion by command!

True, indeed, is that with which ye are threatened,

And lo! the judgment will surely come.2

By the star-tracked heaven!

Ye are discordant in what ye say;

But whose turneth him from the truth, is turned from it by a divine decree.

Perish the liars,

Who are bewildered in the depths of ignorance!

They ask, “When this day of judgment?”

On that day they shall be tormented at the fire.

“Taste ye of this your torment, whose speedy coming ye challenged.”

But the God-fearing shall dwell amid gardens and fountains,

Enjoying what their Lord hath given them, because, aforetime they were well-doers: 

But little of the night was it that they slept,

And at dawn they prayed for pardon,

And gave due share of their wealth to the suppliant and the outcast.

On Earth are signs for men of firm belief,

And also in your own selves:  Will ye not then behold them?

The Heaven hath sustenance for you, and it containeth that which you are promised.

By the Lord then of the heaven and of the earth, I swear that this is the truth, even as ye speak yourselves.3

Hath the story reached thee of Abraham’s honoured guests?4

When they went in unto him and said, “Peace!” he replied, “Peace:-they are strangers.”

And he went apart to his family, and brought a fatted calf,

And set it before them.  He said, “Eat ye not?”

And he conceived a fear of them.  They said to him, “Fear not;” and announced to him a wise son.

His wife came up with outcry:  she smote her face and said, “What I, old and barren!”

They said, “Thus saith thy Lord.  He truly is the Wise, the Knowing.”

Said he, “And what, O messengers, is your errand?”

They said, “To a wicked people are we sent,

To hurl upon them stones of clay,

Destined5 by thy Lord for men guilty of excesses.”

And we brought forth the believers who were in the city: 

But we found not in it but one family of Muslims.

And signs we left in it for those who dread the afflictive chastisement,-

Page 51

And in Moses:  when we sent him to Pharaoh with manifest power: 

But relying on his forces6 he turned his back and said, “Sorcerer, or
Possessed.”

So we seized him and his hosts and cast them into the sea; for of all blame was he worthy.

And in Ad:  when we sent against them the desolating blast: 

It touched not aught over which it came, but it turned it to dust.

And in Themoud:7 when it was said to them, “Enjoy yourselves for yet a while.”

But they rebelled against their Lord’s command:  so the tempest took them as they watched its coming.8

They were not able to stand upright, and could not help themselves.

And we destroyed the people of Noah, before them; for an impious people were they.

And the Heaven-with our hands have we built it up, and given it its expanse;

And the Earth-we have stretched it out like a carpet; and how

smoothly have we spread it forth!

And of everything have we created pairs:  that haply ye may reflect.

Fly then to God:  I come to you from him a plain warner.

And set not up another god with God:  I come to you from him a plain warner.

Even thus came there no apostle to those who flourished before them, but they exclaimed, “Sorcerer, or Possessed.”

Have they made a legacy to one another of this scoff?  Yes, they are a rebel people.

Turn away, then, from them, and thou shalt not incur reproach: 

Yet warn them, for, in truth, warning will profit the believers.

I have not created Djinn and men, but that they should worship me: 

I require not sustenance from them, neither require I that they feed me: 

Verily, God is the sole sustainer:  possessed of might:  the unshaken!

Therefore to those who injure thee shall be a fate like the fate of

their fellows of old.  Let them not challenge me to hasten it.

Woe then to the infidels, because of their threatened day.

_______________________

1 Lit. (I swear) by those which scatter (i.e., the rain) with a scattering, (2) and by those which carry a burden, (3) and by those which run lightly, (4) and by those which divide a matter, or by command.  The participles are all in the feminine:  hence some interpret verse 1 of winds; verse 2 of clouds; verse 3 of ships; verse 4 of angels.

2 Comp. note at Sura lvi. 1, p. 65.

3 That is, this oath is for the confirmation of the truth, as ye are wont to confirm things one among another by an oath.

4 Comp.  Sura xi. 72, and xv. 51.  From the want of connection with what precedes, it is highly probable that the whole passage from verse 24 60 did not originally form a part of this Sura, but was added at a later period, perhaps in the recension of the text under Othman.

5 Lit. marked, with the names of the individuals to be slain, say the commentators.

Page 52

6 Or, with his nobles.

7 For Ad and Themoud, see Sura xi.

8 That is, in broad daylight.  Thus Beidh.  Comp.  Sura xlvi. 22.

SURA LII.-THE MOUNTAIN [XLIV.]

Mecca.-49 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the mountain,

And by the Book written

On an outspread roll,

And by the frequented fane,1

And by the lofty vault,

And by the swollen sea,

Verily, a chastisement from thy Lord is imminent,

And none shall put it back.

Reeling on that day the Heaven shall reel,

And stirring shall the mountains stir.2

And woe, on that day, to those who called the apostles liars,

Who plunged for pastime into vain disputes-

On that day shall they be thrust with thrusting to the fire of Hell:-

“This is the fire which ye treated as a lie.

What! is this magic, then? or, do ye not see it?

Burn ye therein:  bear it patiently or impatiently ’twill be the same to you:  for ye shall assuredly receive the reward of your doings.”

But mid gardens and delights shall they dwell who have feared God,

Rejoicing in what their Lord hath given them; and that from the pain of hell-fire hath their Lord preserved them.

“Eat and drink with healthy enjoyment, in recompense for your deeds.”

On couches ranged in rows shall they recline; and to the damsels with large dark eyes will we wed them.

And to those who have believed, whose offspring have followed them in the faith, will we again unite their offspring; nor of the meed of their works will we in the least defraud them.  Pledged to God is every man for his actions and their desert.3

And fruits in abundance will we give them, and flesh as they shall desire: 

Therein shall they pass to one another the cup which shall engender no light discourse, no motive to sin: 

And youths shall go round among them beautiful as imbedded pearls: 

And shall accost one another and ask mutual questions.

“A time indeed there was,” will they say, “when we were full of care as to the future lot of our families;

But kind hath God been to us, and from the pestilential torment hath he preserved us;

For, heretofore we called upon Him-and He is the Beneficent, the Merciful.”

Warn thou, then.  For thou by the favour of thy Lord art neither soothsayer nor possessed.

Will they say, “A poet! let us await some adverse turn of his fortune?”

Say, wait ye, and in sooth I too will wait with you.

Is it their dreams which inspire them with this? or is it that they are a perverse people?

Will they say, “He hath forged it (the Koran) himself?” Nay, rather it is that they believed not.

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Let them then produce a discourse like it, if they speak the Truth.

Were they created by nothing? or were they the creators of themselves?

Created they the Heavens and Earth?  Nay, rather, they have no faith.

Hold they thy Lord’s treasures?  Bear they the rule supreme?

Have they a ladder for hearing the angels?  Let any one who hath heard them bring a clear proof of it.

Hath God daughters and ye sons?

Asketh thou pay of them? they are themselves weighed down with debts.

Have they such a knowledge of the secret things that they can write them down?

Desire they to lay snares for thee?  But the snared ones shall be they who do not believe.

Have they any God beside God?  Glory be to God above what they join with Him.

And should they see a fragment of the heaven falling down, they would say, “It is only a dense cloud.”

Leave them then until they come face to face with the day when they shall swoon away: 

A day in which their snares shall not at all avail them, neither shall they be helped.

And verily, beside this is there a punishment for the evildoers:  but most of them know it not.

Wait thou patiently the judgment of thy Lord, for thou art in our eye; and celebrate the praise of thy Lord when thou risest up,

And in the night-season:  Praise him when the stars are setting.

_______________________

1 Of the Caaba.

2 Comp.  Psalm lxviii. 9.

3 The more prosaic style of this verse indicates a later origin than the context.  Muir places the whole Sura in what he terms the fourth stage of Meccan Suras.

SURA LVI.-THE INEVITABLE [XLV.]

Mecca.-96 Verses

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

When the day that must come shall have come suddenly,1

None shall treat that sudden coming as a lie: 

Day that shall abase!  Day that shall exalt!

When the earth shall be shaken with a shock,

And the mountains shall be crumbled with a crumbling,

And shall become scattered dust,

And into three bands shall ye be divided:2

Then the people of the right hand3-Oh! how happy shall be the people of the right hand!

And the people of the left hand-Oh! how wretched shall be the people of the left hand!

And they who were foremost on earth-the foremost still.4

These are they who shall be brought nigh to God,

In gardens of delight;

A crowd of the former

And few of the latter generations;

On inwrought couches

Reclining on them face to face: 

Aye-blooming youths go round about to them

With goblets and ewers and a cup of flowing wine;

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Their brows ache not from it, nor fails the sense: 

And with such fruits as shall please them best,

And with flesh of such birds, as they shall long for: 

And theirs shall be the Houris, with large dark eyes, like pearls hidden in their shells,

In recompense of their labours past.

No vain discourse shall they hear therein, nor charge of sin,

But only the cry, “Peace!  Peace!”

And the people of the right hand-oh! how happy shall be the people of the right hand!

Amid thornless sidrahs5

And talh6 trees clad with fruit,

And in extended shade,

And by flowing waters,

And with abundant fruits,7

Unfailing, unforbidden,

And on lofty couches.

Of a rare creation have we created the Houris,

And we have made them ever virgins,

Dear to their spouses, of equal age with them,8

For the people of the right hand,

A crowd of the former,

And a crowd of the latter generations.9

But the people of the left hand-oh! how wretched shall be the people of the left hand!

Amid pestilential10 winds and in scalding water,

And in the shadow of a black smoke,

Not cool, and horrid to behold.11

For they truly, ere this, were blessed with worldly goods,

But persisted in heinous sin,

And were wont to say,

“What! after we have died, and become dust and bones, shall we be raised?

And our fathers, the men of yore?”

Say:  Aye, the former and the latter: 

Gathered shall they all be for the time of a known day.

Then ye, O ye the erring, the gainsaying,

Shall surely eat of the tree Ez-zakkoum,

And fill your bellies with it,

And thereupon shall ye drink boiling water,

And ye shall drink as the thirsty camel drinketh.

This shall be their repast in the day of reckoning!

We created you, will ye not credit us?12

What think ye?  The germs of life13-

Is it ye who create them? or are we their creator?

It is we who have decreed that death should be among you;

Yet are we not thereby hindered14 from replacing you with others, your likes, or from producing you again in a form which ye know not!

Ye have known the first creation:  will ye not then reflect?

What think ye?  That which ye sow-

Is it ye who cause its upgrowth, or do we cause it to spring forth?

If we pleased we could so make your harvest dry and brittle that ye would ever marvel and say,

“Truly we have been at cost,15 yet are we forbidden harvest.”

What think ye of the water ye drink?

Is it ye who send it down from the clouds, or send we it down?

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Brackish could we make it, if we pleased:  will ye not then be thankful?

What think ye?  The fire which ye obtain by friction-

Is it ye who rear its tree, or do we rear it?

It is we who have made it for a memorial and a benefit to the wayfarers of the desert,

Praise therefore the name of thy Lord, the Great.

It needs not that I swear by the setting of the stars,

And it is a great oath, if ye knew it,

That this is the honourable Koran,

Written in the preserved Book:16

Let none touch it but the purified,17

It is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.

Such tidings as these will ye disdain?

Will ye make it your daily bread to gainsay them?

Why, at the moment when the soul of a dying man shall come up into his throat,

And when ye are gazing at him,

Though we are nearer to him than ye, although ye see us not:-

Why do ye not, if ye are to escape the judgment,

Cause that soul to return?  Tell me, if ye speak the truth.

But as to him who shall enjoy near access to God,

His shall be repose, and pleasure, and a garden of delights.

Yea, for him who shall be of the people of the right hand,

Shall be the greeting from the people of the right hand-"Peace be to thee.”

But for him who shall be of those who treat the prophets as deceivers,

And of the erring,

His entertainment shall be of scalding water,

And the broiling of hell-fire.

Verily this is a certain truth: 

Praise therefore the name of thy Lord, the Great.

_______________________

1 The renderings of Mar. cum inciderit casura, or as in Sur. lxix, 15, ingruerit ingruens nearly express the peculiar force of the Arabic verb and of the noun formed from it; i.e. a calamity that falls suddenly and surely.  Weil renders, ween der Auferstehung’s Tag eintritt (p. 389).  Lane, when the calamity shall have happened.

2 Comp.  Tr.  Rosch Haschanah, fol. 16, 6.

3 Lit., the companions of the right hand, what shall be the companions of the right hand! and thus in verses 9, 37, 40.

4 Lit., the preceders, the preceders.

5 See Sura liii. 14, p. 69.

6 Probably the banana according to others, the acacia gummifera.

7 “A Muslim of some learning professed to me that he considered the descriptions of Paradise in the Koran to be, in a great measure, figurative; ‘like those,’ said he, ‘in the book of the Revelation of St. John;’ and he assured me that many learned Muslims were of the same opinion.”  Lane’s Modern Egyptians, i. p. 75, note.

8 Like them, grow not old.

9 This seems a direct contradiction to verse 14, unless we suppose with Beidhawi that an inferior and more numerous class of believers are here spoken of.

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10 Or, scorching.

11 Lit., not noble, agreeable in appearance.

12 As to the resurrection.

13 Lit., semen quod emittitis.

14 Lit., forestalled, anticipated.

15 Lit, have incurred debt.

16 That is, The Prototype of the Koran written down in the Book kept by God himself.

17 This passage implies the existence of copies of portions at least of the Koran in common use.  It was quoted by the sister of Omar when at his conversion be desired to take her copy of Sura xx. into his hands.

SURA1-LIII.  THE STAR [XLVI.]

Mecca.-62 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the star when it setteth,

Your compatriot erreth not, nor is he led astray,

Neither speaketh he from mere impulse.

The Koran is no other than a revelation revealed to him: 

One terrible in power2 taught it him,

Endued with wisdom.  With even balance stood he

In the highest part of the horizon: 

Then came he nearer and approached,

And was at the distance of two bows, or even closer,-

And he revealed to his servant what he revealed.

His heart falsified not what he saw.

What! will ye then dispute with him as to what he saw?

He had seen him also another time,

Near the Sidrah-tree, which marks the boundary.3

Near which is the garden of repose.

When the Sidrah-tree4 was covered with what covered it,5

His eye turned not aside, nor did it wander: 

For he saw the greatest of the signs of his Lord.

Do you see Al-Lat and Al-Ozza,6

And Manat the third idol besides?7

What? shall ye have male progeny and God female?

This were indeed an unfair partition!

These are mere names:  ye and your fathers named them thus:  God hath not sent down any warranty in their regard.  A mere conceit and their own impulses do they follow.  Yet hath “the guidance” from their Lord come to them.

Shall man have whatever he wisheth?

The future and the present are in the hand of God: 

And many as are the Angels in the Heavens, their intercession shall be of no avail8

Until God hath permitted it to whom he shall please and will accept.

Verily, it is they who believe not in the life to come, who name the angels with names of females: 

But herein they have no knowledge:  they follow a mere conceit; and mere conceit can never take the place of truth.

Withdraw then from him who turneth his back on our warning and desireth only this present life.

This is the sum of their knowledge.  Truly thy Lord best knoweth him who erreth from his way, and He best knoweth him who hath received guidance.

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And whatever is in the Heavens and in the Earth is God’s that he may reward those who do evil according to their deeds:  and those who do good will He reward with good things.

To those who avoid great crimes and scandals but commit only lighter faults, verily, thy Lord will be diffuse of mercy.  He well knew you when he produced you out of the earth, and when ye were embryos in your mother’s womb.  Assert not then your own purity.  He best knoweth who feareth him.

Hast thou considered him who turned his back?

Who giveth little and is covetous?

Is it that he hath the knowledge and vision of the secret things?

Hath he not been told of what is in the pages of Moses?

And of Abraham faithful to his pledge?

That no burdened soul shall bear the burdens of another,

And that nothing shall be reckoned to a man but that for which he hath made efforts: 

And that his efforts shall at last be seen in their true light: 

That then he shall be recompensed with a most exact recompense,

And that unto thy Lord is the term of all things,

And that it is He who causeth to laugh and to weep,

And that He causeth to die and maketh alive,

And that He hath created the sexes, male and female,

From the diffused germs of life,9

And that with Him is the second creation,

And that He enricheth and causeth to possess,

And that He is the Lord of Sirius,10

And that it was He who destroyed the ancient Adites,

And the people of Themoud and left not one survivor,

And before them the people of Noah who were most wicked and most perverse.

And it was He who destroyed the cities that were overthrown.

So that that which covered them covered them.

Which then of thy Lord’s benefits wilt thou make a matter of doubt?11

He who warneth you is one of the warners of old.

The day that must draw nigh, draweth nigh already:  and yet none but God can reveal its time.

Is it at these sayings that ye marvel?

And that ye laugh and weep not?

And that ye are triflers?

Prostrate yourselves then to God and worship.

_______________________

1 This Sura was revealed at about the time of the first emigration of Muhammad’s followers to Abyssinia, A. 5.  The manner in which the Prophet cancelled the objectionable verses 19, 20, is the strongest proof of his sincerity (as also is the opening of Sura 1xxx.) at this period.  Had he not done so, nothing would have been easier for him than to have effected a reconciliation with the powerful party in Mecca, who had recently compelled his followers to emigrate.

2 The Angel Gabriel, to the meaning of whose name, as the strong one of God, these words probably allude.

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3 That is, Beyond which neither men nor angels can pass (Djelal).  The original word is also rendered, the Lote-Tree of the extremity, or of the loftiest spot in Paradise, in the seventh Heaven, on the right hand of the throne of God.  Its leaves are fabled to be as numerous as the members of the whole human family, and each leaf to bear the name of an individual.  This tree is shaken on the night of the 15th of Ramadan every year a little after sunset, when the leaves on which are inscribed the names of those who are to die in the ensuing year fall, either wholly withered, or with more or less green remaining, according to the months or weeks the person has yet to live.

4 The Sidrah is a prickly plum, which is called Ber in India, the zizyphus Jujuba of Linnæus.  A decoction of the leaves is used in India to wash the dead, on account of the sacredness of the tree.

5 Hosts of adoring angels, by which the tree was masked.

6 Al-Lat or El-Lat, probably the Alilat of Herodotus (iii. 8) was an idol at Nakhlah, a place east of the present site of Mecca.  Al-Ozza was an idol of the Kinanah tribe; but its hereditary priests were the Banu Solaym, who were stationed along the mercantile road to Syria in the neighbourhood of Chaibar.

7 When at the first recital of this Sura, the prophet had reached this verse, he continued,

These are the exalted females, [or, sublime swans, i.e., mounting nearer and nearer to God]

And truly their intercession may be expected.

These words, however, which were received by the idolaters with great exultation, were disowned by Muhammad in the course of a few days as a Satanic suggestion, and replaced by the text as it now stands.  The probability is that the difficulties of his position led him to attempt a compromise of which he speedily repented.  In the Suras subsequent to this period the denunciations of idolatry become much sterner and clearer.  The authorities are given by Weil, Sprenger and Muir.  See Sura [lxvii.] xvii. 74- 76.

8 Verses 26-33 are probably later than the previous part of the Sura, but inserted with reference to it.  Some (as Omar b.  Muhammad and 1tq.) consider verse 33, or (as Itq.36) verses 34-42, or (as Omar b.  Muhammad) the whole Sura, to have originated at Medina.

9 Ex spermate cum seminatum fuerit.

10 The Dog-star, worshipped by the Arabians.

11 Compare the refrain in Sura lv. p. 74.

SURA LXX.-THE STEPS OR ASCENTS [XLVII.]

Mecca.-44 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

A Suitor sued1 for punishment to light suddenly

On the infidels:  none can hinder

God from inflicting it, the master of those Ascents,

By which the angels and the spirit ascend to him in a day, whose length is fifty thousand years.2

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Be thou patient therefore with becoming patience;

They forsooth regard that day as distant,

But we see it nigh: 

The day when the heavens shall become as molten brass,

And the mountains shall become like flocks of wool: 

And friend shall not question of friend,

Though they look at one another.  Fain would the wicked redeem himself from punishment on that day at the price of his children,

Of his spouse and his brother,

And of his kindred who shewed affection for him,

And of all who are on the earth that then it might deliver him.

But no.  For the fire,

Dragging by the scalp,

Shall claim him who turned his back and went away,

And amassed and hoarded.

Man truly is by creation hasty;

When evil befalleth him, impatient;

But when good falleth to his lot, tenacious.

Not so the prayerful,

Who are ever constant at their prayers;

And of whose substance there is a due and stated portion

For him who asketh, and for him who is ashamed3 to beg;

And who own the judgment-day a truth,

And who thrill with dread at the chastisement of their Lord-

For there is none safe from the chastisement of their Lord-

And who control their desires,

(Save with their wives or the slaves whom their right hands have won, for there they shall be blameless;

But whoever indulge their desires beyond this are transgressors);

And who are true to their trusts and their engagements,

And who witness uprightly,

And who keep strictly the hours of prayer: 

These shall dwell, laden with honours, amid gardens.

But what hath come to the unbelievers that they run at full stretch around thee,

On the right hand and on the left, in bands?

Is it that every man of them would fain enter that garden of delights?

Not at all.  We have created them, they know of what.

It needs not that I swear by the Lord of the East and of the West4 that we have power.

To replace them with better than themselves:  neither are we to be hindered.

Wherefore let them flounder on and disport them, till they come face to face with their threatened day,

The day on which they shall flock up out of their graves in haste like men who rally to a standard:-

Their eyes downcast; disgrace shall cover them.  Such their threatened day.

_______________________

1 Lit. asking one asked; probably some unbeliever, with reference to the opening of Sura lvi., p. 60, or like statements in some previous Sura.

2 The expression is hyperbolical, and, as such, identical with Sura [lxx.] xxxii. 4.  Compare also Sura xcvii., p. 37. where the descent is said to take place in a single night.

Page 60

3 Lit. forbidden or prevented by shame.

4 See next Sura. v. 16.

SURA LV.-THE MERCIFUL [XLVIII.]

Mecca.-78 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The God of mercy hath taught the Koran,

Hath created man,

Hath taught him articulate speech,

The Sun and the Moon have each their times,

And the plants and the trees bend in adoration.

And the Heaven, He hath reared it on high, and hath appointed the balance;

That in the balance ye should not transgress.

Weigh therefore with fairness, and scant not the balance.

And the Earth, He hath prepared it for the living tribes: 

Therein are fruits, and the palms with sheathed clusters,

And the grain with its husk, and the fragrant plants.

Which then of the bounties of your Lord will ye twain1 deny?

He created man of clay like that of the potter.

And He created the djinn of pure fire: 

Which then of the bounties, etc.

He is the Lord of the East,2

He is the Lord of the West: 

Which, etc.

He hath let loose the two seas3 which meet each other: 

Yet between them is a barrier which they overpass not: 

Which, etc.

From each he bringeth up pearls both great and small: 

Which, etc.

And His are the ships towering up at sea like mountains: 

Which, etc.

All on the earth shall pass away,

But the face of thy Lord shall abide resplendent with majesty and glory: 

Which, etc.

To Him maketh suit all that is in the Heaven and the Earth.  Every day doth some new work employ Him: 

Which, etc.

We will find leisure to judge you, O ye men and djinn:4

Which, etc.

O company of djinn and men, if ye can overpass the bounds of the Heavens and the Earth, then overpass them.  But by our leave only shall ye overpass them: 

Which, etc.

A bright flash of fire shall be hurled at you both, and molten brass, and ye shall not defend yourselves from it: 

Which, etc.

When the Heaven shall be cleft asunder, and become rose red, like stained leather: 

Which, etc.

On that day shall neither man nor djinn be asked of his sin: 

Which, etc.

By their tokens shall the sinners be known, and they shall be seized by their forelocks and their feet: 

Which, etc.

“This is Hell which sinners treated as a lie.”

To and fro shall they pass between it and the boiling water: 

Which, etc.

But for those who dread the majesty of their Lord shall be two gardens: 

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Which, etc.

With o’erbranching trees in each: 

Which, etc.

In each two kinds of every fruit: 

Which, etc.

On couches with linings of brocade shall they recline, and the fruit of the two gardens shall be within easy reach: 

Which, etc.

Therein shall be the damsels with retiring glances, whom nor man nor djinn hath touched before them: 

Which, etc.

Like jacynths and pearls: 

Which, etc.

Shall the reward of good be aught but good?

Which, etc.

And beside these shall be two other gardens:5

Which, etc.

Of a dark green: 

Which, etc.

With gushing fountains in each: 

Which, etc.

In each, fruits and the palm and the pomegranate: 

Which, etc.

In each, the fair, the beauteous ones: 

Which, etc.

With large dark eyeballs, kept close in their pavilions: 

Which, etc.

Whom man hath never touched, nor any djinn:6

Which, etc.

Their spouses on soft green cushions and on beautiful carpets shall recline: 

Which, etc.

Blessed be the name of thy Lord, full of majesty and glory.

_______________________

1 Men and djinn.  The verb is in the dual.

2 Lit. of the two easts, of the two wests, i.e., of all that lies between the extreme points at which the sun rises and sets at the winter and summer solstices.

3 Lit. he hath set at large, poured forth over the earth the masses of fresh and salt water which are in contact at the mouths of rivers, etc.  See Sura [lxviii.] xxvii. 62; [lxxxvi.] xxxv. 13.

4 Lit.  O ye two weights; hence, treasures; and, generally, any collective body of men or things.

5 One for men, the other for the Genii; or, two for each man and Genius; or, both are for the inferior classes of Muslims.  Beidh.

6 It should be remarked that these promises of the Houris of Paradise are almost exclusively to be found in Suras written at a time when Muhammad had only a single wife of 60 years of age, and that in all the ten years subsequent to the Hejira, women are only twice mentioned as part of the reward of the faithful.  Suras ii. 23 and iv. 60.  While in Suras xxxvi. 56; xliii. 70; xiii. 23; xl. 8 the proper wives of the faithful are spoken of as accompanying their husbands into the gardens of bliss.

SURA LIV.-THE MOON [XLIX.]

Mecca.-55 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The hour hath approached and the moon hath been cleft: 

But whenever they see a miracle they turn aside and say, This is well-devised magic.

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And they have treated the prophets as impostors, and follow their own lusts; but everything is unalterably fixed.

A message of prohibition had come to them-

Consummate wisdom-but warners profit them not.

Quit them then.  On the day when the summoner shall summon to a stern business,

With downcast eyes shall they come forth from their graves, as if they were scattered locusts,

Hastening to the summoner.  “This,” shall the infidels say, “is the distressful day.”

Before them the people of Noah treated the truth as a lie.  Our servant did they charge with falsehood, and said, “Demoniac!” and he was rejected.

Then cried he to his Lord, “Verily, they prevail against me; come thou therefore to my succour.”

So we opened the gates of Heaven with water which fell in torrents,

And we caused the earth to break forth with springs, and their waters met by settled decree.

And we bare him on a vessel made with planks and nails.

Under our eyes it floated on:  a recompence to him who had been rejected with unbelief.

And we left it a sign:  but, is there any one who receives the warning?

And how great was my vengeance and my menace!

Easy for warning have we made the Koran-but, is there any one who receives the warning?

The Adites called the truth a lie:  but how great was my vengeance and my menace;

For we sent against them a roaring wind in a day of continued distress: 

It tore men away as though they were uprooted palm stumps.

And how great was my vengeance and my menace!

Easy for warning have we made the Koran-but, is there any one who receives the warning?

The tribe of Themoud treated the threatenings as lies: 

And they said, “Shall we follow a single man from among ourselves?  Then verily should we be in error and in folly.

To him alone among us is the office of warning entrusted?  No! he is an impostor, an insolent person.”

To-morrow shall they learn who is the impostor, the insolent.

“For we will send the she-camel to prove them:  do thou mark them well, O Saleh, and be patient: 

And foretell them that their waters shall1 be divided between themselves and her, and that every draught shall come by turns to them.”

But they called to their comrade, and he took a knife and ham-strung her.

And how great was my vengeance and my menance!

We sent against them a single shout; and they became like the dry sticks of the fold-builders.

Easy have we made the Koran for warning-but, is there any one who receives the warning?

The people of Lot treated his warning as a lie;

But we sent a stone-charged wind against them all, except the family of Lot, whom at daybreak we delivered,

By our special grace-for thus we reward the thankful.

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He, indeed, had warned them of our severity, but of that warning they doubted.

Even this guess did they demand:  therefore we deprived them of sight,

And said, “Taste ye my vengeance and my menace;”

And in the morning a relentless punishment overtook them.

Easy have we made the Koran for warning but, is there any one who receives the warning?

To the people of Pharaoh also came the threatenings: 

All our miracles did they treat as impostures.  Therefore seized we them as he only can seize, who is the Mighty, the Strong.

Are your infidels, O Meccans, better men than these?  Is there an exemption for you in the sacred Books?

Will they say, “We are a host that lend one another aid?”

The host shall be routed, and they shall turn them back.

But, that Hour is their threatened time, and that Hour shall be most severe and bitter.

Verily, the wicked are sunk in bewilderment and folly.

On that day they shall be dragged into the fire on their faces.  “Taste ye the touch of Hell.”

All things have we created after a fixed decree: 

Our command was but one word, swift as the twinkling of an eye.

Of old, too, have we destroyed the like of you-yet is any one warned?

And everything that they do is in the Books;2

Each action, both small and great, is written down.

Verily, amid gardens3 and rivers shall the pious dwell.

In the seat of truth, in the presence of the potent King.

_______________________

1 See Sura [lvi.] xxvi. 155; also Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 71.

2 Kept by the Guardian Angels.

3 The Talmudic descriptions of the Gardens-for the later Jews believed in more than one Paradise-and of the rivers and trees therein, will be found in Schr der Talm.  Rabb.  Judenthum, pp. 418-432.

SURA XXXVII.-THE RANKS [L.]

Mecca.-182 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the angels ranged in order for Songs of Praise,

And by those who repel demons,1

And by those who recite the Koran for warning,

Truly your God is but one,

Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, and of all that is between them, and
Lord of the East.2

We have adorned the lower heaven with the adornment of the stars.

They serve also as a guard against every rebellious Satan,

That they overhear not what passeth in the assembly on high, for they are darted at from every side,3

Driven off and consigned to a lasting torment;

While, if one steal a word by stealth, a glistening flame pursueth him.

Ask the Meccans then, Are they, or the angels whom we have made, the stronger creation?  Aye, of coarse clay have we created them.

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But while thou marvellest they mock;

When they are warned, no warning do they take;

And when they see a sign, they fall to mocking,

And say, “This is no other than clear sorcery: 

What! when dead, and turned to dust and bones, shall we indeed be raised?

Our sires also of olden times?”

Say, Yes; and ye shall be covered with disgrace.

For, one blast only, and lo! they shall gaze around them, And shall say, “Oh! woe to us! this is the day of reckoning; This is the day of decision which ye gainsaid as an untruth.”

Gather together those who have acted unjustly, and their consorts,4 and the gods whom they adored

Beside God; and guide them to the road for Hell.

Set them forth:  they shall be questioned.

“How now, that ye help not one another?”

But on this day they shall submit themselves to God,

And shall address one another with mutual reproaches.

They shall say, “In sooth, ye came to us in well-omened sort:"5

But they will answer, “Nay, it was ye who would not believe; and we had no power whatever over you.  Nay, ye were people given to transgress;

Just, therefore, is the doom which our Lord hath passed upon us.6 We shall surely taste it: 

We made you err, for we had erred ourselves.”

Partners therefore shall they be in punishment on that day.

Truly, thus will we deal with the wicked,

Because when it was said to them, There is no God but God, they swelled with pride,

And said, “Shall we then abandon our gods for a crazed poet?”

Nay, he cometh with truth and confirmeth the Sent Ones of old.

Ye shall surely taste the painful punishment,

And ye shall not be rewarded but as ye have wrought,

Save the sincere servants of God!

A stated banquet shall they have

Of fruits; and honoured shall they be

In the gardens of delight,

Upon couches face to face.

A cup shall be borne round among them from a fountain,

Limpid, delicious to those who drink;

It shall not oppress the sense, nor shall they therewith be drunken.

And with them are the large-eyed ones with modest refraining glances, fair like the sheltered egg.7

And they shall address one another with mutual questions.

Saith one of them, “I truly had a bosom friend,

Who said, ’Art thou of those who credit it?

What! when we shall have died, and become dust and bones, shall we indeed be judged?"’

He shall say to those around him, “Will ye look?”

And he shall look and see him in the midst of Hell.

And he shall say to him, “By God, thou hadst almost caused me to perish;

And, but for the favour of my Lord, I had surely been of those who have been brought with thee into torment.”

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“But do we not die,” say the blessed,

“Any other than our first death? and have we escaped the torment?"8

This truly is the great felicity!

For the like of this should the travailers travail!

Is this the better repast or the tree Ez-zakkoum?

Verily, we have made it for a subject of discord to the wicked.

It is a tree which cometh up from the bottom of hell;

Its fruits is as it were the heads of Satans;

And, lo! the damned shall surely eat of it and fill their bellies with it: 

Then shall they have, thereon, a mixture of boiling water: 

Then shall they return to hell.

They found their fathers erring,

And they hastened on in their footsteps.

Also before them the greater number of the ancients had erred.

Though we had sent warners among them.

But see what was the end of these warned ones,

Except of God’s true servants.

Noah called on us of old, and right prompt were we to hear him,9

And we saved him and his family out of the great distress,

And we made his offspring the survivors;

And we left for him with posterity,

“Peace be on Noah throughout the worlds!”

Thus do we reward the well-doers,

For he was one of our believing servants;-

And the rest we drowned.

And truly, of his faith was Abraham,

When he brought to his Lord a perfect heart,

When he said to his father and to his people, “What is this ye worship?

Prefer ye with falsehood gods to God?

And what deem ye of the Lord of the worlds?”

So gazing he gazed towards the stars,

And said, “In sooth I am ill:10

And they turned their back on him and departed.

He went aside to their gods and said, “Do ye not eat?

What aileth you that ye do not speak?”

He broke out upon them, with the right hand striking: 

When his tribesmen came back to him with hasty steps

He said, “Worship ye what ye carve,

When God hath created you, and that ye make?”

They said, “Build up a pyre for him and cast him into the glowing flame.”

Fain would they plot against him, but we brought them low.

And he said, “Verily, I repair to my Lord who will guide me: 

O Lord give me a son, of the righteous.”

We announced to him a youth of meekness.

And when he became a full-grown youth,11

His father said to him, “My son, I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice thee; therefore, consider what thou seest right.”

He said, “My father, do what thou art bidden; of the patient, if

God please, shalt thou find me.”

And when they had surrendered them to the will of God, he laid him down upon his forehead: 

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We cried unto him, “O Abraham!

Now hast thou satisfied the vision.”  See how we recompense the righteous.

This was indeed a decisive test.

And we ransomed his son with a costly12 victim,

And we left this13 for him among posterity,

Peace be on Abraham!”

Thus do we reward the well-doers,

For he was of our believing servants.

And we announced Isaac to him-a righteous Prophet-

And on him and on Isaac we bestowed our blessing.  And among their offspring were well-doers, and others, to their own hurt undoubted sinners.

And of old,14 to Moses and to Aaron shewed we favours: 

And both of them, and their people, we rescued from the great distress: 

And we succoured them, and they became the conquerors: 

And we gave them (Moses and Aaron) each the lucid book: 

And we guided them each into the right way: 

And we left this for each among posterity,

Peace be on Moses and Aaron.”

Thus do we reward the well-doers,

For they were two of our believing servants.

And Elias truly was of our Sent Ones,

When he said to his people, “Fear ye not God?

Invoke ye Baal and forsake ye the most skilful Creator?

God is your Lord, and the Lord of your sires of old?”

But they treated him as a liar, and shall therefore be consigned to punishment,

Except God’s faithful servants.

And we left this for him among posterity,

Peace be on ELIASIN!"15

Thus do we reward the well-doers,

For he was one of our believing servants.

And Lot truly was of our Sent Ones,

When we rescued him and all his family,

Save an aged woman among those who tarried.

Afterward we destroyed the others.

And ye indeed pass by their ruined dwellings at morn

And night:  will ye not then reflect?

Jonas, too, was one of the Apostles,

When he fled unto the laden ship,

And lots were cast,16 and he was doomed,

And the fish swallowed him, for he was blameworthy.

But had he not been of those who praise Us,

In its belly had he surely remained, till the day of resurrection.

And we cast him on the bare shore-and he was sick;-

And we caused a gourd-plant to grow up over him,

And we sent him to a hundred thousand persons, or even more,

And because they believed, we continued their enjoyments for a season.

Inquire then of the Meccans whether thy Lord hath daughters, and they, sons?

Have we created the angels females? and did they witness it?

Is it not a falsehood of their own devising, when they say,

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“God hath begotten”?  They are indeed liars.

Would he have preferred daughters to sons?

What reason have ye for thus judging?

Will ye not then receive this warning?

Have ye a clear proof for them?

Produce your Book if ye speak truth.

And they make him to be of kin with the Djinn:  but the Djinn have long known that these idolaters shall be brought up before God.

Far be the glory of God from what they impute to him.

“His faithful servants do not thus.

Moreover, ye and what ye worship

Shall not stir up any against God,17

Save him who shall burn in Hell.

And verily each one of us hath his appointed place,

And we range ourselves in order,

And we celebrate His praises."18

And if those infidels say,

“Had we a revelation transmitted to us from those of old,19

We had surely been God’s faithful servants.”

Yet they believe not the Koran.  But they shall know its truth at last.

Our word came of old to our servants the apostles,

That they should surely be the succoured,

And that our armies should procure the victory for them.

Turn aside therefore from them for a time,

And behold them, for they too shall in the end behold their doom.

Would they then hasten our vengeance?

But when it shall come down into their courts, an evil morning shall it be to those who have had their warning.

Turn aside from them therefore for a time.

And behold; for they too shall in the end behold their doom.

Far be the glory of thy Lord, the Lord of all greatness, from what they impute to him,

And peace be on his Apostles!

And praise be to God the Lord of the worlds.

_______________________

1 I have given in the text the sense of these first two verses according to the Muhammadan commentators.  The original, literally translated, viz.  By the ranks which rank themselves, and by the repellers who repel, would not convey an intelligible idea to the English reader.  Mar. renders, Per ordinantes ordinando et agitantes agitando.

2 Ar.  Easts.  Errat in pluralitate mundorum.  Mar.  But the allusion probably is to the different points of the horizon at which the sun rises and sets in the course of the year.

3 See Sura [lvii.] xv. 18.

4 Or, comrades, i.e. the demons.

5 Lit. on the right hand, the side of good omen i.e. with semblance of truth.

6 See Sura [lx.] xxxvi. 6.

7 The ostrich egg carefully protected from dust.

8 Lit. and are we not among the punished?

9 Lit. et sane euge auditores.  Mar.

10 And therefore unable to assist at your sacrifices.

11 Lit. cum igitur pervenisset cum eo ad ‘tatem cui competit operandi studium.  Mar.  Beidh.  When he had attained to the age when he could work with him.  Lane.

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12 Brought, says Rabbi Jehoshua, from Paradise by an angel.  Midr. fol.

13 This salutation.

14 The Arabic particle which is here and elsewhere rendered of old (also, already, certainly) serves to mark the position of a past act or event as prior to the time present, and in all such passages merely gives a fulness and intensity to our perfect, or pluperfect tense.

15 The form of this word is altered in the original for the sake of the rhyme.

16 Lit. he cast lots (with the sailors).

17 Nequequam vos ad illud colendum estis Seducturi.  Mar.

18 This verse and the six preceding are the words of the Angel.

19 Compare verse 69.

SURA LXXI.-NOAH [LI.]

Mecca.-29 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

We sent Noah to his people, and said to him, “Warn thou thy people ere there come on them an afflictive punishment.”

He said, “O my people!  I come to you a plain-spoken warner: 

Serve God and fear Him, and obey me: 

Your sins will He forgive you, and respite you till the fixed Time; for when God’s fixed Time hath come, it shall not be put back.  Would that ye knew this!”

He said, “Lord I have cried to my people night and day; and my cry doth but make them flee from me the more.

So oft as I cry to them, that thou mayest forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, and wrap themselves in their garments, and persist in their error, and are disdainfully disdainful.

Then I cried aloud to them: 

Then again spake I with plainness, and in private did I secretly address them: 

And I said, Beg forgiveness of your Lord, for He is ready to forgive.

He will send down the very Heaven upon you in plenteous rains;

And will increase you in wealth and children; and will give you gardens, and will give you watercourses:-

What hath come to you that ye hope not for goodness from the hand of God?

For He it is who hath formed you by successive steps.1

See ye not how God hath created the seven heavens one over the other?

And He hath placed therein the moon as a light, and hath placed there the sun as a torch;

And God hath caused you to spring forth from the earth like a plant;

Hereafter will He turn you back into it again, and will bring you forth anew-

And God hath spread the earth for you like a carpet,

That ye may walk therein along spacious paths."’

Said Noah, “O my Lord! they rebel against me, and they follow those whose riches and children do but aggravate their ruin.”

And they plotted a great plot;

And they said, “Forsake not your Gods; forsake not Wadd nor Sowah,

Nor Yaghuth and Yahuk and Nesr;”

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And they caused many to err;2-and thou, too, O Muhammad! shalt be the means of increasing only error in the wicked-

Because of their sins they were drowned, and made to go into the Fire;

And they found that they had no helper save God.

And Noah said, “Lord, leave not one single family of Infidels on the Earth: 

For if thou leave them they will beguile thy servants and will beget only sinners, infidels.

O my Lord, forgive me, and my parents, and every one who, being a believer, shall enter my house, and believers men and women:  and add to the wicked nought but perdition.”

_______________________

1 See Sura xxii. 5.

2 Or, the idols had seduced many.  Thus Kas.  Beidh. gives both interpp.-See on these idols Freytag’s Einleitung, p. 349.

SURA LXXVI.-MAN [LII.]

Mecca.-31 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Doth not a long time pass over man, during which he is a thing unremembered?1

We have created man from the union of the sexes that we might prove him; and hearing, seeing, have we made him: 

In a right way have we guided him, be he thankful or ungrateful.

For the Infidels we have got ready chains and collars and flaming fire.

But a wine cup tempered at the camphor fountain2 the just shall quaff: 

Fount whence the servants of God shall drink, and guide by channels from place to place;

They who fulfilled their vows, and feared the day whose woes will spread far and wide;

Who though longing for it themselves, bestowed their food on the poor and the orphan and the captive: 

“We feed you for the sake of God:  we seek from you neither recompense nor thanks:3

A stern and calamitous day dread we from our Lord.”

From the evil therefore of that day hath God delivered them and cast on them brightness of face and joy: 

And hath rewarded their constancy, with Paradise and silken robes: 

Reclining therein on bridal couches, nought shall they know of sun or piercing cold: 

Its shades shall be close over them, and low shall its fruits hang down: 

And vessels of silver and goblets like flagons shall be borne round among them: 

Flagons of silver whose measure themselves shall mete.

And there shall they be given to drink of the cup tempered with zendjebil (ginger)

From the fount therein whose name is Selsebil (the softly flowing).

Aye-blooming youths go round among them.  When thou lookest at them thou wouldest deem them scattered pearls;

And when thou seest this, thou wilt see delights and a vast kingdom: 

Their clothing green silk robes and rich brocade:  with silver bracelets shall they be adorned; and drink of a pure beverage shall their Lord give them.

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This shall be your recompense.  Your efforts shall meet with thanks.

We ourselves have sent down to thee the Koran as a missive from on high.

Await then with patience the judgments of thy Lord, and obey not the wicked among them and the unbelieving: 

And make mention of the name of thy Lord at morn, at even,

And at night.  Adore him, and praise him the livelong night.

But these men love the fleeting present, and leave behind them the heavy day of doom.

Ourselves have we created them, and strengthened their joints; and when we please, with others like unto themselves will we replace them.

This truly is a warning:  And whoso willeth, taketh the way to his Lord;

But will it ye shall not, unless God will it, for God is Knowing, Wise.

He causeth whom He will to enter into his mercy.  But for the evil doers, He hath made ready an afflictive chastisement.

_______________________

1 When in the womb.

2 With (the water of) Kafoor.  Lane.

3 Desire no recompense from you.

SURA XLIV.-SMOKE [LIII.]

Mecca.-59 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ha.  Mim.1 By this clear Book!

See! on a blessed night2 have we sent it down, for we would warn mankind: 

On the night wherein all things are disposed in wisdom,3

By virtue of our behest.  Lo! we have ever sent forth Apostles,

A mercy from thy Lord:  he truly heareth and knoweth all things-

Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth and of all that is between them,-if ye be firm in faith-

There is no God but He!-He maketh alive and killeth!-Your Lord and the Lord of your sires of old!

Yet with doubts do they disport them.

But mark them on the day when the Heaven shall give out a palpable smoke,

Which shall enshroud mankind:  this will be an afflictive torment.

They will cry, “Our Lord! relieve us from this torment:  see! we are believers.”

But how did warning avail them, when an undoubted apostle had come to them;

And they turned their backs on him, and said, “Taught by others, possessed?”

Were we to relieve you from the plague even a little, ye would certainly relapse.4

On the day when we shall fiercely put forth our great fierceness, we will surely take vengeance on them!

Of old, before their time, had we proved the people of Pharaoh, when a noble apostle presented himself to them.

“Send away with me,” cried he, “the servants of God; for I am an apostle worthy of all credit: 

And exalt not yourselves against God, for I come to you with undoubted power;

And I take refuge with Him who is my Lord and your Lord, that ye stone me not: 

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And if ye believe me not, at least separate yourselves from me.”

And he cried to his Lord, “That these are a wicked people.”

“March forth then, said God, with my servants by night, for ye will be pursued.

And leave behind you the cleft sea:  they are a drowned host.”

How many a garden and fountain did they quit!

And corn fields and noble dwellings!

And pleasures in which they rejoiced them!

So was it:  and we gave them as a heritage to another people.

Nor Heaven nor Earth wept for them, nor was their sentence respited;

And we rescued the children of Israel from a degrading affliction-

From Pharaoh, for he was haughty, given to excess.

And we chose them, in our prescience, above all peoples,5

And we shewed them miracles wherein was their clear trial.

Yet these infidels say,

“There is but our first death, neither shall we be raised again: 

Bring back our sires, if ye be men of truth.”

Are they better than the people of Tobba,6

And those who flourished before them whom we destroyed for their evil deeds?

We have not created the Heavens and the Earth and whatever is between them in sport: 

We have not created them but for a serious end:7 but the greater part of them understand it not.

Verily the day of severing8 shall be the appointed time of all: 

A day when the master shall not at all be aided by the servant, neither shall they be helped;

Save those on whom God shall have mercy:  for He is the mighty, the merciful.

Verily the tree of Ez-Zakkoum9

Shall be the sinner’s10 food: 

Like dregs of oil shall it boil up in their bellies,

Like the boiling of scalding water.

“-Seize ye him, and drag him into the mid-fire;

Then pour on his head of the tormenting boiling water.

-’Taste this:’  for thou forsooth art the mighty, the honourable!

Lo! this is that of which ye doubted.”

But the pious shall be in a secure place,

Amid gardens and fountains,

Clothed in silk and richest robes, facing one another: 

Thus shall it be:  and we will wed them to the virgins with large dark eyes: 

Therein shall they call, secure, for every kind of fruit;

Therein, their first death passed, shall they taste death no more; and He shall keep them from the pains of Hell:-

’Tis the gracious bounty of thy Lord!  This is the great felicity.

We have made this Koran easy for thee in thine own tongue, that they may take the warning.

Therefore wait thou, for they are waiting.11

_______________________

1 See Sura lxviii.  I, p. 32.

2 Of the 23rd and 24th of Ramadhan, in which, according to the Muslim creed, all the events of the year subsequent are arranged.  See Sura xcvii. n. 2, p. 27.

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3 Lit.  We settle each wise affair-called wise, because proceeding direct from the will of Him who is absolute wisdom.

4 Beidh, and others suppose this verse to have been revealed at Medina.  This opinion, however, is based upon the supposition that it refers to the famine with which Mecca was visited after the Hejira.

5 Comp.  Ex. xx. 20; Deut. viii. 16.

6 Tobba, i.e.  Chalif or successor, is the title of the Kings of Yemen; or of Hadramont, Saba, and Hamyar.-See Pocock, Spec.  Hist.  Ar. p. 60.

7 Lit. in truth.

8 That is, Of the good from the bad.

9 See Sura xxxvii. 60, p. 81.

10 The commentators suppose this sinner to be Abu Jahl, one of the chief of the Koreisch, and the bitter enemy of Muhammad.

11 To see the turn which events may take.

SURA L.-KAF [LIV.]

Mecca.-45 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Kaf1.  By the glorious Koran: 

They marvel forsooth that one of themselves hath come to them charged with warnings.  “This,” say the infidels, “is a marvellous thing: 

What! when dead and turned to dust shall we. . . .?  Far off is such a return as this?”

Now know we what the earth consumeth of them, and with us is a Book in which account is kept.

But they have treated the truth which hath come to them as falsehood; perplexed therefore is their state.

Will they not look up to the heaven above them, and consider how we have reared it and decked it forth, and that there are no flaws therein?

And as to the earth, we have spread it out, and have thrown the mountains upon it, and have caused an upgrowth in it of all beauteous kinds of plants,

For insight and admonition to every servant who loveth to turn to God: 

And we send down the rain from Heaven with its blessings, by which we cause gardens to spring forth and the grain of harvest,

And the tall palm trees with date-bearing branches one above the other

For man’s nourishment:  And life give we thereby to a dead country.  So also shall be the resurrection.

Ere the days of these (Meccans) the people of Noah, and the men of Rass2 and Themoud, treated their prophets as impostors: 

And Ad and Pharaoh, and the brethren of Lot and the dwellers in the forest, and the people of Tobba,3 all gave the lie to their prophets:  justly, therefore, were the menaces inflicted.

Are we wearied out with the first creation?  Yet are they in doubt with regard to a new creation!4

We created man:  and we know what his soul whispereth to him, and we are closer to him than his neck-vein.

When the two angels charged with taking account shall take it, one sitting on the right hand, the other on the left: 

Not a word doth he utter, but there is a watcher with him ready to note it down: 

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And the stupor of certain death cometh upon him:  “This is what thou wouldst have shunned"-

And there shall be a blast on the trumpet,-it is the threatened day!

And every soul shall come,-an angel with it urging it along, and an angel to witness against it5-

Saith he, “Of this day didst thou live in heedlessness:  but we have taken off thy veil from thee, and thy sight is becoming sharp this day.”

And he who is at this side6 shall say, “This is what I am prepared with against thee.”

And God will say, “Cast into Hell, ye twain, every infidel, every hardened one,

The hinderer of the good, the transgressor, the doubter,

Who set up other gods with God.  Cast ye him into the fierce torment.”

He who is at his side shall say, “O our Lord!  I led him not astray, yet was he in an error wide of truth.”

He shall say, “Wrangle not in my presence.  I had plied you beforehand with menaces: 

My doom changeth not, and I am not unjust to man.”

On that day will we cry to Hell, “Art thou full?” And it shall say, “Are there more?"7

And not far from thence shall Paradise be brought near unto the Pious: 

- “This is what ye have been promised:  to every one who hath turned in penitence to God and kept his laws;

Who hath feared the God of Mercy in secret, and come to him with a contrite heart: 

Enter it in peace:  this is the day of Eternity.”

There shall they have all that they can desire:  and our’s will it be to augment their bliss: 

And how many generations have we destroyed ere the days of these (Meccans), mightier than they in strength!  Search ye then the land.  Is there any escape?

Lo! herein is warning for him who hath a heart, or giveth ear, and is himself an eye-witness.8

We created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six days, and no weariness touched us.9

Wherefore put up with what they say, and celebrate the praise of thy Lord before sunrise and before sunset: 

And praise Him in the night:  and perform the two final prostrations.

And list for the day whereon the crier shall cry from a place near to every one alike: 

The day on which men shall in truth hear that shout will be the day of their coming forth from the grave.

Verily, we cause to live, and we cause to die.  To us shall all return.

On the day when the earth shall swiftly cleave asunder over the dead, will this gathering be easy to Us.

We know best what the infidels say:  and thou art not to compel them.

Warn then by the Koran those who fear my menace.

_______________________

1 See Sura lxviii.  I, p. 32.

2 See [lxvi.] xxv. 40.

3 See xliv. 36, p. 90.

4 The Resurrection.

5 Lit. a driver and a witness.

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6 The Satan who is chained to him.  Sura [lxxi.] xli. 24.

7 Lit. is there any addition? which some explain as if Hell enquired whether, being already full, any addition could be made to its size.  Comp.  Prov. xxx. 15, and Othioth Derabbi Akiba, 8, 1:  “That the Prince of Hell saith daily, Give me food enough, is clear from what is said (Is. v. 14).  Therefore Shaol hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure, etc.”

8 That is, of the ruins of the destroyed cities, etc.

9 This verse is said (by Omar b.  Muhammad, Itq. 36, Djelal Eddin, ap.  Maracc. and Beidh.) to have been revealed in answer to the Jews who told the Prophet that if God rested on the Sabbath, it was because he was weary.  But a connection with verse 14 seems more natural.

SURA XX.1-TA.  HA. [LV.]

Mecca.-135 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

TaHa.2 Not to sadden thee have we sent down this Koran to thee,

But as a warning for him who feareth;

It is a missive from Him who hath made the earth and the lofty heavens!

The God of Mercy sitteth on his throne: 

His, whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and whatsoever is between them both, and whatsoever is beneath the humid soil!

Thou needest not raise thy voice:3 for He knoweth the secret whisper, and the yet more hidden.

God!  There is no God but He!  Most excellent His titles!

Hath the history of Moses reached thee?

When he saw a fire, and said to his family, “Tarry ye here, for I perceive a fire: 

Haply I may bring you a brand from it, or find at the fire a guide."4

And when he came to it, he was called to, “O Moses!

Verily, I am thy Lord:. therefore pull off thy shoes:  for thou art in the holy valley of Towa.

And I have chosen thee:  hearken then to what shall be revealed.

Verily, I am God:  there is no God but me:  therefore worship me, and observe prayer for a remembrance of me.

Verily the hour is coming:-I all but manifest it-

That every soul may be recompensed for its labours.

Nor let him who believeth not therein and followeth his lust, turn thee aside from this truth, and thou perish.

Now, what is that in thy right hand, O Moses?”

Said he, “It is my staff on which I lean, and with which I beast down leaves for my sheep, and I have other uses for it.”

He said, “Cast it down, O Moses!”

So he cast it down, and lo! it became a serpent that ran along.

He said, “Lay hold on it, and fear not:  to its former state will we restore it.”

“Now place thy right hand to thy arm-pit:  it shall come forth white, but unhurt:-another sign!-

That We may shew thee the greatest of our signs.

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Go to Pharaoh, for he hath burst all bounds.”

He said, “O my Lord! enlarge my breast for me,

And make my work easy for me,

And loose the knot of my tongue,5

That they may understand my speech.

And give me a counsellor6 from among my family,

Aaron my brother;

By him gird up my loins,7

And make him a colleague in my work,

That we may praise thee oft and oft remember thee,

For thou regardest us.”

He said, “O Moses, thou hast obtained thy suit: 

Already, at another time, have we showed thee favour,

When we spake unto thy mother what was spoken: 

’Cast him into the ark:8 then cast him on the sea [the river], and the sea shall throw him on the shore:  and an enemy to me and an enemy to him shall take him up.’  And I myself have made thee an object of love,

That thou mightest be reared in mine eye.

When thy sister went and said, ’Shall I shew you one who will nurse him?’9 Then We returned thee to thy mother that her eye might be cheered, and that she might not grieve.  And when thou slewest a person, We delivered thee from trouble, and We tried thee with other trial.

For years didst thou stay among the people of Midian; then camest thou hither by my decree, O Moses: 

And I have chosen thee for Myself.

Go thou and thy brother with my signs and be not slack to remember me.

Go ye to Pharaoh, for he hath burst all bounds: 

But speak ye to him with gentle speech; haply he will reflect or fear.”

They said, “O our Lord! truly we fear lest he break forth against us, or act with exceeding injustice.”

He said, “Fear ye not, for I am with you both.  I will hearken and I will behold.

Go ye then to him and say, ’Verily we are Sent ones of thy Lord; send therefore the children of Israel with us and vex them not:  now are we come to thee with signs from thy Lord, and, Peace shall be on him who followeth the right guidance.

For now hath it been revealed to us, that chastisement shall be on him who chargeth with falsehood, and turneth him away."’

And he said, “Who is your Lord, O Moses?”

He said, “Our Lord is He who hath given to everything its form and then guideth it aright.”

“But what,” said he, “was the state of generations past?"10

He said, “The knowledge thereof is with my Lord in the Book of his decrees.  My Lord erreth not, nor forgetteth.

He hath spread the earth as a bed, and hath traced out paths for you therein, and hath sent down rain from Heaven, and by it we bring forth the kinds11 of various herbs: 

-’Eat ye, and feed your cattle.’  Of a truth in this are signs unto men endued with understanding.

From it have we created you, and into it will we return you, and out of it will we bring you forth a second time."12

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And we shewed him all our signs:  but he treated them as falsehoods, and refused to believe.

He said, “Hast thou come, O Moses, to drive us from our land by thine enchantments?

Therefore will we assuredly confront thee with like enchantments:  so appoint a meeting between us and you-we will not fail it, we, and do not thou-in a place alike for both.”

He said, “On the feast day13 be your meeting, and in broad daylight let the people be assembled.”

And Pharaoh turned away, and collected his craftsmen and came.

Said Moses to them, “Woe to you! devise not a lie against God: 

For then will he destroy you by a punishment.  They who have lied have ever perished.”

And the magicians discussed their plan, and spake apart in secret: 

They said, “These two are surely sorcerers:  fain would they drive you from your land by their sorceries, and lead away in their paths your chiefest men: 

So muster your craft:  then come in order:  well this day shall it be for him, who shall gain the upper hand.”

They said, “O Moses, wilt thou first cast down thy rod, or shall we be the first who cast?”

He said, “Yes, cast ye down first.”  And lo! by their enchantment their cords and rods seemed to him as if they ran.

And Moses conceived a secret fear within him.

We said, “Fear not, for thou shalt be the uppermost: 

Cast forth then what is in thy right hand:  it shall swallow up what they have produced:  they have only produced the deceit of an enchanter:  and come where he may, ill shall an enchanter fare.”

And the magicians fell down and worshipped.  They said,

“We believe in the Lord of Aaron and of Moses.”

Said Pharaoh, “Believe ye on him ere I give you leave?  He, in sooth, is your Master who hath taught you magic.  I will therefore cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will crucify you on trunks of the palm, and assuredly shall ye learn which of us is severest in punishing, and who is the more abiding."14

They said, “We will not have more regard to thee than to the clear tokens which have come to us, or than to Him who hath made us:  doom the doom thou wilt:  Thou canst only doom as to this present life:  of a truth we have believed on our Lord that he may pardon us our sins and the sorcery to which thou hast forced us, for God is better, and more abiding than thou.15

As for him who shall come before his Lord laden with crime-for him verily is Hell:  he shall not die in it and he shall not live.

But he who shall come before Him, a believer, with righteous works,-these! the loftiest grades await them: 

Gardens of Eden, beneath whose trees16 the rivers flow:  therein shall they abide for ever.  This, the reward of him who hath been pure.”

Then revealed we to Moses, “Go forth by night with my servants and cleave for them a dry path in the sea;

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Fear not thou to be overtaken, neither be thou afraid.”

And Pharaoh followed them with his hosts, and the whelming billows of the sea overwhelmed them,17 for Pharaoh misled his people, and did not guide them.

O children of Israel! we rescued you from your foes; and We appointed a meeting with you on the right side of the mountain; and We caused the manna and the quail to descend upon you: 

“Eat,” said We, “of the good things with which we have supplied you; but without excess, lest my wrath fall upon you; for on whom my wrath doth fall, he perisheth outright.

Surely however will I forgive him who turneth to God and believeth, and worketh righteousness, and then yieldeth to guidance.

But what hath hastened thee on apart from thy people,18 O Moses?”

He said, “They are hard on my footsteps:  but to thee, O Lord, have I hastened, that thou mightest be well pleased with me.”

He said, “Of a truth now have we proved thy people since thou didst leave them, and Samiri19 had led them astray.”

And Moses returned to his people, angered, sorrowful.

He said, “O my people! did not your Lord promise you a good promise?  Was the time of my absence long to you? or desired ye that wrath from your Lord should light upon you, that ye failed in your promise to me?”

They said, “Not of our own accord have we failed in the promise to thee, but we were made to bring loads of the people’s trinkets, and we threw them into the fire and Samiri likewise cast them in, and brought forth to them a corporeal lowing20 calf:  and they said, “This is your God and the God of Moses, whom he hath forgotten."’

What! saw they not that it returned them no answer, and could neither hurt nor help them?

And Aaron had before said to them, “O my people! by this calf are ye only proved:  surely your Lord is the God of Mercy:  follow me therefore and obey my bidding.”

They said, “We will not cease devotion to it, till Moses come back to us.”

He said, “O Aaron! when thou sawest that they had gone astray, what hindered thee from following me?  Hast thou then disobeyed my command?”

He said, “O Son of my mother! seize me not by my beard, nor by my head:  indeed I feared lest thou shouldst say,

Thou hast rent the children of Isreal asunder, and hast not observed my orders."’

He said, “And what was thy motive, O Samiri?” He said, “I saw what they saw not:  so I took a handful of dust from the track21 of the messenger of God, and flung it into the calf, for so my soul prompted me.”

He said, “Begone then:  verily thy doom even in this life shall be to say, ’Touch me not.’22 And there is a threat against thee, which thou shalt not escape hereafter.  Now look at thy god to which thou hast continued so devoted:  we will surely burn it and reduce it to ashes, which we will cast into the sea.

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Your God is God, beside whom there is no God:  In his knowledge he embraceth all things.”

Thus do We recite to thee histories of what passed of old; and from ourself have we given thee admonition.

Whoso shall turn aside from it shall verily carry a burden on the day of Resurrection: 

Under it shall they remain:  and grievous, in the day of Resurrection, shall it be to them to bear.

On that day there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and We will gather the wicked together on that day with leaden23 eyes: 

They shall say in a low voice, one to another,-"Ye tarried but ten days on earth.”

We are most knowing with respect to that which they will say when the most veracious24 of them will say.  “Ye have not tarried above a day.”

And they will ask thee of the mountains:  Say:  scattering my Lord will scatter them in dust;

And he will leave them a level plain:  thou shalt see in it no hollows or jutting hills.

On that day shall men follow their summoner25-he marcheth straight on:  and low shall be their voices before the God of Mercy, nor shalt thou hear aught but the light footfall.

No intercession shall avail on that day, save his whom the God of Mercy shall allow to intercede, and whose words he shall approve.

He knoweth their future and their past; but in their own knowledge they comprehend it not:-

And humble shall be their faces before Him that Liveth, the Self-subsisting:  and undone he, who shall bear the burden of iniquity;

But he who shall have done the things that are right and is a believer, shall fear neither wrong nor loss.

Thus have We sent down to thee an Arabic Koran, and have set forth menaces therein diversely, that haply they may fear God, or that it may give birth to reflection in them.

Exalted then be God, the King, the Truth!  Be not hasty in its recital26 while the revelation of it to thee is incomplete.  Say rather, “O my Lord, increase knowledge unto me.”

And of old We made a covenant with Adam; but he forgat it; and we found no firmness of purpose in him.

And when We said to the angels, “Fall down and worship Adam,” they worshipped all, save Eblis, who refused:  and We said, “O Adam! this truly is a foe to thee and to thy wife.  Let him not therefore drive you out of the garden, and ye become wretched;

For to thee is it granted that thou shalt not hunger therein, neither shalt thou be naked;

But Satan whispered him:  said he, “O Adam! shall I shew thee the tree of Eternity,27 and the Kingdom that faileth not?”

And they both ate thereof, and their nakedness appeared to them, and they began to sew of the leaves of the Garden to cover them, and Adam disobeyed his Lord and went astray.

Afterwards his Lord chose him for himself, and was turned towards him, and guided him.

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And God said, “Get ye all down hence, the one of you a foe unto the other.  Hereafter shall guidance come unto you from me;

And whoso followeth my guidance shall not err, and shall not be wretched: 

But whoso turneth away from my monition, his truly shall be a life of misery: 

And We will assemble him with others on the day of Resurrection, blind."28

He will say, “O my Lord! why hast thou assembled me with others, blind? whereas I was endowed with sight.”

He will answer, “Thus is it, because our signs came unto thee and thou didst forget them, and thus shalt thou be forgotten this day.”

Even thus will We recompense him who hath transgressed and hath not believed in the signs of his Lord; and assuredly the chastisement of the next world will be more severe and more lasting.

Are not they, who walk the very places where they dwelt, aware how many generations we have destroyed before them?  Verily in this are signs to men of insight.

And had not a decree of respite from thy Lord first gone forth, their chastisement had at once ensued.  Yet the time is fixed.

Put up then with what they say; and celebrate the praise of thy Lord before the sunrise, and before its setting; and some time in the night do thou praise him, and in the extremes29 of the day, that thou haply mayest please Him.

And strain not thine eye after what We have bestowed on divers of them-the braveries of this world-that we may thereby prove them.  The portion which thy Lord will give, is better and more lasting.

Enjoin prayer on thy family, and persevere therein.  We ask not of thee to find thine own provision-we will provide for thee, and a happy issue shall there be to piety.

But they say, “If he come not to us with a sign from his Lord . . .!"30 But have not clear proofs for the Koran come to them, in what is in the Books of old?

And had We destroyed them by a chastisement before its time, they would surely have said, “O our Lord!  How could we believe if thou didst not send unto us an Apostle that we might follow thy signs ere that we were humbled and disgraced.”

Say:  Each one of us awaiteth the end.  Wait ye then, and ye shall know which of us have been followers of the even way, and who hath been the rightly guided.

_______________________

1 The first 14 or 16 verses of this Sura are said to have induced Omar to embrace Islam (His. 226.  Ibn Sâd, i. and v.  Comp.  Weil, p. 60.  Causs. i. 396 ff.) in the sixth year before the Hejira.

2 Freytag supposes these letters to mean, Hush! but see Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

3 Lit. if thou raise thy voice.

4 Lit. guidance.  Moses had lost his way, say the Commentators, when journeying to Egypt to visit his mother.

5 The Muhammadan Commentators tell how Moses when a child burnt his tongue with a live coal.  The same story is found in Midr.  Jalkut on Ex. c. 166, and in Shalsheleth Hakabalah, p. 5, b.  Ed. Amsterd.

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6 Lit vizir.

7 Or, strengthen my back.

8 The form of the word in the original is not the pure Hebraic, but the later Rabbinic form.

9 See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 11, 12.

10 What is their condition after their death as to happiness or misery.  Beidh. whom Sale follows.  But the word state, which Mar. renders mens, refers rather to their creed.  “How,” enquires Pharaoh, “do you explain the fact that the generations of men have always practised a different worship?”

11 Lit. pairs.

12 The Midrasch Tanchumah on Ex. vii. gives a very similar dialogue between Pharaoh and Moses.

13 Lit. the day of ornament.

14 In punishing.  Beidh.

15 To recompense.  Beidh.

16 As the garden is said in Sura lxxxviii. to be lofty in point of situation, this frequently recurring phrase may mean that rivers run at its base.  The Commentators, however, generally understand it to imply that the rivers flow beneath its shades or pavilions.

17 Lit. and there overwhelmed them of the sea that which overwhelmed them.

18 The 70 elders who were to have accompanied him.

19 That is, the Samaritan.  This rendering, which is probably the true explanation of the word Samiri, involves a grievous ignorance of history on the part of Muhammad.  Selden (de diis Syr.  Syn. i. ch. 4) supposes that Samiri is Aaron himself, the Shomeer, or keeper of Israel during the absence of Moses.  Many Arabians identify him with the Micha of Judges xvii. who is said to have assisted in making the calf (Raschi, Sanhedr. 102, 2 Hottinger Hist.  Orient. p. 84).  Geiger suggests that Samiri may be a corruption of Samael.  See next note.  But it is probable that the name and its application in the present instance, is to be traced to the old national feud between the Jews and Samaritans.  See De Sacy, Chrestom. i. p. 189, who quotes Abu Rihan Muhammad as stating that the Samaritans were called Al-limsahsit, the people who say, “Touch me not” (v. 97, below), and Juynboll Chron.  Sam. (Leid. 1848) p. 113.  Sale also mentions a similar circumstance of a tribe of Samaritan Jews dwelling on one of the islands in the Red Sea.

20 “The calf came forth (Ex. xxxii. 24) lowing and the Israelites beheld it.  R. Jehuda saith, Samuel entered into it and lowed in order to mislead Israel.”  Pirke R. Eliezer, § 45.

21 From the track of Gabriel’s horse, or of Gabriel himself.

22 Lit. no touch.

23 I have adopted the word leaden as expressive of the idea implied in the original word, viz. grey or greyish blue; hence, dulled, dimmed.  The Arabians have a great aversion to blue and grey eyes as characteristic of their enemies the Greeks.  The word, however, may also mean blind.  Comp. v. 124, 5.

24 Lit. the most excellent or just of them in his way:  dignitate, Mar.  But Kam. in Freyt. (iii. 150) justissimus eorum, simillimus veracibus.  The sense of the last clause is, “Yes have not tarried even so much as ten days, such, now that we look back upon it, is the brevity of life.”  See Sura [lxiv.] xxiii. 115.

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25 The angel Israfil.

26 Compare Sura lxxv. 16-19, p. 56.

27 It should be observed that here and in Sura vii. 19, Muhammad seems unaware of the distinction between the tree of knowledge, and the tree of life, as given in Gen. ii. 9, and iii. 5.

28 From the intensity of the light, mentioned Sura [1xxx.] xxxix. 69.

29 In order to reconcile this passage with the prescribed hours, some understand the extremes to mean the mid-day, when the day is as it were divided.

30 Supply, we will not believe.

SURA XXVI.-THE POETS1 [LVI.]

Mecca.-228 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ta.  Sin.  Mim.2 These are the signs of the lucid Book.

Haply thou wearest thyself away with grief because they will not believe.

Were it our will we could send down to them a sign from Heaven, before which they would humbly bow.3

But from each fresh warning that cometh to them from the God of Mercy they have only turned aside,

And treated it as a lie:  But tidings shall reach them which they shall not laugh to scorn.

Have they not beheld the earth-how we have caused every kind of noble plant to spring up therein?

Verily, in this is a sign:  but most of them believe not.

And assuredly, thy Lord!-He is the Mighty, the Merciful.

And remember when thy Lord called to Moses, “Go to the wicked people,

The people of Pharaoh.  What! will they not fear me?”

He said, “My Lord, in sooth I fear lest they treat me as a liar: 

And my breast is straitened, and I am slow of speech:4 send therefore to
Aaron to be my helpmate.

For they have a charge5 against me, and I fear lest they put me to death.”

He said, “Surely not.  Go ye therefore with our signs:  we will be with you and will hearken.

And go to Pharaoh and say:  ’Verily we are the messengers of the Lord of the worlds-

Send forth with us the children of Israel."’

He said, “Did we not rear thee among us when a child?  And hast thou not passed years of thy life among us?

And yet what a deed is that which thou hast done!6 Thou art one of the ungrateful.”

He said, “I did it indeed, and I was one of those who erred:  And I fled from you because I feared you; but my Lord hath given me wisdom and hath made me one of his Apostles.

And is this the favour thou hast conferred on me, that thou hast enslaved the children of Israel?”

Said Pharaoh, “Who then is the Lord of the Worlds?”

He said, “The Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth and of all that is between them, if only ye believe it.”

Said Pharaoh to those around him, “Hear ye this?”

“Your Lord,” said Moses, “and the Lord of your sires of old.”

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“In sooth, your Apostle whom He hath sent to you,” said Pharaoh, “is certainly possessed.”

He said, “Lord is He of the East and of the West, and of all that is between them, if ye can understand.”

He said, “If ye take any God beside me, I will surely put thee in ward.”

Said Moses, “What! if I shew thee that which shall be a proof of my mission?”

He said, “Forth with it then, if thou speakest truth.”

Then threw he down his staff, and lo! an undoubted serpent: 

And he drew out his hand, and lo! it was white7 to the beholders.

He said to his nobles around him.  “This truly is a right cunning sorcerer: 

Fain would he drive you out of your land by his Sorcery.  But what do ye suggest?”

They said, “Put him and his brother off awhile, and send summoners to all the cities,

Who shall bring to thee every cunning magician.”

So the magicians were mustered at a set time, on a solemn day: 

And it was said to the people, “Are ye all assembled?”

-"Yes! and we will follow the magicians if they gain the day.”

And when the magicians were arrived they said to Pharaoh, “Shall we have a reward if we gain the day?”

He said, “Yes.  And verily in that case ye shall be of those who are near my person.”

Moses said to them, “Throw down what ye have to throw.”

So they cast down their ropes and rods, and said, “By Pharaoh’s might we shall surely win.”

Then Moses threw down his rod, and lo! it swallowed up their cheating wonders.

Then the magicians threw themselves down in worship: 

They said, “We believe on the Lord of the Worlds,

The Lord of Moses and of Aaron.”

Said Pharaoh, “Have ye then believed on him ere I gave you leave?  He truly is your master who hath taught you magic.8 But bye and bye ye shall surely know my power.

I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will have you all crucified.”

They said, “It cannot harm us, for to our Lord shall we return: 

Assuredly we trust that our Lord will forgive us our sins, since we are of the first who believe.”

Then revealed we this order to Moses:  “Go forth by night with my servants, for ye will be pursued.”

And Pharaoh sent summoners through the cities:-

“These Israelites,” said they, “are a scanty band;

Yet are they enraged against us-

But we truly are numerous, wary.”

Thus we caused them to quit gardens and fountains,

And treasures and splendid dwellings;

So was it; and we gave them to the children of Israel for an heritage.9

Then at sunrise the Egyptians followed them: 

And when the hosts came in view of one another, the comrades of Moses said,
“We are surely overtaken.”

He said, “By no means:-for my Lord is with me-He will guide me.”

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And we revealed this order to Moses, “Strike the sea with thy rod.”  And it clave asunder, and each part became like a huge mountain.

Then made we the others to draw on;

And we saved Moses, and those who were with him, all;

But we drowned the others.

Truly in this was a sign; but most of them did not believe.

But verily thy Lord,-He is the Mighty, the Merciful!

And recite to them the story of Abraham

When he said to his Father and to his people, “What worship ye?”

They said, “We worship idols, and constant is our devotion to them.”

He said, “Can they hear you when ye cry to them?

Or help you or do you harm?”

They said, “But we found our Fathers do the like.”

He said, “How think ye?  They whom ye worship,

Ye and your fathers of early days,

Are my foes:  but not so10 the Lord of the Worlds,

Who hath created me, and guideth me,

Who giveth me food and drink;

And when I am sick, he healeth me,

And who will cause me to die and again quicken me,

And who, I hope, will forgive me my sins in the day of reckoning.

My Lord! bestow on me wisdom and join me to the just,

And give me a good name11 among posterity,

And make me one of the heirs of the garden of delight,

And forgive my father, for he was one of the erring,

And put me not to shame on the day when mankind shall be raised up,

The day when neither wealth nor children shall avail,

Save to him who shall come to God with a sound heart: 

When Paradise shall be brought near the pious,

And Hell shall lay open for those who have gone astray.

And it shall be said to them, ’Where are they whom ye worshipped

Beside God?  Can they harm you or help themselves?’

And they shall be cast into it-the seducers and the seduced,

And all the host of Eblis.

They shall say, as they wrangle therein together,

’By God, we were in a plain error,

When we equalled you with the Lord of the Worlds: 

And none misled us but the wicked,

And we have none to plead for us,

Nor friend who careth for us.

Could we but return, we would be of the believers."’

Verily, in this was a sign:  but most of them believed not.

And truly thy Lord!-He is the Mighty, the Merciful!

The people of Noah gainsaid the Apostles,

When their brother Noah said to them, “Will ye not fear God?

Of a truth am I your faithful Apostle;

Fear God then and obey me.

I ask of you no reward for this, for my reward is of the Lord of the Worlds alone: 

Fear God then and obey me.”

They said, “Shall we believe on thee when the meanest only are thy followers?”

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He said, “But I have no knowledge of that they did:12

To my Lord only must their account be given:  would that ye understood this!

And I will not thrust away those who believe,

For I am only one charged with plain warnings.”

They said, “Now unless thou desist, O Noah, one of the stoned shalt thou surely be.”

He said, “Lord! my people treat me as a liar: 

Decide thou therefore a decision between me and them, and rescue me and the faithful who are with me.”

So we saved him and those who were with him in the fully-laden ark,

And afterwards we drowned the rest.

Herein truly was a sign, but most of them believed not.

But thy Lord!-He is the Mighty, the Merciful.

The Adites13 treated their Apostles as liars,

When their brother Houd said to them, “Will ye not fear God?

I am your Apostle, worthy of all credit;

Fear God then and obey me: 

I ask for no reward for this; for my reward is of the Lord of the Worlds alone.

What! build ye landmarks on all heights in mere pastime?

And raise ye structures to be your lasting abodes?14

And when ye put forth your power do ye put it forth with harshness?

Fear ye God then and obey me;

And fear ye Him who hath plenteously betowed on you ye well know what: 

Plenteously bestowed on you flocks and children,

And gardens and fountains;

Indeed I fear for you the punishment of a tremendous day.”

They said, “It is the same to us whether thou warn or warn us not.

This is but a tale of the ancients,

And we are not they who shall be punished.”

And they charged him with imposture; and we destroyed them.  In this was a sign:  but most of them believed not.

But thy Lord!-He is the Mighty, the Merciful!

The Themoudites also treated their Apostles as liars,

When their brother Saleh said to them, “Will ye not fear God?

I am your Apostle worthy of all credit: 

Fear God, then, and obey me.

I ask of you no reward for this:  my reward is of the Lord of the Worlds alone.

Shall ye be left secure amid these things here?

Amid gardens and fountains,

And corn-fields and palm-trees, with flower-sheathing branches?

And, insolent that ye are, will ye hew out your dwellings in the mountains?

But fear God and obey me,

And obey not the bidding of those who commit excess,

Who act disorderly on the earth and reform it not.”

They said, “Certainly thou art a person bewitched;

Thou art only a man like us:  produce now a sign if thou art a man of truth.”

He said, “This she-camel, then-drink shall there be for her, and drink shall there be for you, on a several day for each.

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But harm her not, lest the punishment of a tremendous day overtake you.”

But they ham-strung her, and repented of it on the morrow;

For the punishment overtook them.  In this truly was a sign, but most of them believed not.

But thy Lord!-He is the Powerful, the Merciful!

The people of Lot treated their apostles as liars,

When their brother Lot said to them, “Will ye not fear God?

I am your Apostle worthy of all credit: 

Fear God, then, and obey me.

For this I ask you no reward:  my reward is of the Lord of the worlds alone.

What! with men, of all creatures, will ye have commerce?

And leave ye your wives whom your Lord hath created for you?  Ah! ye are an erring people!”

They said, “O Lot, if thou desist not, one of the banished shalt thou surely be.”

He said, “I utterly abhor your doings: 

My Lord! deliver me and my family from what they do.”

So we delivered him and his whole family-

Save an aged one among those who tarried-

Then we destroyed the rest-

And we rained a rain upon them, and fatal was the rain to those whom we had warned.

In this truly was a sign; but most of them did not believe.

But thy Lord!  He is the Powerful, the Merciful!

The dwellers in the forest of Madian15 treated the Apostles as liars.

When Shoaib their brother said to them, “Will ye not fear God?

I truly am your trustworthy Apostle.

Fear God, then, and obey me: 

No reward ask I of you for this:  my reward is of the Lord of the Worlds alone.

Fill the measure, and be not of those who minish: 

Weigh with exact balance: 

And defraud not men in their substance, and do no wrong on the earth by deeds of licence;

And fear Him who made you and the races of old.”

They said, “Certainly thou art a person bewitched.

Thou art but a man like us, and we deem thee liar-

Make now a part of the heaven to fall down upon us, if thou art a man of truth.”

He said, “My Lord best knoweth your doings.”

And when they treated him as a liar, the chastisement of the day of cloud overtook them.  This truly was the chastisement of a dreadful day!

In this was a sign, but most of them believed not.

But thy Lord!-He is the Mighty, the Merciful!

Verily from the Lord of the Worlds hath this Book come down;

The faithful spirit16 hath come down with it

Upon thy heart, that thou mightest become a warner-

In the clear Arabic tongue: 

And truly it is foretold in the Scriptures of them of yore.17

Was it not a sign to them18 that the learned among the children of Israel recognised it?

If we had sent it down unto any foreigner,

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And he had recited it to them, they had not believed.

In such sort have we influenced19 the heart of the wicked ones,

That they will not believe it till they see the grievous chastisement?

And it shall come upon them on a sudden when they look not for it: 

And they will say, “Can we be respited?”

What! will they seek to hasten on our chastisement?

How thinkest thou?  If after we have given them their fill for years,

That with which they are menaced come upon them at last,

Of what avail will their enjoyments be to them?

We never destroyed a city which had not first its warners

With admonition; nor did we deal unjustly.

The Satans were not sent down with this Koran: 

It beseemed them not, and they had not the power,

For they are far removed from hearing it.20

Call not thou on any other god but God, lest thou be of those consigned to torment: 

But warn thy relatives of nearer kin,21

And kindly lower thy wing over the faithful who follow thee.

And if they disobey thee, then say:  “I will not be answerable for your doings;"-

And put thy trust in Him that is the Mighty, the Merciful,

Who seeth thee when thou standest in prayer,

And thy demeanour amongst those who worship;

For He heareth, knoweth all.

Shall I tell you on whom Satan descend?

They descend on every lying, wicked person: 

They impart what they have heard;22-but most of them are liars.

It is the poets23 whom the erring follow: 

Seest thou not how they rove distraught in every valley?

And that they say that which they do not?

Save those who believe and do good works, and oft remember God;

And who defend themselves when unjustly treated.  But they who treat them unjustly shall find out what a lot awaiteth them.

_______________________

1 This Sura belongs to about the seventh year of Muhammad’s prophetic life.

2 See Sura 1xviii.  I, p. 32.

3 Lit. to which their necks would humble themselves.

4 Lit. my tongue is not free.  This verse appears to be a studied simplification of Ex. iv. 10-13.

5 The murder of the Egyptian.  See Geiger, 159.

6 Lit. and thou hast done thy deed which thou hast done.  See xxviii. 15.

7 Thus Pirke R. Elieser § 48.  “He placed his hand in his bosom, and drew it forth, white as snow with leprosy.”

8 “The Pharaoh who lived in the days of Moses was a great magician.”  Mid.  Jalkut, c. 182.  Comp.  Sura xxviii. 38, where, in accordance with the Rabbinic traditions Pharaoh claims to be a God.

9 See ii. 58, and Midr.  Jalkut on Ex. xii. c. 208.

10 Lit. except.

11 Lit. a tongue of truth, i.e. high repute.  Or, grant that my words may be believed among posterity.  See [lviii.] xix. 47.

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12 Of their motives in embracing Islam.

13 The Adites are mentioned in vii. and xi.

14 This is to be understood of the small forts erected by the nomades of the Hejaz along the route of the caravans to guarantee their safety.  Comp.  Gen. xi. 1-10, and Sura lxxxix. 6, p. 54.

15 The Madian and the El-Aika of other Suras are unquestionably one and the same place, as they have the same prophet Shoaib (or Sho’eyb), the Jethro of Scripture-a name perhaps altered from Hobab (Numb. x. 29)-and because the same sin is laid to the charge of both.  See Winer’s Realw”rterbuch on Jethro.  The Midr.  Rabbah on Ex. ii.  I6, Par.  I, makes Jethro renounce idolatry, and his office of Priest, and undergo banishment from the Midianites.

16 Gabriel.  See Sura lxxxi. 19, p. 46.

17 See Sura xiii. 36.  This verse is said to have been revealed at Medina by Itq. 34.

18 The unbelieving Meccans.  Lit. that the knowing (Doctors, Uhlemas) knew it.

19 Lit. have introduced it, i.e. infidelity; or, the Koran.  Beidh.  The latter interpretation seems most accordant with the context.

20 Comp.  Sura xxxvii. 7, 8, p. 79.

21 It is probable that within three or four years from his entry upon the prophetic office, Muhammad had made about 40 converts.  Some biographers refer to this passage, and not to Sura lxiv.  I, as the first call to preach.  But this Sura is itself late, and bears evidence of the opposition to which the prophet had become exposed, and of adherents to his cause, now become numerous.  The diffuseness and feeblenss of the style clearly point to a late origin.

22 They impart to their votaries on earth what they have learned by stealth and partially, in heaven.

23 Muhammad found it necessary to employ the pens of certain poets to defend himself and his religion from the ridicule and satire of other poets, whose productions were recited at the great annual fair held at Okatz, the Olympus of the Hejaz.  The poems which were judged the best were written up in letters of gold, or suspended (hence called Moallakat) in the Caaba.  These poetical contests were subsequently suppressed by Muhammad, as offering openings for discussions which might prove inconvenient, and dangerous to his rising claims.

SURA XV.-HEDJR1 [LVII.]

Mecca.-99 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF.  LamRa.2 These are the signs of the Book, and of a lucid recital [Koran].

Many a time will the infidels wish that they had been Muslims.

Let them feast and enjoy themselves, and let hope beguile them:  but they shall know the truth at last.

We never destroyed a city whose term was not perfixed:3

No people can forestall or retard its destiny.

They say:  “O thou to whom the warning hath been sent down, thou art surely possessed by a djinn: 

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Wouldst thou not have come to us with the angels, if thou wert of those who assert the truth?”

-We will not send down the angels without due cause.4 The Infidels would not in that case have been respited.

Verily, We have sent down the warning, and verily, We will be its guardian;

And already have We sent Apostles, before thee, among the sects of the ancients;

But never came Apostles to them whom they did not deride.

In like manner will We put it into the hearts of the sinners of Mecca to do the same: 

They will not believe on him though the example of those of old hath gone before.

Even were We to open above them a gate in Heaven, yet all the while they were mounting up to it,

They would surely say:  It is only that our eyes are drunken:  nay, we are a people enchanted.

We have set the signs of the zodiac5 in the Heavens, and adorned and decked them forth for the beholders,

And We guard them from every stoned6 Satan,

Save such as steal a hearing:7 and him doth a visible flame pursue.

And the Earth have We spread forth, and thrown thereon the mountains, and caused everything to spring forth in it in balanced measure: 

And We have provided therein sustenance for you, and for the creatures which not ye sustain: 

And no one thing is there, but with Us are its storehouses; and We send it not down but in settled measure: 

And We send forth the fertilising winds, and cause the rain to come down from the heaven, and give you to drink of it; and it is not ye who are its storers: 

And We cause to live and We cause to die,8 and We are the heir of all things: 

We know those of you who flourish first and We know those who come later: 

And truly thy Lord will gather them together again, for He is Wise, Knowing.

We created man of dried clay, of dark loam moulded;

And the djinn had We before created of subtle fire.

Remember when thy Lord said to the Angels, “I create man of dried clay, of dark loam moulded: 

And when I shall have fashioned him and breathed of my spirit into him, then fall ye down and worship him.”

And the Angels bowed down in worship, all of them, all together,

Save Eblis:  he refused to be with those who bowed in worship.

“O Eblis,"9 said God, “wherefore art thou not with those who bow down in worship?”

He said, “It beseemeth not me to bow in worship to man whom thou hast created of clay, of moulded loam.”

He said, “Begone then hence; thou art a stoned one,10

And the curse shall be on thee till the day of reckoning.”

He said, “O my Lord! respite me till the day when man shall be raised from the dead.”

He said, “One then of the respited shalt thou be

Till the day of the predestined time.”

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He said, “O my Lord! because thou hast beguiled me, I will surely make all fair seeming to them11 on the earth; I will surely beguile them all;

Except such of them as shall be thy sincere servants.”

He said, “This is the right way with me;

For over none of my servants shalt thou have power, save those beguiled ones who shall follow thee.”

And verily, Hell is the promise for them one and all.

It hath seven Portals;12 at each Portal is a separate band of them;

But ’mid gardens and fountains shall the pious dwell: 

“Enter ye therein in peace, secure-”

And all rancour will We remove from their bosoms:  they shall sit as brethren, face to face, on couches: 

Therein no weariness shall reach them, nor forth from it shall they be cast for ever.

Announce to my servants that I am the Gracious, the Merciful,

And that my chastisement is the grievous chastisement.

And tell them of Abraham’s guests.

When they entered in unto him, and said, “Peace.”

“Verily,” said he, “We fear you.”

They said, “Fear not, for of a sage son we bring thee tidings.”

He said, “Bring ye me such tidings now that old age hath come upon me?  What, therefore, are your tidings really?”

They said, “We announce them to thee in very truth.  Be not then one of the despairing.”

“And who,” said he, “despaireth of the mercy of his Lord, but they who err?”

He said, “What is your business then, O ye Sent Ones?”

They said, “We are sent unto a people who are sinners,

Except the family of Lot, whom verily we will rescue all,

Except his wife.  We have decreed that she shall be of those who linger.”

And when the Sent Ones came to the family of Lot

He said, “Yes; are persons unknown to me.”

They said, “Yes; but we have come to thee for a purpose about which thy people doubt: 

We have come to thee with very truth, and we are truthful envoys.

Lead forth therefore thy family in the dead of the night; follow thou on their rear:  and let no one of you turn round, but pass ye on whither ye are bidden.”

And this command we gave him because to the last man should these people be cut off at morning.

Then came the people of the city rejoicing at the news13-

He said, “These are my guests:  therefore disgrace me not.

And fear God and put me not to shame.”

They said, “Have we not forbidden thee to entertain any one whatever?"14

He said, “Here are my daughters, if ye will thus act.”

As thou livest, O Muhammad, they were bewildered in the drunkenness of their lust.

So a tempest overtook them at their sunrise,

And we turned the city upside down, and we rained stones of baked clay upon them.

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Verily, in this are signs for those who scan heedfully;

And these cities lay on the high road.15

Verily, in this are signs for the faithful.

The inhabitants also of El Aika16 were sinners: 

So we took vengeance on them, and they both became a plain example.

And the people of Hedjr treated God’s messengers as liars.

And we brought forth our signs to them, but they drew back from them: 

And they hewed them out abodes in the mountains to secure them: 

But a tempest surprised them at early morn,

And their labours availed them nothing.

We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that between them is, but for a worthy end.17 And verily, “the hour” shall surely come.  Wherefore do thou, Muhammad, forgive with kindly forgiveness,

For thy Lord!  He is the Creator, the Wise.

We have already given thee the seven verses of repetition18 and the glorious
Koran.

Strain not thine eyes after the good things we have bestowed on some of the unbelievers:  afflict not thyself on their account, and lower thy wing to the faithful.19

And say:  I am the only plain-spoken warner.

We will punish those who foster divisions,20

Who break up the Koran into parts: 

By thy Lord! we will surely take account from them one and all,

Concerning that which they have done.

Profess publicly then what thou hast been bidden,21 and withdraw from those who join gods to God.

Verily, We will maintain thy cause against those who deride thee,

Who set up gods with God:  and at last shall they know their folly.

Now know We that thy heart is distressed22 at what they say: 

But do thou celebrate the praise of thy Lord, and be of those who bow down in worship;

And serve thy Lord till the certainty23 o’ertake thee.

_______________________

1 Hedjr, a valley in the route between Medina and Syria, originally the country of the Themoudites.

2 See Sura lxviii. p. 32.

3 Lit. which had not a known writing.

4 That is, not merely to gratify the curiosity of the doubting, but to execute prompt punishment.  It might also be rendered, save with justice

5 Ar. bourdj, Gr. [greek text], towers, i.e.  Signs of the Zodiac.

6 See Sura xv. 34; and note p. 114.

7 Comp.  Sura xxxvii. 6, p. 79.  In Chagiga 16, 1, the Demons (schedim) are said to learn the secrets of the future by listening behind the veil (pargôd).

8 Compare precisely a similar association of subjects, the Rain, Food, God, as Lord of life and death in Tr.  Taanith, fol. 1 a.

9 Comp.  Sura [xci.] ii. 32.  There is much in this dialogue between Eblis and Allah which reminds of the dialogue between Jehovah and Satan in the opening of the Book of Job.

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10 That is, accursed.  According to the Muhammadan tradition, Abraham drove Satan away with stones when he would have hindered him from sacrificing Ismael.  Hence the custom during the pilgrimage of throwing a certain number of stones-the Shafeis, 49; the Hanafis, 70-as if at Satan, in the valley of Mina, near Mecca.  The spot where the apparition of Satan to Abraham took place is marked by three small pillars, at which the stones are now thrown.  Comp.  Gen. xv.  II.

11 Lit.  I will embellish, prepare.

12 Thus, in Sota, 10, David is said to have rescued Absalom from “the seven dwellings of Hell;” in Midr. on Ps. xi.  “There are seven houses of abode for the wicked in Hell;” and in Sohar ii. 150, “Hell hath seven gates.”

13 At the arrival of strangers.

14 Comp.  Midr.  Rabbah on Gen. Par. 50.

15 From Arabia to Syria.  The pronoun in the fem. sing. may refer to the Pentapolis as to a single city, or to Sodom alone.

16 See Sura [lvi.] xxvi. 176.

17 See Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 3.

18 That is, the seven verses of Sura 1, p. 28.  Others understand, the seven long Suras; or, the fifteen Suras which make a seventh of the whole; or, this Sura (Hedjr) as originally the seventh.  Mathani is an allusion, according to some, to the frequency with which the fatthah is to be repeated; or, to the frequent repetitions of great truths, etc., in order to impress them on the memory of the hearer and reader; or, to the manner in which waid and wa’d, promises and threatenings, alternate and balance each other in the same or subsequent verses and Suras, in pairs.  This verse and Sura x. 10 shew that a part at least of the Koran was known under that name and existed as a whole in the time of Muhammad.  Geiger’s interpretations at pp. 59, 60 (and in the note) seem very forced.

19 Comp.  Sura [lvi.] xxvi. 215, i.e. demean thyself gently.

20 Lit. as we sent down upon the dividers, i.e. the Jews and Christians, who receive part of the Scriptures and reject part.  Others render obstructors and explain the passage of twelve idolaters, who in order to intimidate the Meccans, seized upon the public revenues of Mecca during the pilgrimage.

21 In this, the fourth year of his mission, Muhammad is said to have hazarded the step of mounting the Safa, a slight eminence in one of the streets of Mecca, and publicly preached to the Koreisch.  The authorities are given in Sprenger (Life of M. p. 177, 8).

22 Lit. contracted.

23 Death.

SURA XIX.1-MARY [LVIII.]

Mecca.-98 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

KafHaYaAinSad.2 A recital of thy Lord’s mercy to his servant
Zachariah;

When he called upon his Lord with secret calling,

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And said:  “O Lord, verily my bones are weakened, and the hoar hairs glisten on my head,

And never, Lord, have I prayed to thee with ill success.

But now I have fears for my kindred after me;3 and my wife is barren: 

Give me, then, a successor as thy special gift, who shall be my heir and an heir of the family of Jacob:  and make him, Lord, well pleasing to thee.”

-"O Zachariah! verily we announce to thee a son,-his name John: 

That name We have given to none before him."4

He said:  “O my Lord! how when my wife is barren shall I have a son, and when
I have now reached old age, failing in my powers?”

He said:  So shall it be.  Thy Lord hath said, Easy is this to me, for I created thee aforetime when thou wast nothing.”

He said:  “Vouchsafe me, O my Lord! a sign.”  He said:  “Thy sign shall be that for three nights, though sound in health, thou speakest not to man.”

And he came forth from the sanctuary to his people, and made signs to them to sing praises morn and even.

We said:  “O John! receive the Book with purpose of heart:"5-and We bestowed on him wisdom while yet a child;

And mercifulness from Ourself, and purity; and pious was he, and duteous to his parents; and not proud, rebellious.

And peace was on him on the day he was born, and the day of his death, and shall be on the day when he shall be raised to life!

And make mention in the Book, of Mary, when she went apart from her family, eastward,6

And took a veil to shroud herself from them:7 and we sent our spirit8 to her, and he took before her the form of a perfect man.9

She said:  “I fly for refuge from thee to the God of Mercy!  If thou fearest Him, begone from me.”

He said:  “I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a holy son.”

She said:  “How shall I have a son, when man hath never touched me? and I am not unchaste.”

He said:  “So shall it be.  Thy Lord hath said:  ‘Easy is this with me;’ and we will make him a sign to mankind, and a mercy from us.  For it is a thing decreed.”

And she conceived him,10 and retired with him to a far-off place.

And the throes came upon her11 by the trunk of a palm.  She said:  “Oh, would that I had died ere this, and been a thing forgotten, forgotten quite!”

And one cried to her from below her:12 “Grieve not thou, thy Lord hath provided a streamlet at thy feet:-

And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward thee:13 it will drop fresh ripe dates upon thee.

Eat then and drink, and be of cheerful eye:14 and shouldst thou see a man,

Say,-Verily, I have vowed abstinence to the God of mercy.-To no one will I speak this day.”

Then came she with the babe to her people, bearing him.  They said, “O Mary! now hast thou done a strange thing!

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O sister of Aaron!15 Thy father was not a man of wickedness, nor unchaste thy mother.”

And she made a sign to them, pointing towards the babe.  They said, “How shall we speak with him who is in the cradle, an infant?”

It said,16 “Verily, I am the servant of God; He hath given me the Book, and He hath made me a prophet;

And He hath made me blessed wherever I may be, and hath enjoined me prayer and almsgiving so long as I shall live;

And to be duteous to her that bare me:  and he hath not made me proud, depraved.

And the peace of God was on me the day I was born, and will be the day I shall die, and the day I shall be raised to life.”

This is Jesus, the son of Mary; this is a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt.

It beseemeth not God to beget a son.  Glory be to Him! when he decreeth a thing, He only saith to it, Be, and it Is.17

And verily, God is my Lord and your Lord; adore Him then.  This is the right way.

But the Sects have fallen to variance among themselves about Jesus:  but woe, because of the assembly of a great day, to those who believe not!

Make them hear, make them behold the day when they shall come before us!  But the offenders this day are in a manifest error.

Warn them of the day of sighing when the decree shall be accomplished, while they are sunk in heedlessness and while they believe not.

Verily, we will inherit the earth and all who are upon it.  To us shall they be brought back.

Make mention also in the Book of Abraham; for he was a man of truth, a Prophet.18

When he said to his Father, “O my Father! why dost thou worship that which neither seeth nor heareth, nor profiteth thee aught?

O my Father! verily now hath knowledge come to me which hath not come to thee.  Follow me therefore-I will guide thee into an even path.

O my Father! worship not Satan, for Satan is a rebel against the God of Mercy.

O my Father! indeed I fear lest a chastisement from the God of Mercy light upon thee, and thou become Satan’s vassal.”

He said, “Castest thou off my Gods, O Abraham?  If thou forbear not, I will surely stone thee.  Begone from me for a length of time.”

He said, “Peace be on thee!  I will pray my Lord for thy forgiveness, for he is gracious to me: 

But I will separate myself from you, and the gods ye call on beside God, and on my Lord will I call.  Haply, my prayers to my Lord will not be with ill success.”

And when he had separated himself from them and that which they worshipped beside God, we bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob, and each of them we made a prophet: 

And we bestowed gifts on them in our mercy, and gave them the lofty tongue of truth."19

And commemorate Moses in “the Book;” for he was a man of purity:  moreover he was an Apostle, a Prophet: 

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From the right side of the mountain we called to him, and caused him to draw nigh to us for secret converse: 

And we bestowed on him in our mercy his brother Aaron, a Prophet.

And commemorate Ismael in “the Book;” for he was true to his promise, and was an Apostle, a Prophet;

And he enjoined prayer and almsgiving on his people, and was well pleasing to his Lord.

And commemorate Edris20 in “the Book;” for he was a man of truth, a Prophet: 

And we uplifted him to a place on high.21

These are they among the prophets of the posterity of Adam, and among those whom we bare with Noah, and among the posterity of Abraham and Israel, and among those whom we have guided and chosen, to whom God hath shewed favour.  When the signs of the God of Mercy were rehearsed to them, they bowed them down worshipping and weeping.

But others have come in their place after them:  they have made an end of prayer, and have gone after their own lusts; and in the end they shall meet with evil:-

Save those who turn and believe and do that which is right, these shall enter the Garden, and in nought shall they be wronged: 

The Garden of Eden, which the God of Mercy hath promised to his servants, though yet unseen:22 for his promise shall come to pass: 

No vain discourse shall they hear therein, but only “Peace;” and their food shall be given them at morn and even: 

This is the Paradise which we will make the heritage of those our servants who fear us.

We23 come not down from Heaven but by thy Lord’s command.  His, whatever is before us and whatever is behind us, and whatever is between the two!  And thy Lord is not forgetful,-

Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, and of all that is between them!  Worship Him, then, and abide thou steadfast in his worship.  Knowest thou any other of the same name?24

Man saith:  “What! after I am dead, shall I in the end be brought forth alive?”

Doth not man bear in mind that we made him at first, when he was nought?

And I swear by thy Lord, we will surely gather together them and the Satans:  then will we set them on their knees round Hell: 

Then will we take forth from each band those of them who have been stoutest in rebellion against the God of Mercy: 

Then shall we know right well to whom its burning is most due: 

No one is there of you who shall not go down unto it25-This is a settled decree with thy Lord-

Then will we deliver those who had the fear of God, and the wicked will we leave in it on their knees.

And when our clear signs are rehearsed to them, the infidels say to those who believe:  “Which of the two parties26 is in the best plight? and which is the most goodly company?”

But how many generations have we brought to ruin before them, who surpassed them in riches and in splendour!

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Say:  As to those who are in error, the God of Mercy will lengthen out to them a length of days

Until they see that with which they are threatened, whether it be some present chastisement, or whether it be “the Hour,” and they shall then know which is in the worse state, and which the more weak in forces: 

But God will increase the guidance of the already guided.

And good works which abide, are in thy Lord’s sight better in respect of guerdon, and better in the issue than all worldly good.

Hast thou marked him who believeth not in our signs, and saith, “I shall surely have riches and children bestowed upon me?”

Hath he mounted up into the secrets of God?  Hath he made a compact with the God of Mercy?

No! we will certainly write down what he saith, and will lengthen the length of his chastisement: 

And we will inherit what he spake of, and he shall come before us all alone.

They have taken other gods beside God to be their help.27

But it shall not be.  Those gods will disavow their worship and will become their enemies.

Seest thou not that we send the Satans against the Infidels to urge them into sin?

Wherefore be not thou in haste with them;28 for a small number of days do we number to them.

One day we will gather the God-fearing before the God of Mercy with honours due:29

But the sinners will we drive unto Hell, like flocks driven to the watering.

None shall have power to intercede, save he who hath received permission at the hands of the God of Mercy.

They say:  “The God of Mercy hath gotten offspring.”  Now have ye done a monstrous thing!

Almost might the very Heavens be rent thereat, and the Earth cleave asunder, and the mountains fall down in fragments,

That they ascribe a son to the God of Mercy, when it beseemeth not the God of Mercy to beget a son!

Verily there is none in the Heavens and in the Earth but shall approach the God of Mercy as a servant.  He hath taken note of them, and numbered them with exact numbering: 

And each of them shall come to Him, on the day of Resurrection, singly: 

But love will the God of Mercy vouchsafe to those who believe and do the things that be right.

Verily we have made this Koran easy and in thine own tongue, that thou mayest announce glad tidings by it to the God-fearing, and that thou mayest warn the contentious by it.

How many generations have we destroyed before them!  Canst thou search out one of them? or canst thou hear a whisper from them?

_______________________

1 Comp. the first 37 verses of this Sura with Sura iii. 35-57 with reference to the different style adopted by Muhammad in the later Suras, probably for the purpose of avoiding the imputation of his being merely a poet, a sorcerer, or person possessed.  Sura lii. 29, 30; xxi. 5; lxviii. 2, 51.  This Sura is one of the fullest and earliest Koranic Gospel Histories, and was recited to the Nagash or King of Æthiopia, in the presence of the ambassadors of the Koreisch.  His. 220; Caussin, i. 392; Sprenger (Life of M.) p. 193.

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2 See Sura lxviii.  I, p. 32.  Golius conjectured that these letters represent coh ya’as, thus he counselled, and that they were added by some Jewish scribe.  Sprenger (Journ. of As.  Soc. of Bengal, xx. 280) arranges them as Ain, Sad, Kaf, Ha, Ya, and supposes them to be taken from the Arabic words for Aisa (Jesus) of the Nazarenes, King of the Jews.  But we can hardly imagine that Muhammad would ascribe such a title to our Lord, and the word which Dr. Sprenger uses for Jews is not the form peculiar to the Koran.

3 Lest they should desert the worship of the God of Israel.

4 Ar.  Yahia.  It may be true that the name in this form had never been given.  Otherwise, we have in this passage a misunderstanding of Luke i. 61, as well as ignorance of the Jewish Scriptures.  Comp. 2 Kings xxv. 23; 1 Chron. iii. 16; Ezra viii. 12; Jerem. xl. 8.  Some commentators try to avoid the difficulty by rendering samiyan, deserving of the name.

5 Or, with firm resolve.  See Sura [xcvii.] iii. 36.  The speaker is God.

6 To an eastern chamber in the temple to pray.  Or it may mean, to some place eastward from Jerusalem, or from the house of her parents.

7 Thus the Protev.  Jac. c. 12 says that Mary, although at a later period, [greek text] But Wahl, she laid aside her veil.

8 Gabriel.

9 See Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 9.

10 It is quite clear from this passage, and from verse 36, that Muhammad believed Jesus to have been conceived by an act of the divine will.  Comp.  Sura [xcvii.] iii. 52; see also note at Sura [xci.] ii. 81.

11 Or, the throes urged her to the trunk of, etc.

12 This was either the Infant which spoke as soon as born, or Gabriel.  Comp.  Thilo Cod.  Apoc. 136-139 on this passage.  Beidhawi explains:  from behind the palm tree.

13 See Thilo Cod.  Apoc.  N. T. p. 138, and the Hist.  Nat.  Mar. c. 20, which connects similar incidents with the flight into Egypt.  Thus also Latona, [greek text], Call.  H. in Apoll. and [greek text], H. in Delum.

14 Or, settle, calm thine eye, refresh thine eye.  The birth of a son is still called korrat ol ain.

15 The anachronism is probably only apparent.  See Sura iii. 1, n.  Muhammad may have supposed that this Aaron (or Harun) was the son of Imran and Anna.  Or, if Aaron the brother of Moses be meant Mary may be called his sister, either because she was of the Levitical race, or by way of comparison.

16 See Sura [cxiv.] v. 109.

17 From the change in the rhyme, and from the more polemical tone of the following five verses, it may be inferred that they were added at a somewhat later period.

18 The title Nabi, prophet, is used of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as depositaries of the worship of the one true God, but with a mission restricted to their own families; whereas Houd, Saleh, Shoaib, etc., are designated as (Resoul) apostles and envoys, charged with a more extended mission to the tribes of Arabia.  In Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, etc., are united the office and gift both of prophet (nabi) and apostle (resoul).

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19 Made them to be highly praised.  Beidh.

20 Enoch.  Beidhawi derives the name Edris from the Ar. darasa, to search out, with reference to his knowledge of divine mysteries.  The Heb.  Enoch, in like manner, means initiated.

21 Comp.  Gen. v. 24, and the tract Derek Erez in Midr.  Jalkut, c. 42, where Enoch is reckoned among the nine according to other Talmudists, thirteen (Schroeder’s Talm. und Rabb.  Judenthum)-individuals who were exempted from death and taken straight to Paradise.  It should be observed that both here and Sura xxi. 85, Edris is named after Ismael.

22 Maracci and Beidhawi, in absentid.  Sale, as an object of faith.  Beidhawi ad f. in reward for their secret faith.  Ullmann für die verborgene Zukunft.

23 This verse is to be understood as an answer on the part of Gabriel to Muhammad’s complaints of the long intervals between the revelations.

24 The idolaters called their deities Gods, but as Polytheists were unused to the singular Allah, God.

25 Even the pious on their way to Paradise are to pass the confines of Hell.

26 The Koreisch, or the Muslims.

27 Or, glory, strength.

28 To call down judgments upon them.

29 As ambassadors come into the presence of a prince.  Sale.  This is implied in the original.

SURA XXXVIII.-SAD [LIX.]

Mecca.-88 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Sad.1 By the Koran full of warning!  In sooth the Infidels are absorbed in pride, in contention with thee.

How many generations have we destroyed before them!  And they cried for mercy but no time was it of escape!

And they marvel that a warner from among themselves hath come to them; and the Infidels say, “This is a sorcerer, a liar: 

Maketh he the gods to be but one god?  A strange thing forsooth is this!”

And their chiefs took themselves off.  “Go, said they, and cleave steadfastly2 to your gods.  Ye see the thing aimed at.

We heard not of this in the previous creed.3 It is but an imposture: 

To him alone of us all hath a book of warning been sent down?” Yes! they are in doubt as to my warnings, for they have not yet tasted my vengeance.

Are the treasures of the mercy of thy Lord, the Mighty, the bounteous, in their hands?

Is the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth and of all that is between them theirs?  Then let them mount up by cords!

Any army of the confederates4 shall here be routed.

Before them the people of Noah and Ad and Pharaoh the impaler5 treated their prophets as impostors;

And Themoud, and the people of Lot, and the dwellers in the forest:  these were the confederates.

Nought did they all but charge the apostles with falsehood:  Just, therefore, the retribution.

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And these (Meccans) await but one single trumpet blast-There shall be no delaying it-

Yet they dare to say, “O our Lord! hasten our lot to us, before the day of reckoning.”

Put thou up with what they say:  and remember our servant David, a man strong of hand6, one who turned him to Us in penitence: 

We constrained the mountains7 to join with him in lauds at even and at sunrise;

And the birds which flocked to him, and would all return to him oft;

And we stablished his kingdom:  and wisdom, and skill to pronounce clear decisions, did we bestow on him.

Hath the story of the two pleaders8 reached thee, O Muhammad, when they mounted the walls of his closet?

When they entered in upon David, and he was frightened at them, they said, “Be not afraid; we are two opposing parties:  one of us hath wronged the other.  Judge therefore with truth between us, and be not unjust, but guide us to the right way.

Now this my brother had ninety and nine ewes, and I had but a single ewe; and he said, make me her keeper.  And he over-persuaded me in the dispute.”

He said, “Certainly he hath wronged thee in asking for thine ewe to add her to his own ewes:  and truly many associates do one another wrong-except those who believe and do the things that are right; and few indeed are they!” And David perceived that we had tried him; so he asked pardon of his Lord, and fell down and bowed himself and repented.

So we forgave him that his sin; and truly he shall have a high rank with Us, and an excellent retreat in Paradise.

O David! verily we have made thee our vicegerent upon earth.  Judge therefore between men with truth, and follow not thy passions, lest they cause thee to err from the way of God.  For they who err from the way of God shall meet with a grievous chastisement, for that they have forgotten the day of reckoning.

We have not created the heaven and the earth and what is between them for nought.  That is the thought of infidels; but woe to the infidels because of the fire!

Shall we treat those who believe and do the things that are right like those who propagate evil on earth?  Shall we treat the God-fearing like the impious?

A blessed Book9 have we sent down to thee, that men may meditate its verses, and that those endued with understanding may bear it in mind.

And Solomon gave we unto David.  An excellent servant, for he loved to turn him Godward.

Remember when at eventide the prancing10 chargers were displayed before him,

And he said, “Truly I have loved the love of earthly goods above the remembrance of my Lord, till the sun hath been hidden by the veil of darkness.11

Bring them back to me.”  And he began to sever the legs and necks.

We also made trial of Solomon, and placed a phantom12 on his throne:  whereupon he returned to Us (in penitence).

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He said, O my Lord! pardon me, and give me a dominion that may not be to any one beside me, for thou art the liberal giver.

So we subjected the wind to him; it ran softly at his bidding, whithersoever he directed it: 

And the Satans-every builder and diver-

And others bound in chains:13

“This,” said we, “is our gift:  be bounteous then, or withhold thy favours; no account shalt thou render.”

And his rank also is high with Us, and an excellent retreat.

And remember our servant Job when he cried to his Lord, “Verily, Satan hath laid on me disease and pain.”

“Stamp,” said we, “with thy foot.  This14 is to wash with; cool, and to drink.”

And we gave him back his family, and as many more with them in our mercy; and for a monition to men of judgment.

And we said, “Take in thine hand a rod, and strike15 with it, nor break thine oath.”  Verily, we found him patient!

How excellent a servant, one who turned to Us was he!

And remember our servants Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, men of might and vision.16

With this cleansing did we cleanse them the remembrance of the abode of Paradise.

And verily, they were, in our sight, of the elect and of the good.

And remember Ishmael and Elisha and Dhoulkefl, for all these were of the just.

This is a monition:  and verily, the pious shall have a goodly retreat: 

Gardens of Eden, whose portals shall stand open to them: 

Therein reclining, they shall there call for many a fruit and drink: 

And with them shall be virgins of their own age, with modest retiring glances: 

“This is what ye were promised at the day of reckoning.”

“Yes! this is our provision:  it shall never fail.”

Even so.  But for the evil doers is a wretched home-

Hell-wherein they shall be burned:  how wretched a bed!

Even so.  Let them then taste it-boiling water and gore,

And other things of kindred sort!

To their leaders it shall be said, “This company shall be thrown in headlong with you.  No greetings shall await them, for they shall be burned in the fire.”

They shall say:  “But ye, too! there shall be no welcome for you.  It was ye who prepared this for us, and wretched is the abode!”

They will say:  “O our Lord! increase twofold in the fire, the punishment of him who hath brought this upon us.”

And they will say:  “Why see we not the men whom we numbered among the wicked-

Whom we used to treat with scorn?  Have they escaped our eyes?"17

Verily this is truth-the wrangling together of the people of the fire.

Say:  I am but a warner; and there is no God but God the One, the Almighty!

Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, and of all that is between them,18 the Potent, the Forgiving!

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Say:  this is a weighty message,19

From which ye turn aside!

Yet had I no knowledge of what passed among the celestial chiefs when they disputed,20

-Verily, it hath been revealed to me only because I am a public preacher-

When thy Lord said to the angels, “I am about to make man of clay,21

And when I have formed him and breathed my spirit into him, then worshipping fall down before him.”

And the angels prostrated themselves, all of them with one accord,

Save Eblis.  He swelled with pride, and became an unbeliever.

“O Eblis,” said God, “what hindereth thee from prostrating thyself before him whom my hands have made?

Is it that thou are puffed up with pride? or art thou a being of lofty merit?”

He said:  “I am more excellent than he; me hast thou created of fire:22 of clay hast thou created him.”

He said:  “Begone then hence:  thou art accursed,23

And lo! my ban shall be on thee till the day of the reckoning.”

He said:  “O my Lord! respite me till the day of Resurrection.”

He said, “One then of the respited shalt thou be,

Till the day of the time appointed.”

He said:  “I swear by thy might then that all of them will I seduce,

Save thy sincere servants among them.”

He said:  “It is truth, and the truth I speak.  From thee will I surely fill
Hell, and with such of them as shall follow thee, one and all.

Say:  I ask no wage of you for this, nor am I one who intermeddleth.

Of a truth the Koran is no other than a warning to all creatures.

And after a time shall ye surely know its message.

_______________________

1 The letter S. See Sura lxviii. p. 32.

2 These verses are said to have been revealed when, upon the conversion of Omar, the Koreisch went in a body to Abu Talib and requested him to withdraw his protection from Muhammad, but being put to silence by the latter, departed in great confusion.  Wah.  Beidh.

3 That is, in the Christian religion, which teaches, Muhammad ironically implies, a plurality of Gods.

4 This may allude to the so-called “confederacy” of the Koreisch against Muhammad.

5 This term is also applied to Pharaoh, Sura lxxxix. 9, p. 54.  He is said to have fastened the Israelites to stakes, and then subjected them to various torments.

addenda:  This is the usual interpretation.  Lit.  Lord of, or, possessor of stakes (comp. li. 39 in Ar.), i.e., Forces.  Dr. Sprenger ingenuously suggests that Muhammad’s Jewish informant may have described Pharaoh as rich in neçyb, i.e., fortresses; whereas, in Ar., naçyb, means an erection, pillar, etc., for which Muhammad substituted the word for tent stakes.  Vol. i. (470).

6 Præditi (manibus) virtute.  Mar.

7 Comp.  Ps. cxlviii. 9, 10.

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8 Two angels who pretended to appeal to David in order to convince him of his sin in the matter of Uriah’s wife.  Comp.  I Sam. xii.

9 The Psalms, if we suppose with Nöldeke, p. 99, that David is still addressed:  the Koran, if with Sale we refer the passage to Muhammad.

10 The Commentators say that the word used in the original implies that the mares stood on three feet, and touched the ground with the edge of the fourth foot.

11 Solomon, in his admiration of these horses, the result, we are told, of David’s or his own conquests, forgot the hour of evening prayer, and when aware of his fault commenced their slaughter.  The Tr.  Sanhedr. fol. 21, mentions Solomon’s love for horses, and that he determined to have a large stud; yet not to send the people to Egypt (Deut. xvii. 16) but to have them brought to him out of Egypt (I Kings x. 28).

12 One of the Djinn.  The absurd fiction may be seen in extenso in Sale.  Compare Tr.  Sanhedr. fol. 20, b. and Midr.  Jalkut on I Kings vi. § 182.

13 Thus the second Targum on Esther i. 2, mentions the four different kinds of Demons which were “given into the hand” of Solomon-a legend derived from a misunderstanding of Eccl. ii. 8.

14 The fountain which had sprung up.  To this history the Talmudists have no allusion.

15 Thy wife;-on whom he had sworn that he would inflict an hundred blows, because she had absented herself from him when in need of her assistance, or for her words (Job ii. 9).  The oath was kept, we are told, by his giving her one blow with a rod of a hundred stalks.  This passage is often quoted by the Muslims as authorising any similar manner of release from an oath inconsiderately taken.

16 Lit. men of hand and of sight.

17 Lit. or do our eyes wander from them.

18 See verses 9, 26, above.  It seems to have been one of the peculiarities of Muhammad, as a person very deficient in imagination, to dwell upon and repeat the same ideas, with an intensity which is at once an evidence of deep personal conviction and consciousness, of the simple Arabian especially.

19 The connection between the concluding episode and the preceding part of the Sura does not seem very clear.  It probably originated at a different but uncertain period.

20 About the creation of man.

21 Comp.  Sura [xci.] ii. 28, ff.

22 Comp.  Ps. civ. 4.

23 Lit. stoned.  See Sura xv. 34, p. 114.

SURA XXXVI.-YA.  SIN [LX.]

Mecca.-83 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

YaSin.1 By the wise Koran!

Surely of the Sent Ones, Thou,

Upon a right path!

A revelation of the Mighty, the Merciful,

That thou shouldest warn a people whose fathers were not warned and therefore lived in heedlessness!

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Just, now, is our sentence2 against most of them; therefore they shall not believe.

On their necks have we placed chains which reach the chin, and forced up are their heads: 

Before them have we set a barrier and behind them a barrier, and we have shrouded them in a veil, so that they shall not see.

Alike is it to them if thou warn them or warn them not:  they will not believe.

Him only shalt thou really warn, who followeth the monition and feareth the God of mercy in secret:  him cheer with tidings of pardon, and of a noble recompense.

Verily, it is We who will quicken the dead, and write down the works which they have sent on before them, and the traces which they shall have left behind them:  and everything have we set down in the clear Book of our decrees.3

Set forth to them the instance of the people of the city4 when the Sent Ones came to it.

When we sent two unto them and they charged them both with imposture-therefore with a third we strengthened them:  and they said, “Verily we are the Sent unto you of God.”

They said, “Ye are only men like us:  Nought hath the God of Mercy sent down.  Ye do nothing but lie.”

They said, “Our Lord knoweth that we are surely sent unto you;

To proclaim a clear message is our only duty.”

They said, “Of a truth we augur ill from you:5 if ye desist not we will surely stone you, and a grievous punishment will surely befall you from us.”

They said, “Your augury of ill is with yourselves.  Will ye be warned?6 Nay, ye are an erring people.”

Then from the end of the city a man came running:7 He said, “O my people! follow the Sent Ones;

Follow those who ask not of you a recompense, and who are rightly guided.

And why should I not worship Him who made me, and to whom ye shall be brought back?

Shall I take gods beside Him?  If the God of Mercy be pleased to afflict me, their intercession will not avert from me aught, nor will they deliver: 

Truly then should I be in a manifest error.

Verily, in your Lord have I believed; therefore hear me."8

-It was said to him, “Enter thou into Paradise:”  And he said, “Oh that my people knew

How gracious God hath been to me, and that He hath made me one of His honoured ones.”

But no army sent we down out of heaven after his death, nor were we then sending down our angels-

There was but one shout from Gabriel, and lo! they were extinct.

Oh! the misery that rests upon my servants!  No apostle cometh to them but they laugh him to scorn.

See they not how many generations we have destroyed before them?

Not to false gods is it that they shall be brought9 back,

But all, gathered together, shall be set before Us.

Moreover, the dead earth is a sign to them:  we quicken it and bring forth the grain from it, and they eat thereof: 

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And we make in it gardens of the date and vine; and we cause springs to gush forth in it;

That they may eat of its fruits and of the labour of their hands.  Will they not therefore be thankful?

Glory be to Him, who hath created all the sexual pairs of such things as Earth produceth,10 and of mankind themselves; and of things beyond their ken!

A sign to them also is the Night.  We withdraw the day from it, and lo! they are plunged in darkness;

And the Sun hasteneth to her place of rest.  This, the ordinance of the Mighty, the Knowing!

And as for the Moon, We have decreed stations for it, till it change like an old and crooked palm branch.

To the Sun it is not given to overtake the Moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day; but each in its own sphere doth journey on.

It is also a sign to them that we bare their posterity in the full-laden Ark;

And that we have made for them vessels like it on which they embark;

And if we please, we drown them, and there is none to help them, and they are not rescued,

Unless through our mercy, and that they may enjoy themselves for yet awhile.

And when it is said to them, Fear what is before you and what is behind you,11 that ye may obtain mercy. . . .

Aye, not one sign from among the signs of their Lord dost thou bring them, but they turn away from it!

And when it is said to them, Give alms of what God hath bestowed on you,12 they who believe not say to the believers, “Shall we feed him whom God can feed if He will?  Truly ye are in no other than a plain error.”

And they say, “When will this promise be fulfilled, if what ye say be true?”

They await but a single blast:  as they are wrangling shall it assail them: 

And not a bequest shall they be able to make, nor to their families shall they return.

And the trumpet shall be blown, and, lo! they shall speed out of their sepulchres to their Lord: 

They shall say, “Oh! woe to us! who hath roused us from our sleeping place?  ’Tis what the God of Mercy promised; and the Apostles spake the truth.”

But one blast shall there be,13 and, lo! they shall be assembled before us, all together.

And on that day shall no soul be wronged in the least:  neither shall ye be rewarded but as ye shall have wrought.

But joyous on that day shall be the inmates of Paradise, in their employ;

In shades, on bridal couches reclining, they and their spouses: 

Therein shall they have fruits, and shall have whatever they require-

“Peace!” shall be the word on the part of a merciful Lord.

“But be ye separated this day, O ye sinners!

Did I not enjoin on you, O sons of Adam, ’Worship not Satan, for that he is your declared foe,’

But ‘Worship Me:  this is a right path’?

But now hath he led a vast host of you astray.  Did ye not then comprehend?

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This is Hell with which ye were threatened: 

Endure its heat this day, for that ye believed not.”

On that day will we set a seal upon their mouths; yet shall their hands speak unto us, and their feet14 shall bear witness of that which they shall have done.

And, if we pleased, we would surely put out their eyes:  yet even then would they speed on with rivalry in their path:  but how should they see?

And, if we pleased, we would surely transform them as they stand,15 and they would not be able to move onward, or to return.

Him cause we to stoop through age whose days we lengthen.  Will they not understand?

We have not taught him (Muhammad) poetry,16 nor would it beseem him.  This Book is no other than a warning and a clear Koran,

To warn whoever liveth; and, that against the Infidels sentence may be justly given.

See they not that we have created for them among the things which our hands have wrought, the animals of which they are masters?

And that we have subjected them unto them?  And on some they ride, and of others they eat;

And they find in them profitable uses and beverages: 

Yet have they taken other gods beside God that they might be helpful to them.

No power have they to succour them:  yet are their votaries an army at their service.

Let not their speech grieve thee:  We know what they hide and what they bring to light.

Doth not man perceive that we have created him of the moist germs of life?  Yet lo! is he an open caviller.

And he meeteth us with arguments,17 and forgetteth his creation:  “Who,” saith he, “shall give life to bones when they are rotten?”

Say:  He shall give life to them who gave them being at first, for in all creation is he skilled: 

Who even out of the green tree hath given you fire18, and lo! ye kindle flame from it.

What! must not He who hath created the Heavens and the Earth be mighty enough to create your likes?  Yes! and He is the skilful creator.

His command when He willeth aught, is but to say to it, be, and it is.

So glory be to Him in whose hand is sway over all things!  And to Him shall ye be brought back.

_______________________

1 This Sura is said to have been termed by Muhammad “the heart of the Koran.”  It is recited in all Muhammadan countries to the dying, at the tombs of saints, etc.  On Ya.  Sin, see Sura lxviii. p. 32.

2 Sura xxxviii. 85, p. 129.

3 Lit. in the clear prototype, that is, in the Preserved Table, on which all the actions of mankind are written down.

4 Antioch, to which Jesus is said to have sent two disciples to preach the unity of God, and subsequently Simon Peter.  This vague story, and that of the seven sleepers in Sura xviii. are the only traces to be found in the Koran of any knowledge, on the part of Muhammad, of the history of the Church subsequent to the day of Pentecost, or of the spread of the Christian religion.

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5 Comp.  Sura xxvii. 48; vii. 128, where, as in this passage, the word augur refers to the mode of divination practised previous to Islam, by the flight of birds.

6 Lit. if ye have been warned (will ye still disbelieve?).

7 Habib, the carpenter, who, as implied at verse 25, was martyred, and whose tomb at Antioch is still an object of veneration to the Muhammadans.

8 Ullm. following Wahl, renders, Als sie (die stadtlente) darauf ihn schändlich behandleten.  The verb in the original is thus used in the 4th conj.  Nöldeke supposes that words to this effect have been lost from the text.  But of this there is no trace in the Commentators.

9 Or, the Apostles shall not return to them again.  Ullm.

10 For instance, date trees, the female blossoms of which were carefully impregnated, when requisite, by branches of the male plant.  See Freyt.  Einl. p. 271.

11 The chastisements of this world and of the next.

12 On account of this precept, Itq. 35, and Omar b.  Muhammad suppose the verse to have originated at Medina.

13 The Muhammadans affirm that a space of forty years will intervene between two blasts of the Trumpet.  Maracci suggests that the idea of the two blasts is derived from 1 Thess. iv. 16, “the voice of the archangel and . . . the trump of God.”

14 Thus Chagiga, 16; Taanith, 11.  “The very members of a man bear witness against him, for thus is it written (Is. xliii. 12), Ye yourselves are my witnesses, saith the Lord.”  See also Sura [lxxi.] xli. 19, 20.

15 Lit. in their place.

16 See Sura xxvi. 225, p.  III.

17 Lit. he setteth forth to us comparisons.

18 The form of the Arabic word is Rabbinic Hebrew.

SURA XLIII.-ORNAMENTS OF GOLD [LXI.]

Mecca.-89 Verses.

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ha.  Mim.1 By the Luminous Book!

We have made it an Arabic Koran that ye may understand: 

And it is a transcript of the archetypal Book,2 kept by us; it is lofty, filled with wisdom,

Shall we then turn aside this warning from you because ye are a people who transgress?

Yet how many prophets sent we among those of old!

But no prophet came to them whom they made not the object of their scorn: 

Wherefore we destroyed nations mightier than these Meccans in strength; and the example of those of old hath gone before!

And if thou ask them who created the Heavens and the Earth, they will say: 
“The Mighty, the Sage, created them both,”

Who hath made the Earth as a couch for you, and hath traced out routes therein for your guidance;

And who sendeth down out of Heaven the rain in due degree, by which we quicken a dead land; thus shall ye be brought forth from the grave: 

And who hath created the sexual couples, all of them, and hath made for you the ships and beasts whereon ye ride: 

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That ye may sit balanced on their backs and remember the goodness of your Lord as ye sit so evenly thereon, and say:  “Glory to Him who hath subjected these to us!  We could not have attained to it of ourselves: 

And truly unto our Lord shall we return.”

Yet do they assign to him some of his own servants for offspring!  Verily man is an open ingrate!

Hath God adopted daughters from among those whom he hath created, and chosen sons for you?

But when that3 is announced to any one of them, which he affirmeth to be the case with the God of Mercy,4 his face settleth into darkness and he is silent-sad.

What! make they a being to be the offspring of God who is brought up among trinkets, and is ever contentious without reason?

And they make the angels who are the servants of God of Mercy, females.  What! did they witness their creation?  Their witness shall be taken down, and they shall hereafter be enquired at.

And they say:  “Had the God of Mercy so willed it we should never have worshipped them.”  No knowledge have they in this:  they only lie.

Have we ere this given them a Book?5 and do they possess it still?

But say they:  “Verily we found our fathers of that persuasion, and verily, by their footsteps do we guide ourselves.”

And thus never before thy time did we send a warner to any city but its wealthy ones said:  “Verily we found our fathers with a religion, and in their tracks we tread.”

Say,-such was our command to that apostle-"What! even if I bring you a religion more right than that ye found your fathers following?” And they said, “Verily we believe not in your message.”

Wherefore we took vengeance on them, and behold what hath been the end of those who treated our messengers as liars!

And bear in mind when Abraham said to his father and to his people, “Verily I am clear of what ye worship,

Save Him who hath created me; for he will vouchsafe me guidance.”

And this he established as a doctrine that should abide among his posterity, that to God might they be turned.

In sooth to these idolatrous Arabians and to their fathers did I allow their full enjoyments, till the truth should come to them, and an undoubted apostle: 

But now that the truth hath come to them, they say, “’Tis sorcery, and we believe it not.”

And they say, “Had but this Koran been sent down to some great one of the two cities6 . . .!”

Are they then the distributors of thy Lord’s Mercy?7 It is we who distribute their subsistence among them in this world’s life; and we raise some of them by grades above others, that the one may take the other to serve him:  but better is the mercy of thy Lord than all their hoards.

But for fear that all mankind would have become a single people of unbelievers, verily we would certainly have given to those who believe not in the God of Mercy roofs of silver to their houses, and silver stairs to ascend by;

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And doors of silver to their houses, and couches of silver to recline on;

And ornaments of gold:  for all these are merely the good things of the present life; but the next life doth thy Lord reserve for those who fear Him.

And whoso shall withdraw from the Warning of the God of Mercy, we will chain a Satan to him, and he shall be his fast companion: 

For the Satans will turn men aside from the Way, who yet shall deem themselves rightly guided;

Until when man shall come before us, he shall say, “O Satan, would that between me and thee were the distance of the East and West."8 And a wretched companion is a Satan.

But it shall not avail you on that day, because ye were unjust:  partners shall ye be in the torment.

What!  Canst thou then make the deaf to hear, or guide the blind and him who is in palpable error?

Whether therefore we take thee off by death, surely will we avenge ourselves on them;

Or whether we make thee a witness of the accomplishment of that with which we threatened them, we will surely gain the mastery over them.9

Hold thou fast therefore what hath been revealed to thee, for thou art on a right path: 

For truly to thee and to thy people it is an admonition; and ye shall have an account to render for it at last.10

And ask our Sent Ones whom we have sent before thee,

“Appointed we gods beside the God of Mercy whom they should worship?"11

Of old sent we Moses with our signs to Pharaoh and his nobles:  and he said, “I truly am the Apostle of the Lord of the worlds.”

And when he presented himself before them with our signs, lo! they laughed at them,

Though we shewed them no sign that was not greater than its fellow:12 and therefore did we lay hold on them with chastisement, to the intent that they might be turned to God.

Then they said, “O Magician! call on thy Lord on our behalf to do as he hath engaged with thee, for truly we would fain be guided.”

But when we relieved them from the chastisement, lo! they broke their pledge.

And Pharaoh made proclamation among his people.  Said he, “O my people! is not the kingdom of Egypt mine, and these rivers which flow at my feet?13 Do ye not behold?

Am I not mightier than this despicable fellow,

And who scarce can speak distinctly?

Have bracelets of gold14 then been put upon him, or come there with him a train of Angels?”

And he inspired his people with levity, and they obeyed him; for they were a perverse people: 

And when they had angered us, we took vengeance on them, and we drowned them all.

And we made them a precedent and instance of divine judgments to those who came after them.

And when the Son of Mary was set forth as an instance of divine power, lo! thy people cried out for joy thereat: 

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And they said, “Are our gods or is he the better?"15 They put this forth to thee only in the spirit of dispute.  Yea, they are a contentious people.

Jesus is no more than a servant whom we favoured, and proposed as an instance of divine power to the children of Israel.

(And if we pleased, we could from yourselves bring forth Angels to succeed you on earth:)16

And he shall be a sign of the last hour;17 doubt not then of it, and follow ye me:  this is the right way;

And let not Satan turn you aside from it, for he is your manifest foe.

And when Jesus came with manifest proofs, he said, “Now am I come to you with wisdom; and a part of those things about which ye are at variance I will clear up to you; fear ye God therefore and obey me.

Verily, God is my Lord and your Lord; wherefore worship ye him:  this is a right way.”

But the different parties18 fell into disputes among themselves; but woe to those who thus transgressed, because of the punishment of an afflictive day!

For what wait they but for the hour “to come suddenly on them, while they expect it not?”

Friends on that day shall become foes to one another, except the God-fearing:-

“O my servants! on this day shall no fear come upon you, neither shall ye be put to grief,

Who have believed in our signs and become Muslims: 

Enter ye and your wives into Paradise, delighted.”

Dishes and bowls of gold shall go round unto them:  there shall they enjoy whatever their souls desire, and whatever their eyes delight in; and therein shall ye abide for ever.

This is Paradise, which ye have received as your heritage in recompense for your works;

Therein shall ye have fruits in abundance, of which ye shall eat.

But in the torment of Hell shall the wicked remain for ever: 

It shall not be mitigated to them, and they shall be mute for despair therein,

For it is not we who have treated them unjustly, but it was they who were unjust to themselves.

And they shall cry:  “O Malec!19 would that thy Lord would make an end of us!” He saith:  “Here must ye remain.”

We have come to you with the truth (O Meccans), but most of you abhor the truth.

Have they drawn tight their toils for thee?20 We too will tighten ours.

Think they that we hear not their secrets and their private talk?  Yes, and our angels who are at their sides write them down.

Say:  If the God of Mercy had a son, the first would I be to worship him: 

But far be the Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, the Lord of the Throne, from that which they impute to Him!

Wherefore let them alone, to plunge on, and sport, until they meet the day with which they are menaced.

He who is God in the Heavens is God in earth also:  and He is the Wise, the Knowing.

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And Blessed be He whose is the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth and of all that is between them; for with Him is the knowledge of the Hour, and to Him shall ye be brought back.

The gods whom they call upon beside Him shall not be able to intercede for others:  they only shall be able who bore witness to the truth and21 knew it.”

If thou ask them who hath created them, they will be sure to say, “God.”  How then hold they false opinions?

And one22 saith, “O Lord! verily these are people who believe not.”

Turn thou then from them, and say, “Peace:”  In the end they shall know their folly.

_______________________

1 See Sura lxviii.  I, p. 32.

2 Lit. it is in the Mother of the Book, i.e. the original of the Koran, preserved before God.

3 That is, of the birth of a female.

4 Lit. which he imputeth to the God of Mercy, as his likeness.

5 To authorise angel-worship.

6 Supply, Mecca and Taief, we would have received it.

7 Lit. mercy, i.e. the gift and office of prophecy.

8 Lit. the two Easts, by which some understand the distance between the two solstices.

9 Comp.  Suras xl. 77; xxiii. 97; x. 47; xxix. 53; xxxvii. 179; xiii. 42.  These passages clearly show that Muhammad had at this period-towards the close of his Meccan period-full faith in his ultimate success, and in the fulfilment of his menaces against the unbelievers.

10 Lit. ye shall be examined in the end.

11 This verse is said (see Nöld. p. 100, n.) to have been revealed in the temple at Jerusalem on the occasion of the night journey thither.  See also Weil’s Muhammed der Prophet, p. 374.

12 Lit. sister.

13 See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 39, n.

14 Comp.  Gen. xli. 42.

15 This was a captious objection made to Muhammad by the idolaters of Mecca when he condemned their gods (Sura xxi. 98), as if they had said, “Jesus is worshipped as a God by the Christians:  does he come under your anathema equally with our idols? we shall be content for our gods to be with him.”

16 That is, as we caused Jesus to be born without a human father.

17 At his return to this earth.  Some refer this to the Koran as revealing the last Hour.  Lit.  He (or It) is for knowledge of the Hour.

18 Jewish and Christian sects.

19 Malec is one of the keepers of Hell, who specially presides over the torments of the damned.

20 Lit. if they have twisted tight or set firmly the affair, i.e. their plots against thee and the truth.

21 Or, and they (the Infidels).  The Commentators say that Jesus, Ezra, and the angels, will be allowed to intercede.

22 Muhammad.

SURA LXXII.-DJINN [LXII.]

Mecca.-28 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

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Say:  It hath been revealed to me that a company of

Djinn1 listened, and said,-"Verily, we have heard a marvellous discourse
(Koran);

It guideth to the truth; wherefore we believed in it, and we will not henceforth join any being with our Lord;

And He,-may the majesty of our Lord be exalted!-hath taken no spouse neither hath he any offspring.

But the foolish among us hath spoken of God that which is unjust: 

And we verily thought that no one amongst men or Djinn would have uttered a lie against God.

There are indeed people among men, who have sought for refuge unto people among Djinn:  but they only increased their folly: 

And they thought, as ye think, that God would not raise any from the dead.

And the Heavens did we essay, but found them filled with a mighty garrison, and with flaming darts;

And we sat on some of the seats to listen, but whoever listeneth findeth an ambush ready for him of flaming darts.

And truly we know not whether evil be meant for them that are on earth, or whether their Lord meaneth guidance for them.

And there are among us good, and others among us of another kind;-we are of various sorts: 

And verily we thought that no one could weaken God on earth, neither could we escape from him by flight: 

Wherefore as soon as we had heard ‘the guidance’ we believed in it; and whoever believeth in his Lord, need not fear either loss or wrong.

There are some among us who have resigned themselves to God (the Muslims); and there are others of us who have gone astray.  And whoso resigneth himself to God pursueth the way of truth;

But they who go astray from it shall be fuel for Hell.”

Moreover, if they (the Meccans) keep straight on in that way, we will surely give them to drink of abundant waters,

That we may prove them thereby:  but whoso withdraweth from the remembrance of his Lord, him will He send into a severe torment.

It is unto God that the temples are set apart:  call not then on any other therein with God.

When the servant of God stood up to call upon Him, the djinn almost jostled him by their crowds.

Say:  I call only upon my Lord, and I join no other being with Him.

Say:  No control have I over what may hurt or benefit you.

Say:  Verily none can protect me against God;

Neither shall I find any refuge beside Him.

My sole work is preaching from God, and His message:  and for such as shall rebel against God and his apostle is the fire of Hell! they shall remain therein alway,-for ever!

Until they see their threatened vengeance they will be perverse! but then shall they know which side was the weakest in a protector and the fewest in number.

Say:  I know not whether that with which ye are threatened be nigh, or whether my Lord hath assigned it to a distant day:  He knoweth the secret, nor doth He divulge his secret to any,

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Except to that Apostle who pleaseth Him; and before him and behind him He maketh a guard to march: 

That He may know if his Apostles have verily delivered the messages of their Lord:  and He embraceth in his knowledge all their ways, and taketh count of all that concerneth them.

_______________________

1 This interview with the Djinn took place at Nakhla, probably the “Wady Mohram” of Burckhardt, midway between Mecca and Ta‹ef, when Muhammad was driven from Mecca.  A.D. 620.

SURA LXVII.-THE KINGDOM [LXIII.]

Mecca.- 30 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Blessed be He is whose hand is the kingdom! and over all things is He potent: 

Who hath created death and life to prove which of you will be most righteous in deed; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving!

Who hath created seven Heavens one above another:  No defect canst thou see in the creation of the God of Mercy:  Repeat the gaze:  seest thou a single flaw?

Then twice more repeat the gaze:  thy gaze shall return to thee dulled and weary.

Moreover we have decked the lowest heaven with lights, and have placed them there to be hurled at the Satans, for whom we have prepared the torment of the flaming fire.

And for those who believe not in their Lord is the torment of Hell; and horrid the journey thither!

When they shall be thrown into it, they shall hear it braying:1 and it shall boil-

Almost shall it burst for fury.  So oft as a crowd shall be thrown into it, its keepers shall ask them, “Came not the warner to you?”

They shall say, Yes! there came to us one charged with warnings; but we treated him as a liar, and said, “Nothing hath God sent down:  ye are in nothing but a vast delusion.”

And they shall say, “Had we but hearkened or understood, we had not been among the dwellers in the flames;”

And their sin shall they acknowledge:  but, “Avaunt, ye dwellers in the flame.”

But pardon and a great reward for those who fear their Lord in secret!

Be your converse hidden or open, He truly knoweth the inmost recess of your breasts!

What! shall He not know who hath created? for He is the Subtil,2 the Cognizant.

It is He who hath made the earth level for you:  traverse then its broad sides, and eat of what He hath provided.-Unto Him shall be the resurrection.

What! are ye sure that He who is in Heaven will not cleave the Earth beneath you?  And lo, it shall quake.

Or are ye sure that He who is in Heaven will not send against you a stone-charged whirlwind?  Then shall ye know what my warning meant!

And verily, those who flourish before you treated their prophets as liars:  and how grievous my wrath!

Behold they not the birds over their heads, outstretching and drawing in their wings?  None, save the God of Mercy, upholdeth them:  for he regardeth all things.

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Who is he that can be as an army to you, to succour you, except the God of Mercy?  Truly, the infidels are in the merest delusion.

Or who is he that will furnish you supplies, if He withhold His supplies?  Yet do they persist in pride and in fleeing from Him!

Is he who goeth along grovelling on his face, better guided than he who goeth upright on a straight path?

Say:  It is He who hath brought you forth, and gifted you with hearing and sight and heart:  yet how few are grateful!

Say:  It is He who hath sown you in the earth, and to Him shall ye be gathered.

And they say, “When shall this threat be put in force, if ye speak the truth?”

Say:  Nay truly, this knowledge is with God alone:  and I am only an open warner.

But when they shall see it nigh, sad shall wax the countenances of the infidels:  and it shall be said, “This is what ye have been calling for.”

Say:  What think ye?  Whether God destroy me or not, and those who follow me, or whether he have mercy on us, yet who will protect the infidels from a woeful torment?

Say:  He is the God of Mercy:  in Him do we believe, and in Him put we our trust; and ye shall know hereafter who is in a manifest error.

Say:  What think ye?  If at early morn your waters shall have sunk away, who then will give you clear running water?

_______________________

1 Thus Shakespeare uses the word braying of clamours of Hell; and Milton speaks of braying horrible discord.  Comp.  Sura xxv. 12-21.

2 Der alles durchdringt.  Ullm.; perspicax.  Mar.; sagacious.  Sale.  The primary meaning of the Arabic root is to draw near; hence the above signification, in the sense of God’s presence as interpenetrating all things:  hence also the other sense of benign, as in Sura [lxxxiii.] xlii. 18.

SURA XXIII.-THE BELIEVERS [LXIV.]

Mecca.1-118 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Happy now the believers,

Who humble them in their prayer,

And who keep aloof from vain words,2

And who are doers of alms deeds,

And who restrain their appetites,

(Save with their wives, or the slaves whom their right hands possess:  for in that case they shall be free from blame: 

But they whose desires reach further than this are transgressors:)

And who tend well their trusts and their covenants,

And who keep them strictly to their prayers: 

These shall be the heritors,

Who shall inherit the paradise, to abide therein for ever.

Now of fine clay have we created man: 

Then we placed him, a moist germ,3 in a safe abode;

Then made we the moist germ a clot of blood:  then made the clotted blood into a piece of flesh; then made the piece of flesh into bones:  and we clothed the bones with flesh:  then brought forth man of yet another make4-Blessed therefore be God, the most excellent of Makers5-

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Then after this ye shall surely die: 

Then shall ye be waked up on the day of resurrection.

And we have created over you seven heavens:6-and we are not careless of the creation.

And we send down water from the Heaven in its due degree, and we cause it to settle on the earth;-and we have power for its withdrawal:-

And by it we cause gardens of palm trees, and vineyards to spring forth for you, in which ye have plenteous fruits, and whereof ye eat;

And the tree that groweth up on Mount Sinai; which yieldeth oil and a juice for those who eat.

And there is a lesson for you in the cattle:  We give you to drink of what is in their bellies, and many advantages do ye derive from them, and for food they serve you;

And on them and on ships are ye borne.

We sent Noah heretofore unto his people, and he said, “O my people! serve
God:  ye have no other God than He:  will ye not therefore fear Him?

But the chiefs of the people who believed not said, “This is but a man like yourselves:  he fain would raise himself above you:  but had it pleased God to send, He would have sent angels:  We heard not of this with our sires of old;-

Verily he is but a man possessed; leave him alone therefore for a time.”

He said, “O my Lord! help me against their charge of imposture.”

So we revealed unto him, “Make the ark under our eye, and as we have taught, and when our doom shall come on, and the earth’s surface shall boil up,7

Carry into it of every kind a pair, and thy family, save him on whom sentence hath already passed:  and plead not with me for the wicked, for they shall be drowned.

And when thou, and they who shall be with thee, shall go up into the ark; say, ‘Praise be unto God, who hath rescued us from the wicked folk.’

And say, ’O my Lord! disembark me with a blessed disembarking:  for thou art the best to disembark."’

Verily in this were signs, and verily we made proof of man.

We then raised up other generations after them;

And we sent among them an apostle from out themselves, with, “Worship ye God! ye have no other God than He:  will ye not therefore fear Him?”

And the chiefs of His people who believed not, and who deemed the meeting with us in the life to come to be a lie, and whom we had richly supplied in this present life, said, “This is but a man like yourselves; he eateth of what ye eat,

And he drinketh of what ye drink: 

And if ye obey a man like yourselves, then ye will surely be undone.

What! doth he foretell you, that after ye shall be dead and become dust and bones, ye shall be brought forth?

Away, away with his predictions!

There is no life beyond our present life; we die, and we live, and we shall not be quickened again!

This is merely a man who forgeth a lie about God:  and we will not believe him.”

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He said, “O my Lord! help me against this charge of imposture.”

He said, “Yet a little, and they will soon repent them!”

Then did the shout of the destroying angel in justice surprise them, we made them like leaves swept down by a torrent.  Away then with the wicked people!

Then raised we up other generations after them-

Neither too soon, nor too late, shall a people reach its appointed time-

Then sent we our apostles one after another.  Oft as their apostle presented himself to a nation, they treated him as a liar; and we caused one nation to follow another; and we made them the burden of a tale.  Away then with the people who believe not!

Then sent we Moses and his brother Aaron, with our signs and manifest power,

To Pharaoh and his princes; but they behaved them proudly, for they were a haughty people.

And they said, “Shall we believe on two men like ourselves, whose people are our slaves?”

And they treated them both as impostors; wherefore they became of the destroyed.

And we gave Moses the Book for Israel’s guidance.

And we appointed the Son of Mary, and His mother for a sign; and we prepared an abode for both in a lofty spot,8 quiet, and watered with springs.

“O ye apostles! eat of things that are good:  and do that which is right:  of your doings I am cognisant.

And truly this your religion is the one religion;9 and I am your Lord:  therefore fear me.”

But men have rent their great concern, one among another, into sects; every party rejoicing in that which is their own;

Wherefore leave them till a certain time, in their depths of error.

What! think they that what we largely, bestow on them of wealth and children,

We hasten to them for their good?  Nay, they have no knowledge.

But they who are awed with the dread of their Lord,

And who believe in the signs of their Lord,

And who join no other gods with their Lord,

And who give that which they give with hearts thrilled with dread because they must return unto their Lord,

These hasten after good, and are the first to win it.

We will not burden a soul beyond its power:  and with us is a book, which speaketh the truth; and they shall not be wronged: 

But as to this Book, their hearts are plunged in error, and their works are far other than those of Muslims, and they will work those works,

Until when we lay hold on their affluent ones with punishment; lo! they cry for help: 

-"Cry not for help this day, for by Us ye shall not be succoured: 

Long since were my signs rehearsed to you, but ye turned back on your heels,

Puffed up with pride, discoursing foolishly by night.”

Do they not then heed the things spoken-whether that hath come to them which came not to their fathers of old?

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Or do they not recognise their apostle; and therefore disavow him?

Or say they, “A Djinn is in him?” Nay! he hath come to them with the truth; but the truth do most of them abhor.

But if the truth had followed in the train of their desires, the heavens and the earth, and all that therein is, had surely come to ruin!  But we have brought them their warning; and from their warning they withdraw.

Dost thou ask them for remuneration?  But, remuneration from thy Lord is best; and He is the best provider.

And thou indeed biddest them to the right path;

But verily they who believe not in the life to come, from that path do surely wander!

And if we had taken compassion on them, and relieved them from their trouble, they would have plunged on in their wickedness, wildly wandering.10

We formerly laid hold on them with chastisement, yet they did not humble them to their Lord, nor did they abase them;

Until, when we have opened upon them the door of a severe punishment, lo! they are in despair at it.

It is He who hath implanted in you hearing, and sight, and heart; how few of you give thanks!

It is He who hath caused you to be born on the earth:  and unto Him shall ye be gathered.

And it is He who maketh alive and killeth, and of Him is the change of the night and of the day:  Will ye not understand?

But they say, as said those of old:-

They say,"What!  When we shall be dead, and have become dust and bones, shall we, indeed, be waked to life?

This have we been promised, we and our fathers aforetime:  but it is only fables of the ancients.”

Say:  Whose is the earth, and all that is therein;-if ye know?

They will answer, “God’s.”  Say:  Will ye not, then reflect?

Say:  Who is the Lord of the seven heavens, and the Lord of the glorious throne?

They will say, “They are God’s”.  Say:  Will ye not, then, fear Him?

Say:  In whose hand is the empire of all things, who protecteth but is not protected? if ye know: 

They will answer, “In God’s.”  Say:  How, then, can ye be so spell-bound?

Yea, we have brought them the truth; but they are surely liars: 

God hath not begotten offspring; neither is there any other God with Him:  else had each god assuredly taken away that which he had created,11 and some had assuredly uplifted themselves above others!  Far from the glory of God, be what they affirm of Him!

He knoweth alike the unseen and the seen:  far be He uplifted above the gods whom they associate with Him!

Say:  O my Lord!  If thou wilt let me witness the infliction of that with which they have been threatened!

O my Lord! place me not among the ungodly people.

Verily, we are well able to make thee see the punishment with which we have threatened them.

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Turn aside evil with that which is better:  we best know what they utter against thee.

And say:  “O my Lord!  I betake me to Thee, against the promptings of the Satans: 

And I betake me to Thee, O my Lord! that they gain no hurtful access to me.”

When death overtaketh one of the wicked, he saith, “Lord, send me back again,

That I may do the good which I have left undone."12 “By no means.”  These are the very words which he shall speak: 

But behind them shall be a barrier, until the day when they shall be raised again.

And when the trumpet shall be sounded, the ties of kindred between them shall cease on that day; neither shall they ask each other’s help.

They whose balances shall be heavy, shall be the blest.

But they whose balances shall be light,-these are they who shall lose their souls, abiding in hell for ever: 

The fire shall scorch their faces, and their lips shall quiver therein:-

-"What!  Were not my signs rehearsed unto you? and did ye not treat them as lies?”

They shall say, “O our Lord! our ill-fortune prevailed against us, and we became an erring people.

O our Lord!  Bring us forth hence:  if we go back again to our sins, we shall indeed be evil doers.”

He will say; “Be ye driven down into it; and, address me not.”

A part truly of my servants was there, who said, “O our Lord! we believe:  forgive us, then, and be merciful to us, for of the merciful art thou the best.”

But ye received them with such scoffs that they suffered you to forget my warning, and ye laughed them to scorn.

Verily this day will I reward then, for their patient endurance:  the blissful ones shall they be!

He will say, “What number of years tarried ye on earth?”

They will say, “We tarried a day, or part of a day;13 but ask the recording angels."14

God will say, “Short indeed was the time ye tarried, if that ye knew it.

What!  Did ye then think that we had created you for pastime, and that ye should not be brought back again to us?” Wherefore let God be exalted, the King, the Truth!  There is no god but He!  Lord of the stately throne!  And whoso, together with God, shall call on another god, for whom he hath no proof, shall surely have to give account to his Lord.  Aye, it shall fare ill with the infidels.

And say:  “O my Lord, pardon, and have mercy; for of those who show mercy, art thou the best.”

_______________________

1 This Sura is said by Wahidi Intr, and by Assuyûti, 55, to be the last Meccan revelation.  But there seems to be no reason for this opinion.

2 In prayer.  Eccl. v.  I; Matt. vi. 7.  But it may be understood of idle talk generally.

3 See Sura xxii. 5, n.

4 That is, a perfect man at last, composed of soul and body.  The verb halaka, to create, is used throughout, for which I have necessarily substituted to make, in order to retain the same word throughout the verse.

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5 These words are said by most commentators on Sura vi. 93, to have been uttered by Muhammad’s scribe, Abdallah, on hearing the previous part of this verse, and to have been adopted by the prophet, at the same moment, as identical with his own inspirations.

6 Lit. seven paths-a Talmudic expression.

7 See Sura [lxxv.] xi. 42, n.

8 Comp.  Sura xix. 22 ff., p. 119.  Wahl understands this passage of Paradise.

9 Comp.  Sura xxi. 92, p. 157.

10 There is no reliable tradition as to the nature of the visitation here alluded to.

11 That is, each would have formed a separate and independent kingdom.

12 Or, in the (world) which I have left.

13 That is, our past life seems brevity itself in comparison with eternal torment.

14 Lit. those who number, or keep account, i.e. our torments distract us too much to allow us to compute.

SURA XXI.-THE PROPHETS [LXV.]

Mecca.-112 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

This people’s reckoning hath drawn nigh, yet, sunk in carelessness, they turn aside.

Every fresh warning that cometh to them from their Lord they only hear to mock it,-

Their hearts set on lusts:  and they who have done this wrong say in secret discourse, “Is He more than a man like yourselves?  What! will ye, with your eyes open,1 accede to sorcery?”

Say:  “My Lord knoweth what is spoken in the heaven and on the earth:  He is the Hearer, the Knower.”

“Nay,” say they, “it is the medley of dreams:  nay, he hath forged it:  nay, he is a poet:  let him come to us with a sign as the prophets of old were sent.”

Before their time, none of the cities which we have destroyed, believed:  will these men, then, believe?

And we sent none, previous to thee, but men to whom we had revealed ourselves.  Ask ye the people who are warned by Scriptures,2 if ye know it not.

We gave them not bodies which could dispense with food:  and they were not to live for ever.

Then made we good our promise to them; and we delivered them and whom we pleased, and we destroyed the transgressors.

And now have we sent down to you “the book,” in which is your warning:  What, will ye not then understand?

And how many a guilty city have we broken down, and raised up after it other peoples: 

And when they felt our vengeance, lo! they fled from it.

“Flee not,” said the angels in mockery, “but come back to that wherein ye revelled, and to your abodes!  Questions will haply be put to you.”

They said, “Oh, woe to us!  Verily we have been evil doers.”

And this ceased not to be their cry, until we made them like reaped corn, extinct.

We created not the heaven and the earth, and what is between them, for sport: 

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Had it been our wish to find a pastime, we had surely found it in ourselves;- if to do so had been our will.

Nay, we will hurl the truth at falsehood, and it shall smite it, and lo! it shall vanish.  But woe be to you for what ye utter of God!

All beings in the heaven and on the earth are His:  and they who are in his presence disdain not his service, neither are they wearied: 

They praise Him night and day:  they rest not.3

Have they taken gods from the earth who can quicken the dead?

Had there been in either heaven or earth gods besides God, both surely had gone to ruin.  But glory be to God, the Lord of the throne, beyond what they utter!

He shall not be asked of his doings, but they shall be asked.

Have they taken other gods beside Him?  Say; Bring forth your proofs that they are gods.  This is the warning of those who are with me, and the warning of those who were before me:  but most of them know not the truth, and turn aside.

No apostle have we sent before thee to whom we did not reveal that “Verily there is no God beside me:  therefore worship me.”

Yet they say, “The God of Mercy hath begotten issue from the angels.”  Glory be to Him!  Nay, they are but His honoured servants: 

They speak not till He hath spoken;4 and they do His bidding.

He knoweth what is before them and what is behind them; and no plea shall they offer

Save for whom He pleaseth; and they tremble for fear of Him.

And that angel among them who saith “I am a god beside Him,” will we recompense with hell:  in such sort will we recompense the offenders.

Do not the infidels see that the heavens and the earth were both a solid mass, and that we clave them asunder, and that by means of water we give life to everything?  Will they not then believe?

And we set mountains on the earth lest it should move with them, and we made on it broad passages between them as routes for their guidance;

And we made the heaven a roof strongly upholden; yet turn they away from its signs.

And He it is who hath created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, each moving swiftly in its sphere.

At no time5 have we granted to man a life that shall last for ever:  if thou then die, shall they live for ever?

Every soul shall taste of death:6 and for trial will we prove you with evil and with good; and unto Us shall ye be brought back.

And when the infidels see thee they receive thee only with scoffs:-"What! is this he who maketh such mention of your gods?” Yet when mention is made to them of the God of Mercy, they believe not.

“Man,” say they, “is made up of haste."7 But I will shew you my signs:8 desire them not then to be hastened.

They say, “When will this threat be made good?  Tell us, if ye be men of truth?”

Did the infidels but know the time when they shall not be able to keep the fire of hell from their faces or from their backs, neither shall they be helped!

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But it shall come on them suddenly and shall confound them; and they shall not be able to put it back, neither shall they be respited.

Other apostles have been scoffed at before thee:  but that doom at which they mocked encompassed the scoffers.

Say:  Who shall protect you by night and by day from the God of Mercy?  Yet turn they away from the warning of their Lord.

Have they gods beside Us who can defend them?  For their own succour have they no power; neither shall the gods they join with God screen them from Us.

Yes! we have given these men and their fathers enjoyments so long as their life lasted.  What! see they not that we come to a land and straiten its borders9 Is it they who are the conquerors?

Say:  I only warn you of what hath been revealed to me:  but the deaf will not hear the call, whenever they are warned;

Yet if a breath of thy Lord’s chastisement touch them, they will assuredly say, “Oh! woe to us! we have indeed been offenders.”

Just balances will we set up for the day of the resurrection, neither shall any soul be wronged in aught; though, were a work but the weight of a grain of mustard seed, we would bring it forth to be weighed:  and our reckoning will suffice.

We gave of old to Moses and Aaron the illumination,10 and a light and a warning for the God-fearing,

Who dread their Lord in secret, and who tremble for “the Hour.”

And this Koran which we have sent down is a blessed warning:  will ye then disown it?

Of old we gave unto Abraham his direction,11 for we knew him worthy.

When he said to his Father and to his people, “What are these images to which ye are devoted?”

They said, “We found our fathers worshipping them.”

He said, “Truly ye and your fathers have been in a plain mistake.”

They said, “Hast thou come unto us in earnest? or art thou of those who jest?”

He said, “Nay, your Lord is Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, who hath created them both; and to this am I one of those who witness: 

-And, by God, I will certainly lay a plot against your idols, after ye shall have retired and turned your backs.”

So, he broke them all in pieces, except the chief of them, that to it they might return, inquiring.

They said, “Who hath done this to our gods?  Verily he is one of the unjust.”

They said, “We heard a youth make mention of them:  they call him Abraham.”

They said, “Then bring him before the people’s eyes, that they may witness against him.”

They said, “Hast thou done this to our gods, O Abraham?”

He said, “Nay, that their chief hath done it:  but ask ye them, if they can speak.”

So they turned their thoughts upon themselves, and said, “Ye truly are the impious persons:” 

Then became headstrong in their former error12 and exclaimed,"Thou knowest that these speak not.”

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He said, “What! do ye then worship, instead of God, that which doth not profit you at all, nor injure you?  Fie on you and on that ye worship instead of God!  What! do ye not then understand?”

They said:13 “Burn him, and come to the succour of your gods:  if ye will do anything at all.”

We said, “O fire! be thou cold, and to Abraham a safety!"14

And they sought to lay a plot against him, but we made them the sufferers.

And we brought him and Lot in safety to the land which we have blessed for all human beings: 

And we gave him Isaac and Jacob as a farther gift, and we made all of them righteous: 

We also made them models who should guide others by our command, and we inspired them with good deeds and constancy in prayer and almsgiving, and they worshipped us.

And unto Lot we gave wisdom, and knowledge; and we rescued him from the city which wrought filthiness; for they were a people, evil, perverse: 

And we caused him to enter into our mercy, for he was of the righteous.

And remember Noah when aforetime he cried to us and we heard him, and delivered him and his family from the great calamity;

And we helped him against the people who treated our signs as impostures.  An evil people verily were they, and we drowned them all.

And David and Solomon; when they gave judgment concerning a field when some people’s sheep had caused a waste therein; and we were witnesses of their judgment.

And we gave Solomon insight into the affair; and on both of them we bestowed wisdom and knowledge.  And we constrained the mountains and the birds to join with David in our praise:  Our doing was it!

And we taught David the art of making mail15 for you, to defend you from each other’s violence:  will ye therefore be thankful?

And to Solomon we subjected we subjected the strongly blowing wind; it sped at his bidding to the land we had blessed; for we know all things: 

And sundry Satans16 who should dive for him and perform other work beside:  and we kept watch over them.

And remember Job:  When he cried to his Lord, “Truly evil hath touched me:  but thou art the most merciful of those who shew mercy.”

So we heard him, and lightened the burden of his woe; and we gave him back his family, and as many more with them,-a mercy from us, and a memorial for those who serve us: 

And Ismael, and Edris17 and Dhoulkefl18-all steadfast in patience.

And we caused them to enter into our mercy; for they were of the righteous: 

And Dhoulnoun;19 when he went on his way in anger, and thought that we had no power over him.  But in the darkness he cried “There is no God but thou:  Glory be unto Thee!  Verily, I have been one of the evil doers:” 

So we heard him and rescued him from misery:  for thus rescue we the faithful: 

And Zacharias; when he called upon his Lord saying, “O my Lord, leave me not childless:  but there is no better heir than Thyself."20

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So we heard him, and gave him John, and we made his wife fit for child-bearing.  Verily, these vied in goodness, and called upon us with love and fear, and humbled themselves before us: 

And her who kept her maidenhood, and into whom21 we breathed of our spirit, and made her and her son a sign to all creatures.

Of a truth, this, your religion, is the one22 Religion, and I your Lord; therefore serve me: 

But they have rent asunder this their great concern among themselves into sects.  All of them shall return to us.

And whoso shall do the things that are right, and be a believer, his efforts shall not be disowned:  and surely will we write them down for him.

There is a ban on every city which we shall have destroyed, that they shall not rise again,

Until a way is opened for Gog and Magog,23 and they shall hasten from every high land,

And this sure promise shall draw on.  And lo! the eyes of the infidels shall stare amazedly; and they shall say, “Oh, our misery! of this were we careless! yea, we were impious persons.”

Verily, ye, and what ye worship beside God,24 shall be fuel for hell:  ye shall go down into it.

Were these gods, they would not go down into it; but they shall all abide in it for ever.

Therein shall they groan; but nought therein shall they hear to comfort them.

But they for whom we have before ordained good things, shall be far away from it: 

Its slightest sound they shall not hear:  in what their souls longed for, they shall abide for ever: 

The great terror shall not trouble them; and the angel shall meet them with, “This is your day which ye were promised.”

On that day we will roll up the heaven as one rolleth up25 written scrolls.  As we made the first creation, so will we bring it forth again.  This promise bindeth us; verily, we will perform it.

And now, since the Law was given, have we written in the Psalms that “my servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth."26

Verily, in this Koran is teaching for those who serve God.

We have not sent thee otherwise than as mercy unto all creatures.

Say:  Verily it hath been revealed to me that your God is one God; are ye then resigned to Him? (Muslims.)

But if they turn their backs, then say:  I have warned you all alike; but I know not whether that with which ye are threatened be nigh or distant.

God truly knoweth what is spoken aloud, and He also knoweth that which ye hide.

And I know not whether haply this delay be not for your trial, and that ye may enjoy yourselves for a time.

My Lord saith:  Judge ye with truth; for our Lord is the God of Mercy-whose help is to be sought against what ye utter.

_______________________

1 Lit. while ye see it to be such.

2 Lit. the people or family of the admonition.  Itq. 34 considers this verse to have been revealed at Medina.

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3 Or, they invent not (concerning Him).  Comp.  Rev. iv. 8.

4 Lit. they precede him not in speech.

5 Lit. before thee, which might seem to imply that the grant of immortality had been made to Muhammad.  I have therefore rendered, as in the text, to avoid the ambiguity.  Comp.  Suras [xcvii.] iii. 182; [lxxxi.] xxix. 57, and Weil’s Life of Mohammad, p. 350.

6 Comp.  Matt. xvi. 28; Heb. ii. 9.  Hist.  Josephi Fabr.  Lign. c. 22 at the end.

7 See the index under the word Man.  The Rabbins teach that man was created with innate evil propensities.  See Schr der’s Talm.  Rabb.- Judenthum, p. 378. 8 That is, my teaching as to the future lot of the infidels, etc.

9 Muhammad appeals to the rapid progress of Islam as a proof of his divine mission.

10 Ar. furquan-a derived by Muhammad from the Jews, constantly used in the Talmud, and meaning as in Syr. and Æth. deliverance, liberation.  Thus, Sura viii. 29, 42, and hence, illumination, revelation, generally.  The usual interpretation here and in other passages is the distinction, i.e. between good and evil, lawful and unlawful.  The title is applied to the Koran and Pentateuch alike.

11 This story is taken in part verbatim from Midr.  Rabbah on Gen. par. 17.  See also Schalscheleth Hakabala, 2; Maimon de Idol. ch. 1; and Yad Hachazakah, vii. 6, who makes Abraham-in his 40th year-renounce star-worship, break images, escape the wrath of the king by a miracle, and preach that there is one God of the whole universe.

12 Lit. sie neigten sich nach ihren Kopfen.  They were turned down upon their heads.  Ullm. and Sale in notes.  But Ullm. in the text, verfielen sie wieder in ihren Aberglauben.

13 The Rabbins make Nimrod to have been the persecutor of Abraham.  Comp.  Targ.  Jon. on Gen. xv. 7.  Tr.  Bava Bathra, fol. 91 a.  Maimon.  More Nevochim, iii. 29.  Weil, Legenden, p. 74.

14 Or, let peace be upon Abraham.  Comp.  Targ.  Jon. on Gen. xi. 28, from the mistranslation of which this legend took its rise, the word ur in Heb. meaning fire.  See also Targ.  Jon. on.  Gen. xv. 7.  The legend was adopted by some of the Eastern Christians; and commemorated in the Syrian Calendar on Jan. 29. (Hyde de Rel.  V. Pers. 74).  Comp. the Abyssinian Calendar on Jan. 25. (Ludolf.  Hist. p. 409).

15 It has been observed that the blacksmith has ever been looked upon with awe by barbarians on the same principle that made Vulcan a deity.  In Abyssinia all artisans are Budah, sorcerers, especially the blacksmith, and he is a social outcast, as among the Somal; Throughout the rest of El-Islam, the blacksmith is respected as treading in the path of David, the father of the craft.  Burton.  First Footsteps in E. Africa, p. 33.  The numerous wars in which David was engaged, may have given rise to the myth of his being the inventor of mail.

16 See Sura xxxviii. 37, p. 127.

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17 See Sura xix. 55, 6, p. 121.

18 The man of the lot or portion.  Or, of care, support.  According to some Elias, as others say, Isaiah.  It is more probable, however, that he is he Obadiah of 1 Kings xviii. 4, who supported 100 prophets in the cave, or Ezechiel, who is called Kephil by the Arabs.  See Niebuhr, Travels, ii. 265.

19 The man of the fish-Jonah.

20 See Suras [xcvii.] iii. 33; xix. p. 117, for the story of Zacharias in full.  The concluding sentence of this clause is obscure.  It probably means that even if no heir were vouchsafed to Zacharias, yet since God will be the heir of all things he would take Zacharias to himself and thus abundantly recompense him.  See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 58.

21 See Sura [cix.] lxvi. 12.  It is quite clear from these two passages that Muhammad believed in the Immaculate and miraculous conception of Jesus.

22 That is, identical with that of the previous prophets, etc.

23 See Sura [lxix.] xviii. 93.  Thus, the ancient Jewish and Christian legend connects Gog and Magog with the end of the world.  Rev. xx. 8.  Pseudojon on Lev. xxvi. 44.  Comp.  Numb. xi. 27.  Gog, however, is probably the mountain Ghef or Ghogh (see Reinegg’s Beschreib. der Caucasus, ii. 79) and the syllable Ma in Magog, the Sanscrit mah, maha great.

24 “Whenever a people is punished (for idolatry) the beings honoured by them as gods, shall also be punished, for so it is written, on all the gods also of Egypt will I inflict judgments.” (Sakkah, 29.)

25 Ar.  Sidjill, which is supposed by some to be the name of the angel who writes down the actions of every man’s life upon a scroll, which is rolled up at his death (comp.  Isai. xxxiv. 4); by others, to be the name of one of Muhammad’s secretaries.

26 Ps. xxxvii. 29.  This is the only text quoted in the Koran.

SURA XXV.-AL FURKAN [LXVI.]

Mecca.-77 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Blessed be He who hath sent down al Furkan1 (the illumination) on his servant, that to all creatures he may be a warner.

His the Kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth!  No son hath He begotten!  No partner hath He in his Empire!  All things hath He created, and decreeing hath decreed their destinies.

Yet have they adopted gods beside Him which have created nothing, but were themselves created: 

And no power have they over themselves for evil or for good, nor have they power of death, or of life, or of raising the dead.

And the infidels say, “This Koran is a mere fraud of his own devising, and others have helped him with it,2 who had come hither by outrage and lie."3

And they say, “Tales of the ancients that he hath put in writing! and they were dictated to him morn and even.”

Say:  He hath sent it down who knoweth the secrets of the Heavens and of the Earth.  He truly is the Gracious, the Merciful.

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And they say, “What sort of apostle is this?  He eateth food and he walketh the streets!  Unless an angel be sent down and take part in his warnings,

Or a treasure be thrown down to him, or he have a garden that supplieth him with food . . ."4 and those unjust persons say, “Ye follow but a man enchanted.”

See what likenesses they strike out for thee!  But they err, and cannot find their way.

Blessed be He who if he please can give thee better than that of which they speak-Gardens, ’neath which the rivers flow:  and pavilions will He assign thee.

Aye, they have treated the coming of “the Hour” as a lie.  But a flaming fire have we got ready for those who treat the coming of the Hour as a lie.

When it shall see them from afar, they shall hear its raging and roaring,-

And when they shall be flung into a narrow space thereof bound together, they shall invoke destruction on the spot: 

-"Call not this day for one destruction, but call for destructions many.”

Say:  Is this, or the Paradise of Eternity which was promised to the God-fearing, best?  Their recompense shall it be and their retreat;

Abiding therein for ever, they shall have in it all that they desire!  It is a promise to be claimed of thy Lord.

And on the day when he shall gather them together, and those whom they worshipped beside God, he will say, “Was it ye who led these my servants astray, or of themselves strayed they from the path?”

They will say, “Glory be to thee!  It beseemed not us to take other lords than thee.  But thou gavest them and their fathers their fill of good things, till they forgat the remembrance of thee, and became a lost people.”

Then will God say to the Idolaters, “Now have they made you liars in what ye say,5 and they have no power to avert your doom, or to succour you.”

And whosoever of you thus offendeth, we will make him taste a great punishment.

Never have we sent Apostles before thee who ate not common food, and walked not the streets.  And we test you by means of each other.  Will ye be steadfast?  Thy Lord is looking on!

They who look not forward to meet Us say, “If the angels be not sent down to us, or unless we behold our Lord. . . .” Ah! they are proud of heart, and exceed with great excess!

On the day when they shall see the angels, no good news shall there be for the guilty ones, and they shall cry out, “A barrier that cannot be passed!"6

Then will we proceed to the works which they have wrought, and make them as scattered dust.

Happier, on that day, the inmates of the Garden as to abode, and better off as to place of noontide slumber!

On that day shall the heaven with its clouds be cleft, and the angels shall be sent down, descending: 

On that day shall all empire be in very deed with the God of Mercy, and a hard day shall it be for the Infidels.

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And on that day shall the wicked one7 bite his hands, and say, “Oh! would that I had taken the same path with the Apostle!

“Oh! woe is me! would that I had not taken such an one8 for my friend!

It was he who led me astray from the Warning which had reached me! and Satan is man’s betrayer."9

Then said the Apostle, “O my Lord! truly my people have esteemed this Koran to be vain babbling.”

Thus have we given to every Prophet an enemy from among the wicked ones-But thy Lord is a sufficient guide and helper.

And the infidels say, “Unless the Koran be sent down to him all at once. . . .” But in this way would we stablish thy heart by it; in parcels have we parcelled it out to thee;10

Nor shall they come to thee with puzzling questions,11 but we will come to thee with the truth, and their best solution.

They who shall be gathered upon their faces into hell, shall have the worst place, and be farthest from the path of happiness.

Heretofore we gave the law to Moses, and appointed his brother Aaron to be his counsellor:12

And we said, “Go ye to the people who treat our signs as lies.”  And them destroyed we with utter destruction.

And as to the people of Noah! when they treated their Apostles as impostors, we drowned them; and we made them a sign to mankind:-A grievous chastisement have we prepared for the wicked!

And Ad and Themoud, and the men of Rass,13 and divers generations between them: 

Unto each of them did we set forth parables for warnings, and each of them did we utterly exterminate.

Oft are this have the unbelieving Meccans passed by the city on which was rained a fatal rain.  What!  Have they not seen it?  Yet have they no hope of a resurrection!

And when they see thee, they do but take thee as the subject of their railleries.  “What!  Is this he whom God has sent as an Apostle?

Indeed he had well nigh led us astray from our gods, had we not persevered steadfastly in their service.”  But in the end they shall know, when they shall see the punishment, who hath most strayed from the path.

What thinkest thou?  He who hath taken his passions as a god-wilt thou be a guardian over him?

Thinkest thou that the greater part of them hear or understand?  They are just like the brutes!  Yes! they stray even further from the right way.

Hast thou not seen how thy Lord lengtheneth out the shadow?14 Had He pleased he had made it motionless.15 But we made the sun to be its guide;

Then draw it in unto Us with easy indrawing.

He it is who ordaineth the night as a garment, and sleep for rest, and ordaineth the day for waking up to life: 

He it is who sendeth the winds as the forerunner of his mercy (rain); and pure water send we down from Heaven,

That we may revive by it a dead land:  and we give it for drink to our creation, beasts and men in numbers;

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And we distribute it among them on all sides, that they may reflect:  but most men refuse to be aught but thankless.

Had we pleased, we had raised up a warner in every city.

Give not way therefore to the Infidels, but by means of this Koran strive against them with a mighty strife.

And He it is who hath let loose the two seas,16 the one sweet, fresh; and the other salt, bitter; and hath put an interspace between them, and a barrier that cannot be passed.

And it is He who hath created man of water,17 and established between them the ties of kindred and affinity:  and potent is thy Lord.

Yet beside God do they worship what can neither help nor hurt them:  and the Infidel is Satan’s helper against his Lord: 

Still we have sent thee only as a herald and a warner.

Say:  I ask of you no recompense for it,18 except from him who is willing to take the way to his Lord.

And put thou thy trust in Him that liveth and dieth not, and celebrate his praise; (He fully knoweth the faults of his servants) who in six days created the Heavens and the Earth, and whatever is between them, then mounted his Throne:  the God of Mercy!  Ask now of the Wise concerning Him.

But when it is said to them, “Bow down before the God of Mercy,” they say, “Who is the God of Mercy?  Shall we bow down to what thou biddest?” And they fly from thee the more.

Blessed be He who hath placed in the Heaven the sign of the Zodiac!19 who hath placed in it the Lamp of the Sun, and the light-giving Moon!

And it is He who hath ordained the night and the day to succeed one another for those who desire to think on God or desire to be thankful.

And the servants of the God of Mercy are they who walk upon the Earth softly; and when the ignorant20 address them, they reply, “Peace!”

They that pass the night in the worship of their lord prostrate and standing:-

And that say, “O our Lord! turn away from us the torment of Hell, for its torment is endless:  it is indeed an ill abode and resting place!

Those who when they spend are neither lavish nor niggard, but keep the mean:-

Those who call on no other gods with God, nor slay whom God hath forbidden to be slain, except for a just cause, and who commit not fornication (for he who doth this shall meet the reward of his wickedness: 

Doubled to him shall be the torment on the day of Resurrection; and in it shall he remain, disgraced, for ever:-

Save those who shall repent and believe and do righteous works-for them God will change their evil things into good things, for God is Gracious, Merciful-

And whose turneth to God and doeth what is right, he verily will convert with a true conversion): 

And they who bear not witness to that which is false, and when they pass by frivolous sport, pass on with dignity:-

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And they who, when monished by the signs of their Lord, fall not down thereat, as if deaf and blind:-

And who say, “O our Lord! give us in our wives and offspring the joy of our eyes, and make us examples to those who fear thee:” 

These shall be rewarded with the High Places of Paradise for their steadfast endurance, and they shall meet therein with-Welcome and Salutation:-

For ever shall they remain therein:  a fair abode and resting-place!

Say:  Not on your account doth my Lord care if ye call not on Him! ye have treated his Apostle as an impostor:  but bye and bye a punishment shall cleave to them.

_______________________

1 See Sura [lxv.] xxi. 49.

2 Comp.  Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 105.  The frequency with which Muhammad feels it necessary to rebut this charge by mere denial is strongly indicative of its truth.

3 “The meaning may possibly be that the teachers of Muhammad were persons who had taken refuge in Arabia for offences and heresies.”  Sprenger, Life of M. p. 96, n.  Or, but they utter an injustice and a falsehood.  Nöldeke combats Dr. Sprenger’s supposition that “Tales of the ancients” (verse 6) is a book.  Hist. of Qoran, p. 13.

4 Supply, we will not believe.

5 In your ascriptions of divinity to them.  Beidh.

6 Or, far, far be they removed.  The same words occur at the end of verse 55.  The Commentators doubt whether they are spoken by the wicked of the impossibility of their attaining Paradise, or by the angels to the wicked.

7 Said by Beidh. to be the polytheist Okbeh, the son of Abu Mo’eyt, who by Muhammad’s persuasion professed Islam, but afterwards retracted to please Ubei ben Khalaf.  See Gagnier’s Vie de Mahom. i. 362.

8 Ar. fulani (whence the Spanish fulano) identical with the Heb. p. 155, used of a person only in Ruth iv. 1, but by the Rabbinic writers, constantly.

9 Or, abandoner.

10 This verse shews that the Koran was of gradual growth in the time of Muhammad himself.

11 Lit. parables.

12 Lit. vizier.

13 It is uncertain whether Rass is the name of a city in Yemama; or merely, as some interpret it, of a well near Midian; or, according to others, in the territory of Hadramont.

14 Geiger is mistaken in supposing that this passage alludes to 2 Kings xx. 9 12, and his translation is inaccurate.

15 Lit. quiescent, i.e. always the same.

16 According to some commentators, Muhammad here speaks of the waters of the Tigris, which do not mingle with the salt water of the sea till they have reached a considerable distance from the river-mouth.  See Zech. xiv. 8.

17 See Sura [cv.] xxiv. 44, n.

18 “Thou art taught that whoever would make a profit by the Law depriveth himself of life.”  Pirke Aboth, i. 4.  This precept is of frequent occurrence in the Talmud.

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19 Comp.  Sura [xc.] xiii. 29; and the following Sura xvii. 109, n.

20 The idolaters.

SURA XVII.-THE NIGHT JOURNEY [LXVII.]

Mecca.1-111 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Glory be to Him who carried his servant by night2 from the sacred temple of Mecca to the temple3 that is more remote, whose precinct we have blessed, that we might shew him of our signs! for He is the Hearer, the Seer.

And4 we gave the Book to Moses and ordained it for guidance to the children of Israel-"that ye take no other Guardian than me.”

O posterity of those whom we bare with Noah!  He truly was a grateful servant!

And we solemnly declared to the children of Israel in the Book, “Twice surely will ye enact crimes in the earth, and with great loftiness of pride will ye surely be uplifted.”

So when the menace for the first crime5 came to be inflicted, we sent against you our servants endued with terrible prowess; and they searched the inmost part of your abodes, and the menace was accomplished.

Then we gave you the mastery over them6 in turn, and increased you in wealth and children, and made you a most numerous host.

We said, “If ye do well, to your own behoof will ye do well:  and if ye do evil, against yourselves will ye do it.  And when the menace for your latter crime7 came to be inflicted, then we sent an enemy to sadden your faces, and to enter the temple as they entered it at first, and to destroy with utter destruction that which they had conquered.

Haply your Lord will have mercy on you! but if ye return, we will return:8 and we have appointed Hell-the prison of the infidels.

Verily, this Koran guideth to what is most upright; and it announceth to believers

Who do the things that are right, that for them is a great reward;

And that for those who believe not in the life to come, we have got ready a painful punishment.

Man prayeth for evil as he prayeth for good; for man is hasty.

We have made the night and the day for two signs:  the sign of the night do we obscure, but the sign of the day cause we to shine forth, that ye may seek plenty from your Lord, and that ye may know the number of the years and the reckoning of time; and we have made everything distinct by distinctiveness.

And every man’s fate9 have we fastened about his neck:  and on the day of resurrection will we bring forth to him a book which shall be proffered to him wide open: 

-"Read thy Book:10 there needeth none but thyself to make out an account against thee this day.”

For his own good only shall the guided yield to guidance, and to his own loss only shall the erring err; and the heavy laden shall not be laden with another’s load.  We never punished until we had first sent an apostle: 

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And when we willed to destroy a city, to its affluent ones did we address our bidding; but when they acted criminally therein, just was its doom, and we destroyed it with an utter destruction.

And since Noah, how many nations have we exterminated!  And of the sins of his servants thy Lord is sufficiently informed, observant.

Whoso chooseth this quickly passing life, quickly will we bestow therein that which we please-even on him we choose; afterward we will appoint hell for him, in which he shall burn-disgraced, outcast: 

But whoso chooseth the next life, and striveth after it as it should be striven for, being also a believer,-these! their striving shall be grateful to God: 

To all-both to these and those-will we prolong the gifts of thy Lord; for not to any shall the gifts of thy Lord be denied.

See how we have caused some of them to excel others! but the next life shall be greater in its grades, and greater in excellence.

Set not up another god with God, lest thou sit thee down disgraced, helpless.11

Thy Lord hath ordained that ye worship none but him; and, kindness to your parents, whether one or both of them attain to old age with thee:  and say not to them, “Fie!” neither reproach them; but speak to them both with respectful speech;

And defer humbly to them12 out of tenderness; and say, “Lord, have compassion on them both, even as they reared me when I was little.”

Your Lord well knoweth what is in your souls; he knoweth whether ye be righteous: 

And gracious is He to those who return to Him.

And to him who is of kin render his due, and also to the poor and to the wayfarer; yet waste not wastefully,

For the wasteful are brethren of the Satans, and Satan was ungrateful to his Lord: 

But if thou turn away from them, while thou thyself seekest boons from thy Lord for which thou hopest, at least speak to them with kindly speech: 

And let not thy hand be tied up to thy neck; nor yet open it with all openness, lest thou sit thee down in rebuke, in beggary.

Verily, thy Lord will provide with open hand for whom he pleaseth, and will be sparing.  His servants doth he scan, inspect.

Kill not your children for fear of want:13 for them and for you will we provide.  Verily, the killing them is a great wickedness.

Have nought to do with adultery; for it is a foul thing and an evil way: 

Neither slay any one whom God hath forbidden you to slay, unless for a just cause:  and whosoever shall be slain wrongfully, to his heir14 have we given powers; but let him not outstep bounds in putting the manslayer to death, for he too, in his turn, will be assisted and avenged.

And touch not the substance of the orphan, unless in an upright way, till he attain his age of strength:  And perform your covenant; verily the covenant shall be enquired of: 

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And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with just balance.  This will be better, and fairest for settlement: 

And follow not that of which thou hast no knowledge;15 because the hearing and the sight and the heart,-each of these shall be enquired of: 

And walk not proudly on the earth, for thou canst not cleave the earth, neither shalt thou reach to the mountains in height: 

All this is evil; odious to thy Lord.

This is a part of the wisdom which thy Lord hath revealed to thee.  Set not up any other god with God, lest thou be cast into Hell, rebuked, cast away.

What! hath your Lord prepared sons for you, and taken for himself daughters from among the angels?  Indeed, ye say a dreadful saying.

Moreover, for man’s warning have we varied16 this Koran:  Yet it only increaseth their flight from it.

Say:  If, as ye affirm, there were other gods with Him, they would in that case seek occasion against the occupant of the throne: 

Glory to Him!  Immensely high is He exalted above their blasphemies!

The seven heavens17 praise him, and the earth, and all who are therein; neither is there aught which doth not celebrate his praise; but their utterances of praise ye understand not.  He is kind, indulgent.

When thou recitest the Koran we place between thee and those who believe not in the life to come, a dark veil;

And we put coverings over their hearts lest they should understand it, and in their ears a heaviness;

And when in the Koran thou namest thy One Lord, they turn their backs in flight.

We well know why they hearken, when they hearken unto thee, and when they whisper apart; when the wicked say, “Ye follow no other than a man enchanted.”

See what likenesses they strike out for thee!  But they are in error, neither can they find the path.

They also say, “After we shall have become bones and dust, shall we in sooth be raised a new creation?”

Say:  “Yes, though ye were stones, or iron, or any other creature, to your seeming, yet harder to be raised.”  But they will say, “Who shall bring us back?” Say:  “He who created you at first.”  And they will wag their heads at thee, and say, “When shall this be?” Say:  “Haply it is nigh.”

On that day shall God call you forth, and ye shall answer by praising Him; and ye shall seem to have tarried but a little while.

Enjoin my servants to speak in kindly sort:  Verily Satan would stir up strifes among them, for Satan is man’s avowed foe.

Your Lord well knoweth you:  if He please He will have mercy on you; or if He please He will chastise you:  and we have not sent thee to be a guardian over them.

Thy Lord hath full knowledge of all in the heavens and the earth.  Higher gifts have we given to some of the prophets than to others, and the Psalter we gave to David.

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Say:  Call ye upon those whom ye fancy to be gods beside Him; yet they will have no power to relieve you from trouble, or to shift it elsewhere.

Those whom ye call on, themselves desire union with their Lord,18 striving which of them shall be nearest to him:  they also hope for his mercy and fear his chastisement.  Verily the chastisement of thy Lord is to be dreaded.

There is no city which we will not destroy before the day of Resurrection, or chastise it with a grievous chastisement.  This is written in the Book.

Nothing hindered us from sending thee with the power of working miracles, except that the peoples of old treated them as lies.  We gave to Themoud19 the she-camel before their very eyes, yet they maltreated her!  We send not a prophet with miracles but to strike terror.

And remember when we said to thee, Verily, thy Lord is round about mankind; we ordained the vision20 which we shewed thee, and likewise the cursed tree of the Koran, only for men to dispute of; we will strike them with terror; but it shall only increase in them enormous wickedness: 

And when we said to the Angels, “Prostrate yourselves before Adam:”  and they all prostrated them, save Eblis.  “What!” said he, “shall I bow me before him whom thou hast created of clay?

Seest thou this man whom thou hast honoured above me?  Verily, if thou respite me till the day of Resurrection, I will destroy his offspring, except a few.”

He said, “Begone; but whosoever of them shall follow thee, verily, Hell shall be your recompense; an ample recompense!

And entice such of them as thou canst by thy voice; assault them with thy horsemen and thy footmen;21 be their partner in their riches and in their children, and make them promises:  but Satan shall make them only deceitful promises.

As to my servants, no power over them shalt thou have; And thy Lord will be their sufficient guardian.”

It is your Lord who speedeth onward the ships for you in the sea, that ye may seek of his abundance; for he is merciful towards you.

When a misfortune befalleth you out at sea, they whom ye invoke are not to be found:  God alone is there:  yet when he bringeth you safe to dry land, ye place yourselves at a distance from Him.  Ungrateful is man.

What! are ye sure, then, that he will not cleave the sides of the earth for you? or that he will not send against you a whirlwind charged with sands?  Then shall ye find no protector.

Or are ye sure that he will not cause you to put back to sea a second time, and send against you a storm blast, and drown you, for that ye have been thankless?  Then shall ye find no helper against us therein.

And now have we honoured the children of Adam:  by land and by sea have we carried them:  food have we provided for them of good things, and with endowments beyond many of our creatures have we endowed them.

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One day we will summon all men with their leaders:  they whose book shall be given into their right hand, shall read their book, and not be wronged a thread: 

And he who has been blind here, shall be blind hereafter, and wander yet more from the way.

And, verily, they had well nigh beguiled thee from what we revealed to thee, and caused thee to invent some other thing in our name:  but in that case they would surely have taken thee as a friend;22

And had we not settled thee, thou hadst well nigh leaned to them a little: 

In that case we would surely have made thee taste of woe23 in life and of woe in death:  then thou shouldest not have found a helper against us.

And truly they had almost caused thee to quit the land, in order wholly to drive thee forth from it:24 but then, themselves should have tarried but a little after thee.

This was our way with the Apostles we have already sent before thee, and in this our way thou shalt find no change.

Observe prayer at sunset, till the first darkening of the night, and the daybreak reading-for the daybreak reading hath its witnesses,

And watch unto it in the night:  this shall be an excess in service:25 it may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a glorious station: 

And say, “O my Lord, cause me to enter26 with a perfect entry, and to come forth with a perfect forthcoming, and give me from thy presence a helping power:” 

And say:  Truth is come and falsehood is vanished.  Verily, falsehood is a thing that vanisheth.

And we send down of the Koran that which is a healing and a mercy to the faithful:  But it shall only add to the ruin of the wicked.

When we bestow favours on man, he withdraweth and goeth aside; but when evil toucheth him, he is despairing.

Say:  Every one acteth after his own manner:  but your Lord well knoweth who is best guided in his path.

And they will ask thee of the Spirit.27 Say:  The Spirit proceedeth at my Lord’s command:  but of knowledge, only a little to you is given.

If we pleased, we could take away what we have revealed to thee:  none couldst thou then find thee to undertake thy cause with us,

Save as a mercy from thy Lord; great, verily, is his favour towards thee.

Say:  Verily, were men and Djinn assembled to produce the like of this Koran, they could not produce its like, though the one should help the other.

And of a truth we have set out to men every kind of similitude in this Koran, but most men have refused everything except unbelief.

And they say, “By no means will we believe on thee till thou cause a fountain to gush forth for us from the earth;

Or, till thou have a garden of palm-trees and grapes, and thou cause forth-gushing rivers to gush forth in its midst;

Or thou make the heaven to fall on us, as thou hast given out, in pieces; or thou bring God and the angels to vouch for thee;

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Or thou have a house of gold; or thou mount up into Heaven; nor will we believe in thy mounting up, till thou send down to us a book which we may read.”  Say:  Praise be to my Lord!  Am I more than a man, an apostle?

And what hindereth men from believing, when the guidance hath come to them, but that they say, “Hath God sent a man as an apostle?”

Say:  Did angels walk the earth as its familiars, we had surely sent them an angel-apostle out of Heaven.

Say:  God is witness enough between you and me.  His servants He scanneth, eyeth.

And He whom God shall guide will be guided indeed; and whom he shall mislead thou shalt find none to assist, but Him:  and we will gather them together on the day of the resurrection, on their faces, blind and dumb and deaf:  Hell shall be their abode:  so oft as its fires die down, we will rekindle the flame.

This shall be their reward for that they believed not our signs and said, “When we shall have become bones and dust, shall we surely be raised a new creation?”

Do they not perceive that God, who created the Heavens and the Earth, is able to create their like?  And he hath ordained them a term; there is no doubt of it:  but the wicked refuse everything except unbelief.

Say:  If ye held the treasures of my Lord’s mercy ye would certainly refrain from them through fear of spending them:  for man is covetous.

We therefore gave to Moses nine clear signs.  Ask thou, therefore, the children of Israel how it was when he came unto them, and Pharaoh said to him, “Verily, I deem thee, O Moses, a man enchanted.”

Said Moses, “Thou knowest that none hath sent down these clear signs but the Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth; and I surely deem thee, O Pharaoh, a person lost.”

So Pharaoh sought to drive them out of the land; but we drowned him and all his followers.

And after his death, we said to the children of Israel, “Dwell ye in the land:”  and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will bring you both up together to judgment.  In truth have we sent down the Koran, and in truth hath it descended, and we have only sent thee to announce and to warn.

And we have parcelled out the Koran into sections, that thou mightest recite it unto men by slow degrees, and we have sent it down piecemeal.

Say:  Believe ye therein or believe ye not?  They verily to whom knowledge had been given previously, fall on their faces worshipping when it is recited to them, and say:  “Glory be to God! the promise of our Lord is made good!”

They fall down on their faces weeping, and It increaseth their humility.

Say:  Call upon God (Allah),28 or call upon the God of Mercy (Arrahman), by whichsoever ye will invoke him:  He hath most excellent names.  And be not loud in thy prayer, neither pronounce it too low;29 but between these follow a middle way: 

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And say:  Praise be to God who hath not begotten a son, who hath no partner in the Kingdom, nor any protector on account of weakness.  And magnify him by proclaiming His greatness.30

_______________________

1 Verses 12, 23-41, 75-82, 87, are supposed by many commentators to have originated at Medina.

2 Waquidy says the night-journey took place on the 17th of Rabhy’ 1, a twelvemonth before the Hejira.

3 Of Jerusalem; and thence through the seven heavens to the throne of God on the back of Borak, accompanied by Gabriel, according to some traditions; while others, and those too of early date, regard it as no more than a vision.  It was, however, in all probability a dream.  Muir ii. 219; Nöld. p. 102, who give the Muhammadan sources of information.

4 It is probable that as this verse has no real or apparent connection with the preceding, a verse may have been lost, and that verse 1 has been placed at the head of the Sura merely because the night-journey is elsewhere alluded to in it.

5 According to the commentators the slaughter of Isaiah and the imprisonment of Jeremiah, punished by the invasion of the Assyrians.

6 Over Sennacherib.

7 The slaying Zacharias, John Baptist, and Jesus, punished by the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.  Comp.  Tr.  Gittin, fol. 57, where we read of the sufferings drawn down upon the Jews in consequence of the former of these crimes.

8 That is, if ye return to sin, we will return to punish.

9 Lit. bird.

10 Comp.  Mischnah Aboth, 3, 20.

11 Comp. in Heb.  Isai. liii. 3.

12 Lit. lower a wing of humility.

13 Comp.  Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 151; lxxxi. 8, p. 45.  Zaid, the sceptical seeker after truth, is reported to have discouraged the killing of daughters, saying, “I will support them.”  Kitâb al Wackidi, p. 255.  See note at Sura [xcvii.] iii. 18.

14 Or, next of kin.

15 Or, run not after vain things which will avail nought.  Or, accuse not any of a crime if thou art not sure of his guilt.

16 Used a variety of arguments and illustrations.

17 Thus Tr.  Chagiga, fol. 9 b.  “There are seven heavens (rakian):  the veil, the firmament, the clouds, the habitation, the abode, the fixed seat, the araboth.”  See Wetst. on 2 Cor. xii. 2.

18 In obvious allusion to the saint-worship of the Christians.

19 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 71.

20 See note on v. 1.  The tree is Zakkoum, Sura [xlv.] lvi.  The Rabbins teach that food of the bitterest herbs is one of the punishments of Hell.  See Schröder’s Rabb. und.  Talm.  Judenthum, p. 403.

21 That is, with all thy might.

22 Zamakshary relates that this passage was revealed when the Thaqyfites in framing the document of agreement between themselves and Muhammad, required that the words requiring the prostrations in worship should not be added.  The writer looked at the prophet, who stood by in silence, when Omar stood up and drew his sword with menacing words.  They replied, We speak not thee but to Muhammad.  Then this verse was revealed.  Thus Dr. Sprenger.  Life, p. 186.  He renders the last clause, but at the right moment a friend reprehended thee.

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23 Lit. weakness, languors.

24 “The Jews, envious of Muhammad’s good reception and stay there, told him, by way of counsel, that Syria was the land of the Prophets, and that if he was really a prophet, he ought to go there.”  Sale from Djelal Eddin ap.  Mar.  Geiger, p. 12, quotes a Talmudical saying to the same effect, but without any reference.

25 A work of supererogation, and therefore doubly meritorious.  Thus Tr.  Berachoth, fol. 4.  The word station (mekam) is still used of the nearness to God, attained in spiritual ecstacies, etc.

26 That is, to enter the Grave or Mecca.  Lit. with an entry of truth.

27 The word spirit is probably to be understood of the Angel Gabriel.  Comp. 1 Kings xxii. 21.  Others understand it of the immaterial soul of man.  See note on Sura [xci.] ii. 81.

28 The infidels hearing Muhammad say, Ya Allah!  Ya Rahman! in his prayers, imagined that he was addressing two Deities; hence this passage.  Comp. [lxxiii.] xvi. 52; [lxvi.] xxv. 61.  As this title of God (Rahman) disappears from the later Suras, it has been inferred that Muhammad’s original intention was to have combined it with Allah, but that through fear lest Allah and Arrahman should be supposed to be two Gods, he dropped the latter.-This title was applied to their deities by the Himyarites; and it occurs in Ps. lxxviii. 38, and Ex. xxxiv. 6.  The root is not found in Æthiopic.

29 The Talm.  Tr.  Berachoth, 31, 2, forbids loudness in prayer by the example of Hannah.

30 Lit. magnify Him by magnifying.

SURA XXVII.-THE ANT [LXVIII.]

Mecca.-95 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

TaSad.1 These are the signs (verses) of the Koran and of the lucid Book;

Guidance and glad tidings to the believers who observe prayer and pay the stated alms, and believe firmly-do they-in the life to come.

As to those who believe not in the life to come, we have made their own doings fair seeming to them, and they are bewildered therein.

These are they whom the woe of chastisement awaiteth; and in the next life they shall suffer-yes shall they-greatest loss;

But thou hast certainly received the Koran from the Wise, the Knowing.

Bear in mind when Moses said to his family, “I have perceived a fire;

I will bring you tidings from it, or will bring you a blazing brand, that ye may warm you.”

And when he came to it, he was called to, “Blessed, He who is in the fire, and He who is about it; and glory be to God, the Lord of the worlds!

O Moses! verily, I am God, the Mighty, the Wise!

Throw down now thy staff.”  And when he saw that it moved itself as though it were a serpent, he retreated backward and returned not.  “O Moses, fear not; for the Sent Ones fear not in my presence,

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Save he who having done amiss shall afterwards exchange the evil for good; for I am Forgiving, Merciful.

Put now thy hand into thy bosom:  it shall come forth white, yet free from hurt:2 one of nine signs to Pharaoh and his people; for a perverse people are they.”

And when our signs were wrought in their very sight,3 they said, “This is plain magic.”

And though in their souls they knew them to be true, yet in their wickedness and pride they denied them.  But see what was the end of the corrupt doers!

And of old we gave knowledge to David and Solomon:  and they said, “Praise be to God, who hath made us to excel many of his believing servants!”

And in knowledge Solomon was David’s heir.  And he said, “O men, we have been taught the speech of birds,4 and are endued with everything.  This is indeed a clear boon from God.”

And to Solomon were gathered his hosts of Djinn5 and men and birds, and they were marched on in bands,

Till they reached the Valley of Ants.  Said an ant, “O ye ants, enter your dwellings, lest Solomon and his army crush you and know it not.”

Then smiled Solomon, laughing at her words, and he said, “Stir me up, O Lord, to be thankful for thy favour which thou hast shewed upon me and upon my parents, and to do righteousness that shall be well pleasing to thee, and bring me in, by thy mercy, among thy servants the righteous.”

And he reviewed the birds, and said, “How is it that I see not the lapwing?  Is it one of the absent?

Surely, with a severe chastisement will I chastise it, or I will certainly slaughter it, unless it bring me a clear excuse.”

Nor tarried it long ere it came and said, “I have gained the knowledge that thou knowest not, and with sure tidings have I come to thee from Saba: 

I found a woman reigning over them, gifted with everything, and she hath a splendid throne;

And I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of God; and Satan hath made their works fair seeming to them, so that he hath turned them from the Way:  wherefore they are not guided,

To the worship of God, who bringeth to light the secret things of heaven and earth, and knoweth what men conceal and what they manifest: 

God! there is no god but He! the lord of the glorious throne!”

He said, “We shall see whether thou hast spoken truth, or whether thou art of them that lie.

Go with this my letter and throw it down to them:  then turn away from them and await their answer.”

She said, “O my nobles! an honourable letter hath been thrown down to me: 

It is from Solomon; and it is this:  ’In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful!

Set not up yourselves against me, but come to me submitting (Muslims).’ "

She said, “O my nobles, advise me in mine affair:  I decide it not without your concurrence."6

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They said, “We are endued with strength and are endued with mighty valour.- But to command is thine:  See therefore what thou wilt command us.”

She said, “Kings when they enter a city spoil it, and abase the mightiest of its people:  and in like manner will these also do.

But I will send to them with a gift, and await what my envoys bring back.”

And when the messenger came to Solomon, he said, “Aid ye me with riches?  But what God hath given to me is better than what he hath given you:  yet ye glory in your gifts: 

Return to them:  for we will surely come to them with forces which they cannot withstand, and we will drive them from their land humbled and contemptible.”

Said he, “O nobles, which of you will bring me her throne before they come to me, submitting? (Muslims).”

An Efreet7 of the Djinn said:  “I will bring it thee ere thou risest from thy place:  I have power for this and am trusty.”

And one who had the knowledge of Scripture said, “I will bring it to thee in the twinkling of an eye."8 And when he saw it set before him, he said, “This is of the favour of my Lord, to try me whether I will be thankful or unthankful.  And he who is thankful is thankful to his own behoof; and as for him who is unthankful-truly my Lord is self-sufficient, bounteous!”

Said he, “Make her throne so that she know it not:  we shall see whether she hath or not guidance.”

And when she came he said, “Is thy throne like this?” She said, “As though it were the same.”  “And we,” said he, “have had knowledge given us before her, and have been Muslims.”

But the gods she had worshipped instead of God had led her astray:  for she was of a people who believe not.

It was said to her,"Enter the Palace:”  and when she saw it, she thought it a lake of water, and bared her legs.  He said, “It is a palace paved with glass.”

She said, “O my Lord!  I have sinned against my own soul, and I resign myself, with Solomon, to God the Lord of the Worlds.”

And of old we sent to Themoud their brother Saleh, with “Serve ye God:"but lo! they became two sets of disputants wrangling with each other.

He said, “O my people, why, if ye ask not pardon of God that ye may find mercy, hasten ye on evil rather than good?”

They said,"We augur9 ill concerning thee and those who are with thee.”  He said, “The ills of which ye augur10 depend on God.  But ye are a people on your trial.”

And there were in the city nine persons who committed excesses in the land and did not that which is right.

They said, “Swear ye to one another by God that we will surely fall on him and on his family by night:  then will be say to the avenger of blood, we witnessed not the destruction of his family:  and verily we speak the truth.”

And they devised a device, and we devised a device, and they were not aware of it-

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And see what was the end of their device!  We destroyed them and their whole people: 

And for their sin these their houses are empty ruins:  Verily in this is a sign to those who understand;

And we delivered those who believed and feared.

And Lot, when he said to his people, “What! proceed ye to such filthiness with your eyes open?

What! come ye with lust unto men rather than to women?  Surely ye are an ignorant people.”

And the answer of his people was but to say, “Cast out the family of Lot from your city:  they, forsooth, are men of purity!”

So we rescued him and his family:  but as for his wife, we decreed her to be of them that lingered: 

And we rained a rain upon them, and fatal was the rain to those who had had their warning.

Say:  Praise be to God and peace be on His servants whom He hath chosen!  Is God the more worthy or the gods they join with Him?

Is not He who hath made the Heavens and the Earth, and hath sent down rain to you from Heaven, by which we cause the luxuriant groves to spring up!  It is not in your power to cause its trees to spring up!  What!  A god with God?  Yet they find equals for Him!

Is not He, who hath set the earth so firm, and hath made rivers in its midst, and hath placed mountains upon it, and put a barrier between the two seas?11 What! a god with God?  Yet the greater part of them have no knowledge!

Is not He the more worthy who answereth the oppressed when they cry to him, and taketh off their ills, and maketh you to succeed your sires on the earth?  What! a god with God?  How few bear these things in mind!

Is not He, who guideth you in the darkness of the land and of the sea, and who sendeth forth the winds as the forerunners of His mercy?  What! a god with God?  Far from God be what ye join with Him!

Is not He, who created a Being, then reneweth it, and who supplieth you out of the Heaven and the Earth?  What! a god with God?  Say:  Bring forth your proofs if you speak the truth.

Say:  None either in the Heavens or in the Earth knoweth the unseen but God.  And they know not

When they shall be raised.

-Yet they have attained to a knowledge of the life to come:12-yet are they in doubt about it:-yet are they blind about it!

And the unbelievers say:  “When we and our fathers have been dead shall we be taken forth?

Of old have we been promised this, we and our sires of old it is but fables of the ancients.”

Say:  Go ye through the land, and see what hath been the end of the wicked.

And grieve not thou for them, nor be in distress at their devisings.

And they say, “When will this promise be made good, if ye speak true?”

Say:  Haply a part of what ye desire to be hastened may be close behind you.

And truly thy Lord is full of goodness towards men:  But most of them are not thankful.

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And thy Lord knoweth well what their breasts enshroud, and what they bring to light,

And there is no secret thing in the Heaven or on the Earth, but it is in the clear Book.

Truly this Koran declareth to the children of Israel most things wherein they disagree: 

And it is certainly guidance and a mercy to the faithful.

Verily, by his wisdom will thy Lord decide between them:  for He is the
Mighty, the Knowing.

Put thou then thy trust in God:  for thou hast clear truth on thy side.13

Thou shalt not make the dead to hear; neither shalt thou make the deaf to hear the call, when they turn away backward;

Neither art thou the guide of the blind out of their errors:  none truly shalt thou make to hear but those who believe our signs:  and they are Muslims.

When the doom shall be ready to light upon them, we will cause a monster14 to come forth to them out of the earth, and cry to them “Verily men have not firmly believed our signs.”

And on that day shall be gathered out of every nation a company of those who have gainsaid our signs, in separate bands;

Till they come before God, who will say, “Treated ye my signs as impostures, although ye embraced them not in your knowledge? or what is it that ye were doing?

And doom shall light upon them for their evil deeds, and nought shall they have to plead.

See they not that we have ordained the night that they may rest in it, and the day with its gift of light?  Of a truth herein are signs to people who believe.

On that day there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and all that are in the heavens, and all that the on the earth shall be terror-stricken, save him whom God pleaseth to deliver; and all shall come to him in humble guise.

And thou shalt see the mountains, which thou thinkest so firm, pass away with the passing of a cloud!  ’Tis the work of God, who ordereth all things! of all that ye do is He well aware.

To him who shall present himself with good works, shall be a reward beyond their desert,15 and they shall be secure from the terror on that day;

And they who shall present themselves with evil shall be flung downward on their faces into the fire.  Shall ye be rewarded but as ye have wrought?

Say:  Specially am I commanded to worship the Lord of this land, which He hath sanctified.  All things are His:  and I am commanded to be one of those who surrender them to God (a Muslim)

And to recite the Koran:  and whoever is rightly guided, assuredly will be rightly guided to his own behoof.

And as to him who erreth, say, I truly am a warner only.And say, Praise be to God!  He will shew you His signs, and ye shall acknowledge them:  and of what ye do, thy Lord is not regardless.

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1 See Sura lxviii., p. 32, n.

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2 Not really leprous.

3 Lit. when our visible signs came to them.

4 This tradition may be derived from 1 Kings iv. 33.  Comp.  Geiger, p. 185.  The legend of Solomon’s power over the Genii originates in a mistranslation of Eccl. ii. 8.  Comp. also for other points in this story Prov. vi. 6; 1 Kings x. 1-10.

5 “Demons obeyed him (Solomon) . . . and evil spirits were subjected to him.”  Targ. 2. on Esther 1, 2.  From the same source Muhammad has adopted, with slight variations, the whole story of Solomon’s intercourse with the Queen of Saba.  Comp. also Tr.  Gittin, fol. 68, and Midr.  Jalkut on 1 Kings vi. ch. 182.

6 Lit. unless ye bear me witness.

7 That is, malignant.  “The efreets are generally believed to differ from the other djinn in being very powerful and always malicious; but to be in other respects of a similar nature” (Lane’s Modern Egyptians, i. 285).  “The ghosts of dead persons are also called by this name” (ib. 289).

8 Or, before thy glance can be withdrawn from an object.

9 Lit. we have consulted the flight of birds:  hence presage.

10 Lit. your bird, augury.

11 Comp.  Sura [lxvi.] xxv. 55.

12 Lit. their knowledge attaineth to the next life.

13 Lit. art on clear truth.

14 Al Jassaca, the Spy.

15 Or, shall derive advantage from them.

SURA XVIII.-THE CAVE [LXIX.]

Mecca.-110 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Praise be to God, who hath sent down the Book to his servant, and hath not made it tortuous1

But direct; that it may warn of a grievous woe from him, and announce to the faithful who do the things that are right, that a goodly reward, wherein they shall abide for ever, awaiteth them;

And that it may warn those who say, “God hath begotten a Son.”

No knowledge of this have either they or their fathers!  A grievous saying to come out of their mouths!  They speak no other than a lie!

And haply, if they believe not in this new revelation, thou wilt slay thyself, on their very footsteps, out of vexation.

Verily, we have made all that is on earth as its adornment, that we might make trial who among mankind would excel in works: 

But we are surely about to reduce all that is thereon to dust!

Hast thou reflected that the Inmates of the cave and of Al Rakim2 were on our wondrous signs?

When the youths betook them to the cave they said, “O our Lord! grant us mercy from before thee, and order for us our affair aright.”

Then struck we upon their ears with deafness in the cave for many a year: 

Then we awaked them that we might know which of the two parties could best reckon the space of their abiding.

We will relate to thee their tale with truth.  They were youths who had believed in their Lord, and in guidance had we increased them;

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And we had made them stout of heart, when they stood up and said, “Our Lord is Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth:  we will call on no other God than Him; for in that case we had said a thing outrageous.

These our people have taken other gods beside Him, though they bring no clear proof for them; but, who more iniquitous than he who forgeth a lie of God?

So when ye shall have separated you from them and from that which they worship beside God, then betake you to the cave:  Your Lord will unfold his mercy to you, and will order your affairs for you for the best.”

And thou mightest have seen the sun when it arose, pass on the right of their cave, and when it set, leave them on the left, while they were in its spacious chamber.  This is one of the signs of God.  Guided indeed is he whom God guideth; but for him whom He misleadeth, thou shalt by no means find a patron, director.

And thou wouldst have deemed them awake,3 though they were sleeping:  and we turned them to the right and to the left.  And in the entry lay their dog with paws outstretched.4 Hadst thou come suddenly upon them, thou wouldst surely have turned thy back on them in flight, and have been filled with fear at them.

So we awaked them that they might question one another.  Said one of them, “How long have ye tarried here?” They said, “We have tarried a day or part of day.”  They said, “Your Lord knoweth best how long ye have tarried:  Send now one of you with this your coin into the city, and let him mark who therein hath purest food, and from him let him bring you a supply:  and let him be courteous, and not discover you to any one.

For they, if they find you out, will stone you or turn you back to their faith, and in that case it will fare ill with you for ever.”

And thus made we their adventure known to their fellow citizens, that they might learn that the promise of God is true, and that as to “the Hour” there is no doubt of its coming.  When they disputed among themselves concerning what had befallen them, some said, “Build a building over them; their Lord knoweth best about them.”  Those who prevailed in the matter said, “A place of worship will we surely raise over them.”

Some say, “They were three; their dog the fourth:”  others say, “Five; their dog the sixth,” guessing at the secret:  others say, “Seven; and their dog the eighth.”  Say:  My Lord best knoweth the number:  none, save a few, shall know them.

Therefore be clear in they discussions about them,5 and ask not any Christian concerning them.

Say not thou of a thing, " I will surely do it to-morrow;” without , “If God will."6 And when thou hast forgotten, call thy Lord to mind; and say, “Haply my Lord will guide me, that I may come near to the truth of this story with correctness.”

And they tarried in their cave 300 years, and 9 years over.7

Say:  God best knoweth how long they tarried:  With Him are the secrets of the Heavens and of the Earth:  Look thou and hearken unto Him alone.8 Man hath no guardian but Him, and none may bear part in his judgments:-

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And publish what hath been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord-none may change his words,-and thou shalt find no refuge beside Him.

Be patient with those who call upon their Lord at morn and even, seeking his face:  and let not thine eyes be turned away from them in quest of the pomp of this life;9 neither obey him10 whose heart we have made careless of the remembrance of Us, and who followeth his own lusts, and whose ways are unbridled.

And say:  the truth is from your Lord:  let him then who will, believe; and let him who will, be an infidel.  But for the offenders we have got ready the fire whose smoke shall enwrap them:  and if they implore help, helped shall they be with water like molten brass which shall scald their Wretched the drink! and an unhappy couch!

But as to those who have believed and done the things that are right,-Verily we will not suffer the reward of him whose works were good, to perish!

For them, the gardens of Eden, under whose shades shall rivers flow:  decked shall they be therein with bracelets of gold, and green robes of silk and rich brocade shall they wear, reclining them therein on thrones.  Blissful the reward! and a pleasant couch!11

And set forth to them as a parable two men; on one of whom we bestowed two gardens of grape vines, and surrounded both with palm trees, and placed corn fields between them:  Each of the gardens did yield its fruit, and failed not thereof at all: 

And we caused a river to flow in their midst:  And this man received his fruit, and said, disputing with him, to his companion, “More have I than thou of wealth, and my family is mightier.”

And he went into his garden-to his own soul unjust.  He said, “I do not think that this will ever perish: 

And I do not think that ‘the Hour’ will come:  and even if I be taken back to my Lord, I shall surely find a better than it in exchange.”

His fellow said to him, disputing with him, “What ! hast thou no belief in him who created thee of the dust, then of the germs of life,12 then fashioned thee a perfect man?

But God is my Lord; and no other being will I associate with my Lord.

And why didst thou not say when thou enteredst thy garden, ’What God willeth!  There is no power but in God.’  Though thou seest that I have less than thou of wealth and children,

Yet haply my Lord may bestow on me better than thy garden, and may send his bolts upon it out of Heaven, so that the next dawn shall find it barren dust;

Or its water become deep sunk, so that thou art unable to find it.”

And his fruits were encompassed by destruction.  Then began he to turn down the palms of his hands at what he had spent on it; for its vines were falling down on their trellises, and he said, “Oh that I had not joined any other god to my Lord!”

And he had no host to help him instead of God, neither was he able to help himself.

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Protection in such a case is of God-the Truth:  He is the best rewarder, and He bringeth to the best issue.

And set before them a similitude of the present life.  It is as water which we send down from Heaven, and the herb of the Earth is mingled with it, and on the morrow it becometh dry stubble which the winds scatter:  for God hath power over all things.

Wealth and children are the adornment of this present life:  but good works, which are lasting, are better in the sight of thy Lord as to recompense, and better as to hope.

And call to mind the day when we will cause the mountains to pass away,13 and thou shalt see the earth a levelled plain, and we will gather mankind together, and not leave of them any one.

And they shall be set before thy Lord in ranks:-"Now are ye come unto us as we created you at first:  but ye thought that we should not make good to you the promise.”

And each shall have his book put into his hand:  and thou shalt see the wicked in alarm at that which is therein:  and they shall say, “O woe to us! what meaneth this Book?  It leaveth neither small nor great unnoted down!” And they shall find all that they have wrought present to them, and thy Lord will not deal unjustly with any one.

When we said to the angels, “Prostrate yourselves before Adam,” they all prostrated them save Eblis, who was of the Djinn,14 and revolted from his Lord’s behest. behest.-What! will ye then take him and his offspring as patrons rather than Me? and they your enemies?  Sad exchange for the ungodly!

I made them not witnesses of the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth, nor of their own creation, neither did I take seducers as my helpers.

On a certain day, God shall say, “Call ye on the companions ye joined with me, deeming them to be gods:”  and they shall call on them, but they shall not answer them:  then will we place a valley of perdition between them: 

And the wicked shall see the fire, and shall have a foreboding that they shall be flung into it, and they shall find no escape from it.

And now in this Koran we have presented to man similitudes of every kind:  but, at most things is man a caviller.

And what, now that guidance is come to them, letteth men from believing and from asking forgiveness of their Lord-unless they wait till that the doom of the ancients overtake them, or the chastisement come upon them in the sight of the universe?

We send not our Sent Ones but to announce and to warn:  but the infidels cavil with vain words in order to refute the truth; and they treat my signs and their own warnings with scorn.

But who is worse than he who when told of the signs of his Lord turneth him away and forgetteth what in time past his hands have wrought?  Truly we have thrown veils over their hearts lest they should understand this Koran, and into their ears a heaviness: 

And if thou bid them to “the guidance” yet will they not even then be guided ever.

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The gracious one, full of compassion, is thy Lord! if he would have chastised them for their demerits he would have hastened their chastisement.  But they have a time fixed for the accomplishment of our menaces:  and beside God they shall find no refuge.

And those cities did we destroy when they became impious; and of their coming destruction we gave them warning.

Remember when Moses said to his servant, “I will not stop till I reach the confluence of the two seas,15 or for years will I journey on.”

But when they reached their confluence, they forgot their fish, and it took its way in the sea at will.

And when they had passed on, said Moses to his servant, “Bring us our morning meal; for now have we incurred weariness from this journey.”

He said, “What thinkest thou?  When we repaired to the rock for rest I forgot the fish; and none but Satan made me forget it, so as not to mention it; and it hath taken its way in the sea in a wondrous sort.”

He said, “It is this we were in quest of."16 And they both went back retracing their footsteps.

Then found they one of our servants to whom we had vouchsafed our mercy, and whom we had instructed with our knowledge.

And Moses said to him, “Shall I follow thee that thou teach me, for guidance, of that which thou too hast been taught?”

He said, “Verily, thou canst not have patience with me;

How canst thou be patient in matters whose meaning thou comprehendest not?”

He said, “Thou shalt find me patient if God please, nor will I disobey thy bidding.”

He said, “Then, if thou follow me, ask me not of aught until I have given thee an account thereof.”

So they both went on, till they embarked in a ship, and he-the unknown-staved it in.  “What!” said Moses, “hast thou staved it in that thou mayest drown its crew? a strange thing now hast thou done!”

He said, “Did I not tell thee that thou couldst not have patience with me?”

He said, “Chide me not that I forgat, nor lay on me a hard command.”

Then went they on till they met a youth, and he slew him.  Said Moses, “Hast thou slain him who is free from guilt of blood?  Now hast thou wrought a grievous thing!”

He said, “Did I not tell thee that thou couldst not have patience with me?”

Moses said, “If after this I ask thee aught, then let me be thy comrade no longer; but now hast thou my excuse.”

They went on till they came to the people of a city.  Of this people they asked food, but they refused them for guests.  And they found in it a wall that was about to fall, and he set it upright.  Said Moses, “If thou hadst wished, for this thou mightest have obtained pay.”

He said, “This is the parting point between me and thee.  But I will first tell thee the meaning of that which thou couldst not await with patience.

“As to the vessel, it belonged to poor men who toiled upon the sea, and I was minded to damage it, for in their rear was a king who seized every ship by force.

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As to the youth his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should trouble them by error and infidelity.

And we desired that their Lord might give them in his place a child, better than he in virtue, and nearer to filial piety.

And as to the wall, it belonged to two orphan youths in the city, and beneath it was their treasure:  and their father was a righteous man:  and thy Lord desired that they should reach the age of strength, and take forth their treasure through the mercy of thy Lord.  And not of mine own will have I done this.  This is the interpretation of that which thou couldst not bear with patience.”

They will ask thee of Dhoulkarnain [the two-horned17].  Say:  I will recite to you an account of him.

We stablished his power upon the earth, and made for him a way to everything.  And a route he followed,

Until when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it to set in a miry fount; and hard by he found a people.

We said, “O Dhoulkarnain! either chastise or treat them generously.”

“The impious,” said he, “will we surely chastise;” then shall he be taken back to his Lord, and he will chastise him with a grievous chastisement.

But as to him who believeth and doeth that which is right, he shall have a generous recompense, and we will lay on them our easy behests.

Then followed he a route,

Until when he reached the rising of the sun he found it to rise on a people to whom we had given no shelter from it.

Thus it was.  And we had full knowledge of the forces that were with him.

Then followed he a route

Until he came between the two mountains, beneath which he found a people who scarce understood a language.

They said, “O Dhoulkarnain! verily, Gog and Magog18 waste this land; shall we then pay thee tribute, so thou build a rampart19 between us and them?”

He said, “Better than your tribute is the might wherewith my Lord hath strengthened me; but help me strenuously, and I will set a barrier between you and them.

Bring me blocks of iron,"-until when it filled the space between the mountain sides-"Ply,” said he, “your bellows,"-until when he had made it red with heat (fire), he said,-"Bring me molten brass that I may pour upon it.”

And Gog and Magog were not able to scale it, neither were they able to dig through it.

“This,” said he, “is a mercy from my Lord: 

But when the promise of my Lord shall come to pass, he will turn it to dust; and the promise of my Lord is true.”

On that day we will let them dash like billows one over another; and there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and we will gather them together in a body.

And we will set Hell on that day close before the infidels,

Whose eyes were veiled from my warning, and who had no power to hear.

What! do the infidels think that they can take my servants as their patrons, beside Me?  Verily, we have got Hell ready as the abode of the infidels.

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Say:  Shall we tell you who they are that have lost their labour most?

Whose aim in the present life hath been mistaken, and who deem that what they do is right?

They are those who believe not in the signs of the Lord, or that they shall ever meet him.  Vain, therefore, are their works; and no weight will we allow them on the day of resurrection.

This shall be their reward-Hell.20 Because they were unbelievers, and treated my signs and my Apostles with scorn.

But as for those who believe and do the things that are right, they shall have the gardens of Paradise21 for their abode: 

They shall remain therein for ever:  they shall wish for no change from it.

Say:  Should the sea become ink, to write the words of my Lord, the sea would surely fail ere the words of my Lord would fail, though we brought its like in aid.

Say:  In sooth I am only a man like you.  It hath been revealed to me that your God is one only God:  let him then who hopeth to meet his Lord work a righteous work:  nor let him give any other creature a share in the worship of his Lord.

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1 Lit. hath not put crookedness into it.

2 The valley, or mountain, in which the Cave of the Seven Sleepers was situated.  Comp.  Fundgreiben des Orients, iii. 347-381.  Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, ch. xxxiii., especially the concluding sentences.

3 Because they slept with their eyes open.  Beidh.

4 The Muhammadans believe that this dog will be admitted into Paradise.  One of its traditional names is Katmir, a word whose letters, it should be observed, are with one exception identical with Rakim.

5 Lit. dispute not about them unless with clear disputation.

6 Muhammad had omitted to use the qualifying phrase when, in reply to the Jews who asked for the History of the Seven Sleepers, he simply promised to give it on the morrow; hence, this verse.  Comp.  James iv. 13-15.

7 They entered the cavern under Decius and awoke in the time of Theodosius, according to the tradition; which cannot be reconciled with the number of years given in the text.

8 Thus Ullm.  But the words may be taken with Beidh. and Sale, as ironical.  Make thou him to see and hear.

9 Said to have been promulgated at Medina.  Nöld. p. 106

10 Omaya Ibn Chalf, who advised Muhammad to cast off all his poorer followers, out of respect to the Koreisch.

11 It is probable that this and the numerous similar descriptions of the enjoyments in Paradise are based upon Muhammad’s knowledge, or possibly personal observation, of the luxurious habits of the Persians, to whom many Arabian tribes owed allegiance, and with whom they had mercantile transactions by means of caravans.  The word Paradise, the names of cups and brocade in Sura lvi. pp. 66, 67, and the word sundus in this passage, are all Persian.

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12 Lit ex spermate.

13 Comp.  Isai. xl. 4, etc.

14 Muhammad appears, according to this text, to have considered Eblis not only as the father of the Djinn, but as one of their number.  The truth appears to be that Muhammad derived his doctrines of the Genii from the Persian and Indian mythology, and attempted to identify them with the Satan and demons of the Semitic races.  Both the Satans and Djinn represent in the Koran the principle of Evil.  See Sura [xci.] ii. 32, n.

15 The sea of Greece and the sea of Persia.  But as no literal interpretation of the passage seems satisfactory, the Commentators have devised a spiritual or metaphorical one, and explain it of the two oceans of natural and supernatural knowledge.  There is no trace of this legend in the Rabbinic writings.

16 The loss of our fish is a sign to us of our finding him whom we seek, namely, El-Khidr, or El-Khadir, the reputed vizier of Dhoulkarnain, and said to have drunk of the fountain of life, by virtue of which he still lives, and will live till the day of judgment.  He is also said to appear, clad in green robes, to Muslims in distress, whence his name.  Perhaps the name Khidr is formed from Jethro.

17 Probably Alexander the Great-so called from his expeditions to the East and West.  He seems to be regarded in this passage as invested with a divine commission for the extirpation of impiety and idolatry.  Comp.  Dan. viii. and Tr.  Tanith, fol. 32.  Hottinger Bibl.  Orient. 109.

18 Ar.  Yadjoudj and Madjoudj-the barbarous people of E. Asia.  See Ibn Batoutah’s Travels, iv. p. 274 (Par.ed.)

19 This rampart has been identified with fortifications which extended from the W. shore of the Caspian Sea to the Pontus Euxinus, made, as it is said, by Alexander, and repaired by Yezdegird ii.  Caussin de Perceval, vol.i.p. 66.  See Sura [lxv.] xxi. 96

20 The form of this word in the Arabic, with the h in the second syllable and the final m, shews that the word was borrowed from the Hebrew, and not from the Greek or Syriac.

21 Observe in this expression the same admixture of the Semitic and Indo-Persian elements as was noticed above in the identification of Satans and Djinn, verse 48.

SURA XXXII.-ADORATION [LXX.]

Mecca.-30 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

ELIF.  LamMim.1 This Book is without a doubt a Revelation sent down from the
Lord of the Worlds.

Will they say, He hath forged it?  Nay, it is the truth from thy Lord that thou mayest warn a people to whom no warner hath come before thee, that haply they may be guided.

God it is who hath created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is between them in six days; then ascended his throne.  Save Him ye have no patron, and none to plead for you.  Will ye not then reflect?

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From the Heaven to the Earth He governeth all things:  hereafter shall they come up to him on a day whose length shall be a thousand of such years as ye reckon.2

This is He who knoweth the unseen and the seen; the Mighty, the Merciful,

Who hath made everything which he hath created most good; and began the creation of man with clay;

Then ordained his progeny from germs of life,3 from sorry water: 

Then shaped him, and breathed of His Spirit into him, and gave you hearing and seeing and hearts:  what little thanks do ye return!

And they say, “What! when we shall have lain hidden in the earth, shall we become a new creation?”

Yea, they deny that they shall meet their Lord.

Say:  The angel of death who is charged with you shall cause you to die:  then shall ye be returned to your Lord.

Couldst thou but see when the guilty shall droop their heads before their Lord, and cry, “O our Lord! we have seen and we have heard:  return us then to life:  we will do that which is right.  Verily we believe firmly!”

(Had we pleased we had certainly given to every soul its guidance.  But true shall be the word which hath gone forth from me-I will surely fill hell with Djinn and men together.)

“Taste then the recompense of your having forgotten the meeting with this your day.  We, too, we have forgotten you:  taste then an eternal punishment for that which ye have wrought.”

They only believe in our signs, who, when mention is made of them, fall down in adoration, and celebrate the praise of their Lord, and are not puffed up with disdain: 

Who, as they raise them4 from their couches, call on their Lord with fear and desire, and give alms of that with which we have supplied them.

No soul knoweth what joy of the eyes is reserved for the good in recompense of their works.

Shall he then who is a believer be as he who sinneth grossly? they shall not be held alike.

As to those who believe and do that which is right, they shall have gardens of eternal abode as the meed of their works: 

But as for those who grossly sin, their abode shall be the fire:  so oft as they shall desire to escape out of it, back shall they be turned into it.  And it shall be said to them, Taste ye the torment of the fire, which ye treated as a lie.

And we will surely cause them to taste a punishment yet nearer at hand, besides the greater punishment, that haply they may turn to us in penitence.

Who acteth worse than he who is warned by the signs of his Lord, then turneth away from them?  We will surely take vengeance on the guilty ones.

We heretofore gave the Book of the law to Moses:  have thou no doubt as to our meeting with him:5 and we appointed it for the guidance of the children of Israel.

And we appointed Imâms from among them who should guide after our command when they had themselves endured with constancy, and had firmly believed in our signs.

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Now thy Lord!  He will decide between them on the day of resurrection as to the subject of their disputes.

Is it not notorious to them how many generations, through whose abodes they walk, we have destroyed before them?  Truly herein are sings:  will they not then hear?

See they not how we drive the rain to some parched land and thereby bring forth corn of which their cattle and themselves do eat?  Will they not then behold?

They say, “When will this decision take place?  Tell us, if ye are men of truth?”

Say:  On the day of that decision, the faith of infidels shall not avail them, and they shall have no further respite.

Stand aloof from them then, and wait thou, for they too wait.6

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1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

2 Comp.  Sura [cvii.] xxii. 46, and Ps. xc. 4, which is taken literally by many of the Talmudists.  Comp. e.g.  Sanhed. 96, 2.

3 Lit. ex spermate genitali.

4 Lit. their sides are raised.

5 Nöldeke thinks that the word for meeting is used here in the same sense as in v. 10 above and Sura [lxxi.] xli. 54, and that the clause does not belong to this verse, p. 108, n.

6 Wait thou for their punishment as they wait for thy downfall.

SURA1 XLI.-THE MADE PLAIN [LXXI.]

Mecca.-54 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HaMim.2 A Revelation from the Compassionate, the Merciful!

A Book whose verses (signs) are made plain-an Arabic Koran, for men of knowledge;

Announcer of glad tidings and charged with warnings!  But most of them withdraw and hearken not: 

And they say, “Our hearts are under shelter from thy teachings, and in our ears is a deafness, and between us and thee there is a veil.  Act as thou thinkest right:  we verily shall act as we think right.”

Say:  I am only a man like you.3 It is revealed to me that your God is one God:  go straight then to Him, and implore his pardon.  And woe to those who join gods with God;

Who pay not the alms of obligation, and in the life to come believe not!

But they who believe and do the things that are right shall receive a perfect4 recompense.

Say:  Do ye indeed disbelieve in Him who in two days created the earth? and do ye assign Him peers?  The Lord of the worlds is He!

And he hath placed on the earth the firm mountains which tower above it; and He hath blessed it, and distributed food throughout it, for the cravings of all alike, in four days: 

Then He applied himself to the Heaven, which then was but smoke:  and to it and to the Earth He said, “Come ye, whether in obedience or against your will?” and they both said, “We come obedient.”

And He made them seven heavens in two days, and in each heaven made known its office:  And we furnished the lower heaven with lights and guardian angels.  This, the disposition of the Almighty, the All-knowing.

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If they turn away, then say:  I warn you of a tempest, like the tempest of Ad and Themoud!

When the apostles came to them on every side,5 saying, “Worship none but God,” they said, “Had our Lord been pleased to send down, He had surely sent down angels; and in sooth, your message we do not believe.”

As to Ad, they bore them proudly and unjustly in the land, and said, “Who more mighty than we in prowess?” Saw they not that God their creator was mightier than they in prowess?  And they rejected our signs.

Therefore on ill-omened days did we send against them an impetuous blast that we might make them taste the chastisement of shame in this world:-but more shameful shall be the chastisement of the life to come; and they shall not be protected.

And as to Themoud, we had vouchsafed them guidance; but to guidance did they prefer blindness; wherefore the tempest of a shameful punishment overtook them for their doings: 

But we rescued the believing and the God-fearing: 

And warn of the day when the enemies of God shall be gathered6 unto the fire urged on in bands: 

Until when they reach it, their ears and their eyes and their skins shall bear witness against them of their deeds: 

And they shall say to their skins, “Why witness ye against us?” They shall say, “God, who giveth a voice to all things, hath given us a voice:  He created you at first, and to Him are ye brought back.

And ye did not hide yourselves so that neither your ears nor your eyes nor your skins should witness against you:  but ye thought that God knew not many a thing that ye did!

And this your thought which ye did think of your Lord hath ruined you, so that ye are become of those who perish.”

And be they patient, still the fire shall be their abode:  or if they beg for favour, yet shall they not be of favoured.

And we will appoint Satans as their fast companions; for it was they who made their present and future state seem fair and right to them; and the sentence passed on the peoples of Djinn and men who flourished before them hath become their due, and they shall perish.

Yet the unbelievers say, “Hearken not to this Koran, but keep up a talking, that ye may overpower the voice of the reader.”

Surely therefore will we cause the unbelievers to taste a terrible punishment;

And recompense them according to the worst of their actions.

This the reward of the enemies of God,-the Fire! it shall be their eternal abode, in requital for their gainsaying our signs.

And they who believed not shall say, “O our Lord! shew us those of the Djinn and men who led us astray:  both of them will we put under out feet, that they may be of the humbled.”

But as for those who say, “Our Lord is God;” and who go straight to Him,7 angels shall descend to them and say, “Fear ye not, neither be ye grieved, but rejoice ye in the paradise which ye have been promised.

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We are your guardians in this life and in the next:  your’s therein shall be your soul’s desire, and your’s therein whatever ye shall ask for,

The hospitality of a Gracious, a Merciful One.”

And who speaketh fairer than he who biddeth to God and doth the thing that is right, and saith, “I for my part am of the Muslims”?

Moreover, good and evil are not to be treated as the same thing.  Turn away evil by what is better, and lo! he between whom and thyself was enmity, shall be as though he were a warm friend.

But none attain to this save men steadfast in patience, and none attain to it except the most highly favoured.8

And if an enticement from Satan entice thee, then take refuge in God, for He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

And among his signs are the night, and the day, and the sun, and the moon.  Bend not in adoration to the sun or the moon, but bend in adoration before God who created them both, if ye would serve Him.

But if they are too proud for this, yet they who are with thy Lord do celebrate His praises night and day,9 and cease not.

And among His signs is this, that thou seest the earth drooping:  but, when we send down the rain upon it, it is stirred and swelleth; verily He who giveth it life, will surely give life to the dead; for His might extendeth over all things.10

They truly who with obloquy disown our signs are not hidden from us.  Is he then who shall be cast into the fire, or he who shall come forth secure on the day of resurrection, in the better position?  Do what ye will:  but His eye is on all your doings.

Verily, they who believe not in “the warning,” after it hath come to them . . . and yet the Koran is a glorious book!

Falsehood, from whatever side it cometh, shall not come night it;11 it is a missive down from the Wise, the Praiseworthy.

Nothing hath been said to thee which hath not been said of old to apostles before thee.  Verily with thy Lord is forgiveness, and with Him is terrible retribution.

Had we made it a Koran in a foreign tongue, they had surely said, “Unless its signs be made clear . . . !12 What! in a foreign tongue? and the people Arabian?” Say:  It is to those who believe a guide and a medicine;13 but as to those who believe not, there is a thickness in their ears, and to them it is a blindness:  they are like those who are called to from afar.

Of old we gave the Book to Moses, and disputes arose about it:  and if a decree of respite from thy Lord had gone before, there would surely have been a decision between them:  for great were their doubts and questionings about it.14

He who doth right-it is for himself:15 and he who doth evil-it is for himself:  and thy Lord will not deal unfairly with his servants.

With Him alone16 is the knowledge of “the Hour.”  No fruit cometh forth from its coverings, neither doth any female conceive, nor is she delivered, but with His knowledge.  And on that day He shall call men to Him, saying, “Where are the companions ye gave me?” They shall say, “We own to thee, there is no one of us can witness for them.”

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And what they erst called on shall pass away from them, and they shall perceive that there will be no escape for them.

Man ceaseth not to pray for good:  but if evil betide him he despondeth, despairing.

And if we cause him to taste our mercy after affliction hath touched him, he is sure to say, “This is my due:  and I take no thought of the Hour of Resurrection:  and if I be brought back to my Lord, I shall indeed attain with Him my highest good.”  But we will then certainly declare their doings to the Infidels, and cause them to taste a stern punishment.

When we are gracious to man, he withdraweth and turneth him aside:  but when evil toucheth him, he is a man of long prayers.

Say:  What think ye?  If this Book be from God and ye believe it not, who will have gone further astray than he who is at a distance from it?

We will shew them our signs in different countries and among themselves, until it become plain to them that it is the truth.  Is it not enough for thee that thy Lord is witness of all things?

Are they not in doubt as to the meeting with their Lord?  But doth he not encompass all things?

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1 In some MSS. this Sura is entitled Adoration.  Thus Beidh.  According to His. 186, comp.  Caussin 1, 375 f., Muhammad’s aim in this Sura was the conversion of a noble Meccan, Utba ben Rabia, to Islam.  The precise year is uncertain.

2 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

3 Thus SS.  Paul and Barnabas, Acts xiv. 15.

4 Or, never failing.

5 Lit. from before them and from behind them.

6 See Sura [lx.] xxxvi. 64, n.

7 Comp.  Sura [lxxxviii.] xlvi. 12.

8 Lit. the possessor of great good fortune.

9 Comp.  Rev. iv. 8 in the original.

10 Thus Tr.  Taanith (init.).

11 Lit. vanity shall not come to it from before it, or from behind it.

12 We will not receive it.  The literal rendering of the following words is what! foreign and Arabian?

13 Comp.  Sura [lxvii.] xvii. 83, 84.

14 Lit. verily they were in suspicious doubting about it.

15 Lit. for his soul.  See next Sura, v. 14.

16 Lit. to Him is referred.

SURA XLV.-THE KNEELING [LXXII.]

Mecca.-36 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HaMim.1 This Book is sent down2 from God, the Mighty, the Wise!

Assuredly in the Heavens and the Earth are signs for those who believe: 

And in your own creation, and in the beasts which are scattered abroad are signs to the firm in faith: 

And in the succession of night and day, and in the supply which God sendeth down from the Heaven whereby He giveth life to the earth when dead, and in the change of the winds, are signs for a people of discernment.

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Such are the signs of God:  with truth do we recite them to thee.  But in what teaching will they believe, if they reject3 God and his signs?

Woe to every lying sinner,

Who heareth the signs of God recited to him, and then, as though he heard them not, persisteth in proud disdain!  Apprise him of an afflictive punishment.

And when he becometh acquainted with any of our signs he turneth them into ridicule.  These! a shameful punishment for them!

Hell is behind them! and neither their gains nor the lords whom they have adopted beside God shall avail them in the least:  and theirs, a great punishment!

This is “Guidance:”  and for those who disbelieve the signs of their Lord is the punishment of an afflictive torment.

It is God who hath subjected the sea to you that the ships may traverse it at his bidding, and that ye may go in quest of the gifts of his bounty, and that ye may be thankful.

And he hath subjected to you all that is in the Heavens and all that is on the Earth:  all is from him.  Verily, herein are signs for those who reflect.

Tell the believers to pardon those who hope not for the days of God4 in which He purposeth to reward men according to their deeds.

He who doth that which is right, doth it to his own behoof, and whoso doth evil, doth it to his own hurt.  Hereafter, to your Lord shall ye be brought back.

To the children of Israel gave we of old the Book and the Wisdom, and the gift of Prophecy, and we supplied them with good things, and privileged them above all peoples: 

And we gave them clear sanctions for our behests:  neither did they differ, through mutual envy, till after they had become possessed of knowledge; but thy Lord will judge between them on the day of resurrection, as to the subject of their disputes.

Afterwards we set thee over our divine law:5 follow it then:  and follow not the wishes of those who have no knowledge,

For against God shall they avail thee nothing.  And in sooth, the doers of evil are one another’s patrons; but the patron of them that fear Him is God himself.

This Book hath insight for mankind, and a Guidance and Mercy to a people who are firm in faith.

Deem they whose gettings are only evil, that we will deal with them as with those who believe and work righteousness, so that their lives and deaths shall be alike?  Ill do they judge.

In all truth hath God created the Heavens and the Earth, that he may reward every one as he shall have wrought; and they shall not be wronged.

What thinkest thou?  He who hath made a God of his passions, and whom God causeth wilfully to err, and whose ears and whose heart he hath sealed up, and over whose sight he hath placed a veil-who, after his rejection by God, shall guide such a one?  Will ye not then be warned?

And they say, “There is only this our present life:  we die and we live, and nought but time destroyeth us.”  But in this they have no knowledge:  it is merely their own conceit.

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And when our clear signs are recited to them, their only argument is to say, “Bring back our fathers, if ye speak the truth.”

Say:  God giveth you life, then causeth you to die:  then will He assemble you on the day of resurrection:  there is no doubt of it:  but most men have not this knowledge.

And God’s is the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth; and on the day when the Hour shall arrive, on that day shall the despisers6 perish.

And thou shalt see every nation kneeling:  to its own book shall every nation be summoned:-”This day shall ye be repaid as ye have wrought.

This our Book will speak of you with truth:  therein have we written down whatever ye have done.”

As to those who have believed and wrought righteously, into his mercy shall their Lord cause them to enter.  This shall be undoubted bliss!

But as to the Infidels-"Were not my signs recited to you? but ye proudly scorned them, and became a sinful people.”

And when it was said, “Verily the Promise of God is truth; and as to the Hour, there is no doubt of it;” ye said, “We know not what the hour is-we conceive it a mere conceit,-we have no assurance of it.”

And the evils they have wrought shall rise up into their view, and that at which they mocked shall hem them in on every side.

And it shall be said to them, “This day will we forget you as ye forgat your meeting with us this day, and your abode shall be the fire, and none shall there be to succour you:-

This, because ye received the signs of God with mockery, and this present life deceived you.”  On that day therefore they shall not come out from it; and they shall not be asked to win the favour of God.

Praise then be to God, Lord of the Heavens and Lord of the Earth; the Lord of the worlds!

And His be the greatness in the Heavens and on the Earth; for He is the Mighty, the Wise!

_______________________

1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32.

2 Lit. the sending down, i.e. the revelation of the Book.

3 Lit. after God.

4 That is, the days of victory.  In Scripture phrase, “the days of the right hand of the Most High.”

5 The Arabic amri may be rendered either command or business, i.e. of religion.

6 Lit. the makers vain, i.e. vanitatis arguentes alcoranum.  Mar.

SURA XVI.-THE BEE [LXXIII.]

Mecca.-128 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The doom of God cometh to pass.  Then hasten it not.  Glory be to Him!  High let
Him be exalted above the gods whom they join with Him!

By his own behest will He cause the angels to descend with the Spirit on whom he pleaseth among his servants, bidding them, “Warn that there is no God but me; therefore fear me.”

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He hath created the Heavens and the Earth to set forth his truth;1 high let
Him be exalted above the gods they join with Him!

Man hath He created from a moist germ;2 yet lo! man is an open caviller.

And the cattle! for you hath He created them:  in them ye have warm garments and gainful uses; and of them ye eat: 

And they beseem you well3 when ye fetch them home and when ye drive them forth to pasture: 

And they carry your burdens to lands which ye could not else reach but with travail of soul:  truly your Lord is full of goodness, and merciful: 

And He hath given you horses, mules, and asses, that ye may ride them, and for your ornament:  and things of which ye have no knowledge hath he created.

Of God it is to point out “the Way.”  Some turn aside from it:  but had He pleased, He had guided you all aright.

It is He who sendeth down rain out of Heaven:  from it is your drink; and from it are the plants by which ye pasture.

By it He causeth the corn, and the olives, and the palm-trees, and the grapes to spring forth for you, and all kinds of fruits:  verily, in this are signs for those who ponder.

And He hath subjected to you the night and the day; the sun and the moon and the stars too are subjected to you by his behest; verily, in this are signs for those who understand: 

And all of varied hues that He hath created for you over the earth:  verily, in this are signs for those who remember.

And He it is who hath subjected the sea to you, that ye may eat of its fresh fish, and take forth from it ornaments to wear-thou seest the ships ploughing its billows-and that ye may go in quest of his bounties, and that ye might give thanks.

And He hath thrown firm mountains on the earth, least it move with you; and rivers and paths for your guidance,

And way marks.  By the stars too are men guided.

Shall He then who hath created be as he who hath not created?  Will ye not consider?

And if ye would reckon up the favours of God, ye could not count them.  Aye!  God is right Gracious, Merciful!

And God knoweth what ye conceal, and what ye bring to light,

While the gods whom they call on beside God, create nothing, but are themselves created: 

Dead are they, lifeless! and they know not

When they shall be raised!

Your God is the one God:  and they who believe not in a future life, have hearts given to denial, and are men of pride:-

Beyond a doubt God knoweth what they conceal and what they manifest:-

He truly loveth not the men of pride.

For when it is said to them, “What is this your Lord hath sent down?” they say, “Fables of the ancients,"-

That on the day of resurrection they may bear their own entire burden, and the burden of those whom they, in their ignorance, misled.  Shall it not be a grievous burden for them?

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They who were before them did plot of old.  But God attacked their building at its foundation the roof fell on them from above; and, whence they looked not for it, punishment overtook them:4

On the day of resurrection, too, will He shame them.  He will say, “Where are the gods ye associated with me, the subjects of your disputes?” They to whom “the knowledge” hath been given will say, Verily, this day shall shame and evil fall upon the infidels.

The sinners against their own souls whom the angels shall cause to die will proffer the submission, “No evil have we done.”  Nay!  God knoweth what ye have wrought: 

Enter ye therefore the gates of Hell to remain therein for ever:  and horrid the abiding place of the haughty ones!

But to those who have feared God it shall be said, “What is this that your Lord hath awarded?” They shall say, “That which is best.  To those who do good, a good reward in this present world; but better the mansion of the next, and right pleasant the abode of the God-fearing!”

Gardens of Eden into which they shall enter; rivers shall flow beneath their shades; all they wish for shall they find therein!  Thus God rewardeth those who fear Him;

To whom, as righteous persons, the angels shall say, when they receive their souls, “Peace be on you!  Enter Paradise as the meed of your labours.”

What can the infidels expect but that the angels of death come upon them, or that a sentence of thy Lord take effect?  Thus did they who flourished before them.  God was not unjust to them, but to their ownselves were they unjust;

And the ill which they had done recoiled upon them, and that which they had scoffed at encompassed them round about.

They who have joined other gods with God say, “Had He pleased, neither we nor our fathers had worshipped aught but him; nor should we, apart from him, have forbidden aught.”  Thus acted they who were before them.  Yet is the duty of the apostles other than public preaching?

And to every people have we sent an apostle saying:-Worship God and turn away from Taghout.5 Some of them there were whom God guided, and there were others decreed to err.  But go through the land and see what hath been the end of those who treated my apostles as liars!

If thou art anxious for their guidance, know that God will not guide him whom He would lead astray, neither shall they have any helpers.

And they swear by God with their most sacred oath that “God will never raise him who once is dead.”  Nay, but on Him is a promise binding, though most men know it not,-

That He may clear up to them the subject of their disputes, and that the infidels may know that they are liars.

Our word to a thing when we will it, is but to say, “Be,” and it is.6

And as to those who when oppressed have fled their country for the sake of God, we will surely provide them a goodly abode in this world, but greater the reward of the next life, did they but know it

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They who bear ills with patience and put their trust in the Lord!

None have we sent before thee but men inspired ask of those who have Books of Monition,7 if ye know it not-

With proofs of their mission and Scriptures:  and to thee have we sent down this Book of Monition that thou mayest make clear to men what hath been sent down to them, and that they may ponder it.

What!  Are they then who have plotted mischiefs, sure that God will not cause the earth to cleave under them? or that a chastisement will not come upon them whence they looked not for it?

Or that He will not seize upon them in their comings and goings, while they shall not be able to resist him?

Or that he will not seize them with some slowly wasting scourge?  But verily your Lord is Good, Gracious.

Have they not seen how everything which God hath created turneth its shadow right and left, prostrating itself before God in all abasement?

And all in the Heavens and all on the Earth, each thing that moveth, and the very angels, prostrate them in adoration before God, and are free from pride;

They fear their Lord who is above them, and do what they are bidden: 

For God hath said, “Take not to yourselves two gods, for He is one God:  me, therefore! yea, me revere!

All in the Heavens and in the Earth is His!  His due unceasing service!  Will ye then fear any other than God?

And all your blessings are assuredly from God:  then, when trouble befalleth you, to Him ye turn for help: 

Then when He relieveth you of the trouble, lo! some of you join associates with your Lord:-

To prove how thankless are they for our gifts!  Enjoy yourselves then:  but in the end ye shall know the truth.

And for idols, of which they know nothing, they set apart a share of our bounties!  By God ye shall be called to account for your devices!

And they ascribe daughters unto God!  Glory be to Him!  But they desire them not for themselves:8

For when the birth of a daughter is announced to any one of them, dark shadows settle on his face, and he is sad: 

He hideth him from the people because of the ill tidings:  shall he keep it with disgrace or bury it in the dust?9 Are not their judgments wrong?

To whatever is evil may they be likened who believe not in a future life;10 but God is to be likened to whatever is loftiest:  for He is the Mighty, the Wise.

Should God punish men for their perverse doings, he would not leave on earth a moving thing! but to an appointed term doth He respite them; and when their term is come, they shall not delay or advance it an hour.

Yet what they loathe themselves do they assign to God; and their tongues utter the lie, that theirs shall be a goodly lot.  But beyond a doubt is it that the fire awaiteth them, and that they shall be the first sent into it.

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By God we have sent Apostles to nations before thee, but Satan prepared their work for them, and this day is he their liege; and a woeful punishment doth await them.

And we have sent down the Book to thee only, that thou mightest clear up to them the subject of their wranglings, and as a guidance and a mercy to those who believe.

And God sendeth down water from Heaven, and by it giveth life to the Earth after it hath been dead:  verily, in this is a sign to those who hearken.

Ye have also teaching from the cattle.  We give you drink of the pure milk, between dregs and blood, which is in their bellies; the pleasant beverage of them that quaff it.

And among fruits ye have the palm and the vine, from which ye get wine and healthful nutriment:  in this, verily, are signs for those who reflect.

And thy Lord hath taught the Bee, saying:  “Provide thee houses in the mountains, and in the trees, and in the hives which men do build thee: 

Feed, moreover, on every kind of fruit, and walk the beaten paths of thy Lord.”  From its belly cometh forth a fluid of varying hues,11 which yieldeth medicine to man.  Verily in this is a sign for those who consider.

And God hath created you; by and bye will he take you to himself; and some among you will he carry on to abject old age, when all that once was known is known no longer.  Aye, God is Knowing, Powerful.

And God hath abounded to some of you more than to others in the supplies of life; yet they to whom He hath abounded, impart not thereof to the slaves whom their right hands possess, so that they may share alike.  What! will they deny, then, that these boons are from God?

God, too, hath given you wives of your own race, and from your wives hath He given you sons and grandsons, and with good things hath he supplied you.  What, will they then believe in vain idols?  For God’s boons they are ungrateful!

And they worship beside God those who neither out of the Heavens or Earth can provide them a particle of food, and have no power in themselves!

Make no comparisons, therefore, with God.12 Verily, God hath knowledge, but ye have not.

God maketh comparison between a slave13 the property of his lord, who hath no power over anything, and a free man whom we have ourselves supplies, and who giveth alms therefrom both in secret and openly.  Shall they be held equal?  No:  praise be to God!  But most men know it not.

God setteth forth also a comparison between two men, one of whom is dumb from his birth, and hath no power over anything, and is a burden to his lord:  send him where he will, he cometh not back with success.  Shall he and the man who enjoineth what is just, and keepeth in the straight path, be held equal?

God’s are the secrets of the Heavens and of the Earth! and the business of the last hour will be but as the twinkling of an eye, or even less.  Yes! for all things is God Potent.

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God hath brought you out of your mothers’ wombs devoid of all knowledge; but hath given you hearing, and sight, and heart, that haply ye might render thanks.

Have they never looked up at the birds subjected to Him in Heaven’s vault?  None holdeth them in hand but God!  In this are signs for those who believe.

And God hath given you tents to dwell in:  and He hath given you the skins of beasts for tents, that ye may find them light when ye shift your quarters, or when ye halt; and from their wool and soft fur and hair, hath He supplied you with furniture and goods for temporary use.

And from the things which He hath created, hath God provided shade for you, and hath given you the mountains for places of shelter, and hath given you garments to defend you from the heat, and garments to defend you in your wars.  Thus doth He fill up the measure of His goodness towards you, that you may resign yourselves to Him.

But if they turn their backs, still thy office is only plain spoken preaching.

They own the goodness of God-then they disown it-and most of them are infidels.

But one day, we will raise up a witness out of every nation:  them shall the infidels have no permission to make excuses, and they shall find no favour.

And when they who have acted thus wrongly shall behold their torment, it shall not be made light to them, nor will God deign to look upon them.

And when they who had joined associates with God shall see those their associate-gods, they shall say, “O our Lord! these are our associate-gods whom we called upon beside Thee.”  But they shall retort on them, “Verily, ye are liars.”

And on that day shall they proffer submission to God; and the deities of their own invention shall vanish from them.

As for those who were infidels and turned others aside from the way of God, to them we will add punishment on punishment for their corrupt doings.

And one day we will summon up in every people a witness against them from among themselves; and we will bring thee up as a witness against these Meccans:  for to thee have we sent down the Book which cleareth up everything, a guidance, and mercy, and glad tidings to those who resign themselves to God (to Muslims).

Verily, God enjoineth justice and the doing of good and gifts to kindred, and he forbiddeth wickedness and wrong and oppression.  He warneth you that haply ye may be mindful.

Be faithful in the covenant of God when ye have covenanted, and break not your oaths after ye have pledged them:  for now have ye made God to stand surety for you.  Verily, God hath knowledge of what ye do.

And, because you are a more numerous people than some other people, be not like her who unravelleth the thread which she had strongly spun, by taking your oaths with mutual perfidy.  God is making trial of you in this:  and in the day of resurrection he will assuredly clear up to you that concerning which ye are now at variance.

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Had God pleased, He could have made you one people:  but He causeth whom He will to err, and whom He will He guideth:  and ye shall assuredly be called to account for your doings.

Therefore take not your oaths with mutual fraud, lest your foot slip after it hath been firmly fixed, and ye taste of evil because ye have turned others aside from the way of God, and great be your punishment.

And barter not the covenant of God for a mean price; for with God is that which is better for you, if ye do but understand.

All that is with you passeth away, but that which is with God abideth.  With a reward meet for their best deeds will we surely recompense those who have patiently endured.

Whoso doeth that which is right, whether male or female, if a believer, him will we surely quicken to a happy life, and recompense them with a reward meet for their best deeds.

When thou readest the Koran, have recourse to God for help against Satan the stoned,14

For no power hath he over those who believe, and put their trust in their Lord,

But only hath he power over those who turn away from God, and join other deities with Him.

And when we change one (sign) verse for another, and God knoweth best what He revealeth, they say, “Thou art only a fabricator.”  Nay! but most of them have no knowledge.

Say:  The Holy Spirit15 hath brought it down with truth from thy Lord, that He may stablish those who have believed, and as guidance and glad tidings to the Muslims.

We also know that they say, “Surely a certain person teacheth him.”  But the tongue of him at whom they hint is foreign,16 while this Koran is in the plain Arabic.

As for those who believe not in the signs of God, God will not guide them, and a sore torment doth await them.

Surely they invent a lie who believe not in the signs of God-and they are the liars.

Whoso, after he hath believed in God denieth him, if he were forced to it and if his heart remain steadfast in the faith, shall be guiltless:17 but whoso openeth his breast to infidelity-on such shall be wrath from God, and a severe punishment awaiteth them.

This, because they have loved this present life beyond the next, and because God guideth not the unbelievers!

These are they whose hearts and ears and eyes God hath sealed up:  these are the careless ones:  in the next world shall they perish beyond a doubt.

To those also who after their trials fled their country,18 then fought and endured with patience, verily, thy Lord will in the end be forgiving, gracious.

On a certain day shall every soul come to plead for itself, and every soul shall be repaid according to its deeds; and they shall not be wronged.

God proposeth the instance of a city,19 secure and at ease, to which its supplies come in plenty from every side.  But she was thankless for the boons of God; God therefore made her taste the woe20 of famine and of fear, for what they had done.

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Moreover, an apostle of their own people came to them, and they treated him as an impostor.  So chastisement overtook them because they were evil doers.

Of what God hath supplied you eat the lawful and good, and be grateful for the favours of God, if ye are his worshippers.

Forbidden to you is that only which dieth of itself, and blood, and swine’s flesh, and that which hath been slain in the name of any other than God:  but if any be forced, and neither lust for it nor wilfully transgress, then verily God is forgiving, gracious.21

And say not with a lie upon your tongue, “This is lawful and this is forbidden:”  for so will ye invent a lie concerning God:  but they who invent a lie of God shall not prosper: 

Brief their enjoyment, but sore their punishment!

To the Jews22 we have forbidden that of which we before told thee; we injured them not, but they injured themselves.

To those who have done evil in ignorance, then afterwards have repented and amended, verily thy Lord is in the end right gracious, merciful.

Verily, Abraham was a leader in religion:23 obedient to God, sound in faith:24 he was not of those who join gods with God.

Grateful was he for His favours:  God chose him and guided him into the straight way;

And we bestowed on him good things in this world:  and in the world to come he shall be among the just.

We have moreover revealed to thee that thou follow the religion of Abraham, the sound in faith.  He was not of those who join gods with God.

The Sabbath was only ordained for those who differed about it:  and of a truth thy Lord will decide between them on the day of resurrection as to the subject of their disputes.

Summon thou to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and with kindly warning:  dispute with them in the kindest manner:  thy Lord best knoweth those who stray from his way, and He best knoweth those who have yielded to his guidance.

If ye make reprisals,25 then make them to the same extent that ye were injured:  but if ye can endure patiently, best will it be for the patiently enduring.

Endure then with patience.  But thy patient endurance must be sought in none but God.  And be not grieved about the infidels, and be not troubled at their devices; for God is with those who fear him and do good deeds.

_______________________

1 See Sura [lxxxiv.] x. 5, n.

2 Ex gutta spermatis.  Pirke Aboth iii.  Unde venisti? ex guttá foetidâ.  This verse is said to be an allusion to a difficulty proposed by an idolatrous Arab, who brought a carious leg-bone to Muhammad, and asked whether it could be restored to life.  Compare a similar argument for the Resurrection, Tr.  Sanhedrin, fol. 91 a.

3 Lit. there is beauty in them for you, i.e. they win you credit.

4 In allusion to Gen. xi. 1-10.

5 An Arabian idol.

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6 Ps. xxxv. 9.

7 Lit. the family of the admonition, i.e.  Jews and Christians versed in the Pentateuch and Gospel.

8 The idolatrous Arabians regarded Angels as females and daughters of God.  But their own preference was always for male offspring.  Thus Rabbinism teaches that to be a woman is a great degradation.  The modern Jew says in his Daily Prayers, fol. 5, 6, “Blessed art thou, O Lord our God!  King of the Universe! who hath not made me a woman.”

9 See Sura lxxxi. 8, p. 45.  It is said that the only occasion on which Othman ever shed a tear was when his little daughter, whom he was burying alive, wiped the dust of the grave-earth from his beard.

10 Lit. the likeness of evil to those, etc.

11 The Arabs are curious in and fond of honey:  Mecca alone affords eight or nine varieties-green, white, red, and brown.  Burton’s Pilgr. iii. 110.

12 Ex. xx. 4.

13 The slave, and the dumb in verse following, are the idols.

14 See Sura [xcvii.] iii. 34, and n. 1, p. 114.

15 Gabriel.

16 This passage has been supposed to refer to Salman the Persian.  He did not, however, embrace Islam till a much later period, at Medina.  Nöld. p. 110.  Mr. Muir thinks that it may refer to Suheib, son of Sinan, “the first fruits of Greece,” as Muhammad styled him, who, while yet a boy, had been carried off by some Greeks as a slave, from Mesopotamia to Syria, brought by a party of the Beni Kalb, and sold to Abdallah ibn Jodda’ân of Mecca.  He became rich, and embraced Islam.  Dr. Sprenger thinks the person alluded to may have been Addas, a monk of Nineveh, who had settled at Mecca.  Life of M. p. 79.

17 This is to be understood of the persecutions endured by the more humble and needy Muslims by their townspeople of Mecca.

18 From Mecca to Medina, i.e. the Mohadjers, to whom also verse 43 refers.  Both passages, therefore, are of a later date than the rest of this Sura.  Thus Nöldeke.  Sprenger, however (Life, p. 159), explains this passage of the seven slaves purchased and manumitted by Abu Bekr.  They had been tortured for professing Islam, shortly after Muhammad assumed the Prophetic office.

19 Mecca.

20 Lit. the garment.

21 Comp.  Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 119.

22 Comp.  Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 147.  This verse as well as the following, and verse 125, were probably added at Medina.

23 Antistes.  Maracci.  Or the text may be literally rendered Abraham was a people, i.e. the people of Abraham; from whom the idolatrous Koreisch pretended to derive their origin.

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24 Ar. a Hanyf.  According to a tradition in Waquidi, fol. 255, Zaid (who died only five years before Muhammad received his first inspiration, and undoubtedly prepared the way for many of his subsequent announcements) adopted this term at the instance of a Christian and a Jew, who exhorted him to become a Hanyf.  Zaid having at this time renounced idolatry, and being unable to receive either Judaism or Christianity, “What,” said he, “is a Hanyf?” They both told him, it was the religion of Abraham, who worshipped nothing but God.  On this Zaid exclaimed, “O God, I bear witness that I follow the religion of Abraham.”  The root, whence Hanyf is derived, means generally to turn from good to bad, or vice versâ, and is equivalent to the verbs convert and pervert.

25 All Muhammadan commentators explain this verse as a prohibition to avenge the death of Hamza on the Meccans with too great severity.

SURA XXX.-THE GREEKS [LXXIV.]

Mecca.-60 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF.  LamMim.1 The Greeks have been defeated2

In a land hard by:  But after their defeat they shall defeat their foes,

In a few years.3 First and last is the affair with God.  And on that day shall the faithful rejoice

In the aid of their God:  He aideth whom He will; and He is the Mighty, the
Merciful.

It is the promise of God:  To his promise God will not be untrue:  but most men know it not.

They know the outward shews of this life present, but of the next life are they careless.

Have they not considered within themselves that God hath not created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is between them but for a serious end, and for a fixed term?  But truly most men believe not that they shall meet their Lord.

Have they never journeyed through the land, and seen what hath been the end of those who were before them?  Mightier were they than these in strength; and they broke up the land, and dwelt in it in greater numbers than they who dwell there now; and their apostles came to them with proofs of their mission:  and it was not God who would wrong them, but they wronged themselves.

Then evil was the end of the evil doers; because they had treated our signs as lies, and laughed them to scorn.

God bringth forth the creation-then causeth it to return again-then to Him shall ye come back.4

And on the day when the hour shall arrive, the guilty shall be struck dumb for despair,

And they shall have no intercessors from among the gods whom they have joined with God, and they shall deny the gods they joined with Him.

And on that day when the Hour shall arrive, shall men be separated one from another;

And as for those who shall have believed and done the things that are right, they shall enjoy themselves in a flowery mead;

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But as for those who shall not have believed, but treated our signs and the meeting of the next life as lies, they shall be given over to the torment.

Glorify God therefore when ye reach the evening, and when ye rise at morn: 

And to Him be praise in the Heavens and on the Earth; and at twilight, and when ye rest at noon.

He bringeth forth the living out of the dead, and He bringeth forth the dead out of the living:  and He quickeneth the earth when dead.  Thus is it that ye too shall be brought forth.5

And one of his signs it is that He hath created you out of dust; then lo! ye become men who spread themselves far and wide: 

And one of his signs it is, that He hath created wives for you of your own species,6 that ye may dwell with them, and hath put love and tenderness between you.  Herein truly are signs for those who reflect.

And among his signs are the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth, and your variety of tongues and colour.  Herein truly are signs for all men.

And of his signs are your sleep by night and by day, and your goings in quest of his bounties.  Herein truly are signs to those who hearken.

And of his signs are, that He sheweth you the lightning, a source of awe and hope; and that He sendeth down rain from the heaven and giveth life by it to the earth when dead.  Herein truly are signs to those who understand.

And of his signs also one is that the Heaven and the Earth stand firm at his bidding:  hereafter, when with one summons He shall summon you out of the earth,-lo! forth shall ye come.

His, whatsoever is in the Heavens and on the Earth:  all are obedient to him.

And He it is who bringeth a creature forth, then causeth it to return again; and to him is this most easy.  To whatever is loftiest in heaven and earth is He to be likened; and He is the Mighty, the Wise.

He setteth forth to you an instance drawn from yourselves.  Have ye among the slaves whom your right hands have won, any partner in what we have bestowed on you, so that ye share alike?  Fear ye them as ye fear each other? (Thus make we our signs clear to men of understanding.)

No, ye do not.  But the wicked, devoid of knowledge, follow their own desires:7 and those whom God shall mislead, who shall guide, and who shall be their protector?

Set thou thy face then, as a true convert,8 towards the Faith which God hath made, and for which He hath made man.  No change is there in the creation of God.  This is the right Faith, but the greater part of men know it not.

And be ye turned to Him, and fear Him, and observe prayer, and be not of those who unite gods with God: 

Of those who have split up their religion, and have become sects, where every party rejoices in what is their own.9

When some evil toucheth men, they turn to their Lord and call upon him:  then when he hath made them taste his mercy, lo, a part of them join other gods with their Lord,

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Ungrateful for our favours!  Enjoy yourselves then.  But in the end ye shall know your folly.

Have we sent down to them any mandate which speaketh in favour of what they join with God?

When we cause men to taste mercy they rejoice in it; but if, for that which their hands have aforetime wrought, evil befall them, they despair.

See they not that God bestoweth full supplies on whom He pleaseth and giveth sparingly to whom He pleaseth?  Signs truly are there herein to those who believe.

To him who is of kin to thee give his due, and to the poor and to the wayfarer:  this will be best for those who seek the face of God; and with them it shall be well.

Whatever ye put out at usury to increase it with the substance of others shall have no increase from God:10 but whatever ye shall give in alms, as seeking the face of God, shall be doubled to you.

It is God who created you-then fed you-then will cause you to die-then will make you alive.  Is there any of your companion-gods who can do aught of these things?  Praise be to Him! and far be He exalted above the gods they join with Him.

Destruction hath appeared by land and by sea on account of what men’s hands have wrought, that it might make them taste somewhat of the fruit of their doings, that haply they might turn to God.

Say:  Journey through the land, and see what hath been the end of those who were before you!  The greater part of them joined other gods with God.

Set thy face then towards the right faith, ere the day come which none can hinder God from bringing on.11 On that day shall they be parted in twain: 

Unbelievers on whom shall be their unbelief; and they who have wrought righteousness, and prepared for themselves couches of repose: 

That of his bounty He may reward those who have believed and wrought righteousness; for the unbelievers He loveth not.

And one of his signs is that He sendeth the winds with glad tidings of rain, both that He may cause you to taste his mercy, and that ships may sail at his command, that out of his bounties ye may seek wealth, and that haply ye may render thanks.

We have sent apostles before thee to their peoples, and they presented themselves to them with clear proofs of their mission; and while it behoved us to succour the faithful, we took vengeance on the guilty.

It is God who sendeth the winds and uplifteth the clouds, and, as He pleaseth, spreadeth them on high, and breaketh them up; and thou mayest see the rain issuing from their midst; and when He poureth it down on such of his servants as He pleaseth, lo! they are filled with joy,

Even they who before it was sent down to them, were in mute despair.

Look then at the traces of God’s mercy-how after its death he quickeneth the earth!  This same God will surely quicken the dead, for to all things His might is equal.

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Yet should we send a blast, and should they see their harvest turn yellow, they would afterwards shew themselves ungrateful.

Thou canst not make the dead to hear, neither canst thou make the deaf to hear the call, when they withdraw and turn their backs: 

Neither canst thou guide the blind out of their error:  in sooth, none shalt thou make to hear, save him who shall believe in our signs:  for they are resigned to our will (Muslims).

It is God who hath created you in weakness, then after weakness hath given you strength:  then after strength, weakness and grey hairs:  He createth what He will; and He is the Wise, the Powerful.

And on the day whereon the Hour shall arrive, the wicked will swear

That not above an hour have they waited:  Even so did they utter lies on earth: 

But they to whom knowledge and faith have been given will say, “Ye have waited, in accordance with the book of God, till the day of Resurrection:  for this is the day of the Resurrection-but ye knew it not.”

On that day their plea shall not avail the wicked, neither shall they again be bidden to seek acceptance with God.

And now have we set before men, in this Koran, every kind of parable:  yet if thou bring them a single verse of it, the infidels will surely say, “Ye are only utterers of vain things.”

It is thus that God hath sealed up the hearts of those who are devoid of knowledge.

But do thou, Muhammad, bear with patience, for true is the promise of God; and let not those who have no firm belief, unsettle thee.

_______________________

1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

2 By the Persians; probably in Palestine in the 6th year before the Hejira, under Khosrou Parviz. (Ann. 615.  See Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, ch. xlvi.) The sympathies of Muhammad would naturally be enlisted on the side of the Christians rather than on that of the idolatrous fire-worshippers, with whom Islam had nothing in common.

3 This alludes to the defeat of the Persians by Heraclius, ann. 625.  The Muhammadans appeal to this passage as a clear proof of the inspiration of their prophet.  But it should be borne in mind that the vowel points of the consonants of the Arabic word for defeated in verse 1, not being originally written, and depending entirely on the speaker or reader, would make the prophecy true in either event, according as the verb received an active or passive sense in pronunciation.  The whole passage was probably constructed with the view of its proving true in any event.

4 Comp.  Psalm xc. 30, in the Arabic version.

5 The Talmudists apply the description of God of the sender of the rain to the divine command which shall cause the dead to arise.  Taanith (init.).

6 Lit. from yourselves, i.e. either from the side of Adam or of human, and of no other kind of being.  Beidh.

7 By worshipping idols conjointly with God.

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8 Lit. as a Hanyf.  See note on the preceding Sura, 121, p. 209.

9 Peculiar to and distinctive of themselves.  Muhammad had a just appreciation of that narrowness of mind which is the characteristic of sectarians in every age, who seize upon some one point of truth, through inability to grasp the whole in its due proportions and bearing, and glory in it, as if the fragment were the whole.

10 Comp.  Ps. xv. 5.

11 Lit. which none can put back from God.

SURA XI.-HOUD [LXXV.]

Mecca.-123 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF.  LamRa.1 A book whose verses are stablished in wisdom and then set forth with clearness from the Wise, the All-informed-

That ye worship none other than God-Verily I come to you from Him charged with warnings, announcements;

And that ye seek pardon of your Lord, and then be turned unto Him!  Goodly enjoyments will He give you to enjoy until a destined time, and His favours will He bestow on every one who deserves his favours.2 But if ye turn away, then verily I fear for you the chastisement of the great day.

Unto God shall ye return, and over all things is he Potent.

Do they not doubly fold up their breasts, that they may hide themselves from
Him?

But when they enshroud themselves in their garments, doth He not know alike what they conceal and what they shew?

For He knoweth the very inmost of their breast.

There is no moving thing on earth whose nourishment dependeth not on God; he knoweth its haunts and final resting place:  all is in the clear Book.

And He it is who hath made the Heavens and the Earth in six days:  His throne had stood ere this upon the waters,3 that He might make proof which of you4 would excel in works.

And if thou say, “After death ye shall surely be raised again,” the infidels will certainly exclaim, “This is nothing but pure sorcery.”

And if we defer their chastisement to some definite time, they will exclaim, “What keepeth it back?” What! will it not come upon them on a day when there shall be none to avert it from them?  And that at which they scoffed shall enclose them in on every side.

And if we cause man to taste our mercy, and then deprive him of it, verily, he is despairing, ungrateful.

And if after trouble hath befallen him we cause him to taste our favour, he will surely exclaim, “The evils are passed away from me.”  Verily, he is joyous, boastful.

Except those who endure with patience and do the things that are right:  these doth pardon await and a great reward.

Perhaps thou wilt suppress a part of what hath been revealed to thee, and wilt be distress at heart lest they say, “If a treasure be not sent down to him, or an angel come with him. . . .”  But thou art only a warner, and God hath all things in his charge.

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If they shall say, “The Koran is his own device,” Say:  Then bring ten Suras like it5 of your devising, and call whom ye can to your aid beside God, if ye are men of truth.

But if they answer you not, then know that it hath been sent down to you in the wisdom of God only, and that there is no God but He.  Are ye then Muslims?

Those who choose this present life and its braveries, we will recompense for their works therein:  they shall have nothing less therein than their deserts.

These are they for whom there is nothing in the next world but the Fire:  all that they have wrought in this life shall come to nought, and vain shall be all their doings.

With such can they be compared who rest upon clear proofs from their Lord? to whom a witness from him reciteth the Koran, and who is preceded by the Book of Moses, a guide and mercy?  These have faith in it:  but the partisans of idolatry, who believe not in it, are menaced with the fire!  Have thou no doubts about that Book, for it is the very truth from thy Lord.  But most men will not believe.

Who is guilty of a greater injustice than he who inventeth a lie concerning God?  They shall be set before their Lord, and the witnesses shall say, “These are they who made their Lord a liar.”  Shall not the malison of God be on these unjust doers,

Who pervert others from the way of God, and seek to make it crooked, and believe not in a life to come?  God’s power on earth they shall not weaken; and beside God they have no protector!  Doubled shall be their punishment!  They were not able to hearken, and they could not see.

These are they who have lost their own souls, and the deities of their own devising have vanished from them: 

There is no doubt but that in the next world they shall be the lost ones.

But they who shall have believed and done the things that are right, and humbled them before their Lord, shall be the inmates of Paradise; therein shall they abide for ever.

These two sorts of persons resemble the blind and deaf, and the seeing and hearing:  shall these be compared as alike?  Ah! do ye not comprehend?

We sent Noah of old unto his people:-"Verily I come to you a plain admonisher,

That ye worship none but God.  Verily I fear for you the punishment of a grievous day.”

Then said the chiefs of his people who believed not, “We see in thee but a man like ourselves; and we see not who have followed thee except our meanest ones of hasty judgment, nor see we any excellence in you above ourselves:  nay, we deem you liars.”

He said:  “O my people! how think you?  If I am upon a clear revelation from my Lord, who hath bestowed on me mercy from Himself to which ye are blind, can we force it on you, if ye are averse from it?

And, O my people!  I ask you not for riches:  my reward is of God alone:  and I will not drive away those who believe that they shall meet their Lord:-but I see that ye are an ignorant people.

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And, O my people! were I to drive them away, who shall help me against God?  Will ye not therefore consider?

And I tell you not that with me are the treasures of God:  nor do I say, ’I know the things unseen;’ nor do I say, ‘I am an angel;’ nor do I say of those whom you eye with scorn, No good thing will God bestow on them:-God best knoweth what is in their minds-for then should I be one of those who act unjustly.”

They said:  “O Noah! already hast thou disputed with us, and multiplied disputes with us:  Bring then upon us what thou hast threatened, if thou be of those who speak truth.”

He said, “God will bring it on you at His sole pleasure, and it is not you who can weaken him;

Nor, if God desire to mislead you, shall my counsel profit you, though I fain would counsel you aright.  He is your Lord, and unto Him shall ye be brought back.

Do they say, “This Koran is of his own devising?” Say:  On me be my own guilt, if I have devised it, but I am clear of that whereof ye are guilty.

And it was revealed unto Noah.  Verily, none of thy people shall believe, save they who have believed already; therefore be not thou grieved at their doings.

But build the Ark under our eye and after our revelation:  and plead not with me for the evil doers, for they are to be drowned.

So he built the Ark; and whenever the chiefs of his people passed by they laughed him to scorn:6 said he, “Though ye laugh at us, we truly shall laugh at you, even as ye laugh at us; and in the end ye shall know

On whom a punishment shall come that shall shame him, and on whom shall light a lasting punishment.”

Thus was it until our sentence came to pass, and the earth’s surface7 boiled up.  We said, “Carry into it one pair of every kind, and thy family, except him on whom sentence hath before been passed, and those who have believed.”  But there believed not with him except a few.

And he said, “Embark ye therein.  In the name of God be its course and its riding at anchor!  Truly my Lord is right Gracious, Merciful.”

And the Ark moved on with them amid waves like mountains:  and Noah called to his son-for he was apart-"Embark with us, O my child! and be not with the unbelievers.”

He said, “I will betake me to a mountain that shall secure me from the water.”  He said, “None shall be secure this day from the decree of God, save him on whom He shall have mercy.”  And a wave passed between them, and he was among the drowned.

And it was said, “O Earth! swallow up thy water;” and “cease, O Heaven!” And the water abated, and the decree was fulfilled, and the Ark rested upon Al-Djoudi;8 and it was said, “Avaunt! ye tribe of the wicked!”

And Noah called on his Lord and said, “O Lord! verily my son is of my family:  and thy promise is true, and thou art the most just of judges.”

He said, “O Noah! verily, he is not of thy family:  in this thou actest not aright.9 Ask not of me that whereof thou knowest nought:  I warn thee that thou become not of the ignorant.

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He said, “To thee verily, O my Lord, do I repair lest I ask that of thee wherein I have no knowledge:  unless thou forgive me and be merciful to me I shall be one of the lost.

It was said to him, “O Noah! debark with peace from Us, and with blessings on thee and on peoples to be born from those who are with thee; but as for other and unbelieving peoples, we will give them their good things in this world, but hereafter shall a grievous punishment light on them from us.

This is one of the secret Histories:  we reveal it unto thee:  neither thou nor thy people knew it ere this:  be patient thou:  verily, there is a prosperous issue to the God-fearing.

And unto Ad we sent their Brother Houd.  He said, “O my people, worship God.  You have no God beside Him.  Ye only devise a lie.

O my people!  I ask of you no recompense for this:  my recompense is with Him only who hath made me.  Will ye not then understand?

O my people! ask pardon of your Lord; then be turned unto Him:  He will send down the heavens upon you with copious rains: 

And with strength on strength will He increase you:  only turn not back with deeds of evil.”

They said, “O Houd, thou hast not brought us proofs of thy mission:  we will not abandon our gods at thy word, and we believe thee not.

We can only say that some of our gods have smitten thee with evil.”  Said he, “Now take I God to witness, and do ye also witness, that I am clear of your joining other gods

To God.  Conspire then against me all of you, and delay me not.

For I trust in God, my Lord and yours.  No single beast is there which he holdeth not by its forelock.  Right, truly, is the way in which my Lord goeth.

But if ye turn back, I have already declared to you my message.  And my Lord will put another people in your place, nor shall ye at all hurt Him; verily, my Lord keepeth watch over all things.”

And when our doom came to be inflicted, we rescued Houd and those who had like faith with Him, by our special mercy:  we rescued them from the rigorous chastisement.

These men of Ad gainsaid the signs of their Lord, and rebelled against his messengers, and followed the bidding of every proud contumacious person.

Followed therefore were they in this world by a curse; and in the day of the Resurrection it shall be said to them, “What!  Did not Ad disbelieve their Lord?” Was not Ad, the people of Houd, cast far away?

And unto Themoud we sent their Brother Saleh:10-"O my people! said he, worship God:  you have no other god than Him.  He hath raised you up out of the earth, and hath given you to dwell therein.  Ask pardon of him then, and be turned unto him; for thy Lord is nigh, ready to answer.”

They said, “O Saleh! our hopes were fixed on thee till now:11 forbiddest thou us to worship what our fathers worshipped?  Truly we misdoubt the faith to which thou callest us, as suspicious.”

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He said, “O my people! what think ye?  If I have a revelation from my Lord to support me, and if He hath shewed his mercy on me, who could protect me from God if I rebel against him?  Ye would only confer on me increase of ruin.

O my people! this is the she-Camel of God, and a sign unto you.  Let her go at large and feed in God’s earth, and do her no harm, lest a speedy punishment overtake you.”

Yet they hamstrung her:  then said he, “Yet three days more enjoy yourselves in your dwellings:  this menace will not prove untrue.”

And when our sentence came to pass, we rescued Saleh and those who had a like faith with him, by our mercy, from ignominy on that day.  Verily, thy Lord is the Strong, the Mighty!

And a violent tempest overtook the wicked, and they were found in the morning prostrate in their dwellings,

As though they had never abode in them.  What!  Did not Themoud disbelieve his Lord?  Was not Themoud utterly cast off?

And our messengers came formerly to Abraham with glad tidings.  “Peace,” said they.  He said, “Peace,” and he tarried not, but brought a roasted calf.

And when he saw that their hands touched it not,12 he misliked them, and grew fearful of them.  They said, “Fear not, for we are sent to the people of Lot.”

His wife was standing by and laughed;13 and we announced Isaac to her; and after Isacc, Jacob.

She said, “Ah, woe is me! shall I bear a son when I am old, and when this my husband is an old man?  This truly would be a marvellous thing.”

They said, “Marvellest thou at the command of God?  God’s mercy and blessing be upon you, O people of this house; praise and glory are His due!”

And when Abraham’s fear had passed away, and these glad tidings had reached him, he pleaded with us for the people of Lot.  Verily, Abraham was right kind, pitiful, relenting.

“O Abraham! desist from this; for already hath the command of thy God gone forth; as for them, a punishment not to be averted is coming on them.”

And when our messengers came to Lot, he was grieved for them; and he was too weak to protect them,14 and he said, “This is a day of difficulty.”

And his people came rushing on towards him, for aforetime had they wrought this wickedness.  He said, “O my people! these my daughters will be purer for you:  fear God, and put me not to shame in my guests.  Is there no rightminded man among you?”

They said, “Thou knowest now that we need not thy daughters; and thou well knowest what we require.”

He said, “Would that I had strength to resist you, or that I could find refuge with some powerful chieftain."15

The Angels said, “O Lot! verily, we are the messengers of thy Lord:  they shall not touch thee:  depart with thy family in the dead of night, and let not one of you turn back:  as for thy wife, on her shall light what shall light on them.  Verily, that with which they are threatened is for the morning.  Is not the morning near?”

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And when our decree came to be executed we turned those cities upside down, and we rained down upon them blocks of claystone one after another, marked16 by thy Lord himself.  Nor are they far distant from the wicked Meccans.

And we sent to Madian17 their brother Shoaib.  He said, “O my people! worship God:  no other God have you than He:  give not short weight and measure:  I see indeed that ye revel in good things; but I fear for you the punishment of the all-encompassing day.

O my people! give weight and measure with fairness; purloin not other men’s goods; and perpetrate not injustice on the earth with corrupt practices: 

A residue,18 the gift of God, will be best for you if ye are believers: 

But I am not a guardian over you.”

They said to him, “O Shoaib! is it thy prayers which enjoin that we should leave what our fathers worshipped, or that we should not do with our substance as pleaseth us?  Thou forsooth art the mild, the right director!”

He said, “O my people!  How think ye?  If I have a clear revelation from my Lord, and if from Himself He hath supplied me with goodly supplies, and if I will not follow you in that which I myself forbid you, do I seek aught but your amendment so far as in me lieth?  My sole help is in God.  In Him do I trust, and to Him do I turn me.

O my people! let not your opposition to me draw down upon you the like of that which befel the people of Noah, or the people of Houd, or the people of Saleh:  and the abodes of the people of Lot are not far distant from you!

Seek pardon of your Lord and be turned unto Him:  verily, my Lord is Merciful, Loving.

They said, “O Shoaib! we understand not much of what thou sayest, and we clearly see that thou art powerless among us:  were it not for thy family we would have surely stoned thee, nor couldest thou have prevailed against us.”

He said, “O my people! think ye more highly of my family than of God?  Cast ye Him behind your back, with neglect?  Verily, my Lord is round about your actions.

And, O my people! act with what power ye can for my hurt:  I verily will act:  and ye shall know

On whom shall light a punishment that shall disgrace him, and who is the liar.  Await ye; verily I will await with you.”

And when our decree came to pass, we delivered Shoaib and his companions in faith, by our mercy:  And a violent tempest overtook the wicked, and in the morning they were found prostrate in their houses

As if they had never dwelt in them.  Was not Madian swept off even as Themoud had been swept off?

Of old sent we Moses with our signs and with incontestable power to Pharaoh, and to his nobles-who followed the behests of Pharaoh, and, unrighteous were Pharaoh’s behests.

He shall head his people on the day of the Resurrection and cause them to descend into the fire:  and wretched the descent by which they shall descend!

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They were followed by a curse in this world; and in the day of the Resurrection, wretched the gift that shall be given them!

Such, the histories of the cities which we relate to thee.  Some of them are standing, others mown down: 

We dealt not unfairly by them, but they dealt not fairly by themselves:  and their gods on whom they called beside God availed them not at all when thy Lord’s behest came to pass.  They did but increase their ruin.

Such was thy Lord’s grasp19 when he laid that grasp on the cities that had been wicked.  Verily his grasp is afflictive, terrible!

Herein truly is a sign for him who feareth the punishment of the latter day.  That shall be a day unto which mankind shall be gathered together; that shall be a day witnessed by all creatures.

Nor do we delay it, but until a time appointed.

When that day shall come no one shall speak a word but by His leave, and some shall be miserable and others blessed.

And as for those who shall be consigned to misery-their place the Fire! therein shall they sigh and bemoan them-

Therein shall they abide while the Heavens and the Earth shall last, unless thy Lord shall will it otherwise; verily thy Lord doth what He chooseth.

And as for the blessed ones-their place the Garden! therein shall they abide while the Heavens and the Earth endure, with whatever imperishable boon thy Lord may please to add.

Have thou no doubts therefore concerning that which they worship:  they worship but what their fathers worshipped before them:  we will surely assign them their portion with nothing lacking.

Of old gave we Moses the Book, and they fell to variance about it.  If a decree of respite had not gone forth from thy Lord, there had surely been a decision between them.  Thy people also are in suspicious doubts about the Koran.

And truly thy Lord will repay every one according to their works! for He is well aware of what they do.

Go straight on then as thou hast been commanded, and he also who hath turned to God with thee, and let him transgress no more.  He beholdeth what ye do.

Lean not on the evil doers lest the Fire lay hold on you.  Ye have no protector, save God, and ye shall not be helped against Him.

And observe prayer at early morning, at the close of the day, and at the approach of night; for the good deeds drive away the evil deeds.  This is a warning for those who reflect: 

And persevere steadfastly, for verily God will not suffer the reward of the righteous to perish.

Were the generations before you, endued with virtue, and who forbad corrupt doings on the earth, more than a few of those whom we delivered? but the evil doers followed their selfish pleasures, and became transgressors.

And thy Lord was not one who would destroy those cities unjustly, when its inhabitants were righteous.

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Had thy Lord pleased he would have made mankind of one religion:  but those only to whom thy Lord hath granted his mercy will cease to differ.  And unto this hath He created them; for the word of thy Lord shall be fulfilled, “I will wholly fill hell with Djinn and men.”

And all that we have related to thee of the histories of these Apostles, is to confirm thy heart thereby.  By these hath the truth reached thee, and a monition and warning to those who believe.

But say to those who believe not, “Act as ye may and can:  we will act our part:  and wait ye; we verily will wait.”

To God belong the secret things of the Heavens and of the Earth:  all things return to him:  worship him then and put thy trust in Him:  thy Lord is not regardless of your doings.20

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1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32.

2 Or, will bestow his grace on every gracious one, or will bestow his abundance on every one who hath abundance (of merit).  The difficulty of rendering this passage arises from the word fadhl, which means merit as applied to man, favour as applied to God.

3 That is, before the Creation.  Precisely the same statement occurs in Raschi on Gen. i. 2, also in the modern catechism.  Tsenah ur’enak b’noth Tsion, authoritatively put forth by the Polish and German Talmudist Rabbins.  “At the first creation of Heaven and Earth . . . the throne of glory of the Blessed God stood in the air above the waters.”  Comp.  Ps. civ. 3.

4 Men, heaven, and earth.  Comp.  Tr.  Aboth, v.  Mischna 1.

5 Comp. verse 37 and Sura [xci.] ii. 21.  It should be observed that the challenge in these passages is not to produce a book which shall equal the Koran in point of poetry or rhetoric, but in the importance of its subject-matter with reference to the Divine Unity, the future retribution, etc.  Upon these topics Muhammad well knew that he had preoccupied the ground.  And we may infer from the fragments of the Revelations of Musailima and Sajâh (Hisam. 946; Attabâri (ed.  Kosegarten) i. 134, 136, 152; Tab.  Agâni, 339), which are mere imitations of the Koran, that he felt this to be the case.

6 “They laughed and jeered at him in their words.”  Midr.  Tanchuma.  “The passage Job xii. 5, refers to the righteous Noah who taught them and spake to them words severe as flames:  but they scorned him, and said, ’Old man! for what purpose is this ark?"’ Sanhedr. 108.  Comp.  Midr.  Rabbah on Gen. 30, and 33 on Eccl. ix. 14.

7 Or, oven:  according to others, reservoir.  Geiger thinks that the expression the oven boiled up may be a figurative mode of expressing the Rabbinic idea that “the generation of the Deluge were punished by hot water.”  Rosch.  Haschanah, 16, 2; Sanhedr. 108.  Comp.  Weil’s Legenden, p. 44.

8 The Montes Gordyoei, perhaps.

9 According to another reading:  He hath done amiss.  The origin of this story is probably Gen. ix. 20-25.

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10 A Prophet, so far as we know, of Muhammad’s own invention, unless Muir’s conjecture be admitted that he was a Christian or Jewish missionary whose adventures and persecution were recast into this form.-The name may have been suggested by, Methusaleh, upon whose piety the Midrasch enlarges.

11 That is, we had intended to make thee our chief.  Beidh.

12 Thus, in contradiction to Gen. xviii. 8, the Rabbins; comp.  Tr.  Baba Mezia, fol. 86, “They made as though they ate.”

13 Or, menstrua passa est, in token of the possibility of her bearing a child.

14 Lit. his arm was straitened concerning them.

15 Lit. column.

16 With the name, it is said, of the person each should strike.

17 See Sura [lvi.] xxvi. 176.

18 That is, after giving fair measure.

19 Seizure, for punishment.  Hence, the punishment itself.

20 In the later period of his life Muhammad attributed his gray hairs to the effect produced upon him by this Sura and its “Sisters.”  While Abu Bekr and Omar sat in the mosque at Medina, Muhammad suddenly came upon them from the door of one of his wives’ houses. . . .  And Abu Bekr said, “Ah! thou for whom I would sacrifice father and mother, white hairs are hastening upon thee!” And the Prophet raised up his beard with his hand and gazed at it; and Abu Bekr’s eyes filled with tears.  “Yes,” said Muhammad, “Hûd and its sisters have hastened my white hairs.”  “And what,” asked Abu Bekr, “are its sisters?” “The Inevitable (Sura lvi.) and the Blow (Sura ci.).”  Kitâb al Wackidi, p. 84, ap.  Muir.

SURA XIV.-ABRAHAM, ON WHOM BE PEACE [LXXVI.]

Mecca.-52 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF.  LamRa.  This Book have we sent down to thee that by their Lord’s permission thou mayest bring men out of darkness into light, into the path of the Mighty, the Glorious-

Of God; to whom belongeth whatever is in the Heavens and whatever is on the
Earth:  and woe! for their terrible punishment, to the infidels,

Who love the life that now is, above that which is to come, and mislead from the way of God, and seek to make it crooked.  These are in a far-gone error.

And in order that He might speak plainly to them, we have not sent any Apostle, save with the speech of his own people; but God misleadeth whom He will, and whom He will he guideth:  and He is the Mighty, the Wise.

Of old did we send Moses with our signs:  and said to him, “Bring forth thy people from the darkness into the light, and remind them of the days of God.”  Verily, in this are signs for every patient, grateful person: 

When Moses said to his people, “Remember the kindness of God to you, when he rescued you from the family of Pharaoh who laid on you a cruel affliction, slaughtering your male children, and suffering only your females to live.”  In this was a sore trial from your Lord-

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And when your Lord caused it to be heard that, “If we render thanks then will I surely increase you more and more:  but if ye be thankless. . . .  Verily, right terrible my chastisement.”

And Moses said, “If ye and all who are on the Earth be thankless, yet truly God is passing Rich, and worthy of all praise.”

Hath not the story reached you of those who were before you, the people of Noah, and Ad, and Themoud,

And of those who lived after them?  None knoweth them but God.  When their prophets came to them with proofs of their mission, they put their hands on their mouths and said, “In sooth, we believe not your message; and in sooth, of that to which you bid us, we are in doubt, as of a thing suspicious.”

Their prophets said:  “Is there any doubt concerning God, maker of the Heavens and of the Earth, who calleth you that He may pardon your sins, and respite you until an appointed time?”

They said, “Ye are but men like us:  fain would ye turn us from our fathers’ worship.  Bring us therefore some clear proof.”

Their Apostles said to them, “We are indeed but men like you.  But God bestoweth favours on such of his servants as he pleaseth, and it is not in our power to bring you any special proof,

But by the leave of God.  In God therefore let the faithful trust.

And why should we not put our trust in God, since He hath already guided us in our ways.  We will certainly bear with constancy the harm you would do to us.  In God let the trustful trust.”

And they who believed not said to their Apostles, “Forth from our land will we surely drive you, or, to our religion shall ye return.”  Then their Lord revealed to them, “We will certainly destroy the wicked doers,

And we shall certainly cause you to dwell in the land after them.  This for him who dreadeth the appearance at my judgment-seat and who dreadeth my menace!”

Then sought they help from God, and every proud rebellious one perished: 

Hell is before him:  and of tainted water shall he be made to drink: 

He shall sup it and scarce swallow it for loathing; and Death shall assail him on every side, but he shall not die:  and before him shall be seen a grievous torment.

A likeness of those who believe not in their Lord.  Their works are like ashes which the wind scattereth on a stormy day:  no advantage shall they gain from their works.  This is the far-gone wandering.

Seest thou not that in truth1 hath God created the Heavens and the Earth?  Were such his pleasure He could make you pass away, and cause a new creation to arise.

And this would not be hard for God.

All mankind shall come forth before God; and the weak shall say to the men of might, “Verily, we were your followers:  will ye not then relieve us of some part of the vengeance of God?”

They shall say, “If God had guided us, we surely had guided you.  It is now all one whether we be impatient, or endure with patience.  We have no escape.”

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And after doom hath been given, Satan shall say, “Verily, God promised you a promise of truth:  I, too, made you a promise, but I deceived you.  Yet I had no power over you: 

But I only called you and ye answered me.  Blame not me then, but blame yourselves:  I cannot aid you, neither can ye aid me.  I never believed that I was His equal with whom ye joined me."2 As for the evil doers, a grievous torment doth await them.

But they who shall have believed and done the things that be right, shall be brought into gardens beneath which the rivers flow:  therein shall they abide for ever by the permission of their Lord:  their greeting therein shall be “Peace.”

Seest thou not to what God likeneth a good word?3 To a good tree:  its root firmly fixed, and its branches in the Heaven: 

Yielding its fruit in all seasons by the will of its Lord.  God setteth forth these similitudes to men that haply they may reflect.

And an evil word is like an evil tree torn up from the face of the earth, and without strength to stand.

Those who believe shall God stablish by his steadfast word both in this life and in that which is to come:  but the wicked shall He cause to err:  God doth his pleasure.

Hast thou not beholden those who repay the goodness of God with infidelity, and sink their people into the abode of perdition-

Hell?  Therein shall they be burned; and wretched the dwelling!

They set up compeers with God in order to mislead man from his way.  Say:  Enjoy your pleasures yet awhile, but assuredly, your going hence shall be into the fire.

Speak to my servants who have believed, that they observe prayer, and give alms of that with which we have supplied them, both privately and openly, ere the day come when there shall be neither traffic nor friendship.

It is God who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, and sendeth down water from the Heaven, and so bringeth forth the fruits for your food:  And He hath subjected to you the ships, so that by His command, they pass through the sea; and He hath subjected the rivers to you:  and He hath subjected to you the sun and the moon in their constant courses:  and He hath subjected the day and the night to you:  of everything which ye ask Him, giveth He to you; and if ye would reckon up the favours of God, ye cannot count them!  Surely man is unjust, ungrateful!

Abraham said, “O Lord make this land secure, and turn aside me and my children from serving idols: 

For many men, O my Lord, have they led astray.  But whosoever shall follow me, he truly shall be of me; and whosoever shall disobey me. . . .  Thou truly art Gracious, Merciful.

O our Lord! verily I have settled some of my offspring in an unfruitful valley, nigh to thy holy house;4 O our Lord, that they may strictly observe prayer!  Make thou therefore the hearts of men to yearn toward them, and supply them with fruits that they may be thankful.

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O our Lord! thou truly knowest what we hide and what we bring to light; nought on earth or in heaven is hidden from God.  Praise be to God who hath given me, in my old age, Ismael and Isaac!  My Lord is the hearer of prayer.

Lord! grant that I and my posterity may observe prayer.  O our Lord! and grant this my petition.  O our Lord! forgive me and my parents and the faithful, on the day wherein account shall be taken.”

Think thou not that God is regardless of the deeds of the wicked.  He only respiteth them to the day on which all eyes shall stare up with terror: 

They hasten forward in fear; their heads upraised in supplication; their looks riveted; and their hearts a blank.  Warn men therefore of the day when the punishment shall overtake them,

And when the evil doers shall say, “O our Lord! respite us yet a little while:5

To thy call will we make answer; thine Apostles will we follow.”  “Did ye not once swear that no change should befal you?

Yet ye dwelt in the dwellings of those6 who were the authors of their undoing7 and it was made plain to you how we had dealt with them; and we held them up to you as examples.  They plotted their plots:  but God could master their plots, even though their plots had been so powerful as to move the mountains.”

Think not then that God will fail his promise to his Apostles:  aye!  God is mighty, and Vengeance is His.

On the day when the Earth shall be changed into another Earth, and the Heavens also, men shall come forth unto God, the Only, the Victorious.

And thou shalt see the wicked on that day linked together in chains-

Their garments of pitch, and fire shall enwrap their faces that God may reward every soul as it deserveth; verily God is prompt to reckon.

This is a message for mankind, that they may thereby be warned:  and that they may know that there is but one God; and that men of understanding may ponder it.

_______________________

1 See Sura [lxxxiv.] x. 5.

2 Lit.  I truly renounce your having associated me (with God) heretofore.

3 The preaching and the profession of Islam.  Comp.  Ps. i. 3, 4.

4 The Caaba.

5 Lit. to a term near at hand.

6 Of the anciently destroyed cities of Themoud, Ad, etc.

7 Lit. were unjust to their own souls.

Sura xii.-Joseph, peace be on him [lxxvii.]

Mecca.-III Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF.  LamRa.1 These are signs of the clear Book.

An Arabic Koran have we sent it down, that ye might understand it.

In revealing to thee this Koran,2 one of the most beautiful of narratives will we narrate to thee, of which thou hast hitherto been regardless.

When Joseph said to his Father, “O my Father! verily I beheld eleven stars and the sun and the moon-beheld them make obeisance to me!"3

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He said, “O my son! tell not thy vision to thy brethren, lest they plot a plot against thee:  for Satan is the manifest foe of man.

It is thus that thy Lord shall choose thee and will teach thee the interpretation of dark saying, and will perfect his favours on thee and on the family of Jacob, as of old he perfected it on thy fathers Abraham and Isaac; verily thy Lord is Knowing, Wise!”

Now in Joseph and his brethren are signs for the enquirers;4

When they said, “Surely better loved by our Father, than we, who are more in number, is Joseph and his brother; verily, our father hath clearly erred.

Slay ye Joseph! or drive him to some other land, and on you alone shall your father’s face be set! and after this, ye shall live as upright persons.”

One of them said, “Slay not Joseph, but cast him down to the bottom of the well:  if ye do so, some wayfarers will take him up.”

They said, “O our Father! why dost thou not entrust us with Joseph? indeed we mean him well.

Send him with us to-morrow that he may enjoy himself and sport:  we will surely keep him safely.”

He said, “Verily, your taking him away will grieve me; and I fear lest while ye are heedless of him the wolf devour him.”

They said, “Surely if the wolf devour him, and we so many, we must in that case be weak indeed."5

And when they went away with him they agreed to place him at the bottom of the well.  And We revealed to him, “Thou wilt yet tell them of this their deed, when they shall not know thee.”

And they came at nightfall to their father weeping.

They said, “O our Father! of a truth, we went to run races, and we left Joseph with our clothes, and the wolf devoured him:  but thou wilt not believe us even though we speak the truth.”

And they brought his shirt with false blood upon it.  He said, “Nay, but yourselves have managed this affair.6 But patience is seemly:  and the help of God is to be implored that I may bear what you tell me.”

And wayfarers came and sent their drawer of water,7 and he let down his bucket.  “Good news!"8 said he, “This is a youth!” And they kept his case secret, to make merchandise of him.  But God knew what they did.

And they sold him for a paltry price-for some dirhems counted down, and at no high rate did they value him.

And he who bought him-an Egyptian-said to his wife, “Treat him hospitably; haply he may be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son.”  Thus did we settle Joseph in the land, and we instructed him in the interpretation of dark sayings, for God is equal to his purpose; but most men know it not.

And when he had reached his age of strength we bestowed on him judgment and knowledge; for thus do we recompense the well doers.

And she in whose house he was conceived a passion for him, and she shut the doors and said, “Come hither.”  He said, “God keep me!  Verily, my lord hath given me a good home:  and the injurious shall not prosper.”

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But she longed for him; and he had longed for her had he not seen a token from his lord.9 Thus we averted evil and defilement from him, for he was one of our sincere servants.

And they both made for the door, and she rent his shirt behind; and at the door they met her lord.  “What,” said she, “shall be the recompense of him who would do evil to thy family, but a prison10 or a sore punishment?”

He said, “She solicited me to evil.”  And a witness out of her own family11 witnessed:  “If his shirt be rent in front she speaketh truth, and he is a liar: 

But if his shirt be rent behind, she lieth and he is true.”

And when his lord saw his shirt torn behind, he said, “This is one of your devices! verily your devices are great!

Joseph! leave this affair.  And thou, O wife, ask pardon for thy crime, for thou hast sinned.”

And in the city, the women said, “The wife of the Prince hath solicited her servant:  he hath fired her with his love:  but we clearly see her manifest error.”

And when she heard of their cabal, she sent to them and got ready a banquet for them, and gave each one of them a knife, and said, “Joseph shew thyself to them.”  And when they saw him they were amazed at him, and cut their hands,12 and said, “God keep us!  This is no man!  This is no other than a noble angel!”

She said, “This is he about whom ye blamed me.  I wished him to yield to my desires, but he stood firm.  But if he obey not my command, he shall surely be cast into prison, and become one of the despised.”

He said, “O my Lord!  I prefer the prison to compliance with their bidding:  but unless thou turn away their snares from me, I shall play the youth with them, and become one of the unwise.”

And his Lord heard him and turned aside their snares from him:  for he is the Hearer, the Knower.

Yet resolved they, even after they had seen the signs of his innocence, to imprison him for a time.

And there came into the prison with him two youths.  Said one of them, “Methought in my dream that I was pressing grapes.”  And the other said, “I dreamed that I was carrying bread on my head, of which the birds did eat.  Declare to us the interpretation of this, for we see thou art a virtuous person.”

He said, “There shall not come to you in a dream any food wherewith ye shall be fed, but I will acquaint you with its interpretation ere it come to pass to you.  This is a part of that which my Lord hath taught me:  for I have abandoned the religion13 of those who believe not in God and who deny the life to come;

And I follow the religion of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.  We may not associate aught with God.  This is of God’s bounty towards us and towards mankind:  but the greater part of mankind are not thankful.

O my two fellow prisoners! are sundry lords best, or God, the One, the Mighty?

Ye worship beside him mere names which ye have named, ye and your fathers, for which God hath not sent down any warranty.  Judgment belongeth to God alone.  He hath bidden you worship none but Him.  This is the right faith:  but most men know it not.

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O my two fellow prisoners! as to one of you, he will serve wine unto his Lord:  but as to the other, he will be crucified and the birds shall eat from off his head.  The matter is decreed concerning which ye enquire.”

And he said unto him who he judged would be set at large, “Remember me with thy lord.”  But Satan caused him to forget the remembrance of his Lord,14 so he remained some years in prison.

And the King said, “Verily, I saw in a dream seven fat kine which seven lean devoured; and seven green ears and other withered.  O nobles, teach me my vision, if a vision ye are able to expound.”

They said, “They are confused dreams, nor know we aught of the unravelling of dreams.”

And he of the twain who had been set at large, said, “I will tell you the interpretation; let me go for it.”

“Joseph, man of truth! teach us of the seven fat kine which seven lean devoured, and of the seven green ears, and other withered, that I may return to the men, and that they may be informed.”

He said, “Ye shall sow seven years as is your wont, and the corn which ye reap leave ye in its ear, except a little of which ye shall eat.

Then after that shall come seven grievous years which shall eat what ye have stored for them, except a little which ye shall have kept.

Then shall come after this a year, in which men shall have rain, and in which they shall press the grape.”

And the King said, “Bring him to me."15 And when the messenger came to Joseph he said, “Go back to thy lord, and ask him what meant the women who cut their hands, for my lord well knoweth the snare they laid.”

Then said the Prince to the women, “What was your purpose when ye solicited Joseph?” They said, “God keep us! we know not any ill of him.”  The wife of the Prince said, “Now doth the truth appear.  It was I who would have led him into unlawful love, and he is one of the truthful.”

“By this” (said Joseph) “may my lord know that I did not in his absence play him false, and that God guideth not the machinations of deceivers.

Yet I hold not myself clear, for the heart is prone to evil, save theirs on whom my Lord hath mercy; for gracious is my Lord, Merciful.”

And the King said, “Bring him to me:  I will take him for my special service.”  And when he had spoken with him he said, “From this day shalt thou be with us, invested with place and trust.”

He said, “Set me over the granaries of the land,16 I will be their prudent keeper!”

Thus did we stablish Joseph in the land that he might house himself therein at pleasure.  We bestow our favours on whom we will, and suffer not the reward of the righteous to perish.

And truly the recompense of the life to come is better, for those who have believed and feared God.

And Joseph’s brethren came and went in to him and he knew them, but they recognised him not.

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And when he had provided them with their provision, he said, “Bring me your brother from your father.  See ye not that I fill the measure, and am the best of hosts?

But if ye bring him not to me, then no measure of corn shall there be for you from me, nor shall ye come near me.”

They said, “We will ask him of his father, and we will surely do it.”

Said he to his servants, “Put their money into their camel-packs, that they may perceive it when they have returned to their family:  haply they will come back to us.”

And when they returned to their father, they said, “O, our father! corn is withholden from us:  send, therefore, our brother with us and we shall have our measure; and all care of him will we take.”

He said, “Shall I entrust you with him otherwise than as I before entrusted you with his brother?  But God is the best guardian, and of those who shew compassion He is the most compassionate.”

And when they opened their goods they found their money had been returned to them.  They said, “O, our father, what more can we desire?  Here is our money returned to us; we will provide corn for our families, and will take care of our brother, and shall receive a camel’s burden more of corn.  This is an easy quantity."17

He said, “I will not send him with you but on your oath before God that ye will, indeed, bring him back to me, unless hindrances encompass you.”  And when they had given him their pledge, he said, “God is witness of what we say.”

And he said, “O, my sons!  Enter not by one gate, but enter by different gates.18 Yet can I not help you against aught decreed by God:  judgment belongeth to God alone.  In Him put I my trust, and in Him let the trusting trust.”

And when they entered as their father had bidden them, it did not avert from them anything decreed of God; but it only served to satisfy a desire in the soul of Jacob which he had charged them to perform; for he was possessed of knowledge which we had taught him; but most men have not that knowledge.

And when they came in to Joseph, he took his brother to him.  He said, “Verily, I am thy brother.  Be not thou grieved for what they did."19

And when he had provided them with their provisions, he placed his drinking cup in his brother’s camel-pack.  Then a crier cried after them, “O travellers! ye are surely thieves.”

They turned back to them and said, “What is that ye miss?”

“We miss,” said they, “the prince’s cup.  For him who shall restore it, a camel’s load of corn!  I pledge myself for it.”

They said, “By God! ye know certainly that we came not to do wrong20 in the land and we have not been thieves.”

“What,” said the Egyptians, “shall be the recompense of him who hath stolen it, if ye be found liars?”

They said, “That he in whose camel-pack it shall be found be given up to you in satisfaction for it.  Thus recompense we the unjust.”

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And Joseph began with their sacks, before the sack of his brother, and then from the sack of his brother he drew it out.  This stratagem did we suggest to Joseph.  By the King’s law he had no power to seize his brother, had not God pleased.  We uplift into grades of wisdom whom we will.  And there is one knowing above every one else endued with knowledge.

They said, “If he steal, a brother of his hath stolen heretofore."21 But Joseph kept his secret, and did not discover it to them.  Said he, aside, “Ye are in the worse condition.  And God well knoweth what ye state.”

They said, “O Prince!  Verily he hath a very aged father; in his stead, therefore, take one of us, for we see that thou art a generous person.”

He said, “God forbid that we should take but him with whom our property was found, for then should we act unjustly.”

And when they despaired of Benjamin, they went apart for counsel.  The eldest of them said, “Know ye not how that your father hath taken a pledge from you before God, and how formerly ye failed in duty with regard to Joseph?  I will not quit the land till my father give me leave, or God decide for me; for of those who decide is He the best.

Return ye to your father and say, ’O our father!  Verily, thy son hath stolen:  we bear witness only of what we know:  we could not guard against the unforeseen.

Enquire for thyself in the city where we have been, and of the caravan with which we have arrived; and we are surely speakers of the truth.’

He said, “Nay, ye have arranged all this among yourselves:  But patience is seemly:  God, may be, will bring them back to me together; for he is the Knowing, the Wise.”

And he turned away from them and said, “Oh! how I am grieved for Joseph!” and his eyes became white with grief, for he bore a silent sorrow.

They said, “By God thou wilt only cease to think of Joseph when thou art at the point of death, or dead.”

He said, “I only plead my grief and my sorrow to God:  but I know from God what ye know not:22

Go, my sons, and seek tidings of Joseph and his brother, and despair not of God’s mercy, for none but the unbelieving despair of the mercy of God.”

And when they came in to Joseph, they said, “O Prince, distress hath reached us and our family, and little is the money that we have brought.  But give us full measure, and bestow it as alms, for God will recompense the almsgivers.”

He said, “Know ye what ye did to Joseph and his brother in your ignorance?”

They said, “Canst thou indeed be Joseph?” He said, “I am Joseph, and this is my brother.  Now hath God been gracious to us.  For whoso feareth God and endureth. . . .  God verily will not suffer the reward of the righteous to perish!”

They said, “By God! now hath God chosen thee above us, and we have indeed been sinners!”

He said, “No blame be on you this day.  God will forgive you, for He is the most merciful of those who shew mercy.

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Go ye with this my shirt and throw it on my father’s face, and he shall recover his sight:  and bring me all your family.”

And when the caravan was departed, their father said, “I surely perceive the smell of Joseph:23 think ye that I dote?”

They said, “By God, it is thy old mistake.”

And when the bearer of good tidings came, he cast it on his face, and Jacob’s eyesight returned.”

Then he said, “Did I not tell you that I knew from God what ye knew not?”

They said, “Our father, ask pardon for our crimes for us, for we have indeed been sinners.”

He said, “I will ask your pardon of my Lord, for he is Gracious, Merciful.”

And when they came into Joseph he took his parents24 to him, and said, “Enter ye Egypt, if God will, secure.”

And he raised his parents to the seat of state, and they fell down bowing themselves unto him.  Then said he, “O my father, this is the meaning of my dream of old.  My Lord hath now made it true, and he hath surely been gracious to me, since he took me forth from the prison, and hath brought you up out of the desert, after that Satan had stirred up strife between me and my brethren; for my Lord is gracious to whom He will; for He is the Knowing, the Wise.

O my Lord, thou hast given me dominion, and hast taught me to expound dark sayings.  Maker of the Heavens and of the Earth!  My guardian art thou in this world and in the next!  Cause thou me to die a Muslim, and join me with the just.”

This is one of the secret histories25 which we reveal unto thee.  Thou wast not present with Joseph’s brethren when they conceived their design and laid their plot:  but the greater part of men, though thou long for it, will not believe.

Thou shalt not ask of them any recompense for this message.  It is simply an instruction for all mankind.

And many as are the signs in the Heavens and on the Earth, yet they will pass them by, and turn aside from them: 

And most of them believe not in God, without also joining other deities with Him.

What!  Are they sure that the overwhelming chastisement of God shall not come upon them, or that that Hour shall not come upon them suddenly, while they are unaware?

Say:  This is my way:  resting on a clear proof, I call you to God, I and whoso followeth me:  and glory be to God!  I am not one of those who add other deities to Him.

Never before thee have we sent any but men, chosen out of the people of the cities, to whom we made revelations.  Will they not journey through the land, and see what hath been the end of those who were before them?  But the mansions of the next life shall be better for those who fear God.  Will they not then comprehend?

When at last the Apostles lost all hope, and deemed that they were reckoned as liars, our aid reached them, and we delivered whom we would; but our vengeance was not averted from the wicked.

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Certainly in their histories is an example for men of understanding.  This is no new tale of fiction, but a confirmation of previous scriptures, and an explanation of all things, and guidance and mercy to those who believe.

_______________________

1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32.  In no other Sura beside this is one subject treated of throughout.  It was recited to the first eight of the Ansars who were converted, and clearly proves that Muhammad must have been in confidential intercourse with learned Jews.

2 The word Koran is here used in the same sense as Sura.

3 Muhammad was either unaware of the previous dream mentioned, Gen. xxxvii. 7, or passes it by in silence.

4 The captious and unbelieving Koreisch.

5 Wir mussten denn zuerst das Leben einbüssen.  Wahl.  Ullm.  Maracci.

6 Lit. your minds have made a thing seem pleasant to you.

7 According to Gen. xxxvii. 24, the well or pit had “no water in it.

8 Some take the Arabic Boshra as the proper name of the person who accompanied the drawer of water.

9 The apparition of his father, who said, “Hereafter shall the names of thy brethren, engraven on precious stones, shine on the breast of the High Priest.  Shall thine be blotted out?” Tr.  Sotah, fol. 36.  Comp.  Weil, Legenden, p. 109, n.

10 Lit. that he be imprisoned.

11 An infant in the cradle.  Sepher Hadjascher, as below on v. 31.

12 Instead of their food, through surprise at his beauty.  Seph.  Hadj. in Midr.  Jalkut.  See also Midr.  Abkhir, ib. ch. 146.

13 It is curious to observe how Muhammad, in this and the following verse, puts his own doctrine and convictions into the mouth of Joseph.

14 Satan induced Joseph to place his confidence in man, rather than in God alone, in punishment of which sin the imprisonment was continued.  Thus Midr.  Rabba.  Gen. Par. 89.  Midr.  Jalkut, ib. ch. 147.

15 In Gen. xli. 14, Joseph is released from prison before the interpretation of the dreams.  But the Koran makes him decline to quit it till his character is cleared.

16 According to Gen. xli. 39, Pharaoh of his own accord sets Joseph over his house and land.

17 For the king to bestow.

18 Thus we read in Mid.  Rab. on Gen. Par. 91, “Jacob said to them, Enter ye not all by one gate.”  See also Midr.  Jalkut, ch. 148.

19 Thus also, in the Sepher Hadjaschar, Joseph first discovers himself to Benjamin, in opposition to Gen. xlv. 1.

20 Comp.  Gen. xlii. 9.

21 Joseph is said by the Muhammadan commentators to have stolen an idol of gold belonging to his mother’s father, which he broke, that he might not worship it.  But this comment, as well as the text of the Koran, is probably based upon some such tradition as that of Midr.  Rabba, Par. 92, “He is a thief and the son of a thief” (Comp.  Gen. xxxi. 19)-spoken of Benjamin.

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22 That is, that Joseph was still alive.  Thus Midr.  Tanchumah on Gen. xlii. 1.

23 Comp.  Gen. xxvii. 27.

24 Joseph’s mother had long been dead.  See Gen. xxxv. 19.  But the object of Muhammad was probably to bring the event into strict accordance with the prediction of the dream.  Gen. xxxvii. 10.  Some, however, suppose that Bilhah is here meant, and her appearance before Joseph is also asserted to be the fulfilment of the dream by some of the Rabbins.  Comp.  Raschi on Gen. xxxvii. 10.

25 Lit.  This is of the announcements of the things unseen (by thee, Muhammad).  Compare the manner in which the story of the Creation and of Moses in the mount is introduced.  Sura xxxviii. 70; xxviii. 45.  Mr. Muir thinks that Muhammad must at this period, while recasting and working up these materials, have entered upon a course of wilful dissimulation and deceit (although the end would justify to him the means employed) in claiming inspiration for them.

SURA XL.-THE BELIEVER [LXXVIII.]

Mecca.-85 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HaMim.  The Revelation (sending down) of the Book is from God the Almighty, the All-knowing,1

Forgiver of sin, and receiver of penitence,-vehement in chastisement,

Long-suffering!  There is no God but He:  to Him shall be the final gathering.

None but infidels gainsay the signs of God:  but let not their prosperity in the land deceive thee.

The people of Noah, and the confederates after them, have brought the charge of imposture before these Meccans:  each nation schemed against their apostle to lay violent hold on him, and disputed with vain words to refute the truth.  Therefore did I lay violent hold on them; and how great was my chastisement!

Thus is it that thy Lord’s sentence, that inmates shall they be of the fire, was accomplished upon the infidels.

They who bear the throne2 and they who encircle it, celebrate the praise of their Lord and believe in Him, and implore forgiveness for the believers:-"O our Lord! thou embracest all things in mercy and knowledge; forgive, therefore, those who turn to thee and follow thy path; keep them from the pains of hell: 

O our Lord! and bring them into the Gardens of Eden which thou hast promised to them, and to the righteous ones of their fathers and their wives and their children; for thou art the All-mighty, the All-wise: 

And keep them from evil:  for on him hast thou mercy whom on that day thou shalt keep from evil;” and this will be the great felicity.

But to the infidels shall a voice cry, “Surely the hatred of God is more grievous than your hatred of yourselves, when ye were called to the faith, and remained unbelievers.”

They shall say, “Twice, O our Lord, hast thou given us death, and twice hast thou given us life:3 and we acknowledge our sins:  is there no way to escape?”

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“This hath befallen you, for that when One God was proclaimed to you, ye believed not:  but when partners had been united with him, ye believed:  But judgment belongeth unto God, the High, the Great.”

It is He who sheweth you his signs, and sendeth down supplies to you from Heaven:  but none will receive warning save he who turneth to God.

Call then on God, offering him a pure worship, though the infidels abhor it.

Of exalted grade, of the throne possessed, He sendeth forth the Spirit at His own behest on whomsoever of His servants He pleaseth, that He may warn of the day of meeting,

The day when they shall come forth from their graves, when nought that concerneth them shall be hidden from God.  With whom shall be the power supreme on that day?  With God, the One, the Almighty.

On that day shall every soul be recompensed as it hath deserved:  no injustice on that day!  Verily, God will be swift to reckon.

Warn them, then, of the approaching day, when men’s hearts shall rise up, choking them, into their throats.

The evil-doers shall have no friend or intercessor who shall prevail.

God knoweth the deceitful of eye, and what men’s breasts conceal.

And everything will God decide with truth:  But nothing shall those gods whom men call on beside him, decide.  Verily, God! the Hearer, the Beholder, He!

Have they never journeyed in this land, and seen what hath been the end of those who flourished before them?  Mightier were they in strength than these Meccans, and their traces remain in the land:  Yet God took them in their sins, and there was none to defend them against God.

This, because their apostles had come to them with proofs of their mission, and they believed not:  so God took them in hand; for He is mighty, vehement in punishing.

Moreover we had sent Moses of old with our signs and with clear authority.

To Pharaoh, and Haman, and Karun:4 and they said, “Sorcerer, impostor.”

And when he came to them from our presence with the truth, they said, “Slay the sons of those who believe as he doth, and save their females alive;” but the stratagem of the unbelievers issued only in failure.

And Pharaoh said, “Let me alone, that I may kill Moses; and let him call upon his Lord:  I fear lest he change your religion, or cause disorder to shew itself in the land.”

And Moses said, “I take refuge with my Lord and your Lord from every proud one who believeth not in the day of reckoning.”

And a man of the family of Pharaoh, who was a believer,5 but hid his faith, said, “Will ye slay a man because he saith my Lord is God, when he hath already come to you with proofs of his mission from your Lord? and if he be a liar, on him will be his lie:6 but if he be a man of truth, part at least of what he threateneth will fall upon you.  Truly God guideth not him who is a transgressor, a liar.

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O my people! this day is the kingdom yours, the eminent of the earth! but who shall defend us from the vengeance of God if it come on us?” Pharaoh said, “I would have you see only what I see; and in a right way only will I guide you.”

Then said he who believed, “O my people! truly I fear for you the like of the day of the allies,7

The like of the state of the people of Noah and Ad and Themoud,

And of those who came after them; yet God willeth not injustice to his servants.

And, O my people!  I indeed fear for you the day of mutual outcry-

The day when ye shall be turned back from the Judgment into hell.  No protector shall ye have then against God.  And he whom God shall mislead no guide shall there be for him.

Moreover, Joseph had come to you before with clear tokens, but ye ceased not to doubt of the message with which he came to you, until when he died, ye said, ‘God will by no means raise up an apostle after him.’ " Thus God misleadeth him who is the transgressor, the doubter.

They who gainsay the signs of God without authority having come to them, are greatly hated by God and by those who believe.  Thus God sealeth up every proud, contumacious heart.

And Pharaoh said, “O Haman,8 Build for me a tower that I may reach the avenues,

The avenues of the heavens, and may mount to the God of Moses, for I verily deem him a liar.”

And thus the evil of his doings was made fair-seeming to Pharaoh, and he turned away from the path of truth; but the artifice of Pharaoh ended only in his ruin.

And he who believed said, “O my people! follow me:  into the right way will I guide you.

O my people! this present life is only a passing joy, but the life to come is the mansion that abideth.

Whoso shall have wrought evil shall not be recompensed but with its like; but whoso shall have done the things that are right, whether male or female, and is a believer-these shall enter paradise:  good things unreckoned shall they enjoy therein.

And, O my people! how is it that I bid you to salvation, but that ye bid me to the fire?

Ye invite me to deny God, and to join with him gods of whom I know nothing; but I invite you to the Mighty, the Forgiving.

No doubt is there that they to whom ye invite me are not to be invoked either in this world or in the world to come:  and that unto God is our return, and that the transgressors shall be the inmates of the fire.

Then shall ye remember what I am saying unto you:  and to God commit I my case:  Verily, God beholdeth his servants.”

So God preserved him from the evils which they had planned, and the woe of the punishment encompassed the people of Pharaoh.

It is the fire to which they shall be exposed morning and evening, and on the day when “the Hour” shall arrive-"Bring in the people of Pharaoh into the severest punishment.”

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And when they shall wrangle together in the fire, the weak shall say to those who had borne themselves so proudly, “It is you we followed:  will ye therefore relieve us from aught of the fire?”

And those proud ones shall say, “Verily we are all in it; for now hath God judged between his servants.”

And they who are in the fire shall say to the keepers of Hell, “Implore your Lord that he would give us ease but for one day from this torment.”

They shall say, “Came not your apostles to you with the tokens?” They shall say, “Yes.”  They shall say, “Cry ye then aloud for help:”  but the cry of the unbelievers shall be only in vain.

Assuredly, in this present life will we succour our apostles and those who shall have believed, and on the day when the witnesses shall stand forth;

A day whereon the plea of the evil doers shall not avail them; but theirs shall be a curse, and theirs the woe of the abode in Hell.

And of old gave we Moses the guidance, and we made the children of Israel the heritors of the Book,-a guidance and warning to men endued with understanding.

Therefore be steadfast thou and patient; for true is the promise of God:  and seek pardon for thy fault,9 and celebrate the praise of thy Lord at evening and at morning.

As to those who cavil at the signs of God without authority having reached them, nought is there but pride in their breasts:  but they shall not succeed.  Fly thou for refuge then to God, for He is the Hearer, the Beholder.

Greater surely than the creation of man is the creation of the heavens and of the earth:  but most men know it not.

Moreover, the blind and the seeing, and the evil doer and they who believe and do the things that are right, shall not be deemed equal.  How few ponder this!

Aye, “the Hour” will surely come:  there is no doubt of it:  but most men believe it not.

And your Lord saith, “Call upon me-I will hearken unto you:  but they who turn in disdain from my service shall enter Hell with shame.”

It is God who hath ordained the night for your rest, and the day to give you light:  verily God is rich in bounties to men:  but most men render not the tribute of thanks.

This is God your Lord, Creator of all things:  no god is there but He:  why then do ye turn away from Him?

Yet thus are they turned aside who gainsay the signs of God.

It is God who hath given you the earth as a sure foundation, and over it built up the Heaven, and formed you, and made your forms beautiful, and feedeth you with good things.  This is God your Lord.  Blessed then be God the Lord of the Worlds!

He is the Living One.  No God is there but He.  Call then upon Him and offer Him a pure worship.  Praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds!

Say:  Verily I am forbidden to worship what ye call on beside God, after that the clear tokens have come to me from my Lord, and I am bidden to surrender myself to the Lord of the Worlds.

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He it is who created you of the dust, then of the germs of life, then of thick blood, then brought you forth infants:  then he letteth you reach your full strength, and then become old men (but some of you die first), and reach the ordained term.  And this that haply ye may understand.

It is He who giveth life and death; and when He decreeth a thing, He only saith of it, “Be,” and it is.

Seest thou not those who cavil at the signs of God? how are they turned aside!

They who treat “the Book,” and the message with which we have sent our Sent Ones, as a lie, shall know the truth hereafter,

When the collars shall be on their necks and the chains to drag them into Hell:  then in the fire shall they be burned.

Then shall it be said to them, “Where are they whom ye made the objects of joint worship with God?” They shall say, “They have vanished away from us.  Yea, it was nought on which we called heretofore.”  Thus God leadeth the unbelievers astray.

-"This for you, because of your unrighteous insolence and immoderate joys on earth.

Enter ye the portals of Hell to abide therein for ever.  And, wretched the abode of the haughty ones!”

Therefore be thou steadfast in patience:  for the promise of God is truth:  and whether we shall make thee see part of the woes with which we threatened them, or whether we cause thee first to die, unto us shall they be brought back.

And we have already sent apostles before thee:  of some we have told thee, and of others we have told thee nothing:10 but no apostle had the power to work a miracle unless by the leave of God.  But when God’s behest cometh, everything will be decided with truth:  and then they perish who treated it as a vain thing.

It is God who hath given you the cattle that on some of them ye may ride, and of some may eat: 

(Other advantages too do ye derive from them)-and that by them ye may effect the projects ye cherish in your breasts; for on them, and on ships are ye borne: 

And He sheweth you His signs:  which, then, of the signs of God will ye deny?

Have they not journeyed in this land, and seen what hath been the end of those who flourished before them?  More were they than these in number and mightier in strength, and greater are the traces of their power remaining in the land:11 yet their labours availed them nothing.

And when their apostles had come to them with the tokens of their mission, they exulted in what they possessed of knowledge; but that retribution at which they scoffed, encompassed them.

And when they beheld our vengeance they said, “We believe in God alone, and we disbelieve in the deities we once associated with Him.”

But their faith, after they had witnessed our vengeance, profited them not.  Such the procedure of God with regard to his servants who flourished of old.  And then the unbelievers perished.

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1 See Sura 1xviii. 1, p. 32.

2 The Cherubic beings of Scripture are said to be above the throne of God (Is. vi. 1), beneath it (Ezek. x.); and the mystical beasts in the Revelations are said to be in the midst of the throne and round about it.

3 Probably the union of life and death in the womb, and the subsequent life followed by death.

4 See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 76.

5 Thus Sura [lxxix.] xxviii 20, and Sura [lx.] xxxvi. 19, we have a similar character introduced into the narrative.

6 Comp.  Acts v. 38, 39.

7 These tribes no doubt constantly formed temporary alliances.  Muhammad implies that they were confederate against their prophets.

8 Haman, the favourite of Ahasuerus and the enemy of the Jews, is thus made the vizier of Pharaoh.  The Rabbins make this vizier to have been Korah, Jethro, or Balaam.  Midr.  Jalkut on Ex. ch. 1, Sect. 162-168; and Tr.  Solah, fol. 11.  See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 5.

9 Thy remissness in propagating Islam.  Beidh.

10 It is possible that Muhammad, conscious of his ignorance of Jewish history, intends in this verse to screen himself from the charge of passing over the histories of many of their prophets.

11 The wealth of Mecca, although it still numbered about 12,000 inhabitants (as well as of Arabia generally), had much declined at the time of Muhammad, owing mainly to the navigation of the Red Sea, under the Roman dominion over Egypt, which of course impoverished the tribes situated on the line of the old mercantile route southward.  Mecca, however, was still to a certain extent prosperous.  Comp.  Sura [lxi.] xliii. 28.

SURA XXVIII.-THE STORY [LXXIX.]

Mecca.-88 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

TaSinMim.1 These are the signs of the lucid Book.

We will recite to thee portions of the History of Moses and Pharaoh with truth, for the teaching of the faithful.

Now Pharaoh lifted himself up in the earth, and divided his people into parties:  one portion of them he brought low-He slew their male children, and let their females only live; for he was one of those who wrought disorders.

And we were minded to shew favour to those who were brought low in the land, and to make them spiritual chiefs,2 and to make them Pharaoh’s heirs,

And to stablish them in the land;3 and to make Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts, the eye-witnesses of what they dreaded from them.

And we said by revelation to the mother of Moses, “Give him suck; and if thou fearest for him, launch him on the sea; and fear not, neither fret; for we will restore him to thee, and make him one of the apostles.”

And Pharaoh’s family took him up to be a foe and a sorrow to them, for sinners were Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts!

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And Pharaoh’s wife said, “Joy of the eye4 to me and thee! put him not to death:  haply he will be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son.”  But they knew not what they did.

And the heart of Moses’ mother became a blank through fear:  and almost had she discovered him, but that we girt up her heart with constancy, in order that she might be one of those who believe.

She said to his sister, “Follow him.”  And she watched him from afar:  and they perceived it not.

And we caused him to refuse the nurses,5 until his sister came and said, Shall I point out to you the family of a house that will rear him for you, and will be careful of him?

So we restored him to his mother, to be the joy of her eyes, and that she might not fret, and that she might know that the promise of God was true.  But most men knew it not.

And when he had reached his age of strength, and had become a man, we bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge; for thus do we reward the righteous.

And he entered a city at the time when its inhabitants would not observe him,6 and found therein two men fighting:  the one, of his own people; the other, of his enemies.  And he who was of his own people asked his help against him who was of his enemies.  And Moses smote him with his fist and slew him.  Said he, “This is a work of Satan; for he is an enemy, a manifest misleader.”

He said, “O my Lord, I have sinned to mine own hurt:7 forgive me.”  So God forgave him; for He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.

He said, “Lord, because thou hast showed me this grace, I will never again be the helper of the wicked.”

And in the city at noon he was full of fear, casting furtive glances round him:  and lo! the man whom he had helped the day before, cried out to him again for help.  Said Moses to him, “Thou art plainly a most depraved person.”

And when he would have laid violent hands on him who was their common foe, he said to him, “O Moses, dost thou desire to slay me, as thou slayedst a man yesterday?  Thou desirest only to become a tyrant in this land, and desirest not to become a peacemaker.”

But a man came running up from the city’s end.  He said, “O Moses, of a truth, the nobles consult to slay thee-Begone then-I counsel thee as a friend.”

So forth he went from it in fear, looking warily about him.  He said, “O Lord, deliver me from the unjust people.”

And when he was journeying toward Madian, he said, “Haply my Lord will direct me in an even path.”

And when he arrived at the water of Madian, he found at it a company of men watering.

And he found beside them, two women8 keeping back their flock:  “Why do ye,” said he, “thus?” They said “We shall not water till the shepherds shall have driven off; for our father is very aged.”

So he watered for them-then retired to the shade and said, “O my Lord, of the good thou hast caused me to meet with I stand in need."9

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And one of them came to him, walking bashfully.  Said she, “My father calleth thee, that he may pay thee wages for thy watering for us.”  And when he came to him and had told him his story, “Fear not,” said he, “thou hast escaped from an unjust people.”

One of them said, “O my father, hire him:  for the best thou canst hire is the strong, the trusty.”

He said, “Truly to one of these my two daughters I desire to marry thee, if for eight years thou wilt be my hired servant:10 and if thou fulfil ten, it shall be of thine own accord, for I wish not to deal hardly with thee.  Thou wilt find me, if God will, one of the upright.”

He said, “Be it so between me and thee:  Whichever of the two terms I fulfil, there will be no injustice to me.  And God is witness of what we say.”

And when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was journeying with his family, he perceived a fire on the mountain side.  He said to his family, “Wait ye, for I perceive a fire.  Haply I may bring you tidings from it, or a brand from the fire to warm you.”

And when he came up to it, a Voice cried to him11 out of the bush from the right side of the valley in the sacred hollow, “O Moses, I truly am God, the Lord of the Worlds: 

Throw down now thy rod.”  And when he saw it move as though it were a serpent, he retreated and fled and returned not.  “O Moses,” cried the Voice, “draw near and fear not, for thou art in safety.

Put thy hand into thy bosom; it shall come forth white, but unharmed:  and draw back thy hand12 to thee without fear.  These shall be two signs from thy Lord to Pharaoh and his nobles; for they are a perverse people.”

He said, “O my Lord! truly I have slain one of them, therefore fear I lest they slay me.

My brother Aaron is clearer of speech than I. Send him, therefore, with me as a help, and to make good my cause, for I fear lest they treat me as an impostor.”

He said, “We will strengthen thine arm with thy brother, and we will give power unto you both, and they shall not equal you in our signs.  Ye twain and they who shall follow you, shall gain the day.”

And when Moses came to him with our demonstrative signs they said, “This is nought but magical device.  We never heard the like among our sires of old.”

And Moses said, “My Lord best knoweth on whom He hath bestowed His guidance, and whose shall be the recompense of the abode of Paradise.  Verily, the wicked shall not prosper.”

And Pharaoh said, “O ye nobles, ye have no other God that I know of but myself.  Burn me then, Haman, bricks of clay,13 and build me a tower that I may mount up to the God of Moses, for in sooth, I deem him a liar.”

And he and his hosts behaved themselves proudly and unjustly on the earth, and thought that they should never be brought back to us.

But we seized on him and his hosts and cast them into the sea:  Behold, then, the end of the wrongful doers: 

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And we made them imâms who invite to the fire of hell, and on the day of Resurrection they shall not be helped.

We followed them with a curse in this world, and covered shall they be with shame on the day of Resurrection.

And after we had destroyed the former generations, we gave the book of the Law to Moses for man’s enlightening, and a guidance and a mercy, that haply they might reflect.

And thou wast not on the western slope of Sinai when we laid his charge on Moses, nor wast thou one of the witnesses;

But we raised up generations after Moses, men whose days were lengthened;14 neither didst thou dwell among the inhabitants of Madian to rehearse to them our signs, but we sent Apostles to them.15

Nor wast thou on the slope of Sinai when we called to Moses, but it is of the mercy of thy Lord that thou warnest a people, to whom no warner had come before thee, to the intent that they should reflect: 

And that they should not say when a calamity shall befal them for their previous handy work, “O our Lord! why hast thou not sent an Apostle to us?  Then we should have followed thy signs and have been of the believers.”

Yet when the truth came to them from our very presence, they said, “Unless the like powers be given to him that were given to Moses. . . ."16 But did they not disbelieve in what of old was given to Moses?  They said, “Two works of sorcery17 have helped each other;” and they said, “We disbelieve them both.”

Say:  Bring then a Book from before God which shall be a better guide than these, that I may follow it; if ye speak the truth.

And if they answer thee not, then know that verily they are following their own caprices:  and who goeth more widely astray than he who followeth his own caprice without guidance from God? for God guideth not the wicked.

And now have we caused our word to come unto them, that they may be warned: 

They18 to whom we gave the Scriptures before it, do in it believe.

And when it is recited to them they say, “We believe in it, for it is the truth from our Lord.  We were Muslims before it came.”

Twice shall their reward be given them, for that they suffered with patience, and repelled evil with good, and gave alms out of that with which we provided them.

And when they hear light discourse they withdraw from it, and say, “Our works for us and your works for you!  Peace be on you!  We are not in quest of fools!”

Thou truly canst not guide whom thou desirest; but God guideth whom He will; and He best knoweth those who yield to guidance.

But they say, “If we follow the way in which thou art guided,19 we shall be driven from our country.”  But have we not established for them a sacred secure precinct, to which fruits of every kind, our gift for their support, are gathered together?  But most of them have no knowledge.

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And how many cities have we destroyed that flourished in wanton ease!  And these their dwellings have not been inhabited since their time save by a few, and it is we who became their heirs.

But thy Lord did not destroy the cities till He had sent an apostle to their mother-city to rehearse our signs to its people:  nor did we destroy the cities unless its people were unjust.

And all that hath been bestowed on you is merely for enjoyment and pomp of this life present:  but that which is with God is better and more lasting.  Will ye not be wise?

Shall he then to whom we have promised a goodly promise and who obtaineth it, be as he on whom we have bestowed the enjoyments of this life present, and who on the day of Resurrection shall be brought up for punishment?

On that day will God cry to them and say, “Where are my companions, as ye supposed them?”

They on whom doom shall be justly pronounced will say, “O our Lord! these are they whom we led astray:  we led them astray even as we had been led astray ourselves:  Thou hast no cause of blame against us:  It was not we whom they worshipped.20

And it shall be said, “Call now on those whom ye made God’s companions:”  and they shall call on them, but they will not answer them.  And they shall see the punishment, and wish that they had been guided aright.

And on that day shall God call to them and say, “How answered ye the apostles?”

But on that day they shall be too blinded with confusion to give an account,21 nor shall they ask it of one another.

Yet as to him who shall turn to God and believe and do the thing that is right, it may come to pass that he shall be among the happy.

And thy Lord createth what he will and hath a free choice.  But they, the false gods, have no power to choose.  Glory be to God! and high let him be exalted above those whom they associate with him.

And thy Lord knoweth what their breasts conceal and what they bring to light.

And He is God!  There is no god but He!  His, all praise in this life and in the next, and His the power supreme,22 and to Him shall ye be brought back!

Say:  What think ye?  If God should enshroud you with a long night until the day of resurrection, what god beside God would bring you light?  Will ye not then hearken?

Say:  What think ye?  If God should make it one long day for you until the day of resurrection, what god but God could bring you the night in which to take your rest?  Will ye not then see?

Of His mercy he hath made for you the night that ye may take your rest in it; and the day that ye may seek what ye need out of his bounteous supplies, and that ye may give thanks.

One day God will call to them and say, “Where are my companions as ye supposed them?

And we will bring up a witness out of every nation and say, “Bring your proofs.”  And they shall know that the truth is with God alone, and the gods of their own devising shall desert them.

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Now Korah23 was of the people of Moses:  but he behaved haughtily toward them; for we had given him such treasure that its keys would have burdened a company of men of strength.  When his people said to him, “Exult not, for God loveth not those who exult;

But seek, by means of what God hath given thee, to attain the future Mansion; and neglect not thy part in this world, but be bounteous to others as God hath been bounteous to thee, and seek not to commit excesses on the earth; for God loveth not those who commit excesses:” 

He said, “It hath been given me only on account of the knowledge that is in me.”  Did he not know that God had destroyed before him generations that were mightier than he in strength and had amassed more abundant wealth?  But the wicked shall not be asked of their crimes.

And Korah went forth to his people in his pomp.  Those who were greedy for this present life said, “Oh that we had the like of that which hath been bestowed on Korah!  Truly he is possessed of great good fortune.”

But they to whom knowledge had been given said, “Woe to you! the reward of God is better for him who believeth and worketh righteousness, and none shall win it but those who have patiently endured.”

And we clave the earth for him and for his palace, and he had no forces, in the place of God,24 to help him, nor was he among those who are succoured.

And in the morning those who the day before had coveted his lot said, “Aha!  God enlargeth supplies to whom he pleaseth of his servants, or is sparing.  Had not God been gracious to us, He had caused it to cleave for us.  Aha! the ungrateful can never prosper.”

As to this future mansion, we will bestow it on those who seek not to exalt them in the earth or to do wrong:  And there is a happy issue for the God-fearing.

Whoso doeth good shall have reward beyond its merits, and whoso doeth evil, they who do evil shall be rewarded only as they shall have wrought.

He who hath sanctioned the Koran to thee will certainly bring thee to thy home.25 Say:  My Lord best knoweth who hath guidance, and who is in undoubted error.

Thou didst never expect that the Book would be given thee.  Of thy Lord’s mercy only hath it been sent down.  Be not thou helpful then to the unbelievers: 

Neither let them turn thee aside from the signs of God after they have been sent down to thee, but bid men to thy Lord; and be not among those who add gods to God: 

And call not on any other god with God.  There is no god but He!  Everything shall perish except Himself!  Judgment is His, and to Him shall ye return!

_______________________

1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

2 Lit.  Imâms.

3 Comp. [xci.] ii. 58.

4 That is, This child will be a comfort to us.  See Sura [lviii.] xix. 26.

5 “Why must the nurse be a Hebrew woman? (Ex. ii. 7.) This shews that he refused the breast of all the Egyptian women.  For the Holy, blessed be He, had said, Shall the mouth that is to speak with me suck an unclean thing?” Sotah. xii. 2.

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6 Lit. in the time of neglect on the part of its people, i.e. at the hour of the noon sleep.

7 Lit.  I have acted unjustly to my soul.

8 Comp.  Ex. ii. 16, 17, where the daughters are said to be seven.

9 That is, of a wife.

10 The compact (Gen. xxix. 15-39) between Laban and Jacob must have been present to the mind of Muhammad when composing this tale.

11 Lit. he was cried to.  According to Muhammad, Moses had resolved to quit Madian previously to the Vision of the Bush, which, according to Ex. iii., was the real occasion.

12 Lit. thy wing.

13 Lit. kindle upon the clay.  Comp. [lxxviii.] xl. 38-49.  “He (Pharaoh) said to them:  From the first have ye spoken an untruth, for Lord of the Worlds am I. I created myself and the Nile, as it is said (Ez. xxix. 3), ’My river is mine own and I have made it for myself."’ (E.T.) Mid.  Rab. on Ex.  Par. 5.

14 So that the oral traditions would be easily handed down.

15 Or, yet have we sent thee as an Apostle to them.

16 Supply, we will not believe.

17 That is, the Pentateuch and the Koran.

18 The Meccan Jews and Christians who had formerly embraced Islam, and could now affirm that they had always held the same faith.  This passage could not have been written after Muhammad’s experience of Jewish unbelief at Medina.

19 Lit. the guidance with thee.

20 But their own imaginations and passions.

21 Lit. the account shall be blind or dark to them.  Sie werden vor Bestürzung keine Rechenschaft geben.  Ullm.

22 Potestas judiciaria.  Mar.  Richteramt.  Ullm.

23 Ar.  Karun.  “Joseph concealed three treasures in Egypt, one of which became known to Korah . . . the keys of Korah’s treasure chambers were a burden for 300 white mules.”  Midr.  Jalkut on Eccl. v. 12, “Riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt,"-which may have furnished Muhammad with the nucleus of this story.  Compare also Tract.  Psachim. fol. 119 a.

24 Or, against God.

25 Probably to Paradise, according to others to Mecca, as a conqueror.  But this latter interpretation involves the revelation of this verse at least, at Medina.

SURA XXXIX.-THE TROOPS [LXXX.]

Mecca.-75 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The Book1 sent down from God, the Mighty, the Wise!

We have sent down the Book to thee with the truth:  serve thou God then, and be sincere in thy worship: 

Is not a sincere worship due to God?

But they who take others beside him as lords saying, “We serve them only that they may bring us near to God"-God will judge between them and the faithful, concerning that wherein they are at variance.

Verily God will not guide him who is a liar, an infidel.

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Had God desired to have had a son, he had surely chosen what he pleased out of his own creation.  But praise be to Him!  He is God, the One, the Almighty.

For truth2 hath he created the Heavens and the Earth:  It is of Him that the night returneth upon the day and that the day returneth upon the night:  and He controlleth the sun and the moon so that each speedeth to an appointed goal.  Is He not the Mighty, the Gracious?

He created you all of one man, from whom He afterwards formed his wife; and of cattle He hath sent down to you four pairs.3 In the wombs of your mothers did He create you by creation upon creation in triple darkness.  It is He who is God your Lord:  the kingdom is His:  There is no God but He.  How then are ye so turned aside from Him?

Suppose ye render him no thanks! yet forsooth is God rich without you:  but He is not pleased with thanklessness in His servants:  yet if ye be thankful He will be pleased with you.  The soul burdened with its own works shall not be burdened with the burden of another:  hereafter shall ye return to your Lord, and he will tell you of all your works,

For he knoweth the very secrets of your breasts.

When some trouble toucheth a man, he turneth to his Lord and calleth on him:  yet no sooner hath He enriched him with his favour than he forgetteth Him on whom he before had called, and setteth up peers with God, that he may beguile others from His way.  Say:  Enjoy thou thyself yet a little in thine ingratitude! but thou shalt surely be one of the inmates of the fire.

Shall he who observeth the hours of the night, prostrate or standing in devotion, heedful of the life to come, and hoping for the mercy of his Lord . . .?  Say:  Shall they who have knowledge and they who have it not, be treated alike?  In sooth, men of understanding only will take the warning.

Say:  O my believing servants, fear your Lord.  For those who do good in this world there is good:  and broad is God’s earth4-verily those who endure with patience shall be repaid:  their reward shall not be by measure.

Say:  I am bidden to serve God with a sincere worship:  and I am bidden to be the first of those who surrender themselves to him (Muslims).

Say:  Verily I fear if I rebel against my Lord the punishment of a great day.

Say:  God will I serve, presenting him with a sincere worship: 

And serve ye what ye choose beside Him.  Say:  The losers truly will they be who shall lose their own souls and their families on the day of resurrection:  Is not this the clear ruin?

Canopies of fire shall be over them, and floors of fire beneath them.  With this doth God alarm his servants:  Fear ye me, then, O my servants!

But good tidings are there for those who shun the worship of Thagout and are turned to God.  Cheer then with good tidings those my servants who hearken to my word and follow its excellence.  These are they whom God guideth, and these are men of insight.

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Him then on whom the sentence of punishment hath justly lighted-him who is doomed to the fire canst thou rescue?

But for those who fear their Lord are storied pavilions beneath which shall the rivers flow:  it is the promise of God, and God will not fail in his promise.

Seest thou not that God sendeth down water from heaven, and guideth it along so as to form springs in the earth-then bringeth forth by it corn of varied sorts-then causeth he it to wither, and thou seest it become yellow-then crumbleth it away?  Lo! herein is teaching for men of insight.

Shall he then whose breast God hath opened to Islam, and who hath light from his Lord . . .?  But woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of God!  They plainly err.

The best of recitals hath God sent down a book in unison with itself, and teaching by iteration.5 The very skins of those who fear their Lord do creep at it!  Then do their skins and their hearts soften at the remembrance of their Lord!  This is God’s guidance:  by it will He guide whom He pleaseth; and, whom God shall mislead, no guide shall there be for him.

Shall he who shall have nought but his own face to shelter him with from the torment of the punishment on the day of the resurrection . . .?  Aye, to the evil doers it shall be said, “Taste what ye have earned.”

They who were before them said it was a lie; but a punishment came upon them whence they looked not for it: 

And God made them taste humiliation in this present life:  but greater surely will be the punishment of the life to come.  Did they but know it!

Now have we set before man in this Koran every kind of parable for their warning: 

An Arabic Koran, free from tortuous wording, to the intent that they may fear God.

God setteth forth the comparison of a man with associates6 at variance among themselves, and of a man devoted wholly to a man.  Are these to be held alike?  No, praise be to God!  But the greater part of them understand not.

Thou truly shall die, O Muhammad, and they too shall die: 

Then, at the day of resurrection, ye shall wrangle with one another in the presence of your Lord.

And who acteth more unjustly than he who lieth of God, and treateth the truth when it cometh to him as a lie?  Is there not a dwelling-place in Hell for the infidels?

But he who bringeth the truth, and he who believeth it to be the truth:  these are the God-fearing.

Whatever they shall desire, awaiteth them with their Lord!  This is the reward of the righteous;

That God may do away the guilt of their worst actions, and for their best actions render them their reward.

Is not God all-sufficient for his servant?  Yet would they scare thee by their idols.  But no guide shall there be for him whom God misleadeth: 

And he whom God guideth shall have none to mislead him.  Is not God, all-mighty, able to revenge?

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And if thou ask them who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, they will surely answer, God.  Say:  Think ye, then, that they7 on whom ye call beside God, if God choose to afflict me, could remove his affliction? or if he choose to show me mercy, could they withhold His mercy?  Say:  God sufficeth me:  in Him let the trusting trust.

Say:  O my people, act your part as best ye can, I too will act mine; and in the end ye shall know

On whom shall light a punishment that shall shame him, and on whom a lasting punishment shall fall.

Assuredly we have sent down the Book to thee for man and for the ends of truth.  Whoso shall be guided by it-it will be for his own advantage, and whoso shall err, shall only err to his own loss.  But not to thy keeping are they entrusted.

God taketh souls unto Himself at death; and during their sleep those who do not die:8 and he retaineth those on which he hath passed a decree of death, but sendeth the others back till a time that is fixed.  Herein are signs for the reflecting.

Have they taken aught beside God as intercessors?  Say:  What! though they have no power over anything, neither do they understand?

Say:  Intercession is wholly with God:9 His the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth!  To him shall ye be brought back hereafter!

But when the One God is named, the hearts of those who believe not in the life to come, shrivel up:  but when the deities who are adored beside Him are named, lo! they are filled with joy.

Say:  O God, creator of the Heaven and of the Earth, who knowest the hidden and the manifest, thou shalt judge between thy servants as to the subject of their disputes.

If the wicked possessed all that is in the earth and as much again therewith, verily they would ransom themselves with it from the pain of the punishment on the day of the resurrection; and there shall appear to them, from God, things they had never reckoned on: 

And their own ill deeds shall be clearly perceived by them, and that fire at which they mocked shall encircle them on every side.

When trouble befalleth a man he crieth to Us; afterwards, when we have vouchsafed favour to him, he saith, “God knew that I deserved it."10 Nay, it is a trial.  But the greater part of them knew it not.

The same said those who flourished before them; but their deeds profited them not.

And their own ill deeds recoiled upon them.  And whoso among these (Meccans) shall do wrong, on them likewise their own misdeeds shall light, neither shall they invalidate God.

Know they not that God giveth supplies with open hand, and that He is sparing to whom He will?  Of a truth herein are signs to those who believe.

Say:  O my servants who have transgressed to your own hurt,11 despair not of God’s mercy, for all sins doth God forgive.  Gracious, Merciful is He!

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And return ye to your Lord, and to Him resign yourselves, ere the punishment come on you, for then ye shall not be helped: 

And follow that most excellent thing which hath been sent down to you from your Lord, ere the punishment come on you suddenly, and when ye look not for it: 

So that a soul say, “Oh misery! for my failures in duty towards God! and verily I was of those who scoffed:” 

Or say, “Had God guided me, I had surely been of those who feared Him:” 

Or say, when it seeth the punishment, “Could I but return, then I would be of the righteous.”

Nay! my signs had already come to thee, and thou didst treat them as untruths, and wast arrogant, and becamest of those who believed not.

And on the resurrection day, thou shalt see those who have lied of God, with their faces black.  Is there not an abode in Hell for the arrogant?

But God shall rescue those who fear him into their safe retreat:  no ill shall touch them, neither shall they be put to grief.

God is the creator of all things, and of all things is He the guardian!  His the keys of the Heavens and of the Earth! and-who believe not in the signs of God-these! they shall perish!

Say:  What! do ye then bid me worship other than God, O ye ignorant ones?

But now hath it been revealed to thee and to those who flourished before thee,-"Verily, if thou join partners with God, vain shall be all thy work, and thyself shalt be of those who perish.

Nay, rather worship God! and be of those who render thanks.”

But they have not deemed of God as is His due;12 for on the resurrection day the whole Earth shall be but his handful, and in his right hand shall the Heavens be folded together.  Praise be to Him! and high be He uplifted above the partners they join with Him!

And there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and all who are in the Heavens and all who are in the Earth shall expire, save those whom God shall vouchsafe to live.  Then shall there be another blast on it, and lo! arising they shall gaze around them: 

And the earth shall shine with the light of her Lord, and the Book shall be set, and the prophets shall be brought up, and the witnesses; and judgment shall be given between them with equity; and none shall be wronged: 

And every soul shall receive as it shall have wrought, for well knoweth He men’s actions.

And by troops shall the unbelievers be driven towards Hell, until when they reach it, its gates shall be opened, and its keepers shall say to them, “Came not apostles from among yourselves to you, reciting to you the signs of your Lord, and warning you of the meeting with Him on this your day?"13 They shall say, “Yes.”  But just is the sentence of punishment on the unbelievers.

It shall be said to them, “Enter ye the gates of Hell, therein to dwell for ever;” and wretched the abode of the arrogant!

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But those who feared their Lord shall be driven on by troops to Paradise, until when they reach it, its gates shall be opened, and its keepers shall say to them, “All hail! virtuous have ye been:  enter then in, to abide herein for ever.”

And they shall say, “Praise be to God, who hath made good to us His promise, and hath given to us the earth as our heritage, that we may dwell in Paradise wherever we please!” And goodly is the reward of those who travailed virtuously.

And thou shalt see the Angels circling around the Throne with praises of their Lord:  and judgment shall be pronounced between them with equity:  and it shall be said, “Glory be to God the Lord of the Worlds.”

_______________________

1 Lit. the sending down, or revelation, of the Book is, etc.

2 Lit. in truth, i.e. for a serious and earnest purpose, and not as mere pastime.

3 That is, camels, oxen, sheep and goats.

4 The wording of this verse would seem to indicate a period when Muhammad was meditating flight from Mecca.  Comp. [lxxxi.] xxix. 56.

5 See on the word Mathani, Sura xv. 87, p. 116.  Or, by rhyming couplets.

6 The word associates contains an implied allusion to the deities associated with God, and who distract the idolaters in their worship.

7 In the fem. gender in the Ar.  This passage was revealed shortly after the circumstances mentioned, liii. 20, n. p. 70.

8 See Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 60.

9 That is, none may intercede with Him but those whom He permits to do so.

10 Lit.  It was only given to me on account of knowledge.  Mar.  Deus sciebat me esse dignum eo.  Thus Sale.

11 By becoming apostates from Islam.  Comp.  Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 108.  This and the two following verses are said to have originated at Medina.  His 230, Wah.  Omar ben Muhammad.  Beidh.  Itq. 19.

12 Lit. they have not esteemed God according to the truth of His estimation.

13 Adventum diei hujus.  Mar.

SURA XXIX.-THE SPIDER [LXXXI.]

Mecca-69 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF.  LamMim.1 Think men that when they say, “We believe,” they shall be let alone and not be put to proof?

We put to proof those who lived before them; for God will surely take knowledge of those who are sincere, and will surely take knowledge of the liars.

Think they who work evil that they shall escape Us?  Ill do they judge.

To him who hopeth to meet God, the set time of God will surely come.  The Hearer, the Knower, He!

Whoso maketh efforts for the faith, maketh them for his own good only.  Verily God is rich enough to dispense with all creatures.

And as to those who shall have believed and done the things that are right, their evil deeds will we surely blot out from them, and according to their best actions will we surely reward them.

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Moreover we have enjoined on man to shew kindness to parents:  but if they strive with thee that thou join that with Me of which thou hast no knowledge,2 obey them not.  To me do ye return, and then will I tell you of your doings: 

And those who shall have believed and done the things that are right, we will surely give them an entering in among the just.

But some men say, “We believe in God,” yet when they meet with sufferings in the cause of God, they regard trouble from man as chastisement from God.  Yet if a success come from thy Lord they are sure to say, “We were on your side!” Doth not God well know what is in the breasts of his creatures?

Yes, and God well knoweth those who believe, and He well knoweth the Hypocrites.

The unbelievers say to the faithful, “Follow ye our way, and we will surely bear your sins.”  But not aught of their sins will they bear-verily they are liars!

But their own burdens, and burdens beside their own burdens shall they surely bear:  and inquisition shall be made of them on the day of Resurrection as to their false devices.

Of old sent we Noah to his people:  a thousand years save fifty did he tarry among them; and the flood overtook them in their wrongful doings: 

But we rescued him and those who were in the vessel; and we made it a sign to all men: 

And Abraham; when he said to his people, “Worship God and fear Him.  This will be best for you, if ye have knowledge;”

Ye only worship idols beside God, and are the authors of a lie.  Those whom ye worship beside God can give you no supplies:  seek, then, your supplies from God; and serve Him and give Him thanks.  To Him shall ye return.

Suppose that ye treat me as a liar! nations before you have treated God’s messenger as a liar; but open preaching is his only duty.

See they not how God bringeth forth creation? and then causeth it to return again?  This truly is easy for God.

Say,3 Go through the earth, and see how he hath brought forth created beings.  Hereafter, with a second birth will God cause them to be born again; for God is Almighty.

Whom He pleaseth will He chastise, and on whom He pleaseth will He have mercy, and to Him shall ye be taken back.

And ye shall not invalidate his power either in the Earth or in the Heaven:4 and, save God, ye shall have neither patron nor helper.

As for those who believe not in the signs of God, or that they shall ever meet him, these of my mercy shall despair, and these doth a grievous chastisement await.”

And the only answer of his people was to say, “Slay him or burn him.”  But from the fire did God save him!  Verily, herein are signs to those who believe.

And Abraham said, “Of a truth ye have taken idols along with God as your bond of union5 in this life present;

But on the day of resurrection some of you shall deny the others, and some of you shall curse the others; and your abode shall be the fire, and ye shall have none to help.”

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But Lot believed on him,6 and said, “I betake me to my Lord, for He truly is the Mighty, the Wise.”

And we bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob,7 and placed the gift of prophecy and the Scripture among his posterity; And we gave him his reward in this world, and in the next he shall be among the just.

We sent also Lot:  when he said to his people, “Proceed ye to a filthiness in which no people in the world hath ever gone before you?

Proceed ye even to men? attack ye them on the highway? and proceed ye to the crime in your assemblies?” But the only answer of his people was to say, “Bring God’s chastisement upon us, if thou art a man of truth.”

He cried:  My Lord! help me against this polluted people.

And when our messengers came to Abraham with the tidings of a son, they said, “Of a truth we will destroy the in-dwellers in this city, for its in-dwellers are evil doers.”

He said, “Lot is therein.”  They said, “We know full well who therein is.  Him and his family will we save, except his wife; she will be of those who linger.

And when our messengers came to Lot, he was troubled for them, and his arm was too weak8 to protect them; and they said, “Fear not, and distress not thyself, for thee and thy family will we save, except thy wife; she will be of those who linger.9

We will surely bring down upon the dwellers in this city vengeance from Heaven for the excesses they have committed.”

And in what we have left of it is a clear sign to men of understanding.

And to Madian we sent their brother Shoaib.  And he said, “Oh! my people! worship God, and expect the latter day, and enact not in the land deeds of harmful excess.”

But they treated him as an impostor:  so an earthquake assailed them; and at morn they were found prostrate and dead in their dwellings.

And we destroyed Ad and Themoud.  Already is this made plain to you in the ruins of their dwellings.  For Satan had made their own works fair seeming to them, and drew them from the right path, keen-sighted though they were.

And Corah and Pharaoh and Haman.  With proofs of his mission did Moses come to them, and they behaved proudly on the earth; but us they could not outstrip;10

For, every one of them did we seize in his sin.  Against some of them did wesend a stone-charged wind:  Some of them did the terrible cry of Gabriel surprise:  for some of them we cleaved the earth; and some of them we drowned.  And it was not God who would deal wrongly by them, but they wronged themselves.

The likeness for those who take to themselves guardians instead of God is the likeness of the spider who buildeth her a house:  But verily, frailest of all houses surely is the house of the spider.  Did they but know this!

God truly knoweth all that they call on beside Him; and He is the Mighty, the Wise.

These similitudes do we set forth to men:  and none understand them except the wise.

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God hath created the Heavens and the Earth for a serious end.11 Verily in this is a sign to those who believe.

Recite the portions of the Book which have been revealed to thee and discharge the duty of prayer:  for prayer restraineth from the filthy and the blame-worthy.  And the gravest duty is the remembrance of God; and God knoweth what ye do.

Dispute not, unless in kindly sort, with the people of the Book;12 save with such of them as have dealt wrongfully with you:  And say ye, “We believe in what hath been sent down to us and hath been sent down to you.  Our God and your God is one, and to him are we self-surrendered” (Muslims).

Thus have we sent down the Book of the Koran to thee:  and they to whom we have given the Book of the law believe in it:  and of these Arabians there are those who believe in it:  and none, save the Infidels, reject our signs.

Thou didst not recite any book (of revelation) before it:  with that right hand of thine thou didst not transcribe one:  else might they who treat it as a vain thing have justly doubted: 

But it is a clear sign in the hearts of those whom “the knowledge” hath reached.  None except the wicked reject our signs.

And they say, “Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . .”  Say:  Signs are in the power of God alone.  I am only a plain spoken warner.

Is it not enough for them that we have sent down to thee the Book to be recited to them?  In this verily is a mercy and a warning to those who believe.

Say:  God is witness enough between me and you.

He knoweth all that is in the Heavens and the Earth, and they who believe in vain things13 and disbelieve in God-these shall be the lost ones.

They will challenge thee to hasten the punishment:  but had there not been a season fixed for it, that punishment had already come upon them.  But it shall overtake them suddenly when they look not for it.

They will challenge thee to hasten the punishment:  but verily Hell shall be round about the infidels.

One day the punishment shall wrap them round, both from above them and from beneath their feet; and God will say, “Taste ye your own doings.”

O my servants who have believed!  Vast truly is my Earth:14 me, therefore! yea worship me.

Every soul shall taste of death.  Then to us shall ye return.

But those who shall have believed and wrought righteousness will we lodge in gardens with palaces, beneath which the rivers flow.  For ever shall they abide therein.  How goodly the reward of those who labour,

Who patiently endure, and put their trust in their Lord!

How many animals are there which provide not15 their own food!  God feedeth them and you.  He Heareth, Knoweth all things.

If thou ask them who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, and hath imposed laws on the sun and on the moon, they will certainly say, “God.”  How then can they devise lies?

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God lavisheth supplies on such of his servants as He pleaseth or giveth to them by measure.  God knoweth all things.

If thou ask them who sendeth rain from heaven, and by it quickeneth the earth, after it hath been dead, they will certainly answer, “God.”  Say:  Praise be to God!  Yet most of them do not understand.

This present life is no other than a pastime and a disport:  but truly the future mansion is life indeed!  Would that they knew this!

Lo! when they embark on shipboard, they call upon God, vowing him sincere worship, but when He bringeth them safe to land, behold they join partners with Him.

In our revelation they believe not, yet take their fill of good things.  But in the end they shall know their folly.

Do they not see that we have established a safe precinct16 while all around them men are being spoiled?  Will they then believe in vain idols, and not own the goodness of God?

But who acteth more wrongly than he who deviseth a lie against God, or calls the truth when it hath come to him, a lie?  Is there not an abode for the infidels in Hell?

And whoso maketh efforts for us, in our ways will we guide them:  for God is assuredly with those who do righteous deeds.

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1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32.  The first ten verses of this Sura were revealed at Medina, after the battles of Bedr and Ohod.  Nöld. p. 115.

2 Deities for whose worship thou canst shew no authority.  Comp.  Tr.  Jebhamoth, fol. 6.  If a father saith to his son, “Defile thyself,” or saith, “Make not restitution,” shall he obey him?  It is said (Lev. xix. 3), Let every man reverence his father and mother, but keep my Sabbaths all of you:  ye are all bound to honour me.  Thus also Midr.  Jalkut, 604.  Comp. next Sura, v. 13.

3 The word say-the usual address of God or Gabriel to Muhammad-must either be considered as spoken by God to Abraham, in which case we have a curious instance of the manner in which Muhammad identifies himself with Abraham, and makes Abraham speak in words which he constantly elsewhere uses himself; or, with Wahl, we must suppose that from v. 17 to v. 22 are misplaced.

4 Comp.  Ps. cxxxix. 7.

5 Lit. for love among yourselves, or as an object of love, i.e. devout worship.

6 Thus Sura [lxv.] xxi. 71.  The Midr.  Rabbah on Gen. Par. 18, says that Haran, the father of Lot, was brought by Abraham’s deliverance from the furnace to the adoption of his doctrines.  Muhammad may have transferred this idea to Lot.

7 The following passages deserve to be compared, as shewing the loose way in which Muhammad could speak of the relationship subsisting between Abraham and the other Patriarchs.  See 38 below.  Sura [xci.] ii. 127; [lxxxix.] vi. 84; [lviii.] xix. 50; [lxv.] xxi. 72; [lxxvii.] xii. 6.  It is a curious coincidence that in the Sonna 398, 400, Joseph is said to be the Grandson, and Jacob the Son, of Abraham.

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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.

13 Idols.

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.]

Mecca.-34 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF.  LamMim.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.”

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(We have commanded6 man concerning his parents.  His mother carrieth him with weakness upon weakness; nor until after two years is he weaned.7 Be grateful to me, and to thy parents.  Unto me shall all come.

But if they importune thee to join that with Me of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not:  comport thyself towards them in this world as is meet and right; but follow the way of him who turneth unto me.  Unto me shall ye return at last, and then will I tell you of your doings;)

“O my son! verily God will bring everything to light, though it were but the weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and hidden in a rock or in the heavens or in the earth; for, God is subtile, informed of all.

O my son! observe prayer, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and be patient under whatever shall betide thee:  for this is a bounden duty.

And distort not thy face at men; nor walk thou loftily on the earth; for God loveth no arrogant vain-glorious one.

But let thy pace be middling; and lower thy voice:  for the least pleasing of voices is surely the voice of asses.”

See ye not how that God hath put under you all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and hath been bounteous to you of his favours, both for soul and body.8 But some are there who dispute of God without knowledge, and have no guidance and no illuminating Book: 

And when it is said to them, Follow ye what God hath sent down, they say, “Nay; that religion in which we found our fathers will we follow.”  What! though Satan bid them to the torment of the flame?

But whoso setteth his face toward God with self-surrender, and is a doer of that which is good, hath laid hold on a sure handle; for unto God is the issue of all things.

But let not the unbelief of the unbelieving grieve thee:  unto us shall they return:  then will we tell them of their doings; for God knoweth the very secrets of the breast.

Yet a little while will we provide for them:  afterwards will we force them to a stern punishment.

If thou ask them who hath created the heavens and the earth, they will certainly reply, “God.”  Say:  God be praised!  But most of them have no knowledge.

God’s, whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth! for God, He is the Rich,9 the Praiseworthy.

If all the trees that are upon the earth were to become pens, and if God should after that swell the sea into seven seas of ink, His words would not be exhausted:  for God is Mighty, Wise.10

Your creation and your quickening hereafter, are but as those of a single individual.  Verily, God Heareth, Seeth!

Seest thou not that God causeth the night to come in upon the day, and the day to come in upon the night? and that he hath subjected the sun and the moon to laws by which each speedeth along to an appointed goal? and that God therefore is acquainted with that which ye do?

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This, for that God is the truth; and that whatever ye call upon beside Him is a vain thing; and that God-He is the High, the Great.

Seest thou not how the ships speed on in the sea, through the favour of God, that he may shew you of his signs? for herein are signs to all patient, grateful ones.

When the waves cover them like dark shadows they call upon God as with sincere religion; but when He safely landeth them, some of them there are who halt between two opinions.11 Yet none reject our signs but all deceitful, ungrateful ones.

O men! fear ye your Lord, and dread the day whereon father shall not atone for son, neither shall a son in the least atone for his father.

Aye! the promise of God is a truth.  Let not this present life then deceive you; neither let the deceiver deceive you concerning God.

Aye!  God!-with Him is the knowledge of the Hour:  and He sendeth down the rain-and He knoweth what is in the wombs-but no soul knoweth what it shall have gotten on the morrow:  neither knoweth any soul in what land it shall die.  But God is knowing, informed of all.

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1 Nothing certain is known concerning the history of this fabulist and philosopher.  The opinion most generally received is that Lokman is the same person whom the Greeks, not knowing his real name, have called Æsop, i.e., Æthiops.  This Sura shews the high degree of respect entertained for Lokman in Arabia at the time of Muhammad, who doubtless aimed to promote the interests of his new religion by connecting the Koran with so celebrated a name.

2 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

3 Beidh. and Itq. suppose this verse to have been revealed at Medina, on account of the precept to pay the impost, required by Muhammad of his followers as a religious duty, and different from the alms.  The former is usually coupled with the duty of observing prayer.  Mar. renders, sacrum censum in marg.

4 Nodhar Ibn El Hareth, who had purchased in Persia the romance of Roustem and Isfendiar, two of the most famous heroes of that land, which he recited to the Koreisch as superior to the Koran.

5 Comp.  Ps. civ. 5.

6 This verse and the verse following would seem more naturally to follow verse 18, where Wahl has placed them.  See preceding Sura, v. 7.

7 Comp.  Talm.  Kethuboth, 60, 1, “A woman is to suckle her child two years.”  Comp.  Jos.  Ant. ii. 9, 6.

8 Or, the seen and unseen, lit., outwardly and inwardly.

9 Or as rendered in verse 11, “the self-sufficient.”

10 Wah.  Omar ben Muhammad, Zam. and Beidh. suppose this and the three following verses to have been revealed at Medina, in answer to the Jews, who had affirmed that all knowledge was contained in their own Law.  But the accuracy of this supposition is very doubtful, if considered with regard to the preceding and following context.

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11 Between idolatry and Islam.

SURA XLII.-COUNSEL [LXXXIII.]

Mecca.-53 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HaMimAinSinKaf.1 Thus unto thee as unto those who preceded thee doth
God, the Mighty, the Wise, reveal!

All that is in the Heavens and all that is in the Earth is His:  and He is the
High, the Great!

Ready are the Heavens to cleave asunder from above for very awe:  and the angels celebrate the praise of their Lord, and ask forgiveness for the dwellers on earth:  Is not God the Indulgent, the Merciful?

But whose take aught beside Him as lords-God watcheth them! but thou hast them not in thy charge.

It is thus moreover that we have revealed to thee an Arabic Koran, that thou mayest warn the mother city2 and all around it, and that thou mayest warn them of that day of the Gathering, of which there is no doubt-when part shall be in Paradise and part in the flame.

Had God so pleased, He had made them one people and of one creed:  but He bringeth whom He will within His mercy; and as for the doers of evil, no patron, no helper shall there be for them.

Will they take other patrons than Him?  But God is man’s only Lord:  He quickeneth the dead; and He is mighty over all things.

And whatever the subject of your disputes, with God doth its decision rest.  This is God, my Lord:  in Him do I put my trust, and to Him do I turn in penitence;

Creator of the Heavens and of the Earth! he hath given you wives from among your own selves, and cattle male and female-by this means to multiply you:  Nought is there like Him! the Hearer, the Beholder He!

His, the keys of the Heavens and of the Earth!  He giveth with open hand, or sparingly, to whom He will:  He knoweth all things.

To you hath He prescribed the faith which He commanded unto Noah, and which we have revealed to thee, and which we commanded unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying, “Observe this faith, and be not divided into sects therein.”  Intolerable to those who worship idols jointly with God

Is that faith to which thou dost call them.  Whom He pleaseth will God choose for it, and whosoever shall turn to Him in penitence will He guide to it.

Nor were they divided into sects through mutual jealousy, till after that “the knowledge” had come to them:  and had not a decree from thy Lord gone forth respiting them to a fixed time, verily, there had at once been a decision between them.3 And they who have inherited “the Book” after them, are in perplexity of doubt concerning it.

For this cause summon thou them to the faith, and go straight on as thou hast been bidden, and follow not their desires:  and say:  In whatsoever Books God hath sent down do I believe:  I am commanded to decide justly between you:  God is your Lord and our Lord:  we have our works and you have your works:  between us and you let there be no strife:  God will make us all one:  and to Him shall we return.

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And as to those who dispute about God, after pledges of obedience given to Him,4 their disputings shall be condemned by their Lord, and wrath shall be on them, and theirs shall be a sore torment.

It is God who hath sent down the Book with truth, and the Balance:5 but who shall inform thee whether haply “the Hour” be nigh?

They who believe not in it, challenge its speedy coming:6 but they who believe are afraid because of it, and know it to be a truth.  Are not they who dispute of the Hour, in a vast error?

Benign is God towards his servants:  for whom He will doth He provide:  and He is the Strong, the Mighty.

Whoso will choose the harvest field of the life to come, to him will we give increase in this his harvest field:  and whoso chooseth the harvest field of this life, thereof will we give him:  but no portion shall there be for him in the life to come.7

Is it that they have gods who have sanctioned for them aught in the matter of religion which God hath not allowed?  But had it not been for a decree of respite till the day of severance, judgment had ere now taken place among them; and assuredly the impious shall undergo a painful torment.

On that day thou shalt see the impious alarmed at their own works, and the consequence thereof shall fall upon them:  but they who believe and do the things that are right, shall dwell in the meadows of paradise:  whatever they shall desire awaiteth them with their Lord.  This, the greatest boon.

This is what God announceth to his servants who believe and do the things that are right.  Say:  For this ask I no wage of you, save the love of my kin.  And whoever shall have won the merit of a good deed, we will increase good to him therewith; for God is forgiving, grateful.

Will they say he hath forged a lie of God?  If God pleased,

He could then seal up thy very heart.8 But God will bring untruth to nought, and will make good the truth by his word:  for He knoweth the very secrets of the breast.

He it is who accepteth repentance from his servants, and forgiveth their sins and knoweth your actions: 

And to those who believe and do the things that are right will he hearken, and augment his bounties to them:9 but the unbelievers doth a terrible punishment await.

Should God bestow abundance upon his servants, they might act wantonly on the earth:  but He sendeth down what He will by measure; for he knoweth, beholdeth his servants.

He it is who after that men have despaired of it, sendeth down the rain, and spreadeth abroad his mercy:  He is the Protector, the Praiseworthy.

Among his signs is the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth, and the creatures which he hath scattered over both:  and, for their gathering together when he will, He is allpowerful!

Nor happeneth to you any mishap, but it is for your own handy-work:  and yet he forgiveth many things.

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Ye cannot weaken him on the earth:  neither, beside God, patron or helper shall ye have.

Among his signs also are the sea-traversing ships like mountains:  if such be his will, He lulleth the wind, and they lie motionless on the back of the waves:-truly herein are signs to all the constant, the grateful;-

Or if, for their ill deserts, He cause them to founder, still He forgiveth much: 

But they who gainsay our signs shall know that there will be no escape for them.

All that you receive is but for enjoyment in this life present:  but better and more enduring is a portion with God, for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord;

And who avoid the heinous things of crime, and filthiness, and when they are angered, forgive;

And who hearken to their Lord, and observe prayer, and whose affairs are guided by mutual counsel, and who give alms of that with which we have enriched them;

And who, when a wrong is done them, redress themselves: 

-Yet let the recompense of evil be only a like evil but he who forgiveth and is reconciled, shall be rewarded by God himself; for He loveth not those who act unjustly.

And there shall be no way open against those who, after being wronged, avenge themselves;

But there shall be a way open against those who unjustly wrong others, and act insolently on the earth in disregard of justice.  These! a grievous punishment doth await them.

And whoso beareth wrongs with patience and forgiveth;-this verily is a bounden duty;

But he whom God shall cause to err, shall thenceforth have no protector.  And thou shalt behold the perpetrators of injustice,

Exclaiming, when they see the torment, “Is there no way to return?”

And thou shalt see them when set before it, downcast for the shame:  they shall look at it with stealthy glances:  and the believers shall say, “Truly are the losers they who have lost themselves and their families on the day of Resurrection!  Shall not the perpetrators of injustice be in lasting torment?”

And no other protectors shall there be to succour them than God; and no pathway for him whom God shall cause to err.

Hearken then to your Lord ere the day come, which none can put back when God doth ordain its coming.  No place of refuge for you on that day! no denying your own works!

But if they turn aside from thee, yet we have not sent thee to be their guardian.  ’Tis thine but to preach.  When we cause man to taste our gifts of mercy, he rejoiceth in it; but if for their by-gone handy-work evil betide them, then lo! is man ungrateful.

God’s, the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth!  He createth what He will! and he giveth daughters to whom He will, and sons to whom He will: 

Or He giveth them children of both sexes, and He maketh whom He will to be childless; for He is Wise, Powerful!

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It is not for man that God should speak with him but by vision, or from behind a veil: 

Or, He sendeth a messenger to reveal, by his permission, what He will:  for He is Exalted, Wise!

Thus have we sent the Spirit (Gabriel10) to thee with a revelation, by our command.  Thou knewest not, ere this, what “the Book” was, or what the faith.  But we have ordained it for a light:  by it will we guide whom we please of our servants.  And thou shalt surely guide into the right way,

The way of God, whose is all that the Heaven and the Earth contain.  Shall not all things return to God?

_______________________

1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

2 Mecca.

3 Jews and Christians.

4 Or, nachdem ihm (Mohamed) die Lehre geworden.  Ullm.  Postquam responsum fuit illi (id est, Mahumeto de Religione manifestanda).  Mar.

5 The law contained in the Koran.

6 Isai. v. 19.

7 Comp.  Gal. vi. 7, 8.

8 That is, deprive thee of the Prophetic mission; or, fortify thee with patience against the calumny of forging lies of God.  Thus Mar.  If this latter interpretation be adopted, the remainder of the verse must be rendered:  And God will abolish the lie and, etc.

9 Lit. he will increase them.  Comp.  Ps. cxv. 14.

10 Thus Beidhawi.

SURA X.-JONAH, PEACE BE ON HIM! [LXXXIV.]

Mecca.-109 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF.  LamRa.1 These are the signs of the wise Book!

A matter of wonderment is it to the men of Mecca, that to a person among themselves We revealed, “Bear warnings to the people:  and, to those who believe, bear the good tidings that they shall have with their Lord the precedence merited by their sincerity.”  The unbelievers say, “Verily this is a manifest sorcerer.”

Verily your Lord is God who hath made the Heavens and the Earth in six days-then mounted his throne to rule all things:  None can intercede with him till after his permission:  This is God your Lord:  therefore serve him:  Will ye not reflect?

Unto Him shall ye return, all together:  the promise of God is sure:  He produceth a creature, then causeth it to return again-that he may reward those who believe and do the things that are right, with equity:  but as for the infidels!-for them the draught that boileth and an afflictive torment-because they have not believed.

It is He who hath appointed the sun for brightness, and the moon for a light, and hath ordained her stations that ye may learn the number of years and the reckoning of time.  God hath not created all this but for the truth.2 He maketh his signs clear to those who understand.

Verily, in the alternations of night and of day, and in all that God hath created in the Heavens and in the Earth are signs to those who fear Him.

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Verily, they who hope not to meet Us, and find their satisfaction in this world’s life, and rest on it, and who of our signs are heedless;-

These! their abode the fire, in recompense of their deeds!

But they who believe and do the things that are right, shall their Lord direct aright because of their faith.  Rivers shall flow at their feet in gardens of delight: 

Their cry therein, “Glory be to thee, O God!” and their salutation therein, “Peace!”

And the close of their cry, “Praise be to God, Lord, of all creatures!”

Should God hasten evil on men as they fain would hasten their good, then were their end decreed!  So leave we those who hope not to meet Us, bewildered in their error.

When trouble toucheth a man, he crieth to us, on his side, or sitting, or standing; and when we withdraw his trouble from him, he passeth on as though he had not called on us against the trouble which touched him!  Thus are the deeds of transgressors pre-arranged for them.

And of old destroyed we generations before you, when they had acted wickedly, and their Apostles had come to them with clear tokens of their mission, and they would not believe:-thus reward we the wicked.

Then we caused you to succeed them on the earth, that we might see how ye would act.

But when our clear signs are recited to them, they who look not forward to meet Us, say, “Bring a different Koran from this, or make some change in it.”  Say:  It is not for me to change it as mine own soul prompteth.  I follow only what is revealed to me:  verily, I fear, if I rebel against my Lord, the punishment of a great day.

Say:  Had God so pleased, I had not recited it to you, neither had I taught it to you.  Already have I dwelt among you for years, ere it was revealed to me.  Understand ye not?

And who is more unjust than he who coineth a lie against God, or treateth his signs as lies?  Surely the wicked shall not prosper!

And they worship beside God, what cannot hurt or help them; and say, “These are our advocates with God!” Say:  Will ye inform God of aught in the Heavens and in the Earth which he knoweth not?  Praise be to Him!  High be He exalted above the deities they join with Him!

Men were of one religion only:3 then they fell to variance:  and had not a decree (of respite) previously gone forth from thy Lord, their differences had surely been decided between them!

They say:  “Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . .”  But say:  The hidden is only with God:  wait therefore:  I truly will be with you among those who wait.

And when after a trouble which you befallen them,4 we caused this people to taste of mercy, lo! a plot on their part against our signs!  Say:  Swifter to plot is God!  Verily, our messengers note down your plottings.

He it is who enableth you to travel by land and sea, so that ye go on board of ships-which sail on with them, with favouring breeze in which they rejoice.  But if a tempestuous gale overtake them, and the billow come on them from every side, and they think that they are encompassed therewith, they call on God, professing sincere religion:-"Wouldst thou but rescue us from this, then will we indeed be of the thankful.”

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But when we have rescued them, lo! they commit unrighteous excesses on the earth!  O men! assuredly your self-injuring excess is only an enjoyment of this life present:  soon ye return to us:  and we will let you know what ye have done!

Verily, this present life is like the water which we send down from Heaven, and the produce of the earth, of which men and cattle eat, is mingled with it, till the earth hath received its golden raiment, and is decked out:  and they who dwell on it deem that they have power over it! but, Our behest cometh to it by night or by day, and we make it as if it had been mown, as if it had not teemed only yesterday!  Thus make we our signs clear to those who consider.

And God calleth to the abode of peace;5 and He guideth whom He will into the right way.

Goodness6 itself and an increase of it for those who do good! neither blackness nor shame shall cover their faces!  These shall be the inmates of Paradise, therein shall they abide for ever.

And as for those who have wrought out evil, their recompense shall be evil of like degree, and shame shall cover them-no protector shall they have against God:  as though their faces were darkened with deep murk of night!  These shall be inmates of the fire:  therein they shall abide for ever.

And on that day will we gather them all together:  then will we say to those who added gods to God, “To your place, ye and those added gods of yours!” Then we will separate between them:  and those their gods shall say, “Ye served us not:7

And God is a sufficient witness between us and you:  we cared not aught for your worship.”

There shall every soul make proof of what itself shall have sent on before, and they shall be brought back to God, their true lord, and the deities of their own devising shall vanish from them.

Say:  Who supplieth you from the Heaven and the Earth?  Who hath power over hearing and sight?  And who bringeth forth the living from the dead, and bringeth forth the dead from the living?  And who ruleth all things?  They will surely say, “God:”  then say:  “What! will ye not therefore fear him?

This God then is your true Lord:  and when the truth is gone, what remaineth but error?  How then are ye so perverted?

Thus is the word of thy Lord made good on the wicked, that they shall not believe.

Say:  Is there any of the gods whom ye add to God who produceth a creature, then causeth it to return to him?  Say:  God produceth a creature, then causeth it to return to Him:  How therefore are ye turned aside?

Say:  Is there any of the gods ye add to God who guideth into the truth?  Say:  God guideth into the truth.  Is He then who guideth into the truth the more worthy to be followed, or he who guideth not unless he be himself guided?  What then hath befallen you that ye so judge?

And most of them follow only a conceit:-But a conceit attaineth to nought of truth!  Verily God knoweth what they say.

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Moreover this Koran could not have been devised by any but God:  but it confirmeth what was revealed before it, and is a clearing up of the Scriptures-there is no doubt thereof-from the Lord of all creatures.

Do they say, “He hath devised it himself?” Say:  Then bring a Sura like it; and call on whom ye can beside God, if ye speak truth.

But that which they embrace not in their knowledge have they charged with falsehood, though the explanation of it had not yet been given them.  So those who were before them brought charges of imposture:  But see what was the end of the unjust!

And some of them believe in it, and some of them believe not in it.  But thy Lord well knoweth the transgressors.

And if they charge thee with imposture, then say:  My work for me, and your work for you!  Ye are clear of that which I do, and I am clear of that which ye do.

And some of them lend a ready ear to thee:  But wilt thou make the deaf to hear even though they understand not?

And some of them look at thee:  But wilt thou guide the blind even though they see not?

Verily, God will not wrong men in aught, but men will wrong themselves.

Moreover, on that day, He will gather them all together:  They shall seem as though they had waited but an hour of the day!  They shall recognise one another!  Now perish they who denied the meeting with God, and were not guided aright!

Whether we cause thee to see some of our menaces against them fulfilled, or whether we first take thee to Ourself,8 to us do they return.  Then shall God bear witness of what they do.

And every people hath had its apostle.9 And when their apostle came, a rightful decision took place between them, and they were not wronged.

Yet they say, “When will this menace be made good?  Tell us if ye speak truly.”

Say:  I have no power over my own weal or woe, but as God pleaseth.  Every people hath its time:  when their time is come, they shall neither retard nor advance it an hour.

Say:  How think ye? if God’s punishment came on you by night or by day, what portion of it would the wicked desire to hasten on?

When it falleth on you, will ye believe it then?  Yes! ye will believe it then.  Yet did ye challenge its speedy coming.

Then shall it be said to the transgressors, “Taste ye the punishment of eternity!  Shall ye be rewarded but as ye have wrought?”

They will desire thee to inform them whether this be true?  Say:  Yes! by my Lord it is the truth:  and it is not ye who can weaken Him.

And every soul that hath sinned, if it possessed all that is on earth, would assuredly ransom itself therewith; and they will proclaim their repentance when they have seen the punishment:  and there shall be a rightful decision between them, and they shall not be unjustly dealt with.

Is not whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth God’s?  Is not then the promise of God true?  Yet most of them know it not.

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He maketh alive and He causeth to die, and to Him shall ye return.

O men! now hath a warning come to you from your Lord, and a medicine for what is in your breasts, and a guidance and a mercy to believers.

Say:  Through the grace of God and his mercy! and in this therefore let them rejoice:  better is this than all ye amass.

Say:  What think ye? of what God hath sent down to you for food, have ye made unlawful and lawful?  Say:  Hath God permitted you? or invent ye on the part of God?

But what on the day of Resurrection will be the thought of those who invent a lie on the part of God?  Truly God is full of bounties to man; but most of them give not thanks.

Thou shalt not be employed in affairs, nor shalt thou read a text out of the Koran, nor shall ye work any work, but we will be witnesses over you when ye are engaged therein:  and not the weight of an atom on Earth or in Heaven escapeth thy Lord; nor is there aught that is less than this or greater, but it is in the perspicuous Book.

Are not the friends of God, those on whom no fear shall come, nor shall they be put to grief?

They who believe and fear God-

For them are good tidings in this life, and in the next!  There is no change in the words of God!  This, the great felicity!

And let not their discourse grieve thee:  for all might is God’s:  the Hearer, the Knower, He!

Is not whoever is in the Heavens and the Earth subject to God?  What then do they follow who, beside God, call upon deities they have joined with Him?  They follow but a conceit, and they are but liars!

It is He who hath ordained for you the night wherein to rest, and the lightsome day.  Verily in this are signs for those who hearken.

They say, “God hath begotten children.”  No! by his glory!  He is the self-sufficient.  All that is in the Heavens and all that is in the Earth is His!  Have ye warranty for that assertion?  What! speak ye of God that which ye know not?

Say:  Verily, they who devise this lie concerning God shall fare ill.

A portion have they in this world!  Then to us they return!  Then make we them to taste the vehement torment, for that they were unbelievers.

Recite to them the history of Noah,10 when he said to his people,-If, O my people! my abode with you, and my reminding you of the signs of God, be grievous to you, yet in God is my trust:  Muster, therefore, your designs and your false gods, and let not your design be carried on by you in the dark:  then come to some decision about me, and delay not.

And if ye turn your backs on me, yet ask I no reward from you:  my reward is with God alone, and I am commanded to be of the Muslims.

But they treated him as a liar:  therefore we rescued him and those who were with him in the ark, and we made them to survive the others; and we drowned those who charged our signs with falsehood.  See, then, what was the end of these warned ones!

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Then after him, we sent Apostles to their peoples, and they came to them with credentials; but they would not believe in what they had denied aforetime:  Thus seal we up the hearts of the transgressors!

Then sent we, after them, Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh and his nobles with our signs; but they acted proudly and were a wicked people: 

And when the truth came to them from us, they said, “Verily, this is clear sorcery.”

Moses said:  “What! say ye of the truth after it hath come to you, ’Is this sorcery?’ But sorcerers shall not prosper.”

They said:  “Art thou come to us to pervert us from the faith in which we found our fathers, and that you twain shall bear rule in this land?  But we believe you not.”

And Pharaoh said:  “Fetch me every skilled magician.”  And when the magicians arrived, Moses said to them, “Cast down what ye have to cast.”

And when they had cast them down, Moses said, “Verily, God will render vain the sorceries which ye have brought to pass:  God prospereth not the work of the evildoers.

And by his words will God verify the Truth, though the impious be averse to it.

And none believed on Moses but a race among his own people, through fear of Pharaoh and his nobles, lest he should afflict them:  For of a truth mighty was Pharaoh in the land, and one who committed excesses.

And Moses said:  “O my people! if ye believe in God, then put your trust in Him-if ye be Muslims.”

And they said:  “In God put we our trust.  O our Lord! abandon us not to trial from that unjust people,

And deliver us by thy mercy from the unbelieving people.”

Then thus revealed we to Moses and to his brother:  “Provide houses for your people in Egypt, and in your houses make a Kebla, and observe prayer and proclaim good tidings to the believers.”

And Moses said:  “O our Lord! thou hast indeed given to Pharaoh and his nobles splendour and riches in this present life:  O our Lord! that they may err from thy way!  O our Lord! confound their riches, and harden their hearts that they may not believe till they see the dolorous torment.”

He said:  “The prayer of you both is heard:  pursue ye both therefore the straight path, and follow not the path of those who have no knowledge.”

And we led the children of Israel through the sea; and Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in eager and hostile sort until, when the drowning overtook him, he said, “I believe that there is no God but he on whom the children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims.”

“Yes, now,” said God:  “but thou hast been rebellious hitherto, and wast one of the wicked doers.

But this day will we rescue thee with thy body that thou mayest be a sign to those who shall be after thee:11 but truly, most men are of our signs regardless!”

Moreover we prepared a settled abode for the children of Israel, and provided them with good things:  nor did they fall into variance till the knowledge (the Law) came to them:  Truly thy Lord will decide between them on the day of Resurrection concerning that in which they differed.

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And if thou art in doubt as to what we have sent down to thee, inquire at those who have read the Scriptures before thee.12 Now hath the truth come unto thee from thy Lord:  be not therefore of those who doubt.

Neither be of those who charge the signs of God with falsehood, lest thou be of those who perish.

Verily they against whom the decree of thy Lord is pronounced, shall not believe,

Even though every kind of sign come unto them, till they behold the dolorous torment!

Were it otherwise, any city, had it believed, might have found its safety in its faith.  But it was so, only with the people of Jonas.  When they believed, we delivered them from the penalty of shame in this world, and provided for them for a time.

But if thy Lord had pleased, verily all who are in the earth would have believed together.  What! wilt thou compel men to become believers?

No soul can believe but by the permission of God:  and he shall lay his wrath on those who will not understand.

Say:  Consider ye whatever is in the Heavens and on the Earth:  but neither signs, nor warners, avail those who will not believe!

What then can they expect but the like of such days of wrath as befel those who flourish before them?  SayWait; I too will wait with you: 

Then will we deliver our apostles and those who believe.  Thus is it binding on us to deliver the faithful.

Say:  O men! if ye are in doubt as to my religion, verily I worship not what ye worship beside God; but I worship God who will cause you to die:  and I am commanded to be a believer.

And set thy face toward true religion, sound in faith, and be not of those who join other gods with God: 

Neither invoke beside God that which can neither help nor hurt thee:  for if thou do, thou wilt certainly then be one of those who act unjustly.

And if God lay the touch of trouble on thee, none can deliver thee from it but He:  and if He will thee any good, none can keep back his boons.  He will confer them on such of his servants as he chooseth:  and He is the Gracious, the Merciful!

Say:  O men! now hath the truth come unto you from your Lord.  He therefore who will be guided, will be guided only for his own behoof:  but he who shall err will err only against it; and I am not your guardian!

And follow what is revealed to thee:  and persevere steadfastly till God shall judge, for He is the best of Judges.

_______________________

1 See Sura 1xviii. n. 3, p. 32.

2 That is, for a serious end, to manifest the Divine Unity.

3 Gen. xi. 1.

4 This refers to the seven years of scarcity with which Mecca had been visited.

5 Paradise.

6 Verses 27, 28 are to be noted, as defining the proportion to be observed in rewards and punishments, the severity of the latter being only in proportion to the crime, the excellence of the former being above and beyond its strict merits.

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7 But rather your own lusts.  The Muhammadans believe that idols will be gifted with speech at the day of judgment.

8 The ordinary Arabic word for to die seems to be avoided in speaking of Jesus and Muhammad.

9 This is the doctrine of the Rabbins.  Comp.  Midrasch Rabba, and Midr.  Jalkut on Numb. xxii. 2.

10 The preaching of Noah is mentioned by the Rabbins.  Sanhedrin, 108.  Comp.  Midr.  Rabbah on Gen. Par. 30 and 33, on Eccl. ix. 14, and in the probably sub.  Apostolic 2 Pet. ii. 5.

11 This is in accordance with Talmudic legend.  “Recognise the power of repentance, in the case of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, who rebelled excessively against the most High; Who is God that I should hearken to his voice? (Ex. v. 2).  But with the same tongue that sinned he did penance:  Who is like thee, O Lord, among the Gods? (xv. 11).  The Holy One, Blessed be He, delivered him from the dead, . . . so that he should not die (ix. 15, 16).-For now have I stretched forth my hand, and verily thee have I raised up from among the dead, to proclaim my might.”  Ex. ix. 15, 16.  A strange comment!  Pirke R. Eliezer, § 43.  Comp.  Midr. on Ps. cvi.  Midr.  Jalkut, ch. 238.

12 That is, whether thou art not foretold in the Law and Gospel, and whether the Koran is not in unison with, and confirmatory of, them.

SURA XXXIV.-SABA1 [LXXXV.]

Mecca.-54 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Praise be to God! to whom belongeth all that is in the Heavens and all that is on the Earth; and to Him be praise in the next world:  for he is the All-wise, the All-informed!

He knoweth what entereth into the earth, and what proceedeth from it; and what cometh down from heaven, and what goeth up into it:  and He is the Merciful, the Forgiving!

“Never,” say the unbelievers, “will the Hour come upon us!” Say:  Yea, by my Lord who knoweth the unseen, it will surely come upon you! not the weight of a mote either in the Heavens or in the Earth escapeth him; nor is there aught less than this or aught greater, which is not in the clear Book;-

To the intent that God may reward those who have believed and done the things that are right:  Pardon and a noble provision shall they receive: 

But as for those who aim to invalidate our signs,-a chastisement of painful torment awaiteth them!

And they to whom knowledge hath been given see that what hath been sent down to thee from thy Lord is the truth, and that it guideth into the way of the Glorious one, the Praiseworthy.

But the unbelievers say to those whom they fall in with, “Shall we shew you a man who will foretell you that when ye shall have been utterly torn and rent to pieces, ye shall be restored in a new form?

He deviseth a lie about God, or there is a djinn in him,” but they who believe not in the next life, shall incur the chastisement, and be lost in the mazes of estrangement from God.

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What! have they never contemplated that which is before them and behind them, the Heaven and the Earth?  If such were our pleasure, we could sink them into that Earth, or cause a portion of that Heaven to fall upon them! herein truly is a sign for our every returning servant.

Of old bestowed we on David a gift, our special boon:-"Ye mountains and ye birds answer his songs of praise.”  And we made the iron soft for him:-"Make coats of mail, and arrange its plates; and work ye righteousness; for I behold your actions.”

And unto Solomon did we subject the wind, which travelled in the morning a month’s journey, and a month’s journey in the evening.  And we made a fountain of molten brass to flow for him.  And of the Djinn were some who worked in his presence, by the will of his Lord; and such of them as swerved from our bidding will we cause to taste the torment of the flame.

They made for him whatever he pleased, of lofty halls, and images, and dishes large as tanks for watering camels, and cooking pots that stood firmly.  “Work,” said we, “O family of David with thanksgiving:”  But few of my servants are the thankful!

And when we decreed the death of Solomon, nothing shewed them that he was dead but a reptile of the earth that gnawed the staff which supported his corpse.2 And when it fell, the Djinn perceived that if they had known the things unseen, they had not continued in this shameful affliction.3

A sign there was to Saba, in their dwelling places:-two gardens, the one on the right hand and the other on the left:-"Eat ye of your Lord’s supplies, and give thanks to him:  Goodly is the country, and gracious is the Lord!”

But they turned aside:  so we sent upon them the flood of Irem;4 and we changed them their gardens into two gardens of bitter fruit and tamarisk and some few jujube trees.

Such was our retribution on them for their ingratitude:  but do we thus recompense any except the ungrateful?

And we placed between them and the cities which we have blessed, conspicuous cities, and we fixed easy stages:  “Travel ye through them by night and day, secure.”

But they said, “O Lord! make the distance between our journeys longer,"5-and against themselves did they act unjustly:  so we made them a tale, and scattered them with an utter scattering.  Truly herein are signs to everyone that is patient, grateful.

And Eblis found that he had judged truly of them:  and they all except a remnant of the faithful, followed him: 

Yet no power had he over them.  Only we would discern him who believed in the life to come, from him who doubted of it; for thy Lord watcheth all things.

Say:  Call ye upon those whom ye deem gods, beside God:  their power in the Heavens and in the Earth is not the weight of an atom-neither have they any share in either; nor hath He a helper from among them.

No intercession shall avail with Him but that which He shall Himself allow.  Until when at last their hearts shall be relieved from terror, they shall say, “What saith your Lord?” they shall say, “The Truth; and He is the High, the Great.”

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Say:  Who supplieth you out of the Heavens and the Earth?  Say:  God.  And either we or ye have guidance, or are in palpable error!

Say:  Not as to our faults shall ye be questioned; neither shall we be questioned as to your actions.

Say:  Our Lord will gather us together:  then will He judge between us in justice; for He is the Judge, the Knowing!

Say:  Shew me those whom ye have united with Him as associates:  Nay, rather, He is God, the Mighty, the Wise!

And we have sent thee to mankind at large, to announce and to threaten.  But most men understand not.

And they say, “When will this threat come to pass?  Tell us, if ye be men of truth.”

Say:  Ye are menaced with a day, which not for an hour shall ye retard or hasten on.

The unbelievers say, “We will not believe in this Koran, nor in the Books which preceded it.”  But couldst thou see when the wicked shall be set before their Lord!  With reproaches will they answer one another.  The weak shall say to the mighty ones, “But for you we had been believers:” 

Then shall the mighty ones say to the weak, “What! was it we who turned you aside from the guidance which had reached you?  Nay, but ye acted wickedly yourselves.”

And the weak shall say to the mighty ones, “Nay, but there was a plot by night and by day, when ye bad us believe not in God, and gave him peers.”  And they shall proclaim their repentance after they have seen the punishment!  And yokes will we place on the necks of those who have not believed!  Shall they be rewarded but as they have wrought?

And never have we sent a warner to any city whose opulent men did not say, “In sooth we disbelieve your message.”

And they said, “We are the more abundant in riches and in children, nor shall we be among the punished.”

Say:  Of a truth my Lord will be liberal or sparing in his supplies to whom he pleaseth:  but the greater part of men acknowledge it not.

Neither by your riches nor by your children shall you bring yourselves into nearness with Us; but they who believe and do the thing that is right shall have a double reward for what they shall have done:  and in the pavilions of Paradise shall they dwell secure!

But they who shall aim to invalidate our signs, shall be consigned to punishment.

Say:  Of a truth my Lord will be liberal in supplies to whom he pleaseth of his servants, or will be sparing to him:  and whatever ye shall give in alms he will return; and He is the best dispenser of gifts.

One day he will gather them all together:  then shall he say to the angels, “Did these worship you?”

They shall say, “Glory be to thee!  Thou art our master, not these!  But they worshipped the Djinn:  it was in them that most of them believed.

On this day the one of you shall have no power over others for help or hurt.  And we will say to the evil doers, “Taste ye the torment of the fire, which ye treated as a delusion.”

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For when our distinct signs are recited to them, they say, “This is merely a man who would fain pervert you from your father’s Worship.”  And they say, “This (Koran) is no other than a forged falsehood.”  And the unbelievers say to the truth when it is presented to them, “Tis nothing but palpable sorcery.”

Yet have we given them no books in which to study deeply, nor have we sent any one to them before thee, charged with warnings.

They also flourished before them, treated our apostles as impostors in like sort:  but not to the tenth part of what we bestowed on them,6 have these attained.  And yet when they charged my apostles with deceit, how terrible was my vengeance: 

Say:  One thing in sooth do I advise you:-that ye stand up before God two and two, or singly,7 and then reflect that in your fellow citizen is no djinn:8 he is no other than your warner before a severe punishment.

Say:  I ask not any wage from you:  keep it for yourselves:  my wage is from God alone.  And He is witness over all things!

Say:  Truly my Lord sendeth forth the Truth:-Knower of things unseen!

Say:  Truth is come, and falsehood shall vanish and return no more.

Say:  If I err, verily to my own cost only shall I err:  but if I have guidance, it will be of my Lord’s revealing, for He is the Hearer, the near at hand.

Couldst thou see how they shall tremble and find no escape, and be taken forth from the place that is so near;9

And shall say, “We believe in Him!” But how, in their present distance, shall they receive the faith,

When they had before denied it, and aimed their shafts at the mysteries from afar?10

And a gulf shall be between them and that which they shall desire-

As was done unto their likes of old, who were lost in the questionings of doubt.

_______________________

1 In Arabia Felix, three days’ journey from Sanaa.

2 The Talmud mentions the worm Shameer, used by Solomon to cut the stones for building the temple.  Pirke Aboth. v.  See Buxt.  Lex.  Talmud, p. 2456.  Tr.  Gittin, fol. 68; and Midr.  Jalkut on 1 Kings, vi. 7.  This passage of Scripture may have suggested the idea that Solomon built, etc., by the aid of Spirits. 3 That is, in their difficult toils.

4 See M. Caussin de Perceval Hist. des Arabes, vol. iii., who, as well as M. de Sacy, fix this event in the second century of our era.

5 The Saba, of verse 14 formed an important branch of the trading population of Yemen.  This whole passage, 14-18, alludes to the cessation of traffic between them and Syria, which led to the desire to lengthen the stages and diminish the expense of the journey.  See Muir’s Life of Muhammad, i. p. cxxxix.  Muhammad attributes this desire to covetousness.

6 That is, of strength and material prosperity.

7 That is, so as to form a judgment free from the influence of others.

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8 It is very remarkable, that when the power of Muhammad became firmly established, he never reverts to the insinuations against the soundness of his mind which in the earlier Suras he so often rebuts.

9 That is, their graves.  Mar.  So called because there is but a step into it from the surface of the earth.  Ullm.

10 That is, when in this life.

SURA XXXV.-THE CREATOR, OR THE ANGELS [LXXXVI.]

Mecca.-45 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Praise be to God, Maker of the Heavens and of the Earth!  Who employeth the angels as envoys, with pairs of wings, two, three, and four:  He addeth to his creature what He will!  Truly God hath power for all things.

The mercy which God layeth open for man, no one can keep back; and what He shall keep back, none can afterwards send forth.  And He is the Mighty, the Wise.

O men! bear in mind the favour of God towards you.  Is there a creator other than God, who nourisheth you with the gifts of heaven and earth?  There is no God but He!  How then are ye turned aside from Him?

If they treat thee as an impostor, then before thee have apostles been treated as impostors.  But to God shall all things return.

O men! assuredly the promise of God is true:  let not then the present life deceive you:  and let not the Deceiver deceive you as to God.

Yes, Satan is your foe.  For a foe then hold him.  He calleth his followers to him that they may become inmates of the flame.

The unbelievers,-for them a terrible punishment!

But believers and doers of good works, for them is mercy, and a great reward!

Shall he, the evil of whose deeds are so tricked out to him that he deemeth them good, be treated like him who seeth things aright?  Verily God misleadeth whom He will, and guideth whom He will.  Spend not thy soul in sighs for them:  God knoweth their doings.

It is God who sendeth forth the winds which raise the clouds aloft:  then drive we them on to some land dead from drought,1 and give life thereby to the earth after its death.  So shall be the resurrection.

If any one desireth greatness, all greatness is in God.  The good word riseth up to Him, and the righteous deed will He exalt.  But a severe punishment awaiteth the plotters of evil things; and the plots of such will He render vain.

Moreover, God created you of dust-then of the germs of life-then made you two sexes:  and no female conceiveth or bringeth forth without his knowledge; and the aged ageth not, nor is aught minished from man’s age, but in accordance with the Book.  An easy thing truly is this to God.

Nor are the two seas2 alike:  the one fresh, sweet, pleasant for drink, and the other salt, bitter; yet from both ye eat fresh fish, and take forth for you ornaments to wear, and thou seest the ships cleaving their waters that ye may go in quest of his bounties, and that ye may be thankful.

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He causeth the night to enter in upon the day, and the day to enter in upon the night; and He hath given laws to the sun and to the moon, so that each journeyeth to its appointed goal:  This is God your Lord:  All power is His:  But the gods whom ye call on beside Him have no power over the husk of a date stone!

If ye cry to them they will not hear your cry; and if they heard they would not answer you, and in the day of resurrection they will disown your joining them with God:  and none can instruct thee like Him who is informed of all.

O men! ye are but paupers in need of God; but God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy!

If He please, He could sweep you away, and bring forth a new creation!

Nor will this be hard for God.

And the burdened soul shall not bear the burden of another:  and if the heavy laden soul cry out for its burden to be carried, yet shall not aught of it be carried, even by the near of kin!  Thou shalt warn those who fear their Lord in secret, and observe prayer.  And whoever shall keep himself pure, he purifieth himself to his own behoof:  for unto God shall be the final gathering.

And the blind and the seeing are not alike; neither darkness and light; nor the shade and the hot wind;

Nor are the living and the dead the same thing!  God indeed shall make whom He will to hearken, but thou shalt not make those who are in their graves to hearken; for only with warning art thou charged.

Verily we have sent thee with the truth; a bearer of good tidings and a warner; nor hath there been a people unvisited by its warner.

And if they treat thee as a liar, so did those who were before them threat their Apostles who came to them with the proofs of their mission, and with the Scriptures and with the enlightening Book:3

Then chastised I the unbelievers:  and how great was my vengeance!

Seest thou not how that God sendeth down water from the Heaven, and that by it we cause the up-growth of fruits of varied hues, and that on the mountains4 are tracks of varied hues, white and red, and others are of a raven black?  And of men and reptiles and animals, various likewise are the hues.  Such only of his servants as are possessed of knowledge fear God.  Lo!  God is Mighty, Gracious!

Verily they who recite the Book of God, and observe prayer, and give alms in public and in private from what we have bestowed upon them, may hope for a merchandise that shall not perish: 

God will certainly pay them their due wages, and of his bounty increase them:  for He is Gracious, Grateful.

And that which we have revealed to thee of the Book is the very Truth, confirmatory of previous Scriptures:  for God knoweth and beholdeth his servants.

Moreover, we have made the Book an heritage to those of our servants whom we have chosen.  Some of them injure themselves by evil deeds; others keep the midway between good and evil; and others, by the permission of God, outstrip in goodness; this is the great merit!

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Into the gardens of Eden shall they enter:  with bracelets of gold and pearl shall they be decked therein, and therein shall their raiment be of silk: 

And they shall say, “Praise be to God who hath put away sorrow from us.  Verily our Lord is Gracious, Grateful,

Who of His bounty hath placed us in a manison that shall abide for ever:  therein no toil shall reach us, and therein no weariness shall touch us.”

But for infidels is the fire of Hell; to die shall never be decreed them, nor shall aught of its torment be made light to them.  Thus reward we every infidel!

And therein shall they cry aloud, “Take us hence, O our Lord! righteousness will we work, and not what we wrought of old."-"Prolonged we not your days that whoever would be warned might be warned therein?  And the preacher came to you-

Taste it then."-There is no protector for the unjust.

God truly knoweth the hidden things both of the Heavens and of the Earth:  for
He knoweth the very secrets of the breast.

He hath appointed you his vicegerents in the earth:  And whoever believeth not, on him shall be his unbelief; and their unbelief shall only increase for the unbelievers, hatred at the hands of their Lord:-and their unbelief shall only increase for the unbelievers their own perdition!

Say:  What think ye of the gods whom ye invoke beside God?  Shew me what part of the earth they have created?  Had they a share in the creation of the Heavens?  Have we given them a Book in which they can find proofs that they are to be called on?  Nay, the wicked promise one another only deceits.

Verily God holdeth fast the Heavens and the Earth that they pass not away:  and if they were passing away none could hold them back but He:  for He is Kind, Gracious.

They swore by God with their mightiest oath that should a preacher come to them they would yield to guidance more than any people:  but when the preacher came to them it only increased in them their estrangement,

Their haughtiness on earth and their plotting of evil!  But the plotting of evil shall only enmesh those who make use of it.5 Look they then for aught but God’s way6 of dealing with the peoples of old?  Thou shalt not find any change in the way of God,-

Yea, thou shalt not find any variableness in the way of God.

Have they never journeyed in the land and seen what hath been the end of those who flourished before them, though mightier in strength than they?  God is not to be frustrated by aught in the Heavens or in the Earth; for He is the All-knowing, the All-mighty.

If, moreover, God should chastise men according to their deserts, He would not leave even a reptile on the back of the earth!  But to an appointed time doth He respite them.

And when their time shall come, then verily God’s eye is on his servants.

_______________________

1 See note at Sura [xcvii.] iii. 18.  This is one of the passages said to have originated with Zayd.

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2 Not only seas, properly so called, but the great masses of fresh water in the Nile, Tigris, inland lakes, etc. 3 The Gospel.

4 This idea was probably suggested by Muhammad’s reminiscences of the view from the Cave of Hira, to the north and west of which there is a prospect thus described by Burckhardt (Travels, p. 176).  “The country before us had a dreary aspect, not a single green spot being visible; barren, black, and grey hills, and white sandy valleys were the only objects in sight.”

5 Lit. shall encompass its people.

6 Method of dealing, i.e., first warning, then punishing.

SURA VII.-AL ARAF [LXXXVII.]

Mecca.-205 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF.  LamMimSad.1 A Book hath been sent down to thee:  therefore let there be no difficulty in thy breast concerning it:  to the intent that thou mayest warn thereby, and that it may be a monition to the faithful.

Follow ye what hath been sent down to you from your Lord; and follow no masters beside Him.  How little will ye be monished!

How many cities have we destroyed!  By night, or while they were in their midday slumber, did our wrath reach them!

And what was their cry when our wrath reached them, but to say, “Verily, we have been impious.”

Surely, therefore, will we call those to account, to whom an Apostle hath been sent, and of the sent ones themselves will we certainly demand a reckoning.

And with knowledge will we tell them of their deeds, for we were not absent from them.

The weighing2 on that day, with justice! and they whose balances shall be heavy, these are they who shall be happy.

And they whose balances shall be light, these are they who have lost their souls, for that to our signs they were unjust: 

And now have we stabilished you on the earth, and given you therein the supports of life.  How little do ye give thanks!

We created you; then fashioned you; then said we to the angels, “Prostrate yourselves unto Adam:  and they prostrated them all in worship, save Eblis:  He was not among those who prostrated themselves.

To him said God:  “What hath hindered thee from prostrating thyself in worship at my bidding?” He said, “Nobler am I than he:  me hast thou created of fire; of clay hast thou created him.”

He said, “Get thee down hence:  Paradise is no place for thy pride:  Get thee gone then; one of the despised shalt thou be.”

He said, “Respite me till the day when mankind shall be raised from the dead.”

He said, “One of the respited shalt thou be.”

He said, “Now, for that thou hast caused me to err, surely in thy straight path will I lay wait for them: 

Then will I surely come upon them from before, and from behind, and from their right hand, and from their left, and thou shalt not find the greater part of them to be thankful.”

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He said, “Go forth from it, a scorned, a banished one!  Whoever of them shall follow thee, I will surely fill hell with you, one and all.

And, O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in Paradise, and eat ye whence ye will, but to this tree approach not, lest ye become of the unjust doers.”

Then Satan whispered them to shew them their nakedness, which had been hidden from them both.  And he said, “This tree3 hath your Lord forbidden you, only lest ye should become angels, or lest ye should become immortals.”

And he sware to them both, “Verily I am unto you one who counselleth aright.”

So he beguiled them by deceits:  and when they had tasted of the tree, their nakedness appeared to them, and they began to sew together upon themselves the leaves of the garden.  And their Lord called to them, “Did I not forbid you this tree, and did I not say to you, ’Verily, Satan is your declared enemy.’ "

They said, “O our Lord!  With ourselves have we dealt unjustly:  if thou forgive us not and have pity on us, we shall surely be of those who perish.”

He said, “Get ye down, the one of you an enemy4 to the other; and on earth shall be your dwelling, and your provision for a season.”

He said, “On it shall ye live, and on it shall ye die, and from it shall ye be taken forth.”

O children of Adam! now have we sent down to you raiment to hide your nakedness, and splendid garments; but the raiment of piety-this is best.  This is one of the signs of God, that man haply may reflect.

O children of Adam! let not Satan bring you into trouble, as he drove forth your parents from the Garden, by despoiling them of their raiment, that he might cause them to see their nakedness:  He truly seeth you, he and his comrades, whence ye see not them.  Verily, we have made the Satans tutelars of those who believe not.

And when the wicked commit some filthy deed, they say, “We found our fathers practising it, and to us hath God commanded it"-Say:  God enjoineth not filthy deeds.  Will ye speak of God ye know not what?

Say:  My Lord hath enjoined what is right.  Turn your faces therefore towards every place where he is worshipped5 and call upon him with sincere religion.  As he created you, to him shall ye return:  some hath he guided, and some hath he justly left in error, because they have taken the Satans as their tutelars beside God, and have deemed that they were guided aright.

O children of Adam! wear your goodly apparel when ye repair to any mosque,6 and eat ye and drink; but exceed not, for He loveth not those who exceed.

Say:  Who hath prohibited God’s goodly raiment, and the healthful viands which He hath provided for his servants?  Say:  These are for the faithful in this present life, but above all on the day of the resurrection.  Thus make we our signs plain for people of knowledge.

Say:  Truly my Lord hath forbidden filthy actions whether open or secret, and iniquity, and unjust violence, and to associate with God that for which He hath sent down no warranty, and to speak of God that ye know not.

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Every nation hath its set time.  And when their time is come, they shall not retard it an hour; and they shall not advance it.

O children of Adam! there shall come to you Apostles from among yourselves, rehearsing my signs to you; and whoso shall fear God and do good works, no fear shall be upon them, neither shall they be put to grief.

But they who charge our signs with falsehood, and turn away from them in their pride, shall be inmates of the fire:  for ever shall they abide therein.

And who is worse than he who deviseth a lie of God, or treateth our signs as lies?  To them shall a portion here below be assigned in accordance with the Book of our decrees, until the time when our messengers,7 as they receive their souls, shall say, “Where are they on whom ye called beside God?” They shall say:  “Gone from us.”  And they shall witness against themselves that they were infidels.

He shall say, “Enter ye into the Fire with the generations of Djinn and men who have preceded you.  So oft as a fresh generation entereth, it shall curse its sister, until when they have all reached it, the last comers shall say to the former, ’O our Lord! these are they who led us astray:  assign them therefore a double torment of the fire:"’ He will say, “Ye shall all have double.”  But of this are ye ignorant.

And the former of them shall say to the latter, “What advantage have ye over us?  Taste ye therefore the torment for that which ye have done.”

Verily, they who have charged our signs with falsehood and have turned away from them in their pride, Heaven’s gates shall not be opened to them, nor shall they enter Paradise, until the camel8 passeth through the eye of the needle.  After this sort will we recompense the transgressors.

They shall make their bed in Hell, and above them shall be coverings of fire!  After this sort will we recompense the evil doers.

But as to those who have believed and done the things which are right (we will lay on no one a burden beyond his power) These shall be inmates of Paradise:  for ever shall they abide therein;

And we will remove whatever rancour was in their bosoms:  rivers shall roll at their feet:  and they shall say, “Praise be to God who hath guided us hither!  We had not been guided had not God guided us!  Of a surety the Apostles of our Lord came to us with truth.”  And a voice shall cry to them, “This is Paradise, of which, as the meed of your works, ye are made heirs.”

And the inmates of Paradise shall cry to the inmates of the fire, “Now have we found what our Lord promised us to be true.  Have ye too found what your Lord promised you to be true?” And they shall answer, “Yes.”  And a Herald shall proclaim between them:  “The curse of God be upon the evil doers,

Who turn men aside from the way of God, and seek to make it crooked, and who believe not in the life to come!”

And between them shall be a partition; and on the wall al Araf9 shall be men who will know all,10 by their tokens, and they shall cry to the inmates of Paradise, “Peace be on you!” but they shall not yet enter it, although they long to do so.

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And when their eyes are turned towards the inmates of the Fire, they shall say, “O our Lord! place us not with the offending people.”

And they who are upon Al Araf shall cry to those whom they shall know by their tokens, “Your amassings and your pride have availed you nothing.

Are these they on whom ye sware God would not bestow mercy?  Enter ye11 into Paradise! where no fear shall be upon you, neither shall ye be put to grief.”

And the inmates of the fire shall cry to the inmates of Paradise:  “Pour upon us some water, or of the refreshments12 God hath given you?” They shall say, “Truly God hath forbidden both to unbelievers,

Who made their religion a sport and pastime, and whom the life of the world hath deceived.”  This day therefore will we forget them, as they forgot the meeting of this their day, and as they did deny our signs.

And now have we brought them the Book:  with knowledge have we explained it; a guidance and a mercy to them that believe.

What have they to wait for now but its interpretation?  When its interpretation13 shall come, they who aforetime were oblivious of it shall say, “The Prophets of our Lord did indeed bring the truth; shall we have any intercessor to intercede for us? or could we not be sent back?  Then would we act otherwise than we have acted.”  But they have ruined themselves; and the deities of their own devising have fled from them!

Your Lord is God, who in six days created the Heavens and the Earth, and then mounted the throne:  He throweth the veil of night over the day:  it pursueth it swiftly:  and he created the sun and the moon and the stars, subjected to laws by His behest:  Is not all creation and its empire His?  Blessed be God the Lord of the Worlds!

Call upon your Lord with lowliness and in secret, for He loveth not transgressors.

And commit not disorders on the earth after it hath been well ordered; and call on Him with fear and longing desire:  Verily the mercy of God is nigh unto the righteous.

And He it is who sendeth forth the winds as the heralds of his compassion,14 until they bring up the laden clouds, which we drive along to some dead land and send down water thereon, by which we cause an upgrowth of all kinds of fruit.-Thus will we bring forth the dead.  Haply ye will reflect.

In a rich soil, its plants spring forth abundantly by the will of its Lord, and in that which is bad, they spring forth but scantily.  Thus do We diversify our signs for those who are thankful.

Of old sent We Noah to his people,15 and he said, “O my people! worship God.  Ye have no God but Him:  indeed I fear for you the chastisement of the great day.”

The chiefs of his people said, “We clearly see that thou art in a palpable error.”

He said, “There is no error in me, O my people! but I am a messenger from the Lord of the Worlds.

I bring to you the messages of my Lord, and I give you friendly counsel; for I know from God what ye know not.

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Marvel ye that a Warning should come to you from your Lord through one of yourselves, that he may warn you, and that ye may fear for yourselves, and that haply ye may find mercy?”

But they treated him as a liar:  so we delivered him and those who were with him in the ark, and we drowned those who charged our signs with falsehood; for they were a blind people.

And to Ad16 we sent their brother Houd.17 “O my people!” said he, “worship God:  ye have no other god than Him:  Will ye not then fear Him?”

Said the unbelieving chiefs among his people, “We certainly perceive that thou art unsound of mind; and we surely deem thee an impostor.”

He said, “O my people! it is not unsoundness of mind in me, but I am an Apostle from the Lord of the Worlds.

The messages of my Lord do I announce to you, and I am your faithful18 counsellor.

Marvel ye that a warning hath come to you from your Lord through one of yourselves that He may warn you?  Remember how he hath made you the successors of the people of Noah, and increased you in tallness of stature.  Remember then the favours of God, that it may haply be well with you.”

They said, “Art thou come to us in order that we may worship one God alone, and leave what our fathers worshipped?  Then bring that upon us with which thou threatenest us, if thou be a man of truth.”

He said, “Vengeance and wrath shall suddenly light on you from your Lord.  Do ye dispute with me about names that you and your fathers have given your idols, and for which God hath sent you down no warranty?  Wait ye then, and I too will wait with you.”

And we delivered him, and those who were on his side, by our mercy, and we cut off, to the last man, those who had treated our signs as lies, and who were not believers.

And to Themoud we sent their brother Saleh.19 He said, O my people! worship God:  ye have no other god than Him:  now hath a clear proof of my mission come to you from your Lord, this she-camel of God being a sign to you:  therefore let her go at large to pasture on God’s earth:  and touch her not to harm her, lest a grievous chastisement seize you.

And remember how he hath made you successors to the Adites, and given you dwellings on the earth, so that on its plains ye build castles, and hew out houses in the hills.  And bear in mind the benefits of God, and lay not the earth waste with deeds of licence.

Said the chiefs of his people puffed up with pride, to those who were esteemed weak, even to those of them who believed, “What! know ye for certain that Saleh is sent by his Lord?” They said, “Truly we believe in that with which he hath been sent.”

Then said those proud men, “Verily, we reject that in which ye believe.”

And they ham-strung the she-camel, and rebelled against their Lord’s command, and said, “O Saleh, let thy menaces be accomplished upon us if thou art one of the Sent Ones.”

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Then the earthquake surprised them; and in the morning they were found dead on their faces in their dwellings.

So he turned away from them, and said, “O my people!  I did indeed announce to you the message of my Lord:  and I gave you faithful counsel, but ye love not faithful counsellors.20

We also sent Lot, when he said to his people, commit ye this filthy deed in which no creature hath gone before you?

Come ye to men, instead of women, lustfully?  Ye are indeed a people given up to excess.

But the only answer of his people was to say, “Turn them out of your city, for they are men who vaunt them pure.”

And we delivered him and his family, except his wife; she was of those who lingered: 

And we rained a rain upon them:  and see what was the end of the wicked!

And we sent to Madian21 their brother Shoaib.  He said, “O my people! worship God; ye have no other God than Him:  now hath a clear sign come to you from your Lord:  give therefore the full in measures and weights; take from no man his chattels, and commit no disorder on the earth after it has been made so good.  This will be better for you, if you will believe it.

And lay not in ambush by every road in menacing sort; nor mislead him who believeth in God, from His way, nor seek to make it crooked; and remember when ye were few and that he multiplied you, and behold what hath been the end of the authors of disorder!

And if a part of you believe in that with which I am sent, and a part of you believe not, then wait steadfastly until God shall judge between us, for He is the best of judges.”

Said the chiefs of his people puffed up with pride, “We will surely banish thee, O Shoaib, and thy fellow-believers from our cities, unless indeed ye shall come back to our religion.”  “What!” said he, “though we abhor it?

Now shall we have devised a lie concerning God, if after he hath delivered us from your religion we shall return to it; nor can we return to it, unless by the will of God our Lord:  our Lord embraceth all things in his ken.  In God have we put our trust:  O our Lord! decide between us and between our people, with truth; for the best to decide art Thou.”

And the chiefs of his people who believed not, said, “If ye follow Shoaib, ye shall then surely perish.”

An earthquake therefore surprised them, and they were found in the morning dead on their faces, in their dwellings.

Those who had treated Shoaib as an impostor, became as though they had never dwelt in them:  they who treated Shoaib as an impostor, were they that perished.

So he turned away from them and said, O my people!  I proclaimed to you the messages of my Lord, and I counselled you aright; but how should I be grieved for a people who do not believe?

Nor did we ever send a prophet to any city without afflicting its people with adversity and trouble, that haply they might humble them.22

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Then changed we their ill for good, until they waxed wealthy, and said, “Of old did troubles and blessings befall our fathers:”  therefore did we seize upon them suddenly when they were unaware.

But if that the people of these cities had believed and feared us, we would surely have laid open to them blessings out of the Heaven and the Earth:  but they treated our signs as lies, and we took vengeance on them for their deeds.

Were the people, therefore, of those cities secure that our wrath would not light on them by night, while they were slumbering?

Were the people of those cities secure that our wrath would not light on them in broad day, while they were disporting themselves?

Did they, therefore, deem themselves secure from the deep counsel23 of God?  But none deem themselves secure from the deep counsel of God, save those who perish.

Is it not proved to those who inherit this land after its ancient occupants, that if we please we can smite them for their sins, and put a seal upon their hearts, that they hearken not?

We will tell thee the stories of these cities.  Their apostles came to them with clear proofs of their mission; but they would not believe in what they had before treated as imposture.-Thus doth God seal up the hearts of the unbelievers-

And we found not of their covenant in most of them; but we found most of them to be perverse.

Then after them we sent Moses with our signs to Pharaoh and his nobles, who acted unjustly in their regard.  But see what was the end of the corrupt doers!

And Moses said, “O Pharaoh! verily I am an apostle from the Lord of the Worlds.

Nothing but truth is it right for me to speak of God.  Now am I come to you from your Lord with a proof of my mission; send away, therefore, the children of Israel with me.”  He said, “If thou comest with a sign, shew it if thou art a man of truth.”

So he threw down his rod, and lo! it distinctly became a serpent.

Then drew he forth his hand, and lo! it was white24 to the beholders.

The nobles of Pharaoh’s people said, “Verily, this is an expert enchanter: 

Fain would he expel you from your land:  what then do ye order to be done?”

They said, “Put25 him and his brother off awhile, and send round men to your cities who shall muster

And bring to thee every skilled enchanter.”

And the enchanters came to Pharaoh.  Said they, “Shall we surely be rewarded if we prevail?”

He said, “Yes; and ye certainly shall be near my person.”

They said, “O Moses! either cast thou down thy rod first, or we will cast down ours.”

He said, “Cast ye down.”  And when they had cast them down they enchanted the people’s eyes, and made them afraid; for they had displayed a great enchantment.

Then spake we unto Moses, “Throw down thy rod;” and lo! it devoured their lying wonders.

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So the truth was made strong, and that which they had wrought proved vain: 

And they were vanquished on the spot, and drew back humiliated.

But the other enchanters prostrated themselves adoring: 

Said they, “We believe on the Lord of the Worlds,

The Lord of Moses and Aaron.”

Said Pharaoh, “Have ye believed on him, ere I have given you leave?  This truly is a plot which ye have plotted in this my city, in order to drive out its people.  But ye shall see in the end what shall happen.

I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides; then will I have you all crucified.”

They said, “Verily, to our Lord do we return;

And thou takest vengeance on us only because we have believed on the signs of our Lord when they came to us.  Lord! pour out constancy upon us, and cause us to die Muslims.”

Then said the chiefs of Pharaoh’s people-"Wilt thou let Moses and his people go to spread disorders in our land, and desert thee and thy gods?” He said, “We will cause their male children to be slain and preserve their females alive:  and verily we shall be masters over them.”

Said Moses to his people, “Cry unto God for help, and bear up patiently, for the earth is God’s:  to such of His servants as He pleaseth doth He give it as a heritage; and for those that fear Him is a happy issue.”

“We have been oppressed,” they said, “before thou camest to us, and since thou hast been with us:”  “Perhaps,” said he, “your Lord will destroy your enemy, and will make you his successors in the land, and He will see how ye will act therein.”

Already had we chastised the people of Pharaoh with dearth and scarcity of fruits, that haply they might take warning: 

And when good fell to their lot they said, “This is our due.”  But if ill befel them, they regarded Moses and his partisans as (the birds) of evil omen.26 Yet, was not their evil omen from God?  But most of them knew it not.

And they said, “Whatever sign thou bring us for our enchantment, we will not believe on thee.”

And we sent upon them the flood and the locusts and the kummal (lice) and the frogs and the blood,-clear signs27-but they behaved proudly, and were a sinful people.

And when any plague fell upon them, they said, “O Moses! pray for us to thy Lord, according to that which he hath covenanted with thee:  Truly if thou take off the plague from us, we will surely believe thee, and will surely send the children of Israel with thee.”  But when we had taken off the plague from them, and the time which God had granted them had expired,28 behold! they broke their promise.

Therefore we took vengeance on them and drowned them in the sea, because they treated our signs as falsehoods and were heedless of them.

And we gave to the people who had been brought so low, the eastern and the western lands, which we had blessed as an heritage:  and the good word of thy Lord was fulfilled on the children of Israel because they had borne up with patience:  and we destroyed the works and the structures of Pharaoh and his people: 

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And we brought the children of Israel across the sea, and they came to a people who gave themselves up to their idols.  They said, “O Moses! make us a god, as they have gods.”  He said, “Verily, ye are an ignorant people: 

For the worship they practise29 will be destroyed, and that which they do, is vain.”

He said, “Shall I seek any other god for you than God, when it is He who hath preferred you above all other peoples?”

And remember when we rescued you from the people of Pharaoh they had laid on you a cruel affliction; they slew your sons, and let only your daughters live, and in this was a great trial from your Lord.

And we appointed a meeting with Moses for thirty nights, which we completed with ten other nights, so that his whole time with his Lord30 amounted to forty nights.  Then said Moses to his brother Aaron, “Take thou my place among my people, and act rightly, and follow not the way of the corrupt doers.”

And when Moses came at our set time and his Lord spake with him, he said, “O Lord, shew thyself to me, that I may look upon thee.”  He said, “Thou shalt not see Me; but look towards the mount, and if it abide firm in its place, then shalt thou see Me.”  And when God manifested Himself to the mountain he turned it to dust! and Moses fell in a swoon.

And when he came to himself, he said, “Glory be to thee!  To thee do I turn in penitence, and I am the first of them that believe.”

He said, “O Moses! thee above all men have I chosen by my commissions, and by my speaking to thee.  Take therefore what I have brought thee, and be one of those who render thanks.

And we wrote for him upon the tables a monition concerning every matter, and said, “Receive them thyself with steadfastness, and command thy people to receive them for the observance of its most goodly precepts:-I will shew you the abode of the wicked.”

The unjustly proud ones of the earth will I turn aside from my signs, for even if they see every sign they will not believe them; and if they see the path of uprightness, they will not take it for their path, but if they see the path of error, for their path will they take it.

This,-for that they treated our signs as lies, and were heedless of them.

Vain will be the works of those who treated our signs, and the meeting of the life to come, as lies!  Shall they be rewarded but as they have wrought?

And the people of Moses took during his absence a calf made of their ornaments, and ruddy like gold, and lowing.31 Saw they not that it could not speak to them, nor guide them in the way?

Yet they took if for a God and became offenders!

But when they repented, and saw that they had erred, they said, Truly if our Lord have not mercy on us, and forgive us, we shall surely be of those who perish.

And when Moses returned to his people, wrathful, angered, he said, “Evil is it that ye have done next upon my departure.  Would ye hasten on the judgments of your Lord?” And he threw down the tables, and seized his brother by the head and dragged him unto him.  Said he, “Son of my mother! the people thought me weak, and had well nigh slain me.  Make not mine enemies to rejoice over me, and place me not among the wrong doers.”

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He said, “O Lord, forgive me and my brother, and bring us into thy mercy; for of those who shew mercy thou art the most merciful.”

Verily as to those who took the calf as a god, wrath from their Lord shall overtake them, and shame in this present life:  for thus recompense we the devisers of a lie.

But to those who have done evil, then afterwards repent and believe, thy Lord will thereafter be Lenient, Merciful.

And when the anger of Moses was stilled, he took up the tables; and in their writing was guidance and mercy for those who dread their Lord.

And Moses chose seventy men of his people for a meeting appointed by us.  And when the earthquake overtook them, he said, “O my Lord! if it had been thy pleasure, thou hadst destroyed them and me ere this! wilt thou destroy us for what our foolish ones have done?  It is nought but thy trial:  thou wilt mislead by it whom thou wilt, and guide whom thou wilt.  Our guardian, thou!  Forgive us then and have mercy on us; for of those who forgive art thou the best: 

And write down for us what is good in this world, as well as in the world to come, for to thee are we guided.”  He said, “My chastisement shall fall on whom I will, and my mercy embraceth all things, and I write it down for those who shall fear me, and pay the alms, and believe in our signs,

Who shall follow the Apostle, the unlettered32 Prophet-whom they shall find described with them in the Law and Evangel.  What is right will he enjoin them, and forbid them what is wrong, and will allow them healthful viands and prohibit the impure, and will ease them of their burden, and of the yokes which were upon them; and those who shall believe in him, and strengthen him, and help him,33 and follow the light34 which hath been sent down with him,- these are they with whom it shall be well.”

Say to them:  O men!  Verily I am God’s apostle to you all;

Whose is the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth!  Therefore believe on God but He!  He maketh alive and killeth!  Therefore believe on God, and his Apostle-the unlettered Prophet-who believeth in God and his word.  And follow him that ye may be guided aright.

And among the people of Moses there is a certain number35 who guide others with truth, and practise what is right according to it.

And we divided the Israelites into twelve tribes, as nations; and we revealed unto Moses when the people asked drink of him-"Strike the rock with thy staff:”  and there gushed forth from it twelve fountains-the men all knew their drinking places.  And we caused clouds to overshadow them, and sent down upon them the manna and the quails. . . .  “Eat of the good things with which we have supplied you.”  But it was not us whom they injured, but they injured their own selves: 

And when it was said to them, “Dwell in this city, and eat therefrom what ye will, and say ‘Hittat’ (forgiveness), and enter the gate with prostrations; then will we pardon your offences,-we will give increase to the doers of good:” 

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But the ungodly ones among them changed that word into another than that which had been told them:36 therefore sent we forth wrath out of Heaven upon them for their wrong doings.

And37 ask them about the city that stood by the sea, when its inhabitants broke the Sabbath; when their fish came to them on their Sabbath day appearing openly, but came not to them on the day when they kept no Sabbath.  Thus did we make trial of them, for that they were evildoers.38

And when some of them said, why warn ye those whom God would destroy or chastise with terrible chastisement? they said, For our own excuse with your Lord; and that they may fear Him.

And when they forgot their warnings, we delivered those who had forbidden evil; and we inflicted a severe chastisement on those who had done wrong, for that they were evil doers.

But when they proudly persisted in that which was forbidden, we said to them, “Become scouted apes;” and then thy Lord declared that until the day of the resurrection, he would surely send against them39 (the Jews) those who should evil entreat and chastise them:  for prompt is thy Lord to punish; and He is Forgiving, Merciful.

And we have divided them upon the Earth as peoples:  some of them are upright and some are otherwise; and by good things and by evil things have we proved them, to the intent that they might return to us.

And they have had successors to succeed them:  they have inherited the Book:  they have received the passing good things of this lower world,40 and say, “It will be forgiven us.”  Yet if the like good things came to them again, they would again receive them.  But hath there not been received on their part a covenant through the Scripture that they should speak nought of God but the truth?  And yet they study its contents.  But the mansion of the next world hath more value for those who fear God-Do ye not then comprehend?-

And who hold fast the Book, and observe prayer:  verily, we will not suffer the reward of the righteous to perish.

And when we shook the mount41 over them as if it had been a shadow, and they thought it falling upon them, . . .  “Receive, said we, with steadfastness what we have brought you, and remember what is therein to the end that ye may fear God.”

And when thy Lord brought forth their descendants from the reins of the sons of Adam and took them to witness against themselves, “Am I not,” said He, “your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we witness it.”  This we did, lest ye should say on the day of Resurrection, “Truly, of this were we heedless, because uninformed;”

Or lest ye should say, “Our fathers, indeed, aforetime joined other gods with our God, and we are their seed after them:  wilt thou destroy us for the doings of vain men?”

Thus make we our signs clear:  that haply they may return to God.

Recite to them42 the history of him43 to whom we vouchsafed our signs, and who departed from them, so that Satan followed him, and he became one of the seduced.

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Had we pleased, we had certainly thereby exalted him; but he crouched to the earth and followed his own lust:  his likeness, therefore, is as that of the dog which lolls out his tongue, whether thou chase him away, or leave him alone!  Such is the likeness of those who treat our signs as lies.  Tell them this tale then, that they may consider.

Evil the likeness of those who treat our signs as lies! and it is themselves they injure.

He whom God guideth is the guided, and they whom he misleadeth shall be the lost.

Many, moreover, of the Djinn and men have we created for Hell.  Hearts have they with which they understand not, and eyes have they with which they see not, and ears have they with which they hearken not.  They are like the brutes:  Yea, they go more astray:  these are the heedless.

Most excellent titles hath God:44 by these call ye on Him, and stand aloof from those who pervert45 his titles.  For what they have done shall they be repaid!

And among those whom we have created are a people who guide others with truth, and in accordance therewith act justly.

But as for those who treat our signs as lies, we will gradually bring them down by means of which they know not: 

And though I lengthen their days, verily, my stratagem shall prove effectual.

Will they not bethink them that their companion Muhammad is not djinn-possessed?  Yes, his office is only that of plain warner.

Will they not look forth on the realms of the Heaven and of the Earth, and on all things which God hath made, to see whether haply their end be not drawing on?  And in what other book will they believe46 who reject the Koran?

No other guide for him whom God shall mislead!  He will leave them distraught in their wanderings.

They will ask thee of the Hour-for what time is its coming fixed?  Say:  The knowledge of it is only with my Lord:  none shall manifest it in its time but He:  it is the burden47 of the Heavens and of the Earth:  not otherwise than on a sudden will it come on you.48

They will ask thee as if thou wast privy to it:  Say:  The knowledge of it is with none but God.  But most men know not this.

Say:  I have no control over what may be helpful or hurtful to me, but as God willeth.  Had I the knowledge of his secrets, I should revel in the good, and evil should not touch me.  But I am only a warner, and an announcer of good tidings to those who believe.

He it is who hath created you from a single person, and from him brought forth his wife that he might dwell with her:  and when he had known her, she bore a light burden, and went about with it; and when it became heavy, they both cried to God their Lord, “If thou give us a perfect child we will surely be of the thankful.”

Yet when God had given them a perfect child,49 they50 joined partners with Him in return for what he had given them.  But high is God above the partners they joined with Him!

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What!  Will they join those with Him who cannot create anything, and are themselves created, and have no power to help them, or to help themselves?

And if ye summon them to “the guidance,” they will not follow you!  It is the same to them whether ye summon them or whether ye hold your peace!

Truly they whom ye call on beside God, are, like yourselves, His servants!  Call on them then, and let them answer you, if what ye say of them be true!

Have they feet to walk with?  Have they hands to hold with?  Have they eyes to see with?  Have they ears to hear with?  Say:  Call on these joint gods of yours; then make your plot against me, and delay it not.

Verily, my Lord is God, who hath sent down “the Book;” and He is the protector of the righteous.

But they whom ye call on beside Him, can lend you no help, nor can they help themselves: 

And if ye summon them to “the guidance,” they hear you not:  thou seest them look towards thee, but they do not see!

Make the best of things;51 and enjoin what is just, and withdraw from the ignorant: 

And if stirrings to evil from Satan stir thee, fly thou for refuge to God:  He verily heareth, knoweth!

Verily, they who fear God, when some phantom from Satan toucheth them, remember Him, and lo! they see clearly.

Their Brethren52 will only continue them in error, and cannot preserve themselves from it.

And when thou bringest not a verse (sign) of the Koran to them, they say, “Hast thou not yet patched it up?53 Say:  I only follow my Lord’s utterances to me.  This is a clear proof on the part of your Lord, and a guidance and a mercy for those who believe.

And when the Koran is read, then listen ye to it and keep silence, that haply ye may obtain mercy.

And think within thine own self on God, with lowliness and with fear and without loud spoken words, at even and at morn; and be not one of the heedless.

Verily they who are round about thy Lord disdain not His service.  They praise Him and prostrate themselves before Him.

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1 The initial letters, it has been conjectured, of (Amara li Muhammad sahdiq), thus spake to me Muhammad the truthful.  But see Sura 1xviii. p. 32.  The first part of this Sura was perhaps revealed when the Arabians were assembled at the Pilgrimage.  See verse 29.

2 A figure of frequent occurence in the Talmud.  See Tr.  Rosh.  Haschana, 17a.

3 Comp.  Sura xx. 118, p. 101.

4 Gen. iii. 15.

5 Lit. towards each Mosque, i.e. towards the kibla of each Mosque.  The word mosque, mesjid, however, is usually applied only to that of Mecca.  The common term in use for larger places of worship is djami, a word unknown, in that sense, to the Koran.

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6 For full information as to the clothing of the ancient Arabians see Freyt.  Einl. pp. 295 327.  The Koreisch (we are told in Sirat Arrasul, fol. 26, and Beidh.), in order to instil a deep respect for the Caaba and other holy places into the minds of the Arabians, had forbidden all food during the processions, and required that no clothes, except those borrowed from Meccans, should be worn, or that those who wore their own should devote them to God as holy vestments.  The consequence was that most of the pilgrims visited the holy places in perfect nudity.  Hence the precept in the text.

7 The Angels of Death.

8 Comp.  Matth. xix. 24; Mark x. 25; Luke xviii. 25.  By the change of a single vowel in the Arabic word for camel, we obtain the rendering, cable.  In the Rabbinic form of the proverb, however, the elephant is substituted for the camel, which confirms the usual rendering and reading.

9 “On this wall (the name of which is derived from Arafa, ‘to know,’ with allusion to the employment of those upon it) will stand those whose good and evil works are equal, and are not, therefore, deserving of either Paradise or Gehenna.  The idea, which is analogous to that of Purgatory, may be derived from the Talmud.  Thus in the Midrasch on Eccl. vii. 14, ’How much space is there between the two’ (Paradise and Hell)?  R. Jochanan saith, a wall; R. Acha, a span:  others hold them to be so close that a person may see from one into the other.”  See Plato’s Phaed. 62.

10 That is, they will know the inmates of Paradise by their whiteness, and the people of Hell by the blackness of their faces.

11 That is, ye believers:  to whom the speakers on Al Araf are supposed to turn.

12 The fruits of Paradise.  Comp.  Luke xvi. 19.

13 The fulfilment of its promises and threats.

14 The rain.  Thus, the Rabbins call the rain “the might and power of God,” Comp.  Tract Tanith, fol.  I, and connect it with the Resurrection, Tract Berachoth, fol. 33.

15 The Rabbins in like manner describe the mission of Noah.  Comp.  Sanhedr. 108.  Midr.  Rabbah on Gen. par. 30, 33; and on Eccl. 9, 14.  See Sura [lxxv.] xi. 40.

16 The two tribes of Ad and Themoud-the latter of whom is mentioned by Diod.  Sic. and Ptolemy-lay to the north of Mecca in the direct line of traffic between the countries to the north and to the south, and both probably disappeared with its cessation, when the Arabs were no longer held in check by the Romans.  The traditions adopted by Muhammad attribute this to the divine vengeance, throughout the Koran, and were derived by him from the popular legends of Arabia.  See Freyt.  Einl. p. 12.

17 On Houd, see Geiger, pp. 113 119.  He supposes him to be the Eber of the Bible.  But Mr. Muir suggests that both Houd and Saleh may have been persecuted Jewish or Christian emissaries and teachers, whose rejection was thus recast by Muhammad.  See note on verse 71.

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18 Or, entrusted, i.e. with the office of apostle.

19 Saleh-according to Bochart, the Peleg of Gen. xi. 16.  D’Herbelot, B. O. 740, makes him the Schelah of Gen. xi. 13.  See v. 63, n. and p. 220, n.

20 It is just possible that the act of Koleib, chief of the Banu Taghlib tribe, in killing the milch camel of Basûs, a female relative of his wife of Bani-Bakr lineage-which led to a forty years’ war between these two tribes, A.D. 490-may have been worked up by Muhammad into this account of the persecutions of Saleh.

21 See Sura xxiv. 176, p. 109.

22 This verse may contain an implied reference to the famine with which Mecca had been visited, and fix the date of this part of the Sura.  Comp. verse 127.

23 Lit. plot, stratagem.

24 Comp. the passage from Pirke R. Eliezer, c. 48, who makes Moses perform this miracle in the presence of Pharaoh, which the Scripture (Ex. vii.) account does not.  The Muhammadan tradition is that Moses was a black.

25 Lit. cause him to hope, temporise with him.

26 Lit. male ominati sunt.  Mar.  They traced their calamities to Moses.  So Sale.  Kas.  But Ullmann. renders, they attributed their misfortunes to the predictions of Moses.

27 In Suras [lxvii.] xvii. and [lxviii.] Muhammad speaks of nine plagues.  The flood is not mentioned in the Scripture.

28 Lit. when we removed from them the plague until a period at which they should arrive.

29 Lit. that in which these are.

30 Lit. the set time of his Lord was fulfilled in forty nights.

31 Sale and others render having a body, corporeal, of which the commentators give no satisfactory explanation.  I have adopted that given by Freytag in v.  That the calf lowed in consequence of Sama‰l having entered into it, is one of the traditions of the Talmud.  Pirke R. Eliezer, c. 45.

32 Compare Sura [lxxxi.] xxix. 47, [xciv.] lxxii. 2, [xci.] ii. 73.  The word ummyy is derived from ummah, a nation, and means Gentile; it here refers to Muhammad’s ignorance, previous to the revelation of Islam, of the ancient Scriptures.  It is equivalent to the Gr. laic, ethnic, and to the term gojim, as applied by the Jews to those unacquainted with the Scriptures.  There can, however, be no doubt that Muhammad-in spite of his assertions to the contrary, with the view of proving his inspiration-was well acquainted with the Bible histories.  He wished to appear ignorant in order to raise the elegance of the Koran into a miracle.  For the passages of Scripture said to foretel Muhammad, see Pocock’s Sp.  Hist.  Ar. p. 188, ed.  White.

33 If these words, as Nöldeke supposes, contain an allusion to the Ansars, it is likely that this verse was added at Medina.  The epithet Al-Ummy (the unlettered) does not, thus, occur in Meccan Suras.

34 The Koran.

35 Pirke R. Eliezer, 45, explains Ex. xxxii. 26, of the tribe of Levi, as not having been implicated with the other tribes in the sin of the golden calf.

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36 The Jews changed hittat, absolution, indulgence, into habbat, corn.

37 This and the next six verses are supposed to have been added at Medina.

38 Comp.  Sura [xci.] ii. 61.  No trace of this legend is to be found in the Talmudists.  The city is said to have been Aila (Elath) on the Red Sea.

39 Perhaps in allusion to Deut. xxviii. 49, 50.

40 As bribes to pervert Scripture, etc.

41 Sinai-which, however, is not mentioned in the Koran as the place where the law was given.  Comp.  “I will cover you with the mountain like a roof.”  Abodah Sar. 2, 2.  Thus also in Tract Sabbath, f. 88, 1, “R.  Avdimi . . . saith, These words teach us that the Holy One, blessed be He, turned the mountain over them like a vessel, and said to them, If ye will receive the law, well; but if not, there shall be your grave.”  This tradition is still held by the Jews.  See D. Lewis Pent.  Prayers, fol. 150.  Its origin is a misunderstanding of Ex. xix. 17, rightly rendered in the E. version at the nether part of the mountain.

42 To the Jews.

43 Balaam.  But according to others, a Jew who renounced his faith in Muhammad.

44 The 99 titles of God, taken from the Koran, are to be found in Maracci, vol. 11, p. 414, or in Macbride’s Religion of the Mohammedans, p. 121.  To facilitate the repetition of these names, the Muslims use a rosary.

45 In altering the names of God, changing allah into Allat, Elaziz into Alozza, Mennan into Menat, etc.

46 Lit. and in what declaration after it will they believe?

47 That is, it weighs heavily on the hopes and fears of men, djinn, and angels.

48 Probably the usual final clause, whence ye looked not for it, should here be added to make good the rhyme, which is otherwise interrupted in the original.

49 Some render salihan, well made, rightly shaped; others, virtuous, morally perfect.

50 And their idolatrous posterity.  Beidh.

51 Take or use indulgence; i.e. take men and their actions as they are, and make all due allowances.  Some understand it, of Muhammad’s accepting such voluntary and superfluous alms as the people could spare.

52 That is, those under Satanic influence.

53 Collected or sought it out.  Beidh.

SURA XLVI.-AL AHKAF [LXXXVIII.]

Mecca.-35 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HaMim.1 The Revelation (sending down) of this Book is from the Mighty, the
Wise!

We have not created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is between them otherwise than in truth and for a settled term.  But they who believe not, turn away from their warning.

Say:  What think ye?  As for those whom ye invoke beside God, shew me what part of the earth it is which they have created?  Had they a share in the Heavens?  Bring me a Book sent down by them before this Koran, or traces of their knowledge;2-if ye are men of truth.

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And who erreth more than he who, beside God, calleth upon that which shall not answer him until the day of Resurrection?  Yes, they regard not their invocations;

And when mankind shall be assembled together, they will become their enemies, and ungratefully disown their worship.

And when our clear signs are recited to them, they who believe not say of the truth when it cometh to them, “This is plain sorcery.”

Will they say, “He hath devised It?” Say:  If I have devised the Koran, then not one single thing shall ye ever obtain for me from God!  He best knoweth what ye utter in its regard!  Witness enough is He between me and you!  And He is the Gracious, the Merciful.

Say:  I am no apostle of new doctrines:  neither know I what will be done with me or you.  Only what is revealed to me do I follow, and I am only charged to warn openly.

Say:  What think ye?  If this Book be from God, and ye believe it not, and a witness of the children of Israel3 witness to its conformity with the Law, and believe, while ye proudly disdain it . . . ?  Ah!  God guideth not the people guilty of such a wrong!

But the infidels say of the believers, “If it were a good Book they would not have been before us in believing it:"4 And not having submitted to guidance, they proceed to say, “It is an old lying legend!”

But before the Koran was the Book of Moses, a rule and a mercy; and this Book confirmeth it (the Pentateuch)-in the Arabic tongue-that those who are guilty of that wrong may be warned, and as glad tidings to the doers of good.

Assuredly they who say, “Our Lord is God,” and take the straight way to Him-no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be put to grief: 

These shall be the inmates of Paradise to remain therein for ever,-the recompense of their deeds!

Moreover, we have enjoined on man to shew kindness to his parents.  With pain his mother beareth him; with pain she bringeth him forth:  and his bearing and his weaning is thirty months; until when he attaineth his strength, and attaineth to forty years,5 he saith, “O my Lord! stir me up to be grateful for thy favours wherewith thou hast favoured me and my parents, and to do good works which shall please thee:  and prosper me in my offspring:  for to thee am I turned, and am resigned to thy will” (am a Muslim).

These are they from whom we will accept their best works, and whose evil works we will pass by; among the inmates shall they be of Paradise:-a true promise which they are promised.

But he who saith to his parents, “Fie on you both!  Promise ye me that I shall be taken forth from the grave alive, when whole generations have already passed away before me?” But they both will implore the help of God, and say, “Alas for thee!  Believe:  for the promise of God is true.”  But he saith, “It is no more than a fable of the ancients.”

These are they in whom the sentence passed on the nations, djinn and men, who flourished before them, is made good.  They shall surely perish.6

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And there are grades for all, according to their works, that God may repay them for their works; and they shall not be dealt with unfairly.

And they who believe not shall one day be set before the fire.  “Ye made away your precious gifts during your life on earth; and ye took your fill of pleasure in them:  This day, therefore, with punishment of shame shall ye be rewarded, for that ye behaved you proudly and unjustly on the earth, and for that ye were given to excesses.”

Remember, too, the brother of Ad7 when he warned his people in al Ahkaf8-and before and since his time there have been warners-"Worship none but God:  verily I fear for you the punishment of the great day.”

They said, “Art thou come to us to turn us away from our Gods?  Bring on us now the woes which thou threatenest if thou speakest truth.”

“That knowledge,” said he, “is with God alone:  I only proclaim to you the message with which I am sent.  But I perceive that ye are a people sunk in ignorance.”

So when they saw a cloud coming straight for their valleys, they said, “It is a passing cloud that shall give us rain.”  “Nay, it is that whose speedy coming ye challenged a blast wherein is an afflictive punishment:-

It will destroy everything at the bidding of its Lord!” And at morn nought was to be seen but their empty dwellings!  Thus repay we a wicked people.

With power had we endued them, even as with power have we endued you; and we had given them ears and eyes and hearts:  yet neither their eyes, nor their ears, nor their hearts aided them at all, when once they gainsaid the signs of God; but that punishment which they had mocked at enveloped them on all sides.

Of old, too, did we destroy the cities which were round about you; and, in order that they might return to us, we varied our signs before them.

But did those whom they took for gods beside God as his kindred deities, help them?9 Nay, they withdrew from them.  Such was their delusion, and their device!

And remember when we turned aside a company of the djinn to thee, that they might hearken to the Koran:  and no sooner were they present at its reading than they said to each other, “Hist;” and when it was ended, they returned to their people with warnings.

They said, “O our people! verily we have been listening to a book sent down since the days of Moses, affirming the previous scriptures; it guideth to the truth, and to the right way.

O our people!  Obey the Summoner of God, and believe in him, that He may forgive your sins, and rescue you from an afflictive punishment.

And he who shall not respond to God’s preacher, yet cannot weaken God’s power on earth, nor shall he have protectors beside Him.  These are in obvious error.”

See they not that God who created the Heavens and the Earth, and was not wearied with their creation, is of power to quicken the dead?  Yea, he is for all things Potent.

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And a day is coming when the infidels shall be set before the fire.  “Is not this it in truth?” They shall say, “Aye, by our Lord.”  He said, “Taste then the punishment for that ye would not believe.”

Bear thou up, then, with patience, as did the Apostles endued with firmness, and seek not to accelerate their doom.  For, on the day when they shall see that with which they have been menaced,

It shall be as though they had waited but an hour of the day.  Enough! shall any perish save they who transgress?

_______________________

1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32.

2 Of a divine revelation, authorising the worship of other gods than God

3 Abdallah bin Salma, say the commentators.

4 Comp.  John vii. 48.

5 Thus Mischn.  Aboth, v. 21, “at forty years of age a man comes to intelligence.”  This verse refers, it is said by the Sonnites, to Abu Bekr, afterwards Chalif, who embraced Islam in his 40th year.  But this interpretation was probably invented after his accession to power.

6 Lit. suffer loss.

7 The Prophet Houd.

8 That is, Sandhills; at Taief, to which Muhammad had retired in consequence of the opposition, etc., of the Meccans.  Verses 20-31 are probably misplaced, as they interrupt the connection between 19 and 32, but appear to belong to the same period as the rest of the Sura.

9 Thus Ullm. als naheverwandte Götter.  But Wahl, denen sie sich mit gottesdienstlichen Opfer näherten.  Ad appropinquandum (magis ipsi Deo), by intercession.  Mar.  Beidh.

SURA VI.-CATTLE [LXXXIX.]

Mecca.-165 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Praise be to God, who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, and ordained the darkness and the light!  Yet unto their Lord do the infidels give peers!

He it is who created you of clay then decreed the term of your life:  and with Him is another prefixed term for the resurrection.  Yet have ye doubts thereof!

And He is God in the Heavens and on the Earth!  He knoweth your secrets and your disclosures! and He knoweth what ye deserve.

Never did one single sign from among the signs of their Lord come to them, but they turned away from it;

And now, after it hath reached them, have they treated the truth itself as a lie.  But in the end, a message as to that which they have mocked, shall reach them.

See they not how many generations we have destroyed before them?  We had settled them on the earth as we have not settled you, and we sent down the very heavens upon them in copious rains, and we made the rivers to flow beneath their feet:  yet we destroyed them in their sins, and raised up other generations to succeed them.

And had we sent down to thee a Book written on parchment, and they had touched it with their hands, the infidels had surely said, “This is nought but plain sorcery.”

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They say, too, “Unless an angel be sent down to him. . . .”  But if we had sent down an angel, their judgment would have come on them at once,1 and they would have had no respite: 

And if we had appointed an angel, we should certainly have appointed one in the form of a man, and we should have clothed him before them in garments like their own.2

Moreover, apostles before thee have been laughed to scorn:  but that which they laughed to scorn encompassed the mockers among them!

Say:  Go through the land:  then see what hath been the end of those who treated them as liars.

Say:  Whose is all that is in the Heavens and the Earth?

Say:  God’s.  He had imposed mercy on Himself as a law.  He will surely assemble you on the Resurrection day; there is no doubt of it.  They who are the authors of their own ruin, are they who will not believe.

His, whatsoever hath its dwelling in the night and in the day! and He, the Hearing, the Knowing!

Say:  Other than God shall I take as Lord, maker of the Heavens and of the Earth, who nourisheth all, and of none is nourished?  Say:  Verily, I am bidden to be the first of those who surrender them to God (profess Islam):  and, be not thou of those who join gods with God.

Say:  Verily, I fear, should I rebel against my Lord, the punishment of the great day.

From whomsoever it shall be averted on that day, He will have had mercy on him:  and this will be the manifest bliss.

If God touch thee with trouble, none can take it off but He:  and if He visit thee with good-it is He whose power is over all things;

And He is the Supreme over his servants; and He is the Wise, the Cognisant!

Say:  What thing is weightiest in bearing witness?  Say:  God is witness between me and you; and this Koran hath been revealed to me that I should warn you by it, and all whom it shall reach.  What! will ye really bear witness that there are other gods with God?  Say:  I bear no such witness.  Say:  Verily, He is one God, and truly am guiltless of what ye join with Him.

They to whom we have given the Book, recognise him (Muhammad) as they do their own children:3 but they who are the authors of their own perdition are they who will not believe.

And who more wicked than he who inventeth a lie concerning God, or who treateth our signs as lies?  Verily those wicked ones shall not prosper.4

And on “the Day” we will gather them all together:  then will we say to those who joined gods with God, “Where are those companion-gods of yours, as ye supposed them?”

Then shall they find no other excuse than to say, “By God our Lord! we joined not companions with Him.”

Behold! how they lie against themselves-and the gods of their own inventing desert them!

Some among them hearken unto thee:  but we have cast veils over their hearts that they should not understand the Koran, and a weight into their ears:  and though they should see all kinds of signs, they will refuse all faith in them, until when they come to thee, to dispute with thee, the infidels say, “Verily, this is nothing but fables of the ancients.”

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And they will forbid it, and depart from it:-but they are only the authors of their own perdition, and know it not.

If thou couldst see when they shall be set over the fire, and shall say, “Oh! would we might be sent back! we would not treat the signs of our Lord as lies! we would be of the believers.”

Aye! that hath become clear5 to them which they before concealed; but though they should return, they would surely go back to that which was forbidden them; for they are surely liars!

And they say, “There is no other than our life in this world, neither shall we be raised again.”

But if thou couldest see when they shall be set before their Lord!  He shall say to them, “Is not this it6 in truth?” They shall say, “Yea, by our Lord!” “Taste then,” saith He, “the torment, for that ye believed not!”

Lost are they who deny the meeting with God until “the Hour” cometh suddenly upon them!  Then will they say, “Oh, our sighs for past negligence of this hour!” and they shall bear their burdens on their back!  Will not that be evil with which they shall be burdened?

The life in this world is but a play and pastime; and better surely for men of godly fear will be the future mansion!  Will ye not then comprehend?

Now know we that what they speak vexeth thee:7 But it is not merely thee whom they charge with falsehood, but the ungodly gainsay the signs of God.

Before thee have apostles already been charged with falsehood:  but they bore the charge and the wrong with constancy, till our help came to them;-for none can change the words of God.  But this history of His Sent Ones hath already reached thee.

But if their estrangement be grievous to thee, and if thou art able to seek out an opening into the earth or a ladder into Heaven,8 that thou mightest bring them a sign. . . .  Yes!  But if God pleased, He would surely bring them, one and all, to the guidance! therefore be not thou one of the ignorant.

To those only who shall lend an ear will He make answer:  as for the dead, God will raise them up; then unto Him shall they return.

They say, “Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . .”  Say:  Verily, God is able to send down a sign; but the greater part of them know it not.

No kind of beast is there on earth nor fowl that flieth with its wings, but is a folk9 like you:  nothing have we passed over in the Book:10 then unto their Lord shall they be gathered.

They who gainsay our signs are deaf, and dumb, in darkness:  God will mislead whom He pleaseth, and whom He pleaseth He will place upon the straight path.

Say:  What think ye?  If the punishment of God were to come upon you, or “the Hour” were to come upon you, will ye cry to any other than God?  Tell me, if ye speak the truth?

Yes! to Him will ye cry:  and if He please He will deliver you from that ye shall cry to Him to avert, and ye shall forget the partners ye joined with Him.

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Already have we sent apostles to nations that were before thee, and we laid hold on them with troubles and with straits in order that they might humble themselves: 

Yet, when our trouble came upon them, they did not humble themselves; but their hearts were hardened, and Satan pre-arranged for them11 their course of conduct.

And when they had forgotten their warnings, we set open to them the gates of all things, until, as they were rejoicing in our gifts, we suddenly laid hold upon them, and lo! they were plunged into despair,

And the uttermost part of that impious people was cut off.  All praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds!

Say:  What think ye?  If God should take away your hearing and your sight and set a seal upon your hearts, what god beside God would restore them to you?  See! how we vary our wondrous verses (signs)! yet they turn away from them!

Say:  What think ye?  If the punishment of God come on you suddenly or foreseen,12 shall any perish except the impious?

We send not our Sent Ones but as heralds of good news and warners; and whoso shall believe and amend, on them shall come no fear, neither shall they be sorrowful: 

But whoso shall charge our signs with falsehood, on them shall fall a punishment for their wicked doings.

Say:  I say not to you, “In my possession are the treasures of God;” neither say I, “I know things secret;” neither do I say to you, “Verily, I am an angel:”  Only what is revealed to me do I follow.  Say:  Shall the blind and the seeing be esteemed alike?  Will ye not then reflect?

And warn those who dread their being gathered to their Lord, that patron or intercessor they shall have none but Him,-to the intent that they may fear Him!

And thrust not thou away those who cry to their Lord at morn and even, craving to behold his face.  It is not for thee in anything to judge of their motives, nor for them in anything to judge of thee.  If thou thrust them away thou wilt be of the doers of wrong.

Thus have we made proof of some of them by others, that they may say, “Are these they among us to whom God hath been gracious?” Doth not God best know the thankful?

And when they who believe in our signs come to thee, say:  Peace be upon you!  Your Lord hath laid down for himself a law of mercy; so that if any one of you commit a fault through ignorance, and afterwards turn and amend, He surely will be Gracious, Merciful.

Thus have we distinctly set forth our signs, that the way of the wicked might be made known.

Say:  Forbidden am I to worship those whom ye call on beside God.  Say:  I will not follow your wishes; for then should I have gone astray, and should not be of the guided.

Say:  I act upon proofs from my Lord, but ye treat them as falsehoods.  That punishment which ye desire to be hastened is not in my power; judgment is with God only:  He will declare the truth; and He is the best settler of disputes.

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Say:  If what ye would hasten on, were in my power, the matter between me and you had been decided:  but God best knoweth the impious.

And with Him are the keys13 of the secret things; none knoweth them but He:  He knoweth whatever is on the land and in the sea; and no leaf falleth but He knoweth it; neither is there a grain in the darknesses of the earth, nor a thing green or sere, but it is noted in a distinct writing.14

It is He who taketh your souls at night,15 and knoweth what ye have merited in the day:  then he awaketh you therein, that the set life-term may be fulfilled:  then unto Him shall ye return; and then shall be declare to you that which ye have wrought.

Supreme over his servants, He sendeth forth guardians who watch over you, until, when death overtaketh any one of you, our messengers take his soul, and fail not: 

Then are they returned to God their Lord, the True.  Is not judgment His?  Swiftest He, of those who take account!

Say:  Who rescueth you from the darkness of the land and of the sea, when humbly and secretly ye cry to Him-"If thou rescue us from this, we will surely be of the thankful?”

Say:  God rescueth you from them, and from every strait:  yet afterwards ye give Him companions!

Say:  It is He who hath power to send on you a punishment from above you, or from beneath your feet, or to clothe you with discord,16 and to make some of you to taste the violence of others.  See how variously we handle the wondrous verses, that haply they may become wise!

But thy people hath accused the Koran of falsehood, though it be the truth:  Say:  I am not in charge of you:  To every prophecy is its set time, and bye-and-bye ye shall know it!

And when thou seest those who busy themselves with cavilling at our signs, withdraw from them till they busy themselves in some other subject:  and if Satan cause thee to forget this, sit not, after recollection, with the ungodly people:17

Not that they who fear God are to pass any judgment upon them, but the object of recollection is that they may continue to fear Him.

And quit those who make their religion a sport and a pastime, and whom this present life hath deceived:  warn them hereby that every soul will be consigned to doom for its own works:  patron or intercessor, beside God, shall it have none:  and could it compensate with fullest compensation, it would not be accepted from it.  They who for their deeds shall be consigned to doom-for them are draughts of boiling water, and a grievous torment; for that they believed not!

Say:  Shall we, beside God, call upon those who can neither help nor hurt us?  Shall we turn upon our heel after that God hath guided us?  Like some bewildered man whom the Satans have spell-bound in the desert, though his companions call him to the true guidance, with, “Come to us!” Say:  Verily, guidance from God, that is the true guidance; and we are commanded to surrender ourselves to the Lord of the Worlds.

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And observe ye the times of prayer, and fear ye God:  for it is He to whom ye shall be gathered.

And it is He who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, in truth, and when He saith to a thing, “Be,” it is.

His word is the truth:  and His the kingdom, on the day when there shall be a blast on the trumpet:  He knoweth alike the unseen and the seen:  and He is the Wise, the Cognisant.

And remember when Abraham said to his father Azar,18 Takest thou images as gods?  Verily, I see that thou and thy people are in manifest error.

And thus did we shew Abraham the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth,19 that he might be stablished in knowledge.

And when the night overshadowed him, he beheld a star.  “This,” said he, “is my Lord:”  but when it set, he said, “I love not gods which set.”

And when he beheld the moon uprising, “This,” said he, “is my Lord:”  but when it set, he said, “Surely, if my Lord guide me not, I shall surely be of those who go astray.”

And when he beheld the sun uprise, he said, “This is my Lord; this is greatest.”  But when it set, he said, “O my people!  I share not with you the guilt of joining gods with God;

I turn my face to him who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, following the right religion:20 I am not one of those who add gods to God.”

And his people disputed with him.-He said:  “Dispute ye with me about God, when He hath guided me?  And I fear not the deities whom ye join with Him, for only by the will of my Lord have they any power:21 My Lord embraceth all things in His knowledge.  Will ye not then consider?

And how should I fear what ye have joined with God, since ye fear not for having joined with Him that for which He hath sent you down no warranty?  Which, therefore, of the two parties is more worthy of safety?  Know ye that?

They who believe, and who clothe not their faith with error.22 theirs is safety, and they are guided aright.”

This is our reasoning with which we furnished Abraham against his people:  We uplift to grades of wisdom whom we will; Verily thy Lord is Wise, Knowing.

And we gave him Isaac and Jacob, and guided both aright; and we had before guided Noah; and among the descendants of Abraham, David and Solomon, and Job and Joseph, and Moses and Aaron:  Thus do we recompense the righteous: 

And Zachariah, John, Jesus, and Elias:  all were just persons: 

And Ismael and Elisha and Jonas and Lot:  all these have we favoured above mankind: 

And some of their fathers, and of their offspring, and of their brethren:  and we chose them, and guided them into the straight way.

This is God’s guidance:  He guideth by it such of his servants as he will:  But if they join others god with Him, vain assuredly shall be all their works.

These are they to whom we gave the Scripture and Wisdom and Prophecy:  but if these their posterity believe not therein, we will entrust these gifts to a people who will not disbelieve therein.

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These are they whom God hath guided:  follow therefore their guidance.  Say:  No pay do I ask of you for this:23 Verily it is no other than the teaching for all creatures.

No just estimate do they form of God when they say, “Nothing hath God sent down to man.”  Say:  Who sent down the Book which Moses brought, a light and guidance to man, which ye set down on paper, publishing part, but concealing most:  though ye have now been taught that which neither ye nor your fathers knew?  Say:  It is God:  then leave them in their pastime of cavillings.24

And this Book which we have sent down is blessed, confirming that which was before it; and in order that thou mightest warn the mother-city and those who dwell round about it.  They who believe in the next life will believe in It, and will keep strictly to their Prayers.

But is any more wicked than he who deviseth a lie of God, or saith, “I have had a revelation,” when nothing was revealed to him?25 And who saith, “I can bring down a book like that which God hath sent down”?  But couldst thou see when the ungodly are in the floods of death, and the angels reach forth their hands, saying, “Yield up your souls:-this day shall ye be recompensed with a humiliating punishment for your untrue sayings about God, and for proudly rejecting his signs!”

“And now are ye come back to us, alone, as we created you at first, and ye leave behind you the good things which we had given you, and we see not with you your intercessors whom ye regarded as the companions of God among you.  There is a severance between you now, and those whom ye regarded as partners with God have deserted you.”

Verily God causeth the grain and the date stone to put forth:  He bringeth forth the living from the dead, and the dead from the living!  This is God!  Why, then, are ye turned aside from Him?

He causeth the dawn to appear, and hath ordained the night for rest, and the sun and the moon for computing time!  The ordinance of the Mighty, the Wise!

And it is He who hath ordained the stars for you that ye may be guided thereby in the darknesses of the land and of the sea! clear have we made our signs to men of knowledge.

And it is He who hath produced you from one man, and hath provided for you an abode and resting-place!26 Clear have we made our signs for men of insight.

And it is He who sendeth down rain from Heaven:  and we bring forth by it the buds of all the plants, and from them bring we forth the green foliage, and the close growing grain, and palm trees with sheaths of clustering dates, and gardens of grapes, and the olive and the pomegranate, like and unlike.27 Look ye on their fruits when they fruit and ripen.  Truly herein are signs unto people who believe.

Yet have they assigned the Djinn to God as his associates, though He created them; and in their ignorance have they falsely ascribed to him sons and daughters.  Glory be to Him!  And high let Him be exalted above that which they attribute to Him!

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Sole maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! how, when He hath no consort, should He have a son?  He hath created everything, and He knoweth everything!

This is God your Lord.  There is no God but He, the creator of all things:  therefore worship Him alone;-and He watcheth over all things.

No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision:28 and He is the Subtile, the All-informed.

Now have proofs that may be seen, come to you from your Lord; whoso seeth them, the advantage will be his own:  and whoso is blind to them, his own will be the loss:  I am not made a keeper over you.

Thus variously do we apply our signs,29 that they may say, “Thou hast studied deep:”  and that to people of understanding we may make them clear.

Follow thou that which hath been revealed to thee by thy Lord:  there is no god but He! and withdraw from those who join other gods with Him.

Had God pleased, they had not joined other gods with Him:  and we have not made thee keeper over them, neither art thou a guardian over them.

Revile not those whom they call on beside God,30 lest they, in their ignorance, despitefully revile Him.  Thus have we planned out their actions for every people; then shall they return to their Lord, and He will declare to them what those actions have been.

With their most solemn oath have they sworn by God, that if a sign come unto them they will certainly believe it; say:  Signs are in the power of God alone; and He teacheth you not thereby, only because when they were wrought, ye did not believe.31

And we will turn their hearts and their eyes away from the truth, because they did not believe therein at first, and we will leave them in their transgressions, wandering in perplexity.

And though we had sent down the angels to them, and the dead had spoken to them, and we had gathered all things about them in tribes, they had not believed, unless God had willed it! but most of them do not know it.

Thus have we given an enemy to every prophet Satans among men and among Djinn:  tinsel discourses do they suggest the one to the other, in order to deceive:  and had thy Lord willed it, they would not have done it.  Therefore, leave them and their vain imaginings-

And let the hearts of those who believe not in the life to come incline thereto, and let them find their content in this, and let them gain what they are gaining.

What! shall I seek other judge than God, when it is He who hath sent down to you the distinguishing Book?  They to whom we have given the Book know that it is sent down from thy Lord with truth.  Be not thou then of those who doubt.

And the words of thy Lord are perfect in truth and in justice:  none can change his words:  He is the Hearing, Knowing.

But if thou obey most men in this land, from the path of God will they mislead thee:  they follow but a conceit, and they are only liars.

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Thy Lord!  He best knoweth those who err from his path, and He knoweth the rightly guided.

Eat32 of that over which the name of God hath been pronounced, if ye believe in his signs.

And why eat ye not of that over which the name of God hath been pronounced, since He hath made plain to you what He hath forbidden you, save as to that which is forced upon you?  But indeed many mislead others by their appetites, through lack of knowledge.  Verily, thy Lord!  He best knoweth the transgressors.

And abandon the semblance of wickedness, and wickedness itself.33 They, verily, whose only acquirement is iniquity, shall be rewarded for what they shall have gained.

Eat not therefore of that on which the name of God has not been named, for that is assuredly a crime:  the Satans will indeed suggest to their votaries to wrangle with you; but if ye obey them, ye will indeed be of those who join gods with God.

Shall the dead, whom we have quickened, and for whom we have ordained a light whereby he may walk among men, be like him, whose likeness is in the darkness, whence he will not come forth?  Thus have the doings of the unbelievers been prepared for them.

Even so have we placed in every city, ringleaders of its wicked ones, to scheme therein:  but only against themselves shall they scheme! and they know it not.

And when a sign cometh to them they say, “We will not believe, till the like of what was accorded to the apostles of God, be accorded to us.”  God best knoweth where to place his mission.  Disgrace with God, and a vehement punishment shall come on the transgressors for their crafty plottings.

And whom God shall please to guide, that man’s breast will He open to Islam; but whom He shall please to mislead, strait and narrow will He make his breast, as though he were mounting up into the very Heavens!  Thus doth God inflict dire punishment on those who believe not.

And this is the right way of thy Lord.  Now have we detailed our signs unto those who will consider.

For them is a dwelling of peace with their Lord! and in recompense for their works, shall he be their protector.

On the day whereon God shall gather them all together . . .  “O race of Djinn,” will He say, “much did ye exact from mankind.”  And their votaries from among men shall say, “O our Lord! we rendered one another mutual services:  but we have reached our set term, which thou hast set for us.”  He will say, “Your abode the fire! therein abide ye for ever:  unless as God shall will.”  Verily, thy Lord is Wise, Knowing.

Even thus place we some of the wicked over others, as the meed of their doings.

O race of Djinn and men! came not apostles to you from among yourselves, rehearsing my signs to you, and warning you of the meeting of this your day?  They shall say, “We bear witness against ourselves.”  This world’s life deceived them; and they shall bear witness against themselves that they were infidels:-

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This,34 because thy Lord would not destroy the cities in their sin, while their people were yet careless.

And for all, are grades of recompense as the result of their deeds; and of what they do, thy Lord is not regardless.

And thy Lord is the Rich one, full of compassion!  He can destroy you if He please, and cause whom He will to succeed you, as he raised you up from the offspring of other people: 

Verily, that which is threatened you shall surely come to pass, neither shall ye weaken its might.

Say:  O my people!  Act as ye best can:  I verily will act my part, and hereafter shall ye know

Whose will be the recompense of the abode!  Verily, the ungodly shall not prosper.

Moreover, they set apart a portion of the fruits and cattle35 which he hath produced, and say, “This for God"-so deem they-"And this for his companions, whom we associate with Him.”  But that which is for these companions of theirs, cometh not to God; yet that which is for God, cometh to the companions!  Ill do they judge.

Thus have the companion-gods induced many of these, who join them with God, to slay their children, that they might ruin them, and throw the cloak of confusion over their religion.  But if God had pleased, they had not done this.  Therefore, leave them and their devices.

They also say, “These cattle and fruits are sacred:  none may taste them but whom we please:”  so deem they-"And there are cattle, whose backs should be exempt from labour.”  And there are cattle over which they do not pronounce the name of God:  inventing in all this a lie against Him.  For their inventions shall He reward them.

And they say, “That which is in the wombs of these cattle is allowed to our males, and forbidden to our wives;” but if it prove abortive, both partake of it.  God shall reward them for their distinctions!  Knowing, Wise is He.

Lost are they who, in their ignorance, have foolishly slain their children, and have forbidden that which God hath given them for food, devising an untruth against God!  Now have they erred; and they were not rightly guided.

He it is who produceth gardens of the vine trellised and untrellised, and the palm trees, and the corn of various food, and olives, and pomegranates, like and unlike.  Eat of their fruit when they bear fruit, and pay the due thereof on the day of its ingathering:  and be not prodigal, for God loveth not the prodigal.

And there are cattle for burdens and for journeys.  Eat of what God hath given you for food; and follow not the steps of Satan, for he is your declared enemy.

You have four sorts of cattle in pairs:  of sheep a pair, and of goats a pair.  Say:  Hath He forbidden the two males or the two females; or that which the wombs of the two females enclose?  Tell me with knowledge, if ye speak the truth: 

And of camels a pair, and of oxen a pair.  Say:  Hath He forbidden the two males or the two females; or that which the wombs of the two females enclose?36 Were ye witnesses when God enjoined you this?  Who then is more wicked than he who, in his ignorance, inventeth a lie against God, to mislead men?  God truly guideth not the wicked.

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Say:  I find not in what hath been revealed to me aught forbidden to the eater to eat, except it be that which dieth of itself, or blood poured forth, or swine’s flesh; for this is unclean or profane, being slain in the name of other than God.  But whoso shall be a forced partaker, if it be without wilfulness, and not in transgression,-verily, thy Lord is Indulgent, Merciful!

To the Jews did we forbid every beast having an entire hoof, and of both bullocks and sheep we forbade them the fat, save what might be on their backs, or their entrails, and the fat attached to the bone.  With this have we recompensed them, because of their transgression:  and verily, we are indeed equitable.

If they treat thee as an impostor, then say:  Your Lord is of all-embracing mercy:  but his severity shall not be turned aside from the wicked.

They who add gods to God will say, “If God had pleased, neither we nor our fathers had given him companions, nor should we have interdicted anything.”  Thus did they who flourished before them charge with imposture, until they had tasted our severity!  Say:  Have ye any knowledge that ye can produce to us?  Verily, ye follow only a conceit:  ye utter only lies!

Say:  Peremptory proof is God’s!  Had He pleased He had guided you all aright.

Say:  Bring hither your witnesses who can witness that God hath forbidden these animals; but if they bear witness, witness not thou with them, nor witness to the conceits of those who charge our signs with falsehood, and who believe not in the life to come, and give equals to our Lord.

Say:  Come, I will rehearse what your Lord hath made binding on you-that ye assign not aught to Him as partner; and that ye be good to your parents; and that ye slay not your children, because of poverty:  for them and for you will we provide:37 and that ye come not near to pollutions, outward or inward:38 and that ye slay not anyone whom God hath forbidden you, unless for a just cause.  This hath he enjoined on you, to the intent that ye may understand.

And come not nigh to the substance of the orphan, but to improve it, until he come of age:  and use a full measure, and a just balance:  We will not task a soul beyond its ability.  And when ye give judgment, observe justice, even though it be the affair of a kinsman, and fulfil the covenant of God.  This hath God enjoined you for your monition-

And, “this is my right way.”  Follow it then; and follow not other paths lest ye be scattered from His path.  This hath he enjoined you, that ye may fear Him.

Then39 gave we the Book to Moses-complete for him who should do right, and a decision for all matters, and a guidance, and a mercy, that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord.

Blessed, too, this Book which we have sent down.  Wherefore follow it and fear God, that ye may find mercy: 

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Lest ye should say, “The Scriptures were indeed sent down only unto two peoples before us, but we were not able to go deep into their studies:"40

Or lest ye should say, “If a book had been sent down to us, we had surely followed the guidance better than they.”  But now hath a clear exposition come to you from your Lord, and a guidance and a mercy.  Who then is more wicked than he who treateth the signs of God as lies, and turneth aside from them?  We will recompense those who turn aside from our signs with an evil punishment, because they have turned aside.

What wait they for, but the coming of the angels to them, or the coming of thy Lord Himself, or that some of the sings of the Lord should come to pass?  On the day when some of thy Lord’s signs shall come to pass, its faith shall not profit a soul which believed not before, nor wrought good works in virtue of its faith.  Say:  Wait ye.  Verily, we will wait also.

As to those who split up their religion and become sects, have thou nothing to do with them:  their affair is with God only.  Hereafter shall he tell them what they have done.

He who shall present himself with good works shall receive a tenfold reward; but he who shall present himself with evil works shall receive none other than a like punishment:  and they shall not be treated unjustly.

Say:  As for me, my Lord hath guided me into a straight path; a true religion, the creed of Abraham, the sound in faith; for he was not of those who join gods with God.

Say:  My prayers and my worship and my life and my death are unto God, Lord of the Worlds.  He hath no associate.  This am I commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.

Say:  Shall I seek any other Lord than God, when He is Lord of all things?  No soul shall labour but for itself; and no burdened one shall bear another’s burden.  At last ye shall return to your Lord, and he will declare that to you about which you differ.

And it is He who hath made you the successors of others on the earth, and hath raised some of you above others by various grades, that he may prove you by his gifts.  Verily thy Lord is swift to punish.  But He is also Gracious, Merciful!

_______________________

1 Lit. their affair would have been decided.  In that case there would no longer have been an opportunity for the warnings of the prophets and for repentance, but the angels would at once have executed the divine judgments.

2 See Sura xli. 13, p. 193.

3 See Sura [xc.] xiii. 36.

4 This denunciation is repeated in eleven other passages of the Koran, and coupled with the known reverence of the early Muslims for what they considered as the word of God, must have greatly tended to secure the revelations of the Prophet from being in any way tampered with and corrupted.

5 They are self-convicted of their own hypocrisy and of the hollowness of their professions.

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6 The Resurrection, etc.

7 Abu Jahl had said:  “Muhammad speaks truth, and he never said a falsehood; but, if the Banu Chosai, who enjoy already the offices of bearing the standard, of providing the pilgrims with water, and of keeping the keys of the Kaaba, should also obtain the Prophetship, what would remain for the other Koreisch.”  Kashaf in 1.

8 See Sura lii. 38, p. 65.  These passages may allude to the ladder set up in a tower by Wacih ben Salamah, one of the ancient doorkeepers of the Caaba, by which he professed to mount up to God and receive divine Oracles.  Freyt.  Einl. p. 371.

9 A community.  Comp.  Prov. xxx. 25, 26.  Animals as well as mankind are under the control of God, are held within the limits of his decrees, are accountable to him, and will stand before him in the judgment.

10 Of the Eternal decrees.

11 Or, embellished, made it fair-seeming.

12 Lit. openly, i.e. preceded by some sign.

13 The Rabbins speak of the three keys in the hand of God.  Tr.  Tanith, fol. x.

14 On the preserved tablet, on which are written the decrees of God.

15 That is, during sleep.  See Sura xxxix. 43, p. 258.  Or, layeth to rest.  Mar. renders literally, defungi faciet vos, id est, obdormiscere.  Thus also Beidh.  But see the use of the same word in the next verse.

16 Or, to perplex you (by dividing you into) sects.

17 Comp.  Sura [cx.] 1x. 13.

18 Azar.  This form is probably borrowed from Athar, as Terah is called by Eusebius.  See Maracci Prodr. iv. 90.  Compare a similar narrative (Midr.  Rabbah on Gen. par. 17) in which Abraham is given over by his idolatrous father Zarah to Nimrod, who says, “We will adore the Fire:”  “Rather,” said Abraham, “the water which puts out fire.”  “The Water then"-"Rather the clouds that bear the water.”  “The Clouds then"-"Rather the wind which scatters the clouds.”  “The Wind then"-"Rather man who endures the wind.”  Whereupon Abraham was thrown into the furnace.  It is quite possible that in what follows, Muhammad may have intended to imply that Abraham had renounced the Sabian starworship of his fathers, and to vindicate him from the habit of consulting the stars attributed to him by the Talmudists.  Shabbath, fol. 156, col. 1.  “Abraham replied, I have consulted my Astrology.”  Comp.  Rashi on Gen. xv. 5.  See Maim.  Yad Hachaz. vii. 6.

19 Comp.  Gen. xv. 5.

20 See Sura xxi. 52.

21 Lit. unless that my Lord shall will anything.

22 Or, confuse not their faith with wrong, injustice, i.e. idolatry.

23 Koran.

24 This verse and the following were probably added at Medina after the Hejira; at least it is difficult to conceive that Muhammad would have ventured thus to have written at Mecca.

25 This verse is said to have been revealed at Medina and to be aimed at the false prophets Moseilama, Aswad and Amsi; also at Abdallah Ibn Saad, Muhammad’s secretary, who for corrupting the sacred text and apostacy, was one of the ten proscribed at the taking of Mecca.

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26 In the womb.

27 Of all sorts.

28 Lit. attaineth to.  Mr. Lane renders, “the eyes see not Him, but He seeth the eyes.”

29 The verses of the Koran.

30 Comp.  Ex. xxii. 28.

31 Notwithstanding this disclaimer, the Muslim tradition, etc. speak of many of their Prophet’s miracles.  See Maracci’s Prodr. p. ii. p. 16, and 30 46.

32 Verses 118-121 seem misplaced, and should probably follow 154.

33 Lit. the outside of iniquity and its inside.  Some understand these words of open sins, and secret sins.

34 That is, God’s method of dealing with the guilty was to send apostles previous to the execution of his judgments.

35 It appears to have been the custom of the idolatrous Arabs to set apart one portion of their fields for the Supreme God, and the other for the inferior gods represented by their idols.  If any of the fruit happened to fall from the part consecrated to the idols into that consecrated to God, they restored it, but if the reverse occurred, they gave it to the idols.  God, said they, is rich and can dispense with it.  The secret, however, was that the idols’ portion was reserved for the priests, Beidhawi.  Freytag mentions the names of 73 idols worshipped by the Arab tribes, previous to Islam (Einl. pp. 270 and 342 357) and generally with Allah, as Supreme God.

36 Comp.  Sura [cxiv.] v. 102.

37 Comp.  Sura xvii. 33, p. 167.

38 See verse 120 above.

39 This very abrupt transition to Jewish history seems to indicate that a passage between this and the preceding verse is lost.

40 Lit. we were careless of their studies

SURA XIII.-THUNDER [XC.]

Mecca.-43 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF.  LamMimRa.1 These, the signs of the Book!  And that which hath been sent down to thee from thy Lord is the very truth:  But the greater part of men will not believe.

It is God who hath reared the Heavens without pillars thou canst behold; then mounted his throne, and imposed laws on the sun and moon:  each travelleth to its appointed goal.  He ordereth all things.  He maketh his signs clear, that ye may have firm faith in a meeting with your Lord.

And He it is who hath outstretched the earth, and placed on it the firm mountains, and rivers:  and of every fruit He hath placed on it two kinds:  He causeth the night to enshroud the day.  Verily in this are signs for those who reflect.

And on the earth hard by each other are its various portions:  gardens of grapes and corn, and palm trees single or clustered.  Though watered by the same water, yet some make we more excellent as food than other:  Verily in all this are signs for those who understand.

If ever thou dost marvel, marvellous surely is their saying, “What! when we have become dust, shall we be restored in a new creation?”

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These are they who in their Lord believe not:  these! the collars shall be on their necks; and these shall be inmates of the fire, to abide therein for aye.

To hasten evil rather than good will they challenge thee:  but, before their time have been like examples.  Full, truly, of mercy is thy Lord unto men, despite their sins; but verily, thy Lord is right vehement to punish.

And they who believe not say:  “If a sign from his Lord be not sent down to him . . . !” Thou art a warner only.  And every people hath its guide.

God knoweth the burden of every female, and how much their wombs lessen and enlarge:  with Him everything is by measure: 

Knower of the Hidden and the Manifest! the Great! the Most High!

Alike to Him is that person among you who concealeth his words, and he that telleth them abroad:  he who hideth him in the night, and he who cometh forth in the day.

Each hath a succession of Angels before him and behind him, who watch over him by God’s behest.  Verily, God will not change his gifts to men, till they change what is in themselves:  and when God willeth evil unto men, there is none can turn it away, nor have they any protector beside Him.

He it is who maketh the lightning to shine unto you; for fear and hope:  and who bringeth up the laden clouds.

And the thunder uttereth his praise, and the Angels also, for awe of Him:  and he sendeth his bolts and smiteth with them whom he will2 while they are wrangling about God!  Mighty is he in prowess.

Prayer is His of right:  but these deities to whom they pray beside Him give them no answer, otherwise than as he is answered who stretcheth forth his hands to the water that it may reach his mouth, when it cannot reach it!  The prayer of the Infidels only wandereth, and is lost.

And unto God doth all in the Heavens and on the Earth bow down in worship, willingly or by constraint:  their very shadows also morn and even!

Say:  Who is Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth?  Say:  God.  Say:  Why then have ye taken beside Him protectors, who even for their own selves have no power for help or harm?  Say:  What! shall the blind and the seeing be held equal?  Shall the darkness and the light be held equal?  Or have they given associates to God who have created as He hath created, so that their creation appear to them like His?  Say:  God is the Creator of all things!  He is the One! the Conquering!

He sendeth down the rain from Heaven:  then flow the torrents in their due measure, and the flood beareth along a swelling foam.  And from the metals which are molten in the fire for the sake of ornaments or utensils, a like scum ariseth.  In this way doth God depict (set forth) truth and falsehood.  As to the foam, it is quickly gone:  and as to what is useful to man, it remaineth on the earth.  Thus doth God set forth comparisons!  To those who respond to their Lord shall be an excellent reward; but those who respond not to his call, had they all that the earth containeth twice over, they would surely give it for their ransom.  Evil their reckoning! and Hell their home!  And wretched the bed!

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Shall he then who knoweth that what hath been sent down to thee from thy Lord is the truth, act like him who is blind?  Men of insight only will bear this in mind,

Who fulfil their pledge to God, and break not their compact: 

And who join together what God hath bidden to be joined, and who fear their Lord, and dread an ill reckoning;

And who, from desire to see the face of their Lord, are constant amid trials, and observe prayer and give alms, in secret and openly, out of what we have bestowed upon them, and turn aside evil by good:  for these is the recompense of that abode,

Gardens of Eden-into which they shall enter together with the just of their fathers, and their wives, and their descendants:  and the angels shall go in unto them at every portal: 

“Peace be with you!” say they, “because ye have endured all things!” Charming the recompense of their abode!

But those who, after having contracted it, break their covenant with God, and cut asunder what God hath bidden to be united, and commit misdeeds on the earth, these, a curse awaiteth them, and an ill abode!

God is open-handed with supplies to whom he will, or is sparing.  They rejoice in the life that now is, but this present life is but a passing good, in respect of the life to come!3

And they who believe not say, “Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . .”  Say:  God truly will mislead whom he will; and He will guide to Himself him who turneth to Him,

Those who believe, and whose hearts rest securely on the thought of God.  What!  Shall not men’s hearts repose in the thought of God?  They who believe and do the things that be right-blessedness awaiteth them, and a goodly home.

Thus have we sent thee to a people whom other peoples have preceded, that thou mightest rehearse to them our revelations to thee.  Yet they believe not on the God of Mercy.4 Say:  He is my Lord.  There is no God but He.  In Him do I put my trust.  To Him must I return.

If there were a Koran by which the mountains could be set in motion, or the earth cleft, or the dead be made to speak !  But all sovereignty is in the hands of God.  Do then believers doubt5 that had He pleased God would certainly have guided all men aright?

Misfortune shall not cease to light on the unbelievers for what they have done, or to take up its abode hard by their dwellings, until the threat of God come to pass.  Verily, God will not fail his plighted word.

Before thee indeed have apostles been mocked at; but though I bore long with the unbelievers, at last I seized upon them;-and how severe was my punishment!

Who is it then that is standing over every soul to mark its actions?  Yet have they set up associates with God.  Say:  Name them.  What!  Would ye inform God of that which He knoweth not on the Earth?  Or are they not a mere empty name?  But prepared of old for the infidels was this fraud of theirs; and they are turned aside from the path; and whom God causeth to err, no guide shall there be for him!

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Chastisement awaiteth them in this present life, and more grievous shall be the chastisement of the next:  and none shall screen them from God.

A picture of the Paradise which God hath promised to them that fear Him.  The rivers flow beneath its bowers:  its food and its shades are perpetual.  This is the reward of those who fear God; but the reward of the unbelievers is the Fire.

They to whom we have given the Book rejoice6 in what hath been sent down to thee; yet some are banded together who deny a part of it.  Say:  I am commanded to worship God, and not to associate any creature with Him.  On Him do I call, and to Him shall I return.

Thus, then, as a code in the Arabic tongue have we sent down the Koran; and truly, if after the knowledge that hath reached thee thou follow their desires, thou shalt have no guardian nor protector against God.

Apostles truly have we already sent before thee, and wives and offspring have we given them.  Yet no apostle had come with miracles unless by the leave of God.  To each age its Book.

What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm:  for with Him is the source of revelation.7

Moreover, whether we cause thee to see the fulfilment of part of our menaces, or whether we take thee hence, verily, thy work is preaching only, and ours to take account.

See they not that we come into their land and cut short its borders?8 God pronounceth a doom, and there is none to reverse his doom.  And swift is He to take account.

Those who lived before them made plots:  but all plotting is controlled by God:  He knoweth the works of every one, and the infidels shall know whose will be the recompense of the abode.

The infidels, moreover, will say; Thou art not sent of God.  Say:  God is witness enough betwixt me and you, and, whoever hath knowledge of the Book.

_______________________

1 See Sura 1xviii. p. 32.

2 This is said by the traditionists and commentators generally, to refer to Amir and Arbad ben Kais, who in the year 9 or 10 conspired against Muhammad’s life, and were struck dead by lightning.  See the authorities in Nöld. p. 120:  Weil, 256; Caussin, iii. 295.  But this explanation may have been suggested by the words of the text, which must, if the comment be correct, have been revealed at Medina.

3 Thus, “one hour of bliss in the world to come is better than all life in this world.”  Mischnah Aboth, iv. 17.  Comp.  Sura [cxiii.] ix. 38.

4 See Sura xvii. 109.  This verse is said to have been occasioned by the refusal of the Meccans at Hudaibiya to adopt the formula prescribed by Muhammad-In the Name of the God of Mercy, the Merciful-declaring that they knew not who the God of Mercy (Arrahman) was.  This was in Hej. 6.  See n. p. 173.

5 Lit. despair.

6 That is, the Jews, who at this period of Muhammad’s prophetic function, must have been highly gratified at the strong leaning towards, and respect for, their Scriptures and Histories, which shews itself increasingly in the later Meccan Suras.

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7 Lit.  Mother, or Prototype of the Book.  Either God’s knowledge or Prescience, or the fabled preserved tablet, on which is written the original of the Koran, and all God’s decrees.  The Jews have a tradition that the Law existed before the Creation.  Midr.  Jalkut, 7.

8 That is, the progressive conquests of the Muslims trench more and more on the territories of the idolatrous Arabians.

SURA II.-THE COW1 [XCI.]

Medina.-286 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF.  LamMim.2 No doubt is there about this Book:  It is a guidance to the
God-fearing,

Who believe in the unseen,3 who observe prayer, and out of what we have bestowed on them, expend for God;

And who believe in what hath been sent down to thee, and in what hath been sent down before thee, and full faith have they in the life to come: 

These are guided by their Lord; and with these it shall be well.

As to the infidels, alike is it to them whether thou warn them or warn them not-they will not believe: 

Their hearts and their ears hath God sealed up; and over their eyes is a covering.  For them, a severe chastisement!

And some4 there are who say, “We believe in God, and in the latter day:”  Yet are they not believers!

Fain would they deceive God and those who have believed; but they deceive themselves only, and know it not.

Diseased are their hearts!  And that disease hath God increased creased to them.  Their’s a sore chastisement, for that they treated their prophet as a liar!

And when it is said to them, “Cause not disorders in the earth:”  they say, “Nay, rather do we set them right.”

Is it not that they are themselves the authors of disorder?  But they perceive it not!

And when it is said to them, “Believe as other men have believed;” they say, “Shall we believe as the fools have believed?” Is it not that they are themselves the fools?  But they know it not!

And when they meet the faithful they say, “We believe;” but when they are apart with their Satans5 they say, “Verily we hold with you, and at them we only mock.”

God shall mock at them, and keep them long in their rebellion, wandering in perplexity.

These are they who have purchased error at the price of guidance:  but their traffic hath not been gainful, neither are they guided at all.

They are like one6 who kindleth a fire, and when it hath thrown its light on all around him. . . .  God taketh away their light and leaveth them in darkness-they cannot see!-

Deaf, dumb, blind:  therefore they shall not retrace their steps from error!

Or like those who, when there cometh a storm-cloud out of the Heaven, big with darkness thunder and lightning, thrust their fingers into their ears because of the thunder-clap, for fear of death!  God is round about the infidels.

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The lightning almost snatcheth away their eyes!  So oft as it gleameth on them they walk on in it, but when darkness closeth upon them, they stop!  And if God pleased, of their ears and of their eyes would he surely deprive them:  verily God is Almighty!  O men of Mecca7 adore your Lord, who hath created you and those who were before you:  haply ye will fear Him

Who hath made the earth a bed for you, and the heaven a covering, and hath caused water to come down from heaven, and by it hath brought forth fruits for your sustenance!  Do not then wittingly give peers to God.

And if ye be in doubt as to that which we have sent down to our servant, then produce a Sura like it, and summon your witnesses, beside God, if ye are men of truth: 

But if ye do it not, and never shall ye do it, then fear the fire prepared for the infidels, whose fuel is men and stones:8

But announce to those who believe and do the things that are right, that for them are gardens ’neath which the rivers flow!  So oft as they are fed therefrom with fruit for sustenance, they shall say, “This same was our sustenance of old:”  And they shall have its like given to them.9 Therein shall they have wives of perfect purity, and therein shall they abide for ever.

Verily God is not ashamed to set forth as well the instance of a gnat10 as of any nobler object:  for as to those who have believed, they know it to be the truth from their Lord; but as to the unbelievers, they will say, “What meaneth God by this comparison?” Many will He mislead by such parables and many guide:  but none will He mislead thereby except the wicked,

Who, after its establishment, violate the covenant of God,11 and cut in sunder what God hath bidden to be joined, and act disorderly on the Earth.  These are they who shall suffer loss!

How can ye withhold faith from God?  Ye were dead and He gave you life; next He will cause you to die; next He will restore you to life:  next shall ye return to Him!

He it is who created for you all that is on Earth, then proceeded to the Heaven, and into seven12 Heavens did He fashion it:  and He knoweth all things.

When thy Lord said to the angels, “Verily, I am about to place one in my stead on earth,"13 they said, “Wilt thou place there one who will do ill therein and shed blood, when we celebrate thy praise and extol thy holiness?” God said, “Verily, I know what ye know not.”

And he taught Adam the names of all things, and then set them before the angels,14 and said, “Tell me the names of these, if ye are endued with wisdom."15

They said, “Praise be to Thee!  We have no knowledge but what Thou hast given us to know.  Thou!  Thou art the Knowing, the Wise.”

He said, “O Adam, inform them of their names.”  And when he had informed them of their names, He said, “Did I not say to you that I know the hidden things of the Heavens and of the Earth, and that I know what ye bring to light, and what ye hide?”

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And when we said to the angels, “Bow down and worship Adam,” then worshipped they all, save Eblis.16 He refused and swelled with pride, and became one of the unbelievers.

And we said, “O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye plentifully therefrom wherever ye list; but to this tree come not nigh, lest ye become of the transgressors.”

But Satan17 made them slip from it, and caused their banishment from the place in which they were.  And we said, “Get ye down, the one of you an enemy to the other:  and there shall be for you in the earth a dwelling-place, and a provision for a time.”

And words of prayer learned Adam from his Lord:  and God turned to him; for He loveth to turn, the Merciful.

We said, “Get ye down from it, all together:  and if

Guidance shall come to you from me, whoso shall follow my guidance, on them shall come no fear, neither shall they be grieved: 

But they who shall not believe, and treat our signs as false-hoods, these shall be inmates of the fire; in it shall they remain for ever.”

O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I shewed favour upon you, and be true to your covenant with me; I will be true to my covenant with you; me therefore, revere me! and believe in what I have sent down confirming your Scriptures, and be not the first to disbelieve it, neither for a mean price barter my signs:  me therefore, fear ye me!

And clothe not the truth with falsehood, and hide not the truth when ye know it:18

And observe prayer and pay the legal impost, and bow down with those who bow.

Will ye enjoin what is right upon others, and forget yourselves?  Yet ye read the Book:  will ye not understand?

And seek help with patience and prayer:  a hard duty indeed is this, but not to the humble,

Who bear in mind that they shall meet their Lord, and that unto Him shall they return.

O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I shewed favour upon you; for verily to you above all human beings have I been bounteous.

And fear ye the day when soul shall not satisfy for soul at all, nor shall any intercession be accepted from them, nor shall any ransom be taken, neither shall they be helped.

And remember when we rescued you from the people of Pharaoh, who had laid on you a cruel chastisement.  They slew your male children, and let only your females live:  and in this was a great trial from your Lord: 

And when we parted the sea for you, and saved you, and drowned the people of Pharaoh, while ye were looking on: 

And when we were in treaty with Moses forty nights:  then during his absence took ye the calf and acted wickedly: 

Yet after this we forgave you, that ye might be grateful: 

And when we gave Moses the Book and the Illumination19 in order to your guidance: 

And remember when Moses said to his people, “O my people! verily ye — have sinned to your own hurt, by your taking the calf to worship it:  Be turned then to your creator, and slay the guilty among you;20 this will be best for you with your creator:”  Then turned He unto you, for He is the one who turneth, the Merciful: 

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And when ye said, “O Moses! we will not believe thee until we see God plainly;” the thunderbolt fell upon you while ye were looking on: 

Then we raised you to life after ye had been dead,21 that haply ye might give thanks: 

And we caused the clouds to overshadow you, and we sent down manna and quails upon you;-"Eat of the good things we have give you for sustenance;"-and they injured not us but they injured themselves.22

And when we said, “Enter this city,23 and eat therefrom plentifully, at your will, and enter the gate with prostrations, and say, ‘Forgiveness;’ and we will pardon you your sins, and give an increase to the doers of good:"-

But the evil-doers changed that word into another than that spoken to them,24 and we sent down upon those evil-doers wrath from heaven, for that they had done amiss: 

And when Moses asked drink for his people, we said, “Strike the rock with thy rod;” and from it there gushed twelve fountains:  each tribe25 knew their drinking-place:-"Eat and drink,” said we, “of what God hath supplied, and do no wrong on the earth by licentious deeds:” 

And when ye said, “O Moses! we will not put up with one sort of food:  pray, therefore, thy Lord for us, that He would bring forth for us of that which the earth groweth, its herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions:”  He said, “What! will ye exchange that which is worse for what is better?  Get ye down into Egypt;-for ye shall have what ye have asked:”  Vileness and poverty were stamped upon them, and they returned with wrath from God:  This, for that they disbelieved the signs of God, and slew the Prophets26 unjustly:  this, for that they rebelled and transgressed!

Verily, they who believe (Muslims), and they who follow the Jewish religion, and the Christians, and the Sabeites27-whoever of these believeth in God and the last day, and doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with their Lord:  fear shall not come upon them, neither shall they be grieved.

Call to mind also when we entered into a covenant with you, and lifted up the mountain28 over you:-"Take hold,” said we, “on what we have revealed to you, with resolution, and remember what is therein, that ye may fear:” 

But after this ye turned back, and but for God’s grace and mercy toward you, ye had surely been of the lost!  Ye know too those of you who transgressed on the Sabbath, and to whom we said, “Be changed into scouted apes:"29

And we made them a warning to those of their day, and to those who came after them, and a caution to the God-fearing: 

And when Moses said to his people, “Verily, God bids you sacrifice a cow;"30 they said, “Makest thou a jest of us?” He said, “God keep me from being one of the foolish.”  They said, “Call on thy Lord for us that He would make plain to us what she is.”  He said, “God saith, ’She is a cow neither old nor young, but of the middle age between the two:’  do therefore what ye are bidden.”

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They said, “Call on your Lord for us, that he would make plain to us what is her colour.”  He said, “God saith, ’She is a fawn-coloured cow; her colour is very bright; she rejoiceth the beholders.’ "

They said, “Call on they Lord for us that He would make plain to us what cow it is-for to us are cows alike,-and verily, if God please, we shall be guided rightly:” 

He said, “God saith, ’She is a cow not worn by ploughing the earth or watering the field, sound, no blemish in her.’ " They said, “Now hast thou brought the truth:”  Then they sacrificed her; Yet nearly had they done it not: 

And when ye slew a man, and strove among yourselves about him, God brought to light what he had hidden: 

For we said, “Strike the corpse with part of her.”  So God giveth life to the dead, and sheweth you his signs, that haply ye may understand.

Then after that your hearts became hard like rocks, or harder still:  for verily, from rocks have rivers gushed; others, verily, have been cleft, and water hath issued from them; and others, verily, have sunk down through fear of God:  And God is not regardless of your actions.

Desire ye then that for your sakes31 the Jews should believe?  Yet a part of them heard the word of God, and then, after they had understood it, perverted it, and knew that they did so.

And when they fall in with the faithful, they say, “We believe;” but when they are apart32 one with another, they say, “Will ye acquaint them with what God hath revealed to you, that they may dispute with you about it in the presence of your Lord?” Understand ye their aim?

Know they not that God knoweth what they hide, as well as what they bring to light?

But there are illiterates among them who are unacquainted with the Book,33 but with lies only, and have but vague fancies.  Woe to those who with their own hands transcribe the Book corruptly, and then say, “This is from God,” that they may sell it for some mean price!  Woe then to them for that which their hands have written! and, Woe to them for the gains which they have made!

And they say, “Hell fire shall not touch us, but for a few days:"34 Say:  Have ye received such a promise from God? for God will not revoke his promise:  or, Speak ye of God that which ye know not?

But they whose only gains are evil works, and who are environed by their sins,-they shall be inmates of the fire, therein to abide for ever: 

But they who have believed and done the things that be right, they shall be the inmates of Paradise,-therein to abide for ever.

And when we entered into covenant with the children of Israel, we said, “Worship none but God, and be good to your parents and kindred, and to orphans, and to the poor, and speak with men what is right, and observe prayer, and pay the stated alms.”  Then turned ye away, except a few of you, and withdrew afar off.

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And when we made a covenant with you that ye should not shed your own blood,35 nor expel one another from your abodes, then ye ratified it and yourselves were witnesses.

Then were ye the very persons who slew one another; and ye drove out a part of your own people from their abodes; ye lent help against them with wrong and hatred; but if they come captives to you, ye redeem them!-Yet it was forbidden you to drive them out.36 Believe ye then part of the Book, and deny part?  But what shall be the meed of him among you who doth this, but shame in this life?  And on the day of the Resurrection they shall be sent to the most cruel of torments, for God is not regardless of what ye do.

These are they who purchase this present life at the price of that which is to come:  their torment shall not be lightened, neither shall they be helped.

Moreover, to Moses gave we “the Book,” and we raised up apostles after him; and to Jesus, son of Mary, gave we clear proofs of his mission, and strengthened him by the Holy Spirit.37 So oft then as an apostle cometh to you with that which your souls desire not, swell ye with pride, and treat some as impostors, and slay others?

And they say, “Uncircumcised are our hearts.”  Nay!  God hath cursed them in their infidelity:  few are they who believe!

And when a Book had come to them from God, confirming that which they had received already-although they had before prayed for victory over those who believed not-yet when that Koran come to them, of which they had knowledge, they did not recognise it.  The curse of God on the infidels!

For a vile price have they sold themselves, by not believing what God hath sent down, envious of God’s sending down his grace on such of his servants as he pleaseth:38 and they have brought on themselves wrath upon wrath.  And for the unbelievers is a disgraceful chastisement.

And when it is said to them, “Believe in what God hath sent down,” they say, “In that which hath been sent down to us we believe:”  but what hath since been sent down they disbelieve, although it be the truth confirmatory of their own Scriptures.  Say:  Why then have ye of old slain God’s prophets,39 if ye are indeed believers?

Moreover, Moses came unto you with proofs of his mission.  Then in his absence ye took the calf for your God, and did wickedly.

And when we accepted your covenant, and uplifted40 the mountain over you, we said, “Take firm hold on what we have given you, and hearken.”  They said, “We have hearkened and have rebelled:”  then were they made to drink down the calf into their hearts for their ingratitude.  Say:  A bad thing hath your faith commanded you, if ye be indeed believers.

Say:  If the future dwelling place with God be specially for you, but not for the rest of mankind, then wish for death, if ye are sincere: 

But never can they wish for it, because of that which their own hands have sent on before them!41 And God knoweth the offenders.

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And thou wilt surely find them of all men most covetous of life, beyond even the polytheists.  To be kept alive a thousand years might one of them desire:  but that he may be preserved alive, shall no one reprieve himself from the punishment!  And God seeth what they do.

Say:  Whoso is the enemy of Gabriel-For he it is who by God’s leave hath caused the Koran to descend on thy heart, the confirmation of previous revelations, and guidance, and good tidings to the faithful-

Whoso is an enemy to God or his angels, or to Gabriel, or to Michael, shall have God as his enemy:  for verily God is an enemy to the Infidels.

Moreover, clear signs have we sent down to thee, and none will disbelieve them but the perverse.

Oft as they have formed an engagement with thee, will some of them set it aside?  But most of them believe not.

And when there came to them an apostle from God, affirming the previous revelations made to them, some of those to whom the Scriptures were given, threw the Book of God behind their backs as if they knew it not: 

And they followed what the Satans read42 in the reign of Solomon:  not that Solomon was unbelieving, but the Satans were unbelieving.  Sorcery did they teach to men, and what had been revealed to the two angels, Harut and Marut, at Babel.  Yet no man did these two teach until they had said, “We are only a temptation.  Be not then an unbeliever.”  From these two did men learn how to cause division between man and wife:  but unless by leave of God, no man did they harm thereby.  They learned, indeed, what would harm and not profit them; and yet they knew that he who bought that art should have no part in the life to come!  And vile the price for which they have sold themselves,-if they had but known it!

But had they believed and feared God, better surely would have been the reward from God,-if they had but known it!

O ye who believe! say not to our apostle, “Raina"43 (Look at us); but say, “Ondhorna” (Regard us).  And attend to this; for, the Infidels shall suffer a grievous chastisement.

The unbelievers among the people of the Book, and among the idolaters, desire not that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord:  but God will shew His special mercy to whom He will, for He is of great bounty.

Whatever verses we cancel,44 or cause thee to forget, we bring a better or its like.  Knowest thou not that God hath power over all things?

Knowest thou not that the dominion of the Heavens and of the Earth is God’s? and that ye have neither patron nor helper, save God?

Would ye ask of your apostle what of old was asked of Moses?  But he who exchangeth faith for unbelief,45 hath already erred from the even way.

Many of the people of the Book desire to bring you back to unbelief after ye have believed, out of selfish envy, even after the truth hath been clearly shewn them.  But forgive them, and shun them till God shall come in with His working.  Truly God hath power over all things.

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And observe prayer and pay the legal impost:46 and whatever good thing ye have sent on before for your soul’s sake, ye shall find it with God.  Verily God seeth what ye do.

And they say, “None but Jews or Christians shall enter Paradise:”  This is their wish.  Say:  Give your proofs if ye speak the truth.

But they who set their face with resignation Godward, and do what is right,- their reward is with their Lord; no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be grieved.

Moreover, the Jews say, “The Christians lean on nought:”  “On nought lean the Jews,” say the Christians:  Yet both are readers of the Book.  So with like words say they who have no knowledge.47 But on the resurrection day, God shall judge between them as to that in which they differ.

And who committeth a greater wrong than he who hindereth God’s name from being remembered in his temples, and who hasteth to ruin them?48 Such men cannot enter them but with fear.  Their’s is shame in this world, and a severe torment in the next.

The East and the West is God’s:  therefore, whichever way ye turn, there is the face of God:49 Truly God is immense and knoweth all.

And they say, “God hath a son:”  No!  Praise be to Him!  But-His, whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth!  All obeyeth Him,

Sole maker of the Heavens and of the Earth!  And when He decreeth a thing, He only saith to it, “Be,” and it is.

And they who have no knowledge say, “Unless God speak to us, or thou shew us a sign . . . !” So, with like words, said those who were before them:  their hearts are alike:  Clear signs have we already shewn for those who have firm faith: 

Verily, with the Truth have we sent thee, a bearer of good tidings and a warner:  and of the people of Hell thou shalt not be questioned.

But until thou follow their religion, neither Jews nor Christians will be satisfied with thee.  Say:  Verily, guidance of God,-that is the guidance!  And if, after “the Knowledge” which hath reached thee, thou follow their desires, thou shalt find neither helper nor protector against God.

They to whom we have given the Book, and who read it as it ought to be read,- these believe therein:  but whoso believeth not therein, shall meet with perdition.

O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I have favoured you, and that high above all mankind have I raised you: 

And dread the day when not in aught shall soul satisfy for soul, nor shall any ransom be taken from it, nor shall any intercession avail, and they shall not be helped.

When his Lord made trial of Abraham by commands which he fulfilled, He said, “I am about to make thee an Imâm to mankind:”  he said, “Of my offspring also:”  “My covenant,” said God, “embraceth not the evil doers.”

And remember when we appointed the Holy House50 as man’s resort and safe retreat, and said, “Take ye the station of Abraham for a place of prayer:”  And we commanded Abraham and Ismael, “Purify my house for those who shall go in procession round it, and those who shall abide there for devotion, and those who shall bow down and prostrate themselves.”

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And when Abraham said, “Lord! make this secure land, and supply its people with fruits, such of them as believe in God and in the last day:”  He said, “And whoso believeth not, for a little while will I bestow good things on him; then will I drive him to the torment of the Fire!” An ill passage!

And when Abraham, with Ismael, raised the foundations51 of the House, they said, “O our Lord! accept it from us; for thou art the Hearer, the Knower.

O our Lord! make us also Muslims, and our posterity a Muslim people; and teach us our holy rites, and be turned towards us, for thou art He who turneth, the Merciful.

O our Lord! raise up among them an apostle52 who may rehearse thy signs unto them, and teach them ‘the Book,’ and Wisdom, and purify them:  for thou art the Mighty, the Wise.”

And who but he that hath debased his soul to folly will mislike the faith of Abraham, when we have chosen him in this world, and in the world to come he shall be of the Just?

When his Lord said to him, “Resign thyself to me,” he said, “I resign myself to the Lord of the Worlds.”

And this to his children did Abraham bequeath, and Jacob also, saying, “O my children! truly God hath chosen a religion for you; so die not unless ye be also Muslims.”

Were ye present when Jacob was at the point of death?53 when he said to his sons, “Whom will ye worship when I am gone?” They said, “We will worship thy God and the God of thy fathers Abraham and Ismael and Isaac, one God, and to Him are we surrendered (Muslims).”

That people have now passed away; they have the reward of their deeds, and ye shall have the meed of yours:  but of their doings ye shall not be questioned.

They say, moreover, “Become Jews or Christians that ye may have the true guidance.”  Say:  Nay! the religion of Abraham, the sound in faith,54 and not one of those who join gods with God!

Say ye:  “We believe in God, and that which hath been sent down to us, and that which hath been sent down to Abraham and Ismael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes:  and that which hath been given to Moses and to Jesus, and that which was given to the prophets from their Lord.  No difference do we make between any of them:  and to God are we resigned (Muslims).”

If therefore they believe even as ye believe, then have they true guidance; but if they turn back, then do they cut themselves off from you:  and God will suffice to protect thee against them, for He is the Hearer, the Knower.55

Islam is the Baptism of God,56 and who is better to baptise than God?  And Him do we serve.

Say:  Will ye dispute with us about God? when He is our Lord and your Lord!  We have our works and ye have your works; and we are sincerely His.

Will ye say, “Verily Abraham, and Ismael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, were Jews or Christians?” Say:  Who knoweth best, ye, or God?  And who is more in fault than he who concealeth the witness which he hath from God?  But God is not regardless of what ye do.

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That people have now passed away:  they have the reward of their deeds, and for you is the meed of yours; but of their doings ye shall not be questioned.

The foolish ones will say, “What hath turned them from the kebla which they used?” Say:  The East and the West are God’s.  He guideth whom he will into the right path.

Thus have we made you a central people,57 that ye may be witnesses in regard to mankind, and that the apostle may be a witness in regard to you.

We appointed the kebla which thou formerly hadst, only that we might know him who followeth the apostle, from him who turneth on his heels:  The change is a difficulty, but not to those whom God hath guided.  But God will not let your faith58 be fruitless; for unto man is God Merciful, Gracious.

We have seen thee turning thy face towards every part of Heaven; but we will have thee turn to a kebla which shall please thee.  Turn then thy face towards the sacred Mosque,59 and wherever ye be, turn your faces towards that part.  They, verily, to whom “the Book” hath been given, know this to be the truth from their Lord:  and God is not regardless of what ye do.

Even though thou shouldest bring every kind of sign to those who have received the Scriptures, yet thy kebla they will not adopt; nor shalt thou adopt their kebla; nor will one part of them adopt the kebla of the other.  And if, after the knowledge which hath come to thee, thou follow their wishes, verily then wilt thou become of the unrighteous.

They to whom we have given the Scriptures know him-the apostle-even as they know their own children:  but truly a part of them do conceal the truth, though acquainted with it.60

The truth is from thy Lord.  Be not then of those who doubt.

All have a quarter of the Heavens to which they turn them; but wherever ye be, hasten emulously after good:  God will one day bring you all together; verily, God is all-powerful.

And from whatever place thou comest forth, turn thy face toward the sacred Mosque; for this is the truth from thy Lord; and God is not inattentive to your doings.

And from whatever place thou comest forth, turn thy face toward the sacred Mosque; and wherever ye be, to that part turn your faces, lest men have cause of dispute against you:  but as for the impious among them, fear them not; but fear me, that I may perfect my favours on you, and that ye may be guided aright.

And we sent to you an apostle from among yourselves to rehearse our signs unto you, and to purify you, and to instruct you in “the Book,” and in the wisdom, and to teach you that which ye knew not: 

Therefore remember me:  I will remember you; and give me thanks and be not ungrateful.

O ye who believe! seek help with patience and with prayer, for God is with the patient.

And say not of those who are slain on God’s path61 that they are Dead; nay, they are Living!  But ye understand not.

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With somewhat of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, and lives, and fruits, will we surely prove you:  but bear good tidings to the patient,

Who when a mischance chanceth them, say, “Verily we are God’s, and to Him shall we return:"62

On them shall be blessings from their Lord, and mercy:  and these!-they are the rightly guided.

Verily, Safa and Marwah63 are among the monuments of God:  whoever then maketh a pilgrimage to the temple, or visiteth it, shall not be to blame if he go round about them both.  And as for him who of his own accord doeth what is good-God is Grateful, Knowing.

They who conceal aught that we have sent down, either of clear proof or of guidance, after what we have so clearly shewn to men in the Book,64 God shall curse them, and they who curse shall curse them.

But as for those who turn to me, and amend and make known the truth, even unto them will I turn me, for I am He who Turneth, the Merciful.

Verily, they who are infidels and die infidels,-these! upon them shall be the malison of God and of angels and of all men: 

Under it shall they remain for ever:  their torment shall not be lightened, and God will not even look upon them!

Your God is one God:65 there is no God but He, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Assuredly in the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth; and in the alternation of night and day; and in the ships which pass through the sea with what is useful to man; and in the rain which God sendeth down from Heaven, giving life by it to the earth after its death, and by scattering over it all kinds of cattle; and in the change of the winds, and in the clouds that are made to do service between the Heaven and the Earth;-are signs for those who understand.

Yet there are men who take to them idols along with God, and love them with the love of God:  But stronger in the faithful is the love of God.  Oh! the impious will see, when they see their chastisement, that all power is God’s, and that God is severe in chastising.

When those who have had followers66 shall declare themselves clear from their followers after that they have seen the chastisement, and when the ties between them shall be cut asunder;

The followers shall say, “Could we but return to life we would keep ourselves clear from them, as they have declared themselves clear of us.”  So will God shew them their works!  Sighing is upon them! but, forth from the fire they come not.

Oh men! eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, but follow not the steps of Satan, for he is your avowed enemy: 

He only enjoineth you evil and wickedness, and that ye should aver of God that which ye know not.

And when it is said to them, “Follow ye that which God hath sent down;” they say, “Nay, we follow the usages which we found with our fathers.”  What! though their fathers were utterly ignorant and devoid of guidance?

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The infidels resemble him who shouteth aloud to one who heareth no more than a call and cry!  Deaf, Dumb, blind:  therefore they have no understanding.

O ye who believe! eat of the good things with which we have supplied you, and give God thanks if ye are His worshippers.

But that which dieth of itself, and blood, and swine’s flesh, and that over which any other name than that of God hath been invoked, is forbidden you.  But he who shall partake of them by constraint, without lust or wilfulness, no sin shall be upon him.  Verily God is Indulgent, Merciful.

They truly who hide the Scriptures which God hath sent down, and barter them for a mean price-these shall swallow into their bellies nought but fire.  God will not speak to them, or assoil them, on the day of the Resurrection:  and theirs shall be a grievous torment.

These are they who have bartered guidance for error, and pardon for torment; But how great their endurance in fire!67

This shall be their doom, because God had sent down “the Book” with the very truth.  And verily they who dispute about that Book are in a far-gone severance from it.

There is no piety in turning your faces toward the east or the west, but he is pious who believeth in God, and the last day, and the angles, and the Scriptures, and the prophets; who for the love of God disburseth his wealth to his kindred, and to the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and those who ask, and for ransoming; who observeth prayer, and payeth the legal alms, and who is of those who are faithful to their engagements when they have engaged in them, and patient under ills and hardships, and in time of trouble:  these are they who are just, and these are they who fear the Lord.

O believers! retaliation for bloodshedding is prescribed to you:  the free man for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the woman for the woman:  but he to whom his brother shall make any remission,68 is to be dealt with equitably; and to him should he pay a fine with liberality.

This is a relaxation69 from your Lord and a mercy.  For him who after his shall transgress,70 a sore punishment!

But in this law of retaliation is your security for life, O men of understanding! to the intent that ye may fear God.

It is prescribed to you, when any one of you is at the point of death, if he leave goods, that he bequeath equitably to his parents and kindred.  This is binding on those who fear God.  But as for him who after he hath heard the bequest shall change it, surely the wrong of this shall be on those who change it:  verily, God Heareth, Knoweth.

But he who feareth from the testator any mistake or wrong, and shall make a settlement between the parties-that shall be no wrong in him:  verily, God is Lenient, Merciful.

O believers! a Fast is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may fear God,

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For certain days.  But he among you who shall be sick, or on a journey, shall fast that same number of other days:  and as for those who are able to keep it and yet break it, the expiation of this shall be the maintenance of a poor man.  And he who of his own accord performeth a good work, shall derive good from it:  and good shall it be for you to fast if ye knew it.

As to the month Ramadhan in which the Koran was sent down to be man’s guidance, and an explanation of that guidance, and of that illumination,71 as soon as any one of you observeth the moon, let him set about the fast; but he who is sick, or upon a journey, shall fast a like number of other days.  God wisheth you ease, but wisheth not your discomfort, and that you fulfil the number of days, and that you glorify God for his guidance, and that you be thankful.

And when my servants ask thee concerning me, then will I be nigh unto them.  I will answer the cry of him that crieth, when he crieth unto me:  but let them hearken unto me, and believe in me, that they may proceed aright.

You are allowed on the night of the fast to approach your wives:  they are your garment and ye are their garment.72 God knoweth that ye defraud yourselves therein, so He turneth unto you and forgiveth you!  Now, therefore, go in unto them with full desire for that which God hath ordained for you; and eat and drink until ye can discern a white thread from a black thread73 by the daybreak:  then fast strictly till night, and go not in unto them, but rather pass the time in the Mosques.  These are the bounds set up by God:  therefore come not near them.  Thus God maketh his signs clear to men that they may fear Him.74

Consume not your wealth among yourselves in vain things, nor present it to judges that ye may consume a part of other men’s wealth unjustly, while ye know the sin which ye commit.

They will ask thee of the new moons.  Say:  They are periods fixed for man’s service and for the Pilgrimage.  There is no piety in entering your houses at the back,75 but piety consists in the fear of God.  Enter your houses then by their doors; and fear God that it may be well with you.

And fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you:  but commit not the injustice of attacking them first:  God loveth not such injustice: 

And kill them wherever ye shall find them, and eject them from whatever place they have ejected you; for civil discord76 is worse than carnage:  yet attack them not at the sacred Mosque, unless they attack you therein; but if they attack you, slay them.  Such the reward of the infidels.

But if they desist, then verily God is Gracious, Merciful.

Fight therefore against them until there be no more civil discord, and the only worship be that of God:  but if they desist, then let there be no hostility, save against the wicked.

The sacred month and the sacred precincts are under the safeguard of reprisals:77 whoever offereth violence to you, offer ye the like violence to him, and fear God, and know that God is with those who fear Him.

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Give freely for the cause of God, and throw not yourselves with your own hands into ruin;78 and do good, for God loveth those who do good.

Accomplish the Pilgrimage and the Visitation79 of the holy places in honour of God:  and if ye be hemmed in by foes, send whatever offering shall be the easiest:  and shave not your heads until the offering reach the place of sacrifice.  But whoever among you is sick, or hath an ailment of the head, must satisfy by fasting, or alms, or an offering.  And when ye are safe from foes, he who contents himself with the Visitation of the holy places, until the Pilgrimage, shall bring whatever offering shall be the easiest.  But he who findeth nothing to offer, shall fast three days in the Pilgrimage itself, and seven days when ye return:  they shall be ten days in all.  This is binding on him whose family shall not be present at the sacred Mosque.  And fear God, and know that God is terrible in punishing.

Let the Pilgrimage be made in the months already known:80 whoever therefore undertaketh the Pilgrimage therein, let him not know a woman, nor transgress, nor wrangle in the Pilgrimage.  The good which ye do, God knoweth it.  And provide for your journey; but the best provision is the fear of God:  fear me, then, O men of understanding!

It shall be no crime in you if ye seek an increase from your Lord;81 and when ye pour swiftly on from Arafat, then remember God near the holy monument; and remember Him, because He hath guided you who before this were of those who went astray: 

Then pass on quickly82 where the people quickly pass, and ask pardon of God, for God is Forgiving, Merciful.

And when ye have finished your holy rites, remember God as ye remember your own fathers, or with a yet more intense remembrance!  Some men there are who say, “O our Lord! give us our portion in this world:”  but such shall have no portion in the next life: 

And some say, “O our Lord! give us good in this world and good in the next, and keep us from the torment of the fire.”

They shall have the lot which they have merited:  and God is swift to reckon.

Bear God in mind during the stated days:  but if any haste away83 in two days, it shall be no fault in him:  And if any tarry longer, it shall be no fault in him, if he fear God.  Fear God, then, and know that to Him shall ye be gathered.

A man there is84 who surpriseth thee by his discourse concerning this life present.  He taketh God to witness what is in his heart; yet is he the most zealous in opposing thee: 

And when he turneth his back on thee, he runneth through the land to enact disorders therein, and layeth waste the fields and flocks:  but God loveth not the disorder.

And when it is said to him, “Fear God,” the pride of sin seizeth him:  but he shall have his fill of Hell; and right wretched the couch!

A man, too, there is85 who selleth his very self out of desire to please God:  and God is good to his servants.

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O believers! enter completely into the true religion, and follow not the steps of Satan, for he is your declared enemy.

But if ye lapse after that our clear signs86 have come to you, know that God is Mighty, Wise.

What can such expect but that God should come down to them overshadowed with clouds, and the angels also, and their doom be sealed?  And to God shall all things return.

Ask the children of Isreal how many clear signs we have given them.  But if any man shall alter the boon87 of God after it shall have reached him, assuredly God will be vehement in punishing him.

This present life is prepared for those who believe not, and who mock at the faithful.  But they who fear God shall be above them on the day of resurrection; and God is bounteous without measure to whom He will.

Mankind was but one people;88 and God sent prophets to announce glad tidings and to warn; and He sent down with them the Book of Truth, that it might decide the disputes of men; and none disputed but those to whom the Book had been given, after the clear tokens had reached them,-being full of mutual jealousy.  And God guided those who believed to the truth of that about which, by his permission, they had disputed; for God guideth whom he pleaseth into the straight path.

Think ye to enter Paradise, when no such things have come upon you, as on those who flourish before you?  Ills and troubles tried them; and so tossed were they by trials, that the Apostle and they who shared his faith, said, “When will the help of God come?"-Is not the help of God nigh?

They will ask thee what they shall bestow in alms.  Say:  Let the good which ye bestow be for parents, and kindred, and orphans, and the poor, and the wayfarer; and whatever good ye do, of a truth God knoweth.

War is prescribed to you:  but from this ye are averse.

Yet haply ye are averse from a thing, though it be good for you, and haply ye love a thing though it be bad for you:  And God knoweth; but ye, ye know not.

They will ask thee concerning war in the Sacred Month.  Say:  To war therein is bad, but to turn aside from the cause of God, and to have no faith in Him, and in the Sacred Temple, and to drive out its people, is worse in the sight of God; and civil strife is worse than bloodshed.  They will not cease to war against you until they turn you from your religion, if they be able:  but whoever of you shall turn from his religion and die an infidel, their works shall be fruitless in this world, and in the next:  they shall be consigned to the fire; therein to abide for aye.

But they who believe, and who fly their country, and fight in the cause of God may hope for God’s mercy:  and God is Gracious, Merciful.

They will ask thee concerning wine89 and games of chance.  Say:  In both is great sin, and advantage also, to men; but their sin is greater than their advantage.  They will ask thee also what they shall bestow in alms: 

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Say:  What ye can spare.  Thus God sheweth you his signs that ye may ponder

On this present world, and on the next.  They will also ask thee concerning orphans.  Say:  Fair dealing with them is best;

But if ye mix yourselves up (in their affairs)-they are your brethren:  God knoweth the foul dealer from the fair:  and, if God pleased, he could indeed afflict you!  Verily, God is Mighty, Wise.

Marry not idolatresses until they believe; a slave who believeth is better than an idolatress, though she please you more.  And wed not your daughters to idolaters until they believe; for a slave who is a believer, is than better an idolater, though he please you.

They invite to the Fire; but God inviteth to Paradise, and to pardon, if he so will, and maketh clear his signs to men that they may remember.

They will also question thee as to the courses of women.  Say:  They are a pollution.  Separate yourselves therefore from women and approach them not, until they be cleansed.  But when they are cleansed, go in unto them as God hath ordained for you.  Verily God loveth those who turn to Him, and loveth those who seek to be clean.

Your wives are your field:  go in, therefore, to your field as ye will; but do first some act for your souls’ good:  and fear ye God, and know that ye must meet Him; and bear these good tidings to the faithful.

Swear not by God, when ye make oath, that ye will be virtuous and fear God, and promote peace among men; for God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.

God will not punish you for a mistake in your oaths:  but He will punish you for that which your hearts have done.  God is Gracious, Merciful.

They who intend to abstain from their wives shall wait four months; but if they go back from their purpose, then verily God is Gracious, Merciful: 

And if they resolve on a divorce, then verily God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.

The divorced shall wait the result, until they have had their courses thrice, nor ought they to conceal what God hath created in their wombs, if they believe in God and the last day; and it will be more just in their husbands to bring them back when in this state, if they desire what is right.  And it is for the women to act as they (the husbands) act by them, in all fairness; but the men are a step above them.  God is Mighty, Wise.

Ye may divorce your wives twice:  Keep them honourably, or put them away with kindness.  But it is not allowed you to appropriate to yourselves aught of what ye have given to them, unless both fear that they cannot keep within the bounds90 set up by God.  And if ye fear that they cannot observe the ordinances of God, no blame shall attach to either of you for what the wife shall herself give for her redemption.  These are the bounds of God:  therefore overstep them not; for whoever oversteppeth the bounds of God, they are evil doers.

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But if the husband divorce her a third time, it is not lawful for him to take her again, until she shall have married another husband; and if he also divorce her, then shall no blame attach to them if they return to each other, thinking that they can keep within the bounds fixed by God.  And these are the bounds of God; He maketh them clear to those who have knowledge.

But when ye divorce women, and the time for sending them away is come, either retain them with generosity, or put them away with generosity:  but retain them not by constraint so as to be unjust towards them.  He who doth so, doth in fact injure himself.  And make not the signs of God a jest; but remember God’s favour toward you, and the Book and the Wisdom which He hath sent down to you for your warning, and fear God, and know that God’s knowledge embraceth everything.

And when ye divorce your wives, and they have waited the prescribed time, hinder them not from marrying their husbands when they have agreed among themselves in an honourable way.  This warning is for him among you who believeth in God and in the last day.  This is most pure for you, and most decent.  God knoweth, but ye know not.

Mothers, when divorced, shall give suck to their children two full years,91 if the father desire that the suckling be completed; and such maintenance and clothing as is fair for them, shall devolve on the father.  No person shall be charged beyond his means.  A mother shall not be pressed unfairly for her child, nor a father for his child:  And the same with the father’s heir.  But if they choose to wean the child by consent and by bargain, it shall be no fault in them.  And if ye choose to have a nurse for your children, it shall be no fault in you, in case ye pay what ye promised her according to that which is fair.  Fear God, and know that God seeth what ye do.

If those of you who die leave wives, they must await their state during four months and ten days; and when this their term is expired, you shall not be answerable for the way in which they shall dispose of themselves fairly.  And God is cognisant of what ye do.

And then shall no blame attach to you in making proposals of marriage92 to such women, or in keeping such intention to yourselves?  God knoweth that ye will not forget them.  But promise them not in secret, unless ye speak honourable words;

And resolve not on the marriage tie until the prescribed time be reached; and know that God knoweth what is in your minds:  therefore, beware of Him; and know that God is Gracious, Mild!

It shall be no crime in you if ye divorce your wives so long as ye have not consummated the marriage, nor settled any dowry on them.  And provide what is needful for them he who is in ample circumstances according to his means, and he who is straitened, according to his means-with fairness:  This is binding on those who do what is right.

But if ye divorce them before consummation, and have already settled a dowry on them, ye shall give them half of what ye have settled, unless they make a release, or he make a release in whose hand is the marriage tie.  But if ye make a release, it will be nearer to piety.  And forget not generosity in your relations one towards another; for God beholdeth your doings.

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Observe strictly the prayers, and the middle93 prayer, and stand up full of devotion towards God.

And if you have any alarm, then pray on foot or riding:  but when you are safe, then remember God, how he hath made you to know what ye knew not.

And94 such of you as shall die and leave wives, shall bequeath their wives a year’s maintenance without causing them to quit their homes; but if they quit them of their own accord, then no blame shall attach to you for any disposition they may make of themselves in a fair way.  And God is Mighty, Wise.

And for the divorced let there be a fair provision.  This is a duty in those who fear God.

Thus God maketh his signs clear to you that ye may understand.

Hast thou not thought on those who quitted their dwellings-and they were thousands-for fear of death?95 God said to them, “Die:”  then He restored them to life, for full of bounty towards man is God.  But most men give not thanks!

Fight for the cause of God; and know that God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.

Who is he that will lend to God a goodly loan?  He will double it to him again and again:  God is close, but open handed also:  and to Him shall ye return.

Hast thou not considered96 the assembly of the children of Israel after the death of Moses, when they said to a prophet of theirs, “Set up for us a king; we will do battle for the cause of God?” He said, “May it not be that if to fight were ordained you, ye would not fight?” They said, “And why should we not fight in the cause of God, since we and our children are driven forth from our dwellings?” But when fighting was commanded them, they turned back, save a few of them:  But God knew the offenders!

And their prophet said to them, “Now hath God set (Talout) Saul king over you.”  They said, “How shall he reign over us, when we are more worthy of the kingdom than he, and of wealth he hath no abundance?” He said, “Verily God hath chosen him to be over you, and hath given him increase in knowledge and stature; God giveth his kingdom to whom he pleaseth; and God is Liberal, Knowing!”

And their prophet said to them, “Verily, the sign of his kingship shall be that the Ark shall come to you:  in it is a pledge of security97 from your Lord and the relics98 left by the family of Moses, and the family of Aaron; the angels shall bear it:  Truly herein shall be a sign indeed to you if ye are believers.”

And when Saul marched forth with his forces, he said, “God will test you by a river:  He who drinketh of it shall not be of my band; but he who shall not taste it, drinking a drink out of the hand excepted, shall be of my band."99 And, except a few of them, they drank of it.  And when they had passed it, he and those who believed with him, the former said, “We have no strength this day against (Djalout) Goliath and his forces:”  But they who held it as certain that they must meet God, said, “How oft, by God’s will, hath a small host vanquished a numerous host! and God is with the steadfastly enduring.”

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And when they went forth against Goliath and his forces, they said, “O our Lord! pour out steadfastness upon us, and set our feet firm, and help us against the infidels!”

And by the will of God they routed them; and (Daood) David slew Goliath; and God gave him the kingship and wisdom, and taught him according to His will:  and were it not for the restraint of one by means of the other, imposed on men by God, verily the earth had been utterly corrupted.  But God is bounteous to his creatures.

Such are the signs of God:  with truth do we rehearse them to thee, for one of the Sent Ones art Thou.

Some of the apostles we have endowed more highly than others:  Those to whom God hath spoken, He hath raised to the loftiest grade, and to Jesus the Son of Mary we gave manifest signs, and we strengthened him with the Holy Spirit.100 And if God had pleased, they who came after them would not have wrangled, after the clear signs had reached them.  But into disputes101 they fell:  some of them believed, and some were infidels; yet if God had pleased, they would not have thus wrangled:  but God doth what he will.

O Believers! give alms of that with which we have supplied you, before the day cometh when there shall be no trafficking, nor friendship, nor intercession.  And the infidels are the wrong-doers.

God!  There is no God but He; the Living, the Eternal; Nor slumber seizeth Him, nor sleep; His, whatsoever is in the Heavens and whatsoever is in the Earth!  Who is he that can intercede with Him but by His own permission?  He knoweth what hath been before them and what shall be after them; yet nought of His knowledge shall they grasp, save what He willeth.  His Throne reacheth over the Heavens and the Earth, and the upholding of both burdeneth Him not; and He is the High, the Great!

Let there be no compulsion in Religion.102 Now is the right way made distinct from error.  Whoever therefore shall deny Thagout103 and believe in God-he will have taken hold on a strong handle that shall not be broken:  and God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.

God is the patron of believers:  He shall bring them out of darkness into light: 

As to those who believe not, their patrons are Thagout:  they shall bring them out of light into darkness:  they shall be given over to the fire:  they shall abide therein for ever.

Hast thou not thought on him104 who disputed with Abraham about his Lord, because God had given him the kingdom?  When Abraham said, “My Lord is He who maketh alive and cause to die:”  He said, “It is I who make alive and cause to die!” Abraham said, “Since God bringeth the sun from the East, do thou, then, bring it from the West.”  The infidel was confounded; for God guideth not the evil doers: 

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Or how he105 demeaned him who passed by a city which had been laid in ruins.106 “How,” said he, “shall God give life to this city, after she hath been dead?” And God caused him to die for an hundred years, and then raised him to life.  And God said, “How long hast thou waited?” He said, “I have waited a day or part of a day.”  He said, “Nay, thou hast waited an hundred years.  Look on thy food and thy drink; they are not corrupted; and look on thine ass:  we would make thee a sign unto men:  And look on the bones of thine ass, how we will raise them, then clothe them with flesh.”  And when this was shewn to him, he said, “I acknowledge that God hath power to do all things.”

When Abraham said, “O Lord, shew me how thou wilt give life to the dead!” He said, “Hast thou not believed?”

He said, “Yes; but I have asked thee, that my heart may be well assured.”  He said, “Take, then, four birds,107 and draw them towards thee, and cut them in pieces; then place a part of them on every mountain; then call them and they shall come swiftly to thee:  and know thou that God is Might, Wise!”

The likeness of those who expend their wealth for the cause of God, is that of a grain of corn which produceth seven ears, and in each ear a hundred grains; and God will multiply to whom He pleaseth:  God is Liberal, Knowing!

They who expend their wealth for the cause of God, and never follow what they have laid out with reproaches or harm, shall have their reward with their Lord; no fear shall come upon them, neither shall they be put to grief.

A kind speech and forgiveness is better than alms followed by injury.  God is Rich, Clement.

O ye who believe! make not your alms void by reproaches and injury, like him who spendeth his substance to be seen of men, and believeth not in God and in the latter day.  The likeness of such an one is that of a rock with a thin soil upon it, on which a heavy rain falleth but leaveth it hard:  No profit from their works shall they be able to gain; for God guideth not the unbelieving people.

And the likeness of those who expend their substance from a desire to please God, and for the stablishing of their souls, is as a garden on a hill, on which the heavy rain falleth, and it yieldeth its fruits twofold; and even if a heavy rain fall not on it, yet is there a dew:  God beholdeth your actions.

Desireth any one of you a garden of palms and vines through which rivers flow, in which he may have every fruit, and that old age should surprise him there, and that his offspring should be weakly, and that then a fiery violent wind shall strike it so that it shall be burned?  Thus God maketh plain his signs to you that ye may reflect.

O ye who believe! bestow alms of the good things which ye have acquired, and of that which we have brought forth for you out of the earth, and choose not the bad for almsgiving,

Such as ye would accept yourselves only by connivance:  and know that God is Rich, Praiseworthy.

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Satan menaceth you with poverty,108 and enjoineth base actions:  but God promiseth you pardon from himself and abundance:  God is All-bounteous, Knowing.

He giveth wisdom to whom He will:  and he to whom wisdom is given, hath had much good given him; but none will bear it in mind, except the wise of heart.

And whatever alms ye shall give, or whatever vow ye shall vow, of a truth God knoweth it:  but they who act unjustly shall have no helpers.  Give ye your alms openly?109 it is well.  Do ye conceal them and give them to the poor?  This, too, will be of advantage to you, and will do away your sins:  and God is cognisant of your actions.

Their guidance is not thine affair, O Muhammad; but God guideth whom he pleaseth.  And the good that ye shall give in alms shall redound unto yourselves; and ye shall not give but as seeking the face of God; and whatever good thing ye shall have given in alms, shall be repaid you, and ye shall not be wronged.  There are among you the poor, who being shut up to fighting for the cause of God, have it not in their power to strike out into the earth for riches.  Those who know them not, think them rich because of their modesty.  By this their token thou shalt know them-they ask not of men with importunity:  and of whatever good thing ye shall give them in alms, of a truth God will take knowledge.

They who give away their substance in alms, by night and day, in private and in public, shall have their reward with their Lord:  no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be put to grief.

They who swallow down usury, shall arise in the resurrection only as he ariseth whom Satan hath infected by his touch.  This, for that they say, “Selling is only the like of usury:”  and yet God hath allowed selling, and forbidden usury.  He then who when this warning shall come to him from his Lord, abstaineth, shall have pardon for the past, and his lot shall be with God.  But they who return to usury, shall be given over to the fire; therein shall they abide for ever.

God will bring usury to nought, but will increase alms with usury, and God loveth no infidel, or evil person.  But they who believe and do the things that are right, and observe the prayers, and pay the legal impost, they shall have their reward with their Lord:  no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be put to grief.

O believers! fear God and abandon your remaining usury, if ye are indeed believers.

But if ye do it not, then hearken for war on the part of God and his apostle:  yet if ye repent, ye shall have the principal of your money.  Wrong not, and ye shall not be wronged.

If any one find difficulty in discharging a debt, then let there be a delay until it be easy for him:  but if ye remit it as alms it will be better for you, if ye knew it.

Fear the day wherein ye shall return to God:  then shall every soul be rewarded according to its desert, and none shall have injustice done to them.

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O ye who believe! when ye contract a debt (payable) at a fixed date, write it down, and let the notary faithfully note between you:  and let not the notary refuse to note, even as God hath taught him; but let him note it down, and let him who oweth the debt dictate, and let him fear God his Lord, and not diminish aught thereof.  But if he who oweth the debt be foolish or weak, or be not able to dictate himself, let his friend dictate for him with fairness; and call to witness two witnesses of your people:  but if there be not two men, let there be a man, and two women of those whom ye shall judge fit for witnesses:  if the one of them should mistake, the other may cause her to recollect.  And the witnesses shall not refuse, whenever they shall be summoned.  And disdain not to put the debt in writing, be it large or small, with its time of payment:  this will be more just for you in the sight of God, better suited for witnessing, and the best for avoiding doubt.  But if the goods be there present, and ye pass them from hand to hand-then it shall be no fault in you not to write it down.  And have witnesses when ye sell, and harm not writer or witness:  it will be a crime in you to do this.  But fear God and God will give you knowledge, for God hath knowledge of all things.

And if ye be on a journey and shall find no notary, let pledges be taken:  but if one of you trust the other, let him who is trusted, restore what he is trusted with, and fear God his Lord.  And refuse not to give evidence.  He who refuseth is surely wicked at heart:  and God knoweth your deeds.

Whatever is in the Heavens and in the Earth is God’s:  and whether ye bring forth to light what is in your minds or conceal it, God will reckon with you for it; and whom He pleaseth will He forgive, and whom He pleaseth will He punish; for God is All-powerful.

The apostle believeth in that which hath been sent down from his Lord, as do the faithful also.  Each one believeth in God, and His Angels, and His Books, and His Apostles:  we make no distinction between any of His Apostles.110 And they say, “We have heard and we obey.  Thy mercy, Lord! for unto thee must we return.”

God will not burden any soul beyond its power.  It shall enjoy the good which it hath acquired, and shall bear the evil for the acquirement of which it laboured.  O our Lord! punish us not if we forget, or fall into sin; O our Lord! and lay not on us a load like that which thou hast laid on those who have been before us; O our Lord! and lay not on us that for which we have not strength:  but blot out our sins and forgive us, and have pity on us.  Thou art our protector:  give us victory therefore over the infidel nations.

_______________________

1 The greater part of this, the oldest of the Medina Suras, was revealed in the early part of the second year of the Hejira and previously to the battle of Bedr.-The Hejira took place in the beginning of Muharram, or middle of April, A.D. 622.  The numbers who emigrated with Muhammad at first, were about 150 persons.  Medina is 250 miles north of Mecca, and ten days’ journey.

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2 Said to mean A mara li Muhammad, i.e. at the command of Muhammad; but see Sura 1xviii. p. 32.

3 Death, Resurrection, Judgment, etc.

4 The Jews.

5 The Jews and Christians, hostile to the mission of Muhammad.

6 Lit. the similitude of them is as the similitude of, etc.

7 The people of Medina are generally addressed with “O ye who believe;” the Meccans, with “O men.”  Hence it has been inferred that from verse 19 (O men) to 37 inclusively, is of the Meccan period.  The subjects treated of also lead to this conclusion.

8 The statues of false gods.

9 It will be an agreeable surprise to the blessed to have fruits, which at first sight resemble those of earth, but are infinitely more delicious,.

10 Muhammad had been reproached for having drawn illustrations from the Ant, Bee, Spider, etc.

11 Concerning faith in Muhammad.  See verse 39 below, note.

12 The number of the Heavens is borrowed from the Talmud, or traditions based upon it; but the idea probably has its root in the Scriptural expression, “Heaven of Heavens.”

13 Lit. a caliph, vicegerent.  “When the Holy One, Blessed be He, would create man, He took counsel with the Angels and said to them, We will make man in our image.”  Midr.  Rabbah on Numb. iv. par. 19.  Comp.  Midr. on Gen. 1, par. 8, 17.  Sanhedr. 38.

14 “God said to the Angels, ‘His wisdom is greater than yours.’  Then brought he before them beasts, cattle, and birds, and asked for their names, but they knew them not.  But when he had created man,” etc.  Midr. as above.

15 Or, if ye are truthful, or can make good a better claim to the vicegerency.

16 In the name Eblis (diabolos) and in the honour claimed for Adam as a kind of Godman, there are traces of a Christian original, as well as in the identification of the serpent with Satan.  Comp.  Ps. civ. 4; Heb. i. 6.  The Talmudists also enlarge on the honour paid to Adam.  “Adam sat in the garden and the Angels brought him flesh and cooling wine.”  Sanhedr. 29.  “In the hour when the Holy One, Blessed be He, created man, the Angels went astray in regard to him, and essayed to say before him, ‘O Holy One!’ then God permitted sleep to fall on him, and all knew that he was of earth.”  Midr.  Rabbah on Gen. par. 8.  It is possible that the Arabic word balas, a profligate, wicked person, may have influenced Muhammad in the formation of the word Eblis.  See note, p. 185.  Eblis is used in the Arabic version of the New Testament, for the probable date of which, see Tischendorf, Prol. p. 78.

17 Observe the change from Eblis, the calumniator, to Satan, the hater.

18 Muhammad rarely accused the Jews and Christians of corrupting, but often of misinterpreting, their Sacred Books, in order to evade his claims.  His charges, however, are always very vaguely worded, and his utterances upon this subject are tantamount to a strong testimony in favour of the unimpeachable integrity of the sacred books, both of the Jews and Christians, so far as he knew them.  See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 168, and v. 73 below.

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19 See Sura [lxv.] xxi. 49.

20 Lit. slay one another.

21 The Talmudists relate how the Israelites who had died, on hearing the divine voice, etc., were restored by the intercession of the Law itself.  Sanh. 5.

22 By storing them up in violation of God’s command.

23 Jericho according to some commentators, Jerusalem according to others, but see verse 58.

24 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 162.

25 Lit. all men.  This incident is perhaps inadvertently borrowed from Ex. xv. 27.

26 This passage (comp. xxvi. 59) is one of the numerous anachronisms which abound in the Koran and prove the gross ignorance of the Arabian Prophet.

27 The Sabeites are identical with the Mendaites, or so-called Christians of S. John, residing in the marshy district at the mouth of the Euphrates, but are not the same with the star-worshipping Sabians of Harran in Mesopotamia.  See D’Herbelot, Bibl.  Or. under the word Sabi; Assemani, Bibl.  Or. iii. 2, 609.  For curious details as to the elements of the Sabeite religion, see Chwolson’s SSabier and SSabaismus I.

28 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 170.

29 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 164.

30 Compare Numb. xix.; Deut. xxii. 1-9.  The cow was to be sacrificed in order that a murderer might be discovered through the miracle to be wrought on the corpse by a piece of her flesh.

31 To please you, O Muslims.

32 This is one of the passages which shews great familiarity with the habits of the Jews, on the part of Muhammad.  See Maracci’s Prodr. i. 44.  Wahl’s Einleitung, xxx. xxxv.

33 The Pentateuch.  This passage shews that the art of writing was known in Medina shortly after the Hejira.

34 Forty days; the period during which they worshipped the calf.

35 The blood of those who are as your own flesh.

36 Two Jewish tribes (Koreidha and Nadhir) in alliance with certain Arab tribes who were at war, destroyed one another’s abodes, but redeemed the Jewish captives, professing that they were commanded to do this by the Law.  So the commentators.

37 Gabriel.  Muhammad either knowingly rejected the divinity of the Holy Ghost, or confounded Gabriel announcing the conception, with the Holy Spirit that overshadowed Mary.  It is probable that Muhammad’s ideas of the Spirit were at first indefinite, but that the two expressions, Gabriel and the Holy Spirit, became ultimately synonymous.  See note on Sura [lxvii.] xvii. 87.  Geiger (p. 82) quotes an instance in which the Jewish expositors understand the distinctly-speaking Spirit (Sanhedr. 44) of Gabriel.

38 The gift of the prophetic office, etc., to a pagan Arab and not to a Jew.

39 Matt. xxiii. 37.

40 See Sura vii. 170, p. 309.

41 Comp. 1 Tim. v. 24.

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42 In Solomon’s Books of Magic.  This story has been supposed to be of Persian origin.  See Hyde de Rel.  Vet.  Pers. ch. xii.  But from a passage in the Midr.  Abhkhir quoted in the Midr.  Jalkut, ch. 44, and from a quotation in Maracci’s Prodr. iv. 82, Geiger infers that Muhammad has transferred to the time of Solomon, the Rabbinic traditions concerning the influence of angels upon men at the time of the Deluge. p. 106.  “Babel is regarded by the Muslims as the fountain head of the science of magic.  They suppose Haroot and Maroot to be two angels who, in consequence of their want of compassion for the frailties of mankind, were sent down to earth to be tempted.  They both sinned; and being permitted to choose whether they would be punished now or hereafter, chose the former, and are still suspended by the feet at Babel in a rocky pit, and are the great teachers of magic.” (Lane on ch. iii. note 14 of the 1001 Nights.)

43 Raina, as pronounced in Hebrew, “our bad one;” but in Arabic, “look upon us,” a kind of salutation of the same signification as ondhorna, which, however, does not admit of any secondary bad sense like raina.

44 Comp.  Sura xvi. 103; iv. 84.  The Muslims admit that there are 225 verses cancelled by later ones.  The doctrine of “abrogation” is taught in the Talmud.  Thus Hilchoth Mamrim, ii. 1, 2, etc.

45 That is, does not weigh the evidence for Muhammad’s mission already given, but demands, as the Jews did, to see God himself.

46 In all Muhammadan countries the first time of prayer is the moghreb or sunset, or rather, four minutes later; the second the eshe, when it has become quite dark; the third the soobh or fegr, the daybreak; the fourth, doohr, or a little after noon, when the sun has begun to decline; the fifth, the asr, midway between noon and nightfall.  The obligatory legal alms or impost are called, as here, zekah (lit. purity), the voluntary, sudackah.  It is, however, left to the conscience of individuals to give and to apply them as they think fit.

47 The idolatrous Arabs.

48 If this verse is aimed at the Meccans who, in the 6th year of the Hejira, forbad Muhammad and his followers to enter the temple of Mecca in the expedition of Hodeibiya, it is misplaced here.

49 Abrogated by verse 139 below.

50 The Caaba.

51 Freytag (Einl. p. 339) says that there is no good reason for doubting that the Caaba was founded as stated in this passage.  See note on Sura [xcvii.] iii. 90.

52 Deut. xviii. 15.

53 “At the time when our father Jacob quitted this world, be summoned his twelve sons and said to them, Hearken to your father Israel (Gen. xlix. 2).  Have ye any doubts in your hearts concerning the Holy One, Blessed be He!  They said, Hear, O Israel, our Father.  As there is no doubt in thy heart, so neither is there in ours.  For the Lord is our God, and He is one.”  Midr.  Rabbah on Gen. par. 98, and on Deut. par. 2.  Comp. also Targ.  Jer. on Deut. vi. 4.  Tract.  Pesachim, 56.

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54 See Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 121, n., p. 209.

55 Ibn Batutah assures us (vol. ii. 10) that when in the 14th century he visited Basra, he saw in the mosque the copy of the Koran which the Caliph Othman had in his hands when murdered, and that the marks of his blood were still visible at the words of this verse.  Othman’s originals are also said to be preserved in Egypt, Morocco, Damascus, Mecca, and Medina.  See M. Quatremere in Journ.  Asiatique, Juillet, 1838.

56 The original simply has Baptism of God.  This may be understood either of Islam generally, or, with Ullmann, in the more restricted sense of circumcision.  Perhaps Muhammad used the word advisedly as a hint to the Christians of his land, that in the reception of his religion consisted the true new birth.

57 Or, intermediate, i.e., according to the commentators, not addicted to excess, just.  Ullm. ein vermittelndes Volk, zwischen Juden und Christen die Mitte haltend.

58 In having prayed towards Jerusalem.

59 Of Mecca.  This change of the Kebla from Jerusalem to Mecca shows that this part of the Sura was revealed at a time when the breach between Muhammad and the Jews was past healing; i.c. in the first half of the second year of the Hejira.  See Thilo’s.  Cod.  Apoc. p. 21, n.

60 That is, the Jews are really convinced of the truth of Muhammad’s mission.

61 That is, warring with the infidels.  The precise date of verses 148-152 depends upon whether this passage refers to the battle of Bedr or Ohod.

62 These words are constantly used by the pious Muslims when in any trouble.

63 Hills in the sacred territory of Mecca, which had long been objects of superstitious reverence to the idolatrous Arabs, on which account the Muslims were at first unwilling to include them among the sacred places.

64 The Pentateuch.  See verse 141.

65 This and the three following verses are probably Meccan, as also verses 167-171.

66 The ringleaders of infidelity and idolatrous faiths.

67 Freyt.  Lex. vol. ii. p. 477 Quid eos agere coegit quemadmodum damnati agunt?  But Mar.  Quanta erit sustinentia corum!

68 To whom his brother, that is, any Arab or believer, shall remit the penalty of death.

69 Of the stricter Mosaic lex talionis, as well of the ante-Islamitic Arabian custom, by which the killing of a slave was avenged by the death of a free man, and the killing of a woman by taking the life of a man.  See Freyt.  Einl. p. 193.  Comp.  Ex. xxi. 23.

70 That is, by killing the manslayer.

71 On the word Furquan, see Sura [1xv.] xxi. 49.

72 A mutual comfort to each other.

73 Thus Misch.  Berachoth, 1, 2, “Prayer is to be said as soon as one can distinguish between a blue and white thread.”

74 Judging from the minuteness of the precepts laid down in this and the following verses to 193, it would appear that they were added at a late period of Muhammad’s residence at Medina.

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75 Such appears to have been the superstitious custom of the Arabs after their return from pilgrimages to Mecca.

76 Their driving you out of Mecca; or, the temptation (to idolatry).

77 Lit. the sacred month for the sacred month, and the sacred precincts or things (for) reprisals.  The meaning of this difficult passage is that in wars for the cause of religion, the sacred month and the temple of Mecca may be made the time and scene of contests, which then and there are usually prohibited.  For the most accurate information as to the Pilgrimage, see Freytag, Einl. 418.

78 This shows that Muhammad inculcated the doctrine of entire freedom of the will.

79 The greater Pilgrimage, which every Muslim is bound to perform once in his life, is the Hadjat el Farz (the one obligatory Pilgrimage), or the Hadjat el Islam.  The Umrah, or little pilgrimage, may be performed at any time except the pilgrimage season, and its ceremonies are much fewer.  They are described by Lieut.  Burton in his “Pilgrimage,” vol. iii. ch. xxviii.

80 Namely, Shawâl, Dhu’lkaada, and Dhu’lhajja.

81 By trading during the Hadj.

82 The pilgrims move on very rapidly when in the immediate neighbourhood of the Holy Places.

83 From the valley of Mina.

84 Said to have been one Al Akhnas Ibn Shoraik, a dissembler with Muhammad.

85 Sohaib, when he joined the standard of Muhammad, left all his property in the hands of the infidels.

86 Verses 204-210 are probably addressed to those Muslims who were desirous to observe certain parts of the Jewish law.

87 The Koran.

88 That is, there was originally but one religion in the world.

89 Comp.  Sura [c.] iv. 42, and [cxiv.] v. 99, 100.

90 Limits, fences.  The word is Talmudic.  Thus Pirke Aboth, i.  “The men of the great synagogue said . . .  Make a fence for the law;” and iii. 13, “Tradition is a fence to the law.”

91 Comp.  Sura [lxxxii.] xxxi. 13.

92 Within the four months and ten days.

93 Either the asr, midway between noon and nightfall (see verse 104 above) or the prayer immediately after midday.  See note on Sura [c.] iv. 46.

94 This verse is certainly older than the commencement of Sura iv. which alters the law here laid down.

95 Comp.  Ezek. xxxvii. 1-10.  These Jews are said by some commentators to have abandoned their dwellings through fear of a pestilence (comp.  Talmud Sanhed. 92); by others, for fear of being compelled to serve in the wars of God.

96 This and the seven following verses shew that Muhammad, foreseeing an open rupture with the people of Medina at no distant period, felt it necessary to stimulate the zeal and courage of his partisans by examples from Jewish history.

97 Ar.  Shechinah.  See Freytag Lex. in v.  This word, as well as the Arabic word for ark (p. 95, n.) betray in their form a Rabbinic origin.

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98 The shoes and rod of Moses, the mitre of Aaron, the vase of manna, the fragments of the two tables of the law.

99 Observe the confusion between Gideon and Saul.

100 See verse 81.

101 The drift of these words, which are of such frequent recurrence in the Koran, is, that the former revelations had been abused, and instead of leading them to Islam broke them up into sects and dissentient parties.

102 This verse must have been revealed before Muhammad felt himself secure in his new position at Medina.

103 A name applied to an idol or idols especially Allat and Ozza, the ancient idols of the Meccans.  The termination of the word Thagout is more Hebraic than pure Arabic, and literally means error.

104 Nimrod.

105 Ozair or Esdras doubted whether Jerusalem could be rebuilt after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, and the miracle here narrated, was wrought for his assurance.  The fable has its origin in the circuit made by Nehemiah around the ruined city.  Neh. ii. 13.

106 Lit. it was falling on its roofs.

107 Comp.  Gen. xv. 9.

108 That is, Satan would dissuade you from liberal contributions by instilling the fear of poverty.

109 Comp.  Matt. vi. 3, 4. 110 This contradicts verse 254, as well as several verses in Sura [1viii.] xix.

SURA XCVIII.-CLEAR EVIDENCE [XCII.]

Medina.-8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The unbelievers among the people of the Book, and the Polytheists, did not waver, until the clear evidence had come to them;

A messenger from God, reciting to them the pure pages wherein are true Scriptures!

Neither were they to whom the Scriptures were given divided into sects, till after this clear evidence had reached them!

Yet was not aught enjoined on them but to worship God with sincere religion, sound in faith; and to observe prayer and pay the stated alms.  For this is true religion.

But the unbelievers among the people of the Book, and among the Polytheists, shall go into the fire of Gehenna to abide therein for aye.  Of all creatures are they the worst!

But they who believe and do the things that are right-these of all creatures are the best!

Their recompense with their Lord shall be gardens of Eden, ’neath which the rivers flow, in which they shall abide for evermore.

God is well pleased in them and they in Him!  This, for him who feareth his Lord.

SURA LXIV.-MUTUAL DECEIT [XCIII.]

Medina.1-18 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

All that is in the Heavens, and all that is in the Earth, praiseth God:  His the Kingdom and His the Glory!  And He hath power over all things!

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It is He who hath created you all; yet some of you are infidel and others believers:  but God beholdeth all your actions.

He hath created the Heavens and the Earth in Truth; and He hath fashioned you and given you goodly forms; and to Him must ye all return.

He knoweth all that passeth in the Heavens and in the Earth; and He knoweth what ye hide and what ye bring to light; and God knoweth the very secrets of men’s breasts.

Hath not the story reached you of those who disbelieved of yore, and therefore tasted the evil consequences of their doings?  And a sore punishment doth await them.

This, for that when their apostles came to them with the clear tokens, they said, “What! shall men be our guides?” And they believed not and turned their backs.  But God can dispense with them; for God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy!

The infidels pretend that they shall not be raised from the dead.  Say:  Yea, by my Lord, ye shall surely be raised; then shall ye surely be told of your deeds!  And easy is this for God.

Believe then in God and his apostle and in the light which we have sent down; for God is fully aware of all ye do.

The day when He shall gather you together for the day of mutual gathering, will be the day of mutual deceit,2 and whoso shall have believed in God and done what is right, for him will He cancel his deeds of evil; and He will bring him into the gardens beneath whose shades the rivers flow, to abide therein for evermore.  This will be the great bliss!

But the unbelieving-those who gave the lie to our signs-shall be the inmates of the fire, wherein they shall remain for ever.  And a wretched passage thither!

No mischance chanceth but by God’s permission; and whoso believeth in God, that man’s heart will he guide:  and God knoweth all things.

Obey God then and obey the apostle:  but if ye turn away, our apostle is not to blame, for he is only charged with plain preaching.

God! there is no God but He!  On God, then, let the faithful trust.

O ye who believe!  Verily, in your wives and your children ye have an enemy:  wherefore beware of them.  But if ye pass it3 over and pardon, and are lenient, then God too is Lenient, Merciful.

Your wealth and your children are only a source of trial! but God! with Him is the great recompense.

Fear God, then, with all your might, and hear and obey:  and give alms for your own weal; for such as are saved from their own greed, shall prosper.

If ye lend God a generous loan, He will double it to you and will forgive you, for God is Grateful, Long-suffering.

He knoweth alike the Hidden and the Manifest:  the Mighty, the Wise!

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1 The first verse of this Sura, and the phrase obey God and the Apostle (verses 8, 12), which usually occurs only in Medina Suras, the phrases in verse 16 compared with Sura [cii.] lix. 9, as well as the subject matter, incline me to follow those Muslim commentators who are of opinion that the whole Sura was revealed at Medina.  Weil and Muir suppose it to be Meccan.

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2 That is, the day on which it will be found that if the just had been wicked they would have taken the place of the reprobates, while the reprobates will see that if they had been just persons they would have gone to Paradise.

3 Their occasionally beguiling you from your duty, especially that of contending for the faith.  Comp. 1 Cor. vii. 32.

SURA LXII.-THE ASSEMBLY [XCIV.]

Medina.-II Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

All that is in the Heavens, and all that is on the Earth, uttereth the Praise of God, the King! the Holy! the Mighty! the Wise!

It is He who hath sent to the pagan folk (Arabs) an Apostle from among themselves, to rehearse His signs to them, and to purify them, and to impart to them a knowledge of “the Book” and wisdom; for aforetime were they in manifest error.

And others among them have not yet overtaken those who preceded them in the faith.  But He is the Mighty, the Wise!

This is the goodness of God:  He bestoweth it on whom He will:  God is of immense goodness!

They on whom the burden of the law was laid, and would not bear it, are like an ass beneath a load of books.  A sorry likeness this, for the people who give the lie to the signs of God!  God guideth not the people who do this wrong!

Say:  O ye Jews, if ye profess that ye rather than other men are the friends of God, then wish for death if ye are men of truth.

But never on account of their previous handywork will they wish for it, and God knoweth the wrong doers.

Say:  Verily the death from which ye flee will surely meet you.  Then shall ye be brought back to Him who knoweth alike the things done in secret and openly:  and He will tell you of your actions.

O ye who believe!  When ye are summoned to prayer on the day of the assembly,1 haste to the commemoration of God, and quit your traffic.  This, if ye knew it, will be best for you.

And when the Prayer is ended, then disperse yourselves abroad and go in quest of the bounties of God; and, that it may be well with you, oft remember God.

But when they get a sight of merchandise or sport, they disperse after it, and leave thee standing alone.2 Say:  God hath in reserve what is better than sport or wares.  And God is the best provider!

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1 Friday; the day on which Muhammad made his first entry into Medina, and the day on which creation was finished.

2 It is said that when Muhammad was preaching, Dahya Alkalbi, while yet a heathen, came, on a Friday, into Medina at the head of a caravan, and that all the congregation, attracted by the music of the tambours which preceded it, left the sermon for the spectacle.  Muquâtil ap.  Alfarrâ.  If this account be accurate, we may approximate to the date of this Sura as in Hej. 5 (towards the close).  Dahya is known to have fought in the ranks of the Muslims at the battle of the Ditch.  And as the former part is aimed at the Jews, it is probably of the same period as Sura [xci.] ii.

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SURA VIII.-THE SPOILS1 [XCV.]

Medina.-76 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

They will question thee about the spoilsSay:  The spoils are God’s and the apostle’s.  Therefore, fear God, and settle this among yourselves; and obey God and his apostle, if you are believers.

Believers are they only whose hearts thrill with fear when God is named, and whose faith increaseth at each recital of his signs, and who put their trust in their Lord;

Who observe the prayers, and give alms out of that with which we have supplied them;

These are the believers:  their due grade awaiteth them in the presence of their Lord, and forgiveness, and a generous provision.

Remember how thy Lord caused thee to go forth from thy home2 on a mission of truth, and part of the believers were quite averse to it: 

They disputed with thee about the truth3 which had been made so clear, as if they were being led forth to death, and saw it before them: 

And remember when God promised you that one of the two troops4 should fall to you, and ye desired that they who had no arms should fall to you:  but God purposed to prove true the truth of his words, and to cut off the uttermost part ofthe infidels;

That he might prove his truth to be the truth, and bring to nought that which is nought,5 though the impious were averse to it: 

When ye sought succour of your Lord, and he answered you, “I will verily aid you with a thousand6 angels, rank on rank:” 

And God made this promise as pure good tidings, and to assure your hearts by it:  for succour cometh from God alone!  Verily God is Mighty, Wise.

Recollect when sleep, a sign of security from Him, fell upon you, and he sent down upon you water from Heaven that he might thereby cleanse you, and cause the pollution of Satan to pass from you, and that he might gird up your hearts, and stablish your feet by it: 

When thy Lord spake unto the angels, “I will be with you:  therefore stablish ye the faithful.  I will cast a dread into the hearts of the infidels.”  Strike off their heads then, and strike off from them every finger-tip.

This, because they have opposed God and his apostle:  And whoso shall oppose God and his apostle. . . .  Verily, God will be severe in punishment.

“This for you!  Taste it then! and for the infidels is the torture of the fire!”

O ye who believe! when ye meet the marshalled hosts of the infidels, turn not your backs to them: 

Whoso shall turn his back to them on that day, unless he turn aside to fight, or to rally to some other troop, shall incur wrath from God:  Hell shall be his abode and wretched the journey thither!

So it was not ye who slew them, but God slew them; and those shafts were God’s, not thine!7 He would make trial of the faithful by a gracious trial from Himself:  Verily, God Heareth, Knoweth.

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This befel, that God might also bring to nought the craft of the infidels.

O Meccans! if ye desired a decision, now hath the decision come to you.8 It will be better for you if ye give over the struggle.  If ye return to it, we will return; and your forces, though they be many, shall never avail you aught, for God is with the faithful.

O ye faithful! obey God and his apostle, and turn not away from Him, now that ye hear the truth;

And be not like those who say “We hear,” when they hear not;

For the vilest beasts in God’s sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who understand not.

Had God known any good in them, he would certainly have made them hear.  But even if He had made them hear, they would certainly have turned back and withdrawn afar.

O ye faithful! make answer to the appeal of God and his apostle when he calleth you to that which giveth you life.  Know that God cometh in between a man and his own heart, and that to him shall ye be gathered.

And be afraid of temptation:  the evil doers among you will not be the only ones on whom it will light:  And know ye that God is severe in punishment.

And remember when ye were few, and reputed weak in the land:9 ye feared lest men should pluck you away; then was it that He took you in and strengthened you with his help, and supplied you with good things, that haply ye might give thanks.

O ye who believe! deal not falsely with God and his apostle; and be not false in your engagements, with your own knowledge: 

And know that your wealth and your children are a temptation; and that God! with Him is a glorious recompense.

O ye who believe! if ye fear God he will make good your deliverance, and will put away your sins from you, and will forgive you.  God is of great bounteousness!

And call to mind when the unbelievers plotted against thee, to detain thee prisoner, or to kill thee, or to banish thee:  They plotted-but God plotted:  and of plotters is God the best!

And oft as our signs were rehearsed to them, they said, “Now have we heard:  if we pleased we could certainly utter its like!  Yes, it is mere tales of the ancients.”

And when they said, “God! if this be the very truth from before thee, rain down stones upon us from Heaven, or lay on us some grievous chastisement.”

But God chose not to chastise them while thou wast with them, nor would God chastise them when they sued for pardon.

But because they debarred the faithful from the holy temple, albeit they are not its guardians, nothing is there on their part why God should not chastise them.  The Godfearing only are its guardians; but most of them know it not.

And their prayer at the house of God is no other than whistling through the fingers and clapping of the hands-"Taste then the torment, for that ye have been unbelievers.”

The infidels spend their riches10 with intent to turn men aside from the way of God:  spend it they shall; then shall sighing be upon them, and then shall they be overcome.

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And the infidels shall be gathered together into Hell,

That God may separate the bad from the good, and put the bad one upon the other, and heap them all up and put them into Hell!  These are they who shall be lost.

Say to the infidels:  If they desist from their unbelief, what is now past shall be forgiven them; but if they return to it, they have already before them11 the doom of the ancients!

Fight then against them till strife be at an end, and the religion be all of it God’s.  If they desist, verily God beholdeth what they do: 

But if they turn their back, know ye that God is your protector:  Excellent protector! excellent helper!

And know ye, that when ye have taken any booty, a fifth12 part belongeth to God and to the Apostle, and to the near of kin, and to orphans, and to the poor, and to the wayfarer, if ye believe in God, and in that which we have sent down to our servant on the day of the victory,13 the day of the meeting of the Hosts.  Over all things is God potent.

When ye were encamped on the near side of the valley, and they were on the further side, and the caravan was below you, if ye had made an engagement to attack ye would have failed the engagement; but ye were led into action notwithstanding, that God might accomplish the thing destined to be done: 

That he who should perish might perish with a clear token14 before him, and that he who liveth might live with it.  And verily, God Heareth, Knoweth.

Remember when God shewed them to thee in thy dream, as few:  Had he shown them numerous, ye would certainly have become fainthearted, and would certainly have disputed about the matter-But from this God kept you-He knoweth the very secrets of the breast-

And when, on your meeting, he made them to appear to your eyes as few, and diminished you in their eyes, that God might carry out the thing that was to be done.15 To God do all things return.

Believers! when ye confront a troop, stand firm and make frequent mention of the name of God, that it may fare well with you: 

And obey God and his Apostle; and dispute not, lest ye become fainthearted and your success go from you; but endure with steadfastness, for God is with the steadfastly enduring.

And be not like those Meccans who came out of their houses insolently and to be seen of men, and who turn others from the way of God:  God is round about their actions.

When Satan prepared their works for them, and said, “No man shall conquer you this day; and verily I will be near to help you:”  But when the two armies came in sight, he turned on his heel and said, “Ay, I am clear of you:  ay, I see what ye see not:16 ay, I fear God; for God is severe in punishing.”

When the hypocrites and the diseased of heart said, “Their Religion hath misled the Muslims:17 But whoso putteth his trust in God. , , , Yes, verily God is Mighty, Wise!

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If thou didst see, when the angels cause the infidels to die!  They smite their faces and their backs, and-"Taste ye the torture of the burning: 

This, for what your hands have sent on before you:"-and God is not unjust to his servants.

Their state is like that of the people of Pharaoh and of those before them who believed not in the signs of God:  therefore God seized upon them in their sin!  God is Mighty, severe in punishing.

This, because God changeth not the favour with which he favoureth a people, so long as they change not what is in their hearts; and for that God Heareth, Knoweth.

Their state is like that of the people of Pharaoh, and of those before them who treated their Lord’s signs as lies.  We therefore destroyed them in their sins, and we drowned the people of Pharaoh; for they were all doers of wrong.

The worst beasts truly in the sight of God are the thankless who will not believe;

They with whom thou hast leagued, and who are ever breaking their league, and who fear not God!

If thou take them in war, then, by the example of their fate, scatter those who shall follow them-that they may be warned: 

Or if thou fear treachery from any people, throw back their treaty to them as thou fairly mayest,18 for God loveth not the treacherous.

And think not that the infidels shall escape Us!  They shall not weaken God.

Make ready then against them what force ye can, and strong squadrons whereby ye may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy, and into others beside them whom ye know not, but whom God knoweth.  All that you shall expend for the cause of God shall be repaid you; and ye shall not be wronged.

And if they lean to peace, lean thou also to it; and put thy trust in God:  for He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

But if they seek to betray thee, God will be all-sufficient for thee.  He it is who hath strengthened thee with His help, and with the faithful, and hath made their hearts one.  Hadst thou spent all the riches of the earth, thou couldst not have united their hearts; but God hath united them, for He is Mighty, Wise.

O prophet!  God, and such of the faithful as follow thee, will be all-sufficient for thee.

O prophet! stir up the faithful to the fight.  Twenty of you who stand firm shall vanquish two hundred:  and if there be a hundred of you they shall vanquish a thousand of the infidels, for they are a people devoid of understanding.

Now hath God made your work easy, for he knoweth how weak ye are.  If there be an hundred of you who endure resolutely, they shall vanquish two hundred; and if there be a thousand of you, they shall vanquish two thousand19 by God’s permission; for God is with those who are resolute to endure.

No prophet hath been enabled to take captives until he had made great slaughter in the earth.  Ye desire the passing fruitions of this world, but God desireth the next life for you.  And God is Mighty, Wise.

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Had there not been a previous ordinance20 from God, a severe chastisement had befallen you, for the ransom which ye took.

Eat therefore of the spoils ye have taken what is lawful and good; and fear God:  God is Gracious, Merciful.

O prophet! say to the captives who are in your hands, “If God shall know good21 to be in your hearts, He will give you good beyond all that hath been taken from you, and will forgive you:  for God is Forgiving, Merciful.”

But if they seek to deal treacherously with you-they have already dealt treacherously22 with God before!  Therefore hath He given you power over them.  God is Knowing, Wise.

Verily, they who have believed and fled their homes and spent their substance for the cause of God, and they who have taken in the prophet and been helpful to him, shall be near of kin the one to the other.  And they who have believed, but have not fled their homes, shall have no rights of kindred with you at all, until they too fly their country.  Yet if they seek aid from you on account of the faith, your part it is to give them aid, except against a people between whom and yourselves there shall be a treaty.  And God beholdeth your actions.

The infidels lend one another mutual help.  Unless ye do the same, there will be discord in the land and great corruption.

But as for those who have believed and fled their country, and fought on the path of God, and given the prophet an asylum, and been helpful to him, these are the faithful; Mercy is their due and a noble provision.

And they who have believed and fled their country since, and have fought at your side, these also are of you.  Those who are united by ties of blood23 are the nearest of kin to each other.  This is in the Book of God.  Verily, God knoweth all things.

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1 On this Sura, which relates mainly to the battle of Bedr, see Weil’s M. der Prophet, p. 268.

2 At Medina.

3 The necessity for the combat and its probable result.

4 Muhammad had conceived the design of attacking an unarmed caravan belonging to the Koreisch on its way from Syria to Mecca.  Abu Sofian, who had charge of it, sent to Mecca for succour, whence a body of nearly 1000 armed men at once set out to his assistance.  Some of the Muslims were anxious to attack the caravan:  others, notwithstanding the disparity of numbers, proposed to throw themselves upon the succours.

5 Idolatry.

6 In Sura [xcvii.] iii. the angels are said to be 3000.

7 Lit. thou didst not cast when thou didst cast, but God cast.  This is explained of the miracle of the gravelstones and sand cast by God into the eyes of the Meccans at Bedr.

8 That is, by our victory over you.

9 Muhammad specially addresses the Mohadjers in this verse, i.e. those who had fled with him to Medin.

10 Twelve of the Koreisch had given camels and a large sum of money in aid of the Meccan succours.

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11 Lit. hath preceded.

12 Before Islam it had been the custom among the Arabians to assign a fourth part of the booty to the leader of an expedition.  See Freyt.  Einl. p. 266.

13 That is, on the day of the battle of Bedr.  See Sura xxi. 49, p. 154.

14 The mission of Gabriel to Muhammad with the promise of victory.

15 Compare the different account in Sura [xcvii.] iii.  II.  The commentators, however, get over the discropancy by explaining the apparent diminution of the Muslims at the commencement only of the battle, which had the effect of drawing on the enemy in self-confidence.

16 The angels fighting for the Muslims.

17 By inducing them to attack so greatly superior a force.

18 Thus Beidh.  Or, more simply, render them the like.

19 Comp.  Lev. xxvi. 8; Josh. xxiii. 10.

20 Authorising the ransom of captives.

21 That is, a disposition to become Muslims.

22 That is, on account of their infidelity.

23 See Weil.  Life of M. p. 84, n.

SURA1 XLVII.-MUHAMMAD [XCVI.]

Medina.-40 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Whoso believe not, and prevent others from the way of God-their works will He cause to miscarry;2

But whoso believe, and do things that are right, and believe in what hath been sent down to Muhammad-for it is the truth from their Lord-their sins will He cancel, and dispose their hearts aright.

This-because the infidels followed vanity, while those who believe, followed the truth from their Lord.  Thus to men doth God set forth their likenesses.

When ye encounter the infidels,3 strike off their heads till ye have made a great slaughter among them, and of the rest make fast the fetters.

And afterwards let there either be free dismissals or ransomings, till the war hath laid down its burdens.  Thus do.  Were such the pleasure of God, he could himself take vengeance upon them:  but He would rather prove the one of you by the other.  And whoso fight for the cause of God, their works he will not suffer to miscarry;

He will vouchsafe them guidance, and dispose their hearts aright;

And he will bring them into the Paradise, of which he hath told them.

Believers! if ye help God, God will help you, and will set your feet firm: 

But as for the infidels, let them perish:  and their works shall God bring to nought: 

This-because they were averse from the command which God sent down; Fruitless, therefore, shall their works become!

Have they not journeyed through the land, and seen what hath been the end of those who flourished before them?  God brought destruction on them:  and the like of this doth await the infidels.

This-because God is the protector of those who believe, and because the infidels have no protector.

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Verily God will bring those who believe, and do the things that are right, into the Gardens, beneath whose shades the rivers flow:  but they who believe not, take their fill, and eat as the beasts eat!  And their dwelling-place the fire!

And how many cities were mightier in strength than thy city, which hath thrust thee forth!4 We destroyed them, and there was none to help them.

Shall he who followeth the clear teaching of his Lord be as he, the evil of whose doings hath been made to seem good to him, or like those who follow their own lusts?

A picture of the Paradise which is promised to the God-fearing!  Therein are rivers of water, which corrupt not:  rivers of milk, whose taste changeth not:  and rivers of wine, delicious to those who quaff it;

And rivers of honey clarified:  and therein are all kinds of fruit for them from their Lord!  Is this like the lot of those who must dwell for ever in the fire? and shall have draughts of boiling water forced on them which will rend their bowels asunder?

Some of them indeed hearken to thee, until when they go out from thee, they say with sneers to those to whom “the knowledge” hath been given, “What is this he said?” These are they whose hearts God hath sealed up, and who follow their own lusts.

But as to those who have the guidance, He will increase their guidance, and He will teach them what to fear.

For what do the infidels wait, but that the Hour come suddenly on them?  Already are its signs come,5 and when it hath come on them indeed, how can they be warned then?

Know, then, that there is no god but God:  and ask pardon for thy sin, and for believers, both men and women.  God knoweth your busy movements, and your final resting-places.

The believers say, “Oh, would that a Sura were sent down!"6 but when a peremptory Sura is revealed, whose burden is war, thou mayest see the diseased of heart look toward thee, with a look of one on whom the shadows of death have fallen!  But better in them would be obedience and becoming language.

And if, when the command for war is issued, they are true to God, it will be assuredly best for them.

Were ye not ready, if ye had turned back from Him, to spread disorder in the land, and violate the ties of blood?

These are they whom God hath cursed, and made deaf, and blinded their eyes!

Will they not then meditate on the Koran?  Are locks upon their hearts?

But as to those who return to their errors after “the guidance” hath been made plain to them, Satan shall beguile them, and fill them with his suggestions.

This-because they say to those who abhor what God hath sent down, “We will comply with you in part of what ye enjoin.”  But God knoweth their secret reservations.

But how?  When the angels, in causing them to die, shall smite them on the face and back!

This because they follow that which angereth God, and abhor what pleaseth Him:  therefore will He make their works fruitless.

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Think these men of diseased hearts, that God will not bring out their malice to light?

If such were our pleasure, we could point them out to thee, and thou surely know them by their tokens:  and know them thou shalt, by the strangeness of their words.7 God knoweth your doings.

And we will surely test you, until we know the valiant and the steadfast among you:  and we will test the reports of your conduct.

Verily they who believe not, and turn others from the way of God, and separate from the Apostle after that “the guidance” hath been clearly shewn them, shall in no way injure God:  but their works shall he bring to nought.

Believers! obey God and the Apostle:  and render not your works vain.

Verily those who believe not, and who pervert others from the way of God, and then die in unbelief, God will not forgive.

Be not fainthearted then; and invite not the infidels to peace when ye have the upper hand:  for God is with you, and will not defraud you of the recompense of your works.

Surely this present life is only a play, and pastime! but if ye believe, fear God; He will give you your rewards:  but He will not ask all your riches of you.

Should He ask them of you, and urge you, ye would shew yourself niggards:  and He would bring your grudges to light.

Lo! ye are they, who are called to expend for the cause of God:  and some of you are niggards:  but whoso is niggardly shall be niggard only to his own loss; for God is the Rich, and ye are the poor:  and if ye turn back, He will change you for another people,8 and they shall not be your like!

_______________________

1 This Sura was revealed at a period after the victory at Bedr, when there was still some hesitation on the part of Muhammad’s followers to take decided steps for securing their position.  See 37.

2 Lit. will He cause to wander, that is, from their proper aim and end, the rewards of Paradise.  See verse 5 ad f.

3 The Meccans and other unbelievers of Muhammad’s time.  The Hanefites suppose this law to apply only to the battle of Bedr.  The Shiites take it as of universal obligation.

4 This verse is said (by Omar b.  Muhammad, and Itq. 43) to be the expression of Muhammad’s feelings at the injuries inflicted on Mecca.  He is reported to have wept over it.

5 The first sign being the mission of Muhammad; the second, the splitting of the moon; the third, the smoke mentioned in Sura xliv. p. 89.

6 That is, commanding war against the infidels.

7 Unintelligible or affected words, applied to the new religion in contempt.  See Sura [xci.] ii. 56, p. 343.

8 Matt. xxi. 43.

SURA III.-THE FAMILY OF IMRAN1 [XCVII.]

Medina.-200 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF.  LamMim.2 God! there is no god but He, the Living, the Merciful!

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In truth hath He sent down to thee “the Book,” which confirmeth those which precede it:  For He had sent down the Law, and the Evangel aforetime, as man’s Guidance; and now hath He sent down the “Illumination."3 (Furkan.)

Verily for those who believe not in the signs of God, is a severe chastisement!  And God is Mighty, the Avenger!

God! nought that is in Earth or that is in Heaven, is hidden unto Him.  He it is who formeth you in your mothers’ wombs.  There is no god but He; the Mighty, the Wise!

He it is who hath sent down to thee “the Book.”  Some of its signs are of themselves perspicuous;-these are the basis4 of the Book-and others are figurative.  But they whose hearts are given to err, follow its figures, craving discord, craving an interpretation; yet none knoweth its interpretation but God.  And the stable in knowledge say, “We believe in it:  it is all from our Lord.”  But none will bear this in mind, save men endued with understanding.

O our Lord! suffer not our hearts to go astray after that thou hast once guided us, and give us mercy from before thee; for verily thou art He who giveth.

O our Lord!  For the day of whose coming there is not a doubt, thou wilt surely gather mankind together.  Verily, God will not fail the promise.

As for the infidels, their wealth, and their children, shall avail them nothing against God.  They shall be fuel for the fire.

After the wont of the people of Pharaoh, and of those who went before them, they treated our signs as falsehoods.  Therefore God laid hold of them in their sins; and God is severe in punishing!

Say to the infidels:  ye shall be worsted, and to Hell shall ye be gathered together; and wretched the couch!

Ye have already had a sign5 in the meeting of the two hosts.  The one host fought in the cause of God, and the other was infidel.  To their own eyesight, the infidels saw you twice as many as themselves:  And God aided with his succour whom He would:  And in this truly was a lesson for men endued with discernment.

Fair-seeming to men is the love of pleasures from women and children, and the treasured treasures of gold and silver, and horses of mark, and flocks, and cornfields!  Such the enjoyment of this world’s life.  But God! goodly the home with Him.

Say:  Shall I tell you of better things than these, prepared for those who fear God, in His presence?  Theirs shall be gardens, beneath whose pavilions the rivers flow, and in which shall they abide for aye:  and wives of stainless purity, and acceptance with God:  for God regardeth his servants-

Who say, “O our Lord! we have indeed believed; pardon us our sins, and keep us from the torment of the fire;"-

The patient, and the truthful, the lowly, and the charitable, and they who seek pardon at each daybreak.

God witnesseth that there is no god but He:  and the angels, and men endued with knowledge, stablished in righteousness, proclaim “There is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise!”

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The true religion with God is Islam:  and they to whom the Scriptures had been given, differed not till after “the knowledge"6 had come to them, and through mutual jealousy.  But as for him who shall not believe in the signs of God-God will be prompt to reckon with him!

If they shall dispute with thee, then say:  I have surrendered myself to God, as have they who follow me.

Say to those who have received the Book, and to the common folk, Do ye surrender yourselves unto God?7 If they become Muslims, then are they guided aright:  but if they turn away-thy duty is only preaching; and God’s eye is on His servants.

But to those who believe not in the signs of God, and unjustly slay the prophets, and slay those men who enjoin uprightness,-announce an afflictive chastisement.

These are they whose works come to nought in this world, and in the next; and none shall they have to help them!

Hast thou not marked those who have received a portion of the Scriptures, when they are summoned to the Book of God, that it may settle their differences?  Then did a part of them turn back, and withdrew far off.

This-because they said, “The fire shall by no means touch us, but for certain days:"-Their own devices have deceived them in their religion.

But how, when we shall assemble them together for the day of (which) whose coming there is no doubt, and when every soul shall be paid what it hath earned, and they shall not be wronged?

Say:  O God, possessor of all power,8 thou givest power to whom thou wilt, and from whom thou wilt, thou takest it away!  Thou raisest up whom thou wilt, and whom thou wilt thou dost abase!  In thy hand is good; for thou art over all things potent.

Thou causest the night to pass into the day, and thou causest the day to pass into the night.  Thou bringest the living out of the dead, and thou bringest the dead out of the living; and thou givest sustenance to whom thou wilt, without measure.

Let not believers take infidels for their friends rather than believers:  whoso shall do this hath nothing to hope from God-unless, indeed, ye fear a fear from them:  But God would have you beware of Himself; for to God ye return.  Say:  Whether ye hide what is in your breasts, or whether ye publish it abroad, God knoweth it:  He knoweth what is in the heavens and what is in the earth; and over all things is God potent.

On that day shall every soul find present to it, whatever it hath wrought of good:  and as to what it hath wrought of evil, it will wish that wide were the space between itself and it!  But God would have you beware of Himself; for God is kind to His servants.

Say:  If ye love God, then follow me:  God will love you, and forgive your sins, for God is Forgiving, Merciful.  Say:  Obey God and the Apostle; but if ye turn away, then verily, God loveth not the unbelievers.

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Verily above all human beings did God choose Adam, and Noah, and the family of Abraham, and the family of Imran, the one the posterity of the other:  And God Heareth, Knoweth.

Remember when the wife of Imran9 said, “O my Lord!  I vow to thee what is in my womb, for thy special service.  Accept it from me, for thou Hearest, Knowest!” And when she had given birth to it, she said, “O my Lord!  Verily I have brought forth a female,"-God knew what she had brought forth; a male is not as a female10-"and I have named her Mary, and I take refuge with thee for her and for her offspring, from Satan the stoned."11

So with goodly acceptance did her Lord accept her, and with goodly growth did he make her grow.12 Zacharias reared her.  So oft as Zacharias went in to Mary at the sanctuary, he found her supplied with food.13 “Oh, Mary!” said he, “whence hast thou this?” She said, “It is from God; for God supplieth whom He will, without reckoning!”

There did Zacharias call upon his Lord:  “O my Lord!” said he, “vouchsafe me from thyself good descendants,14 for thou art the hearer of prayer.”  Then did the angels call to him, as he stood praying in the sanctuary:15

“God announceth John (Yahia) to thee, who shall be a verifier of the word from God, and a great one, chaste, and a prophet of the number of the just.”

He said, “O my Lord! how shall I have a son, now that old age hath come upon me, and my wife is barren?” He said, “Thus will God do His pleasure.”

He said, “Lord! give me a token.”  He said, “Thy token shall be, that for three days thou shalt speak to no man but by signs:  But remember thy Lord often, and praise him at even and at morn:” 

And remember when the angels said, “O Mary! verily hath God chosen thee,16 and purified thee, and chosen thee above the women of the worlds!

O Mary! be devout towards thy Lord,17 and prostrate thyself, and bow down with those who bow.”

This is one of the announcements of things unseen by thee:  To thee, O Muhammad! do we reveal it; for thou wast not with them when they cast lots with reeds18 which of them should rear Mary; nor wast thou with them when they disputed about it.

Remember when the angel said, “O Mary!  Verily God announceth to thee the Word from Him:  His name shall be, Messiah Jesus the son of Mary,19 illustrious in this world, and in the next, and one of those who have near access to God;

And He shall speak to men alike when in the cradle and when grown up; And he shall be one of the just.”

She said, “How, O my Lord! shall I have a son, when man hath not touched me?” He said, “Thus:  God will create what He will; When He decreeth a thing, He only saith, ‘Be,’ and it is.”

And he will teach him the Book, and the Wisdom, and the Law, and the Evangel; and he shall be an apostle to the children of Israel.  “Now have I come,” he will say, “to you with a sign from your Lord:  Out of clay will I make for you, as it were, the figure of a bird:  and I will breathe into it, and it shall become, by God’s leave, a bird.20 And I will heal the blind, and the leper; and by God’s leave will I quicken the dead; and I will tell you what ye eat, and what ye store up in your houses!  Truly in this will be a sign for you, if ye are believers.

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And I have come to attest the law which was before me; and to allow you part of that which had been forbidden you; and I come to you with a sign from your Lord:  Fear God, then, and obey me; of a truth God is my Lord, and your Lord:  Therefore worship Him.  This is a right way.”

And when Jesus perceived unbelief on their part, He said, “Who my helpers with God?"20-21 The apostles21 said, “We will be God’s helpers!  We believe in God, and bear thou witness that we are Muslims.

O our Lord! we believe in what thou hast sent down, and we follow the apostle; write us up, then, with those who bear witness to him.”

And the Jews plotted, and God plotted:  But of those who plot is God the best.

Remember when God said, “O Jesus! verily I will cause thee to die,22 and will take thee up to myself and deliver thee from those who believe not; and I will place those who follow thee above those who believe not, until the day of resurrection.  Then, to me is your return, and wherein ye differ will I decide between you.

And as to those who believe not, I will chastise them with a terrible chastisement in this world and in the next; and none shall they have to help them.”

But as to those who believe, and do the things that are right, He will pay them their recompense.  God loveth not the doers of evil.

These signs, and this wise warning do we rehearse to thee.

Verily, Jesus is as Adam in the sight of God.23 He created him of dust:  He then said to him, “Be"-and he was.

The truth from thy Lord!  Be not thou, therefore, of those who doubt.

As for those 24 who dispute with thee about Him, after “theknowledge” hath come to thee, say:  Come,25 let us summon our sons and your sons, our wives and your wives, and ourselves and yourselves.  Then will we invoke and lay the malison of God on those that lie!

This recital is very truth, and there is no god but God; and verily God is the Mighty, the Wise.

But if they turn away, then verily God hath knowledge of the corrupt doers.

Say:  O people of the Book! come ye to a just judgment between us and you-That we worship not aught but God, and that we join no other god with Him, and that the one of us take not the other for lords,26 beside God.  Then if they turn their backs, say:  Bear ye witness that we are Muslims.

O people of the Book!  Why dispute about Abraham,27 when the Law and the Evangel were not sent down till after him?  Do ye not then understand?

Lo! ye are they who dispute about that in which ye have knowledge; 28 but why dispute ye about that of which ye have no knowledge?  God hath knowledge, but ye know nothing.

Abraham was neither Jew nor Christian; but he was sound in the faith,29 a Muslim; and not of those who add gods to God.

They among men, who are nearest of kin to Abraham, are surely those who follow him, and this prophet Muhammad, and they who believe on him.  And God is the protector of the faithful.

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A party among the people of the Book would fain mislead you:  but they only mislead themselves, and perceive it not.

O people of the Book! why disbelieve the signs of God, of which yourselves have been witnesses?

O people of the Book! why clothe ye the truth with falsehood?  Why wittingly hide the truth?

Others of the people of the Book say:  “Believe in what hath been sent down to the believers, at daybreak, and deny it at its close"-Thus do they go back-

“And believe in those only who follow your Religion.”  Say:  True guidance is guidance from God-that to others may be imparted the like of what hath been imparted to you.  Will they wrangle then with you in the presence of their Lord?  Say:  Plenteous gifts are in the hands of God:  He imparteth them unto whom He will, and God is Bounteous, Wise.

He will vouchsafe His mercy to whom He will, for God is of great bounteousness.

Among the people of the Book are some, to one of whom if thou entrust a thousand dinars, he will restore them to thee:  And there is of them to whom if thou entrust a dinar, he will not restore it to thee, unless thou be ever instant with him.

This-because they say, “We are not bound to keep faith with the ignorant (Pagan) folk, and they utter a lie against God, and know they do so:” 

But whoso is true to his engagement, and feareth God,-verily God loveth those that fear Him.

Verily they who barter their engagement with God, and their oaths, for some paltry price-These! no portion for them in the world to come! and God will not speak to them, and will not look on them, on the day of resurrection, and will not assoil them! for them, a grievous chastisement!

And some truly are there among them who torture the Scriptures with their tongues, in order that ye may suppose it to be from the Scripture, yet it is not from the Scripture.  And they say, “This is from God;” yet it is not from God:  and they utter a lie against God, and they know they do so.

It beseemeth not a man, that God should give him the Scriptures and the Wisdom, and the gift of prophecy, and that then he should say to his followers, “Be ye worshippers of me, as well as of God;” 30 but rather, “Be ye perfect in things pertaining to God, since ye know the Scriptures, and have studied deep.”

God doth not command you to take the angels or the prophets as lords.31 What! would he command you to become infidels after ye have been Muslims?

When God entered into covenant with the prophets,32 he said, “This is the Book and the Wisdom which I give you.  Hereafter shall a prophet came unto you to confirm the Scriptures already with you.  Ye shall surely believe on him, and ye shall surely aid him.  Are ye resolved?” said he, “and do ye accept the covenant on these terms?” They said, “We are resolved;” “Be ye then the witnesses,” said he, “and I will be a witness as well as you.

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And whoever turneth back after this, these are surely the perverse.”

Other religion than that of God desire they?  To him doth everything that is in the Heavens and in the Earth submit, in willing or forced obedience! and to Him do they return.

Say:  We believe in God, and in what hath been sent down to us, and what hath been sent down to Abraham, and Ismael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and in what was given to Moses, and Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord.  We make no difference between them.  And to Him are we resigned (Muslims).

Whoso desireth any other religion than Islam, that religion shall never be accepted from him, and in the next world he shall be among the lost.

How shall God guide a people who, after they had believed and bore witness that the apostle was true, and after that clear proofs of his mission had reached them, disbelieved?  God guideth not the people who transgress.

These! their recompense, that the curse of God, and of angels, and of all men, is on them!

Under it shall they abide for ever; their torment shall not be assuaged! nor shall God even look upon them!-

Save those who after this repent and amend; for verily God is Gracious, Merciful!

As for those who become infidels, after having believed, and then increase their infidelity-their repentance shall never be accepted.  These! they are the erring ones.

As for those who are infidels, and die infidels, from no one of them shall as much gold as the earth could contain be accepted, though he should offer it in ransom.  These! a grievous punishment awaiteth them; and they shall have none to help them.

Ye shall never attain to goodness till ye give alms of that which ye love; and whatever ye give, of a truth God knoweth it.

All food was allowed to the children of Israel, except what Jacob forbad himself, ere the law was sent down; say:  Bring ye then the law and read it, if ye be men of truth.

And whoso after this inventeth the lie about God:  These are evil doers.

Say:  God speaketh truth.  Follow, therefore, the religion of Abraham, the sound in faith, who was not one of those who joined other gods to God.

The first temple that was founded for mankind, was that in Becca,33-Blessed, and a guidance to human beings.

In it are evident signs, even the standing-place34 of Abraham:  and he who entereth it is safe.  And the pilgrimage to the temple, is a service due to God from those who are able to journey thither.

And as to him who believeth not-verily God can afford to dispense with all creatures!

Say:  O people of the Book! why disbelieve ye the signs of God?  But God is witness of your doings.

Say:  O people of the Book! why repel believers from the way of God?  Ye fain would make it crooked, and yet ye are its witnesses!  But God is not regardless of what ye do.

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O believers! if ye obey some amongst those who have received the Scripture, after your very Faith will they make you infidels!

But how can ye become infidels, when the signs of God are recited to you, and his prophet is among you?  Whoever holdeth fast by God, is already guided to a straight path.

O ye believers! fear God as He deserveth to be feared! and die not till ye have become Muslims.

And hold ye fast by the cord 35 of God, all of you, and break not loose from it; and remember God’s goodness towards you, how that when ye were enemies, He united your hearts, and by his favour ye became brethren;

And when ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, he drew you back from it.  Thus God clearly sheweth you his signs that ye may be guided;

And that there may be among you a people who invite to the Good, and enjoin the Just, and forbid the Wrong.  These are they with whom it shall be well.

And be ye not like those who have formed divisions, and fallen to variance after the clear proofs have come to them.  These! a terrible chastisement doth await them,

On the day when faces shall turn white, and faces shall turn black!  And as to those whose faces shall have turned black “. . . .What! after your belief have ye become infidels?  Taste then the chastisement, for that ye have been unbelievers.”

And as to those whose faces shall have become white, they shall be within the mercy of God:  therein shall they abide for ever.

These are the signs of God:  we recite them to thee in truth:  And God willeth not injustice to mankind.

Whatever is in the Heavens, and whatever is on the Earth, is God’s.  And to God shall all things return.

Ye are the best folk that hath been raised up unto mankind.  Ye enjoin the Just, and ye forbid the Evil, and ye believe in God:  And if the people of the Book had believed, it had surely been better for them!  Believers there are among them, but most of them are perverse.

They will never inflict on you but a trifling damage; and if they do battle with you, they shall turn their backs to you:  then they shall not be succoured.

Shame shall be stamped upon them36 wherever found, unless they ally them with God and men!  And the wrath of God will they incur, and poverty shall be stamped upon them!  This-for that they believed not in the signs of God, and slew the prophets unjustly:  This-because they rebelled, and became transgressors.

Yet all are not alike:  Among the people of the Book is an upright folk, who recite the signs of God in the night-season, and adore: 

They believe in God and in the latter day, and enjoin justice, and forbid evil, and speed on in good works.  These are of the righteous.

And of whatever good ye do, ye shall not be denied the meed.  God knoweth those who fear Him.

But as for the infidels, their wealth, and their children shall avail them nothing against God.  They shall be the inmates of the fire, to abide therein eternally.

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The alms which they bestow in this present life, are like a freezing wind, which falleth upon and destroyeth the cornfields of a people who have been to themselves unjust.  God doeth them no injustice, but to themselves are they unjust.

O ye who have believed! form not intimacies among others than yourselves.  They will not fail to corrupt you.  They long for your ruin.  Hatred hath already shewn itself out of their mouths, but more grievous is what their breasts conceal.  The tokens thereof we have already made plain to you, if ye will comprehend.

See now! ye love them, but they love not you.  Ye believe the entire Book.  And when they meet you, they say, “We believe;” but when they are apart, they bite their fingers’ ends at you, out of wrath.  Say:  “Die in your wrath!” God truly knoweth the very recesses of your breasts.

If good befalleth you it grieveth them, and when ill lighteth on you, they rejoice in it.  But if ye be steadfast and fear God, their craft shall in no way harm you.  For God is round about their doings.

And remember when thou didst leave thy household at early morn, that thou mightest prepare the faithful a camp for the war;37-God heard, knew it-

When two troops of you became full of anxious thoughts, and lost heart, and when God became the protector of both!  In God, then, let the faithful trust.

God had already succoured you at Bedr, when ye were the weaker!  Fear God, then, that ye may be thankful.

Then thou didst say to the faithful, “Is it not enough for you that your Lord aideth you with three thousand angels sent down from on high?”

Aye:  but ye if be steadfast and fear God, and the foe come upon you in hot haste, your Lord will help you with five thousand angels in their cognisances!38

This, as pure good tidings for you, did God appoint, that your hearts might be assured-for only from God, the Mighty, the Wise, cometh the Victory-and that He might cut off the uttermost part of those who believed not, or cast them down so that they should be overthrown, defeated without resource.

It is none of thy concern whether He be turned unto them in kindness or chastise them:  for verily they are wrongful doers.

Whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth is God’s!  He forgiveth whom He will, and whom He will, chastiseth:  for God is Forgiving, Merciful.

O ye who believe! devour not usury, doubling it again and again!  But fear God, that ye may prosper.

And fear the fire which is prepared for them that believe not; and obey God and the apostle, that ye may find mercy: 

And vie in haste for pardon from your Lord, and a Paradise, vast as the Heavens and the Earth, prepared for the God-fearing.

Who give alms, alike in prosperity and in success, and who master their anger, and forgive others!  God loveth the doers of good.

They who, after they have done a base deed or committed a wrong against their own selves, remember God and implore forgiveness of their sins-and who will forgive sins but God only?-and persevere not in what they have wittingly done amiss.

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As for these!  Pardon from their Lord shall be their recompense, and gardens ’neath which the rivers flow; for ever shall they abide therein:  And goodly the reward of those who labour!

Already, before your time, have examples been made!  Traverse the earth, then, and see what hath been the end of those who treat prophets as liars.

This Koran is a manifest to man, and a guidance, and a warning to the God-fearing!

And be not fainthearted, and be not sorrowful:  For ye shall gain the upper hand if ye be believers.39

If a wound hath befallen you, a wound like it hath already befallen others:  we alternate these days of successes and reverses among men, that God may know those who have believed, and that He may take martyrs from among you,- but God loveth not the wrongful doers-

And that God may test those who believe, and destroy the infidels.

Thought ye that ye should enter Paradise ere God had taken knowledge of those among you who did valiantly, and of those who steadfastly endure?

Ye had desired death ere ye met it.  But ye have now seen it-and ye have beheld it-and fled from it!

Muhammad is no more than an apostle; other apostles have already passed away before him:  if he die, therefore,40 or be slain, will ye turn upon your heels?41 But he who turneth on his heels shall not injure God at all:  And God will certainly reward the thankful!

No one can die except by God’s permission, according to the Book that fixeth the term of life.42 He who desireth the recompense of this world, we will give him thereof; And he who desireth the recompense of the next life, we will give him thereof!  And we will certainly reward the thankful.

How many a prophet hath combated those who had with them many myriads!  Yet were they not daunted at what befel them on the path of God, nor were they weakened, nor did they basely submit!  God loveth those who endure with steadfastness,

Nor said they more than this:43 “O our Lord! forgive us our sins and our mistakes in this our work; and set our feet firm; and help us against the unbelieving people.”  And God gave them the recompense of this world, and the excellence of the recompense of the next.  For God loveth the doers of what is excellent.

O ye who have believed! if ye obey the infidels, they will cause you to turn upon your heels,44 and ye will fall back into perdition: 

But God is your liege lord, and He is the best of helpers.

We will cast a dread into hearts of the infidels because they have joined gods with God without warranty sent down; their abode shall be the fire; and wretched shall be the mansion of the evil doers.

Already had God made good to you His promise, when by His permission ye destroyed your foes, until your courage failed you, and ye disputed about the order,45 and disobeyed, after that the Prophet had brought you within view of that for which ye longed.46

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Some of you were for this world, and some for the next.47 Then, in order to make trial of you, He turned you to flight from them,-yet hath He now forgiven you; for all-bounteous is God to the faithful-

When ye came up the height48 and took no heed of any one, while the Prophet in your rear was calling you to the fight!  God hath rewarded you with trouble upon trouble, that ye might learn not to be chagrined at your loss of booty, or at what befel you!  God is acquainted with your actions.

Then after the trouble God sent down security upon you.  Slumber fell upon a part of you:  as to the other part-their own passions stirred them up to think unjustly of God with thoughts of ignorance!  They said-What gain we by this affair?  Say:  Verily the affair resteth wholly with God.  They hid in their minds what they did not speak out to thee, saying, “Were we to have gained aught in this affair, none of us had been slain at this place.”  Say:  Had ye remained in your homes, they who were decreed to be slain would have gone forth to the places where they lie:-in order that God might make trial of what was in your breasts, and might discover what was in your hearts, for God knoweth the very secrets of the breast.

Of a truth it was Satan alone who caused those of you to fail in duty who turned back on the day when the hosts met, for some of their doings!  But now hath God pardoned them; For God is Forgiving, Gracious.

O ye who believe! be not like the infidels, who said of their brethren when they had travelled by land or had gone forth to war, “Had they kept with us, they had not died, and had not been slain!” God purposed that this affair should cause them heart sorrow!  God maketh alive and killeth; and God beholdeth your actions.

And if ye shall be slain or die on the path of God, then pardon from God and mercy is better than all your amassings;

For if ye die or be slain, verily unto God shall ye be gathered.

Of the mercy of God thou hast spoken to them in gentle terms.  Hadst thou been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from thee.  Therefore, forgive and ask for pardon for them, and consult them in the affair of war, and when thou art resolved, then put thou thy trust in God, for God loveth those who trust in Him.

If God help you, none shall overcome you; but if He abandon you, who is he that shall help you when He is gone?  In God, then, let the faithful trust.

It is not the Prophet who will defraud you;49-But he who shall defraud, shall come forth with his defraudings on the day of the resurrection:  then shall every soul be paid what it hath merited, and they shall not be treated with injustice.

Shall he who hath followed the good pleasure of God be as he who hath brought on himself wrath from God, and whose abode shall be Hell? and wretched the journey thither!

There are varying grades with God:  and God beholdeth what ye do.

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Now hath God been gracious to the faithful, when he raised up among them an apostle out of their own people, to rehearse unto them his signs, and to cleanse them, and to give them knowledge of the Book and of Wisdom:  for before they were in manifest error.

When a reverse hath befallen you,50 the like of which ye had before inflicted, say ye, “Whence is this?” Say:  It is from yourselves.  For God hath power over all things.

And that which befel you on the day when the armies met, was certainly by the