By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Selections From The Kur-an
Author: Lane, Edward William
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Selections From The Kur-an" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.




   Ballantyne Press

[Illustration: MECCA.]





   A New Edition, Revised and Enlarged,






   [_All rights reserved._]


There are several translations of the Ḳur-án in several languages; but
there are very few people who have the strength of mind to read any of
them through. The chaotic arrangement and frequent repetitions, and
the obscurity of the language, are sufficient to deter the most
persistent reader, whilst the nature of a part of its contents renders
the Ḳur-án unfit for a woman’s eye.

Yet there always has been a wish to know something about the sacred
book of the Mohammadans, and it was with the design of satisfying this
wish, whilst avoiding the weariness and the disgust which a complete
perusal of the Ḳur-án must produce, that Mr. Lane arranged the
‘Selections’ which were published in 1843. In spite of many printer’s
errors, due to the author’s absence from England, the book was so far
successful that the edition was exhausted, and it is now very
difficult to obtain a copy. But partly owing to the obstructions to
the reading offered by an interwoven native commentary, and partly by
reason of the preference shown for the doctrinal over the poetical
passages, the book went into scholars’ hands rather than into the
libraries of the general reading public. It has proved of
considerable service to students of Arabic, who have found it the most
accurate rendering in existence of a large part of the Ḳur-án; and
even native Muslims of India, ignorant of Arabic, have used Lane’s
‘Selections’ as their Bible.

In this edition I have endeavoured rather to carry out the original
intention of the translator. Experience has shown that the first plan
was over-learned to commend itself to the average reader, for whom Mr.
Lane had destined the book; in this edition I have therefore omitted
many of the notes, which will not be missed by the reader for whom the
book is intended, and for which the Arabic scholar has only to refer
to the first edition, or to Sale’s _Koran_, whence most of them were
derived. Again, the text of the first edition was obscured and
interrupted by an interwoven commentary, which destroyed the pleasure
of the language and often made the meaning less intelligible than
before. This commentary has been thinned. Where it added nothing to
the text, it has been erased; where it gave a curious or valuable
explanation, it has been thrown into a footnote; where it merely
supplied a necessary word to complete the sense, that word has been
left in the text distinguished by a different type[1]. Once more, the
early and wilder _soorahs_ were almost wholly omitted in the first
edition, whilst the later more dogmatic and less poetical _soorahs_
were perhaps too fully represented. I have endeavoured to establish
the balance between the two.

In this edition the Selections are divided into two parts. The first
is Islám; the second, other religions as regarded in Islám. In the
first are grouped, under distinctive headings, the more important
utterances of Moḥammad on what his followers must believe and do; in
the second are his versions of the history of the patriarchs and other
personages of the Jewish and Christian writings.

It is only in the First Part that I have made much alteration, either
by adding fresh extracts (distinguished by a sign), or by making a few
merely verbal alterations in the original extracts, or by the
suppression or transposition of the commentary. Any alterations that
go beyond this—new renderings, for instance—are duly recorded in the

The Second Part is almost unchanged from the first edition. In this
part the interwoven commentary is left entire, for the traditions of
the commentators about Abraham and Moses and Christ are as curious as
the traditions of Moḥammad, and about as credible; and the narrative
style of the Second Part allows the introduction of parentheses more
easily than the rhetorical form which many of the extracts in the
First Part present.

Mr. Lane’s Introduction was abridged from Sale’s Preliminary
Discourse, with but little addition from his own knowledge. Sale’s
Discourse abounds in information, but it is too detailed and lengthy
for the purpose of this volume. I have, then, substituted a short
sketch of the beginnings of Islám. I have tried to bring home to the
reader the little we know of the early Arabs; then to draw the picture
of the great Arab prophet and his work; to show what are the salient
points of Islám; and finally to explain something of the history of
the Ḳur-án and its contents. I am conscious of having drawn the
picture with a weak hand, but I hope the sketch may serve as a not
quite useless introduction to a volume of typical selections from a
book which, in the peculiar character of its contents and the
extraordinary power of its influence, has not its parallel in the

   S. L. P.

   _June 1878._



      I. THE ARABS BEFORE MOḤAMMAD                 xi
     II. MOḤAMMAD                              xxxvii
    III. ISLÁM                                 lxxvii
     IV. THE ḲUR-ÁN                                 c

        _PART THE FIRST._

      I. THE OPENING PRAYER                         3
     II. PREMONITION                                4
    III. GOD                                        5
     IV. MOḤAMMAD AND THE ḲUR-ÁN                   13
     VI. PREDESTINATION                            32
    VII. ANGELS AND JINN                           33
   VIII. TRUE RELIGION AND FALSE                   34
     IX. BELIEVERS AND UNBELIEVERS                 38

        _PART THE SECOND._

     II. ADAM AND EVE                              49
    III. ABEL AND CAIN                             53
     IV. NOAH AND THE FLOOD                        55
      V. ´ÁD AND THAMOOD                           60
     VI. DHU-L-ḲARNEYN                             63
    VII. ABRAHAM, ISHMAEL, ISAAC                   66
     IX. JOB                                       93
      X. SHO´EYB                                   95
     XI. MOSES AND HIS PEOPLE                      97
    XII. SAUL, DAVID, SOLOMON                     132
   XIII. JONAH                                    146
    XIV. EZRA                                     148
     XV. THE MESSIAH                              149

         INDEXES                                  167



     ‘Oh, our manhood’s prime vigour! No spirit feels waste,
   Not a muscle is stopped in its playing nor sinew unbraced.
   Oh, the wild joys of living! the leaping from rock up to rock,
   The strong rending of boughs from the fir-tree, the cool silver shock
   Of the plunge in the pool’s living water, the hunt of the bear,
   And the sultriness showing the lion is couched in his lair.
   And the meal, the rich dates yellowed over with gold-dust divine,
   And the locust flesh steeped in the pitcher, the full draught of wine,
   And the sleep in the dried river-channel where bulrushes tell
   That the water was wont to go warbling so softly and well.
   How good is man’s life, the mere living! how fit to employ
   All the heart and the soul and the senses for ever in joy!’

   —BROWNING, _Saul_.

Between Egypt and Assyria, jostled by both, yielding to neither, lay a
strange country, unknown save at its marches even to its neighbours,
dwelt-in by a people that held itself aloof from all the earth—a
people whom the great empires of the ancient world in vain essayed to
conquer, against whom the power of Persia, Egypt, Rome, Byzantium was
proven impotence, and at whose hands even the superb Alexander, had he
lived to test his dream, might for once have learnt the lesson of
defeat. Witnessing the struggle and fall of one and another of the
great tyrannies of antiquity, yet never entering the arena of the
fight;—swept on its northern frontier by the conflicting armies of
Khusru and Cæsar, but lifting never a hand in either cause;—Arabia was
at length to issue forth from its silent mystery, and after baffling
for a thousand years the curious gaze of strangers, was at last to
draw to itself the fearful eyes of all men. The people of whom almost
nothing before could certainly be asserted but its existence was
finally of its own free will to throw aside the veil, to come forth
from its fastnesses, and imperiously to bring to its feet the kingdoms
of the world.

It is not all Arabia of which I speak. The story to tell has nothing
as yet to say to the ‘happy’ tilled lands of the south, nor to the
outlying princedoms of El-Ḥeereh and Ghassán bordering the territories
and admitting the suzerainty of Persia and Rome. These lands were not
wrapped in mystery: the Himyerite’s kingdom in the Yemen, the rule of
Zenobia at Palmyra, were familiar to the nations around. But the
cradle of Islám was not here.

Along the eastern coast of the Red Sea, sometimes thrusting its spurs
of red sandstone and porphyry into the waves, sometimes drawing away
and leaving a wide stretch of lowland, runs a rugged range of
mountain. One above another, the hills rise from the coast, leaving
here and there between them a green valley, where you may see an Arab
settlement or a group of Bedawees watering their flocks. Rivers there
are none; and the streams that gather from the rainfall are scarcely
formed but they sink into the parched earth. Yet beneath the dried-up
torrent-beds a rivulet trickles at times, and straightway there
spreads a rich oasis dearly prized by the wanderers of the desert. All
else is bare and desolate. Climb hill after hill, and the same sight
meets the eye—barren mountain-side, dry gravelly plain, and the rare
green valleys. At length you have reached the topmost ridge; and you
see, not a steep descent, no expected return to the plain, but a vast
desert plateau, blank, inhospitable, to all but Arabs unindwellable.
You have climbed the Ḥijáz—the ‘barrier’—and are come to the steppes
of the Nejd—the ‘highland.’ In the valleys of this barrier-land are
the Holy Cities, Mekka and Medina. Here is the birthplace of Islám:
the Arab tribes of the Ḥijáz and the Nejd were the first disciples of

One may tell much of a people’s character from its home. Truism as it
seems, there is yet a meaning in the saying that the Arabs are
peculiarly the people of Arabia. Those who have travelled in this
wonderful land tell us of the quickening influence of the air and
scene of the desert. The fresh breath of the plain, the glorious sky,
the still of the wide expanse, trod by no step but your own, looked
upon only by yourself and perhaps yonder solitary eagle or the wild
goat leaping the cliffs you have left behind, the absolute stillness
and aloneness, bring about a strange sense of delight and exultation,
a bounding-up of spirits held in long restraint, an unknown nimbleness
of wit and limb. The Arabs felt all this and more in their bright
imaginative souls. A few would settle in villages, and engage in the
trade which came through from India to the West; but such were held in
poor repute by the true Bedawees, who preferred above all things else
the free life of the desert. It is a relief to turn from the hurry and
unrest of modern civilisation, from the never-ending strife for
wealth, for ‘position,’ for pleasure, even for knowledge, and look for
a moment on the careless life of the Bedawee. He lived the aimless,
satisfied life of some child; he sought no change; he was supremely
content with the exquisite sense of simple existence; he was happy
because he lived. He wished no more. He dreaded the dark After-death;
he thrust it from his thoughts as often as it would force itself
unwelcome upon him. Utterly fearless of man and fortune, he took no
thought for the morrow: whatever it brought forth, he felt confidently
his strength to enjoy or endure; only let him seize the happiness of
to-day while it shall last, and drain to the dregs the overbrimming
cup of his life. He was ambitious of glory and victory, but it was not
an ambition that clouded his joy. Throughout a life that was full of
energy, of passion, of strong endeavour after his ideal of desert
perfectness, there was yet a restful sense of satisfied enjoyment, a
feeling that life was of a surety well worth living.

For the Arab had his ideal of life. The true son of the desert must in
the old times do more than stretch his limbs contentedly under the
shade of the overhanging rock. He must be brave and chivalrous,
generous, hospitable; ready to sacrifice himself and his substance for
his clan; prompt to help the needy and the traveller; true to his
word, and, not least, eloquent in his speech.

Devotion to the clan was the strongest tie the Arab possessed. Though
tracing their descent from a common traditional ancestor, the great
northern family of Bedawees was split up into numerous clans, owning
no central authority, but led, scarcely governed, each by its own
chief, who was the most valiant and best-born man in it. The whole
clan acted as one being; an injury done to one member was revenged by
all, and even a crime committed by a clansman was upheld by the whole
brotherhood. Though a small spark would easily light-up war between
even friendly clans, it was rarely that those of kin met as enemies.
It is told how a clan suffered long and oft-repeated injuries from a
kindred clan without one deed of revenge. ‘They are our brothers,’
they said; ‘perhaps they will return to better feelings; perhaps we
shall see them again as they once were.’ To be brought to poverty or
even to die for the clan, the Arab deemed his duty—his privilege. To
add by his prowess or his hospitality or his eloquence to the glory of
the clan was his ambition.

   A mountain[2] we have where dwells he whom we shelter there,
     lofty, before whose height the eye falls back blunted:
   Deep-based is its root below ground, and overhead there soars
     its peak to the stars of heaven whereto no man reaches.
   A folk are we who deem it no shame to be slain in fight,
     though that be the deeming thereof of Salool and ´Ámir;
   Our love of death brings near to us our days of doom,
     but their dooms shrink from death and stand far distant.
   There dies among us no lord a quiet death in his bed,
     and never is blood of us poured forth without vengeance.
   Our souls stream forth in a flood from the edge of the whetted swords:
     no otherwise than so does our spirit leave its mansion.
   Pure is our stock, unsullied: fair is it kept and bright
     by mothers whose bed bears well, and fathers mighty.
   To the best of the uplands we wend, and when the season comes
     we travel adown to the best of fruitful valleys.
   Like rain of the heaven are we: there is not in all our line
     one blunt of heart, nor among us is counted a niggard.
   We say nay when so we will to the words of other men,
     but no man to us says nay when we give sentence.
   When passes a lord of our line, in his stead there rises straight
     a lord to say the say and do the deeds of the noble.
   Our beacon is never quenched to the wanderer of the night,
     nor has ever a guest blamed us where men meet together.
   Our Days[3] are famous among our foemen, of fair report,
     branded and blazed with glory like noble horses.
   Our swords have swept throughout all lands both west and east,
     and gathered many a notch from the steel of hauberk-wearers;
   Not used are they when drawn to be laid back in the sheaths
     before that the folk they meet are spoiled and scattered.
   If thou knowest not, ask men what they think of us and them
     —not alike are he that knows and he that knows not.
   The children of Ed-Dayyán are the shaft of their people’s mill,
     —around them it turns and whirls, while they stand midmost.[4]

The renown of the clan was closely wrapped up with the Arab
chieftain’s personal renown. He was keenly sensitive on the point of
honour, and to that notion he attached a breadth of meaning which can
scarcely be understood in these days. Honour included all the
different virtues that went to make up the ideal Bedawee. To be proved
wanting in any of these was to be dishonoured. Above all things, the
man who would ‘keep his honour and defile it not’ must be brave and

   A rushing rain-flood when he gave guerdons:
     when he sprang to the onset, a mighty lion.

The Arab warrior was a mighty man of valour. He would spend whole days
in the saddle, burdened with heavy armour, in the pursuit of a foe,
seeking the life of the slayer of his kin, or sweeping down upon the
caravan of rich merchandise which his more peaceful countrymen of the
towns were carrying through the deserts. The Arab lived mainly by
plunder. His land did not yield him food—unless it were dates, the
Bedawee’s bread—and he relied on the success of his foraging
expeditions for his support. These he conducted with perfect
good-breeding; he used no violence when it could be avoided; he merely
relieved the caravan from the trouble of carrying any further the
goods that he was himself willing to take charge of, urging, if
necessary, the unfair treatment of his forefather Ishmael as an
excellent reason for pillaging the sons of Isaac. ‘When a woman is the
victim, no Bedouin brigand, however rude, will be ill-mannered enough
to lay hands upon her. He begs her to take off the garment on which he
has set his heart, and he then retires to a distance and stands with
eyes averted, lest he should do violence to her modesty.’

The poems of the early Arabs are full of the deeds of their warriors,
the excitement of the pitched battle, the delight of the pursuit, the
nightly raid on the camp, the trial of skill between rival chiefs, and
the other pictures of a warrior’s triumph. Here we find little of the
generosity of war: mercy was rarely exercised and hatred was carried
to its extremest limits; quarter was neither asked nor given; to
despatch a wounded man was no disgrace; the families of the vanquished
were enslaved. Notwithstanding his frank genial nature, the Arab was
of a dangerously quick temper, derived, he boasted, from the flesh he
lived on of the camel, the surliest and most ill-conditioned of
beasts. If he conceived himself insulted, he was bound to revenge
himself to the full, or he would have been deemed dishonoured for
ever. And since his fiery temper easily took offence, the history of
the early Arabs is full of the traditions of slight quarrels and their
horrible results—secret assassination and the long-lasting blood-feud.

   Many the warriors, noon-journeying, who, when
     night fell, journeyed on and halted at dawning—
   Keen each one of them, girt with a keen blade
     that when one drew it flashed forth like the lightning—
   They were tasting of sleep by sips, when, as
     they nodded, thou didst fright them, and they were scattered.
   Vengeance we did on them: there escaped us
     of the two houses none but the fewest.
   And if Hudheyl[5] broke the edge of his[6] sword-blade—
     many the notch that Hudheyl gained from him!
   Many the time that he made them kneel down on
     jagged rocks where the hoof is worn with running!
   Many the morning he fell on their shelter,
     and after slaughter came plunder and spoiling!
   Hudheyl has been burned by me, one valiant
     whom Evil tires not though they be wearied—
   Whose spear drinks deep the first draught, and thereon
     drinks deep again of the blood of foemen.
   Forbidden was wine, but now it is lawful:
     hard was the toil that made it lawful!
   Reach me the cup, O Sawád son of ´Amr!
     my body is spent with gaining my vengeance.
   To Hudheyl we gave to drink Death’s goblet,
     whose dregs are disgrace and shame and dishonour.
   The hyena laughs over the slain of Hudheyl, and
     the wolf—see thou—grins by their corpses,
   And the vultures flap their wings, full-bellied
     treading their dead, too gorged to leave them.

The contempt which the Arab, with a few noble exceptions, felt for the
gentler virtues is seen in these lines:—

   Had I been a son of Mázin, there had not plundered my herds
     the sons of the Child of the Dust, Dhuhl son of Sheybán!
   There had straightway arisen to help me a heavy-handed kin,
     good smiters when help is needed, though the feeble bend to the blow:
   Men who, when Evil bares before them his hindmost teeth,
     fly gaily to meet him, in companies or alone.
   They ask not their brother, when he lays before them his wrong
     in his trouble, to give them proof of the truth of what he says.
   But as for my people, though their number be not small,
     they are good for nought against evil, however light it be;
   They requite with forgiveness the wrong of those that do them wrong,
     and the evil deeds of the evil they meet with kindness and love;
   As though thy Lord had created among the tribes of men
     themselves alone to fear Him, and never one man more.
   Would that I had in their stead a folk who, when they ride forth,
     strike swiftly and hard, on horse or on camel borne!

A point on which the temper of the Bedawee was easily touched was his
family pride. The Arab prized good blood as much in men as in his
horses and camels. In these he saw the importance of breed, and in men
he firmly believed the same principle held good. With the tenacious
memory of his race, he had no difficulty in remembering the whole of a
complicated pedigree, and he would often proudly dwell on the purity
of his blood and the gallant deeds of his forefathers. He would
challenge another chief to prove a more noble descent, and hot
disputes and bitter rivalries often came of these comparisons.

But if noble birth brought rivalry and hatred, it brought withal
excellent virtues. The Arab nobleman was not a man who was richer and
more idle and luxurious than his inferiors: his position, founded upon
descent, depended for its maintenance on personal qualities. Rank
brought with it onerous obligations. The chief, if he would retain and
carry on the repute of his line, must not only be fearless and ready
to fight all the world; he must be given to hospitality, generous to
kith and kin, and to all who cry unto him. His tent must be so pitched
in the camp that it shall not only be the first that the enemy
attacks, but also the first the wayworn stranger approaches; and at
night fires must be kindled hard by to guide wanderers in the desert
to his hospitable entertainment. If a man came to an Arab noble’s
tent and said, ‘I throw myself on your honour,’ he was safe from his
enemies until they had trampled on the dead body of his host. Nothing
was baser than to give up a guest; the treachery was rare, and brought
endless dishonour upon the clan in which the shame had taken place.
The poet extols the tents—

   Where dwells a kin great of heart, whose word is enough to shield
     whom they shelter when peril comes in a night of fierce strife
     and storm;
   Yea, noble are they: the seeker of vengeance gains not from them
     the blood of his foe, nor is he that wrongs them left without

The feeling lasted even under the debased rule of Muslim despots; for
it is related that a governor was once ordering-out some prisoners to
execution, when one of them asked for a drink of water, which was
immediately given him. He then turned to the governor and said, ‘Wilt
thou slay thy guest?’ and was forthwith set free. A pledge of
protection was inferred in the giving of hospitality, and to break his
word was a thing not to be thought upon by an Arab. He did not care to
give an oath; his simple word was enough, for it was known to be
inviolable. Hence the priceless worth of the Arab chief’s word of
welcome: it meant protection, unswerving fidelity, help, and succour.

There was no bound to this hospitality. It was the pride of the Arab
to place everything he possessed at the service of the guest. The last
milch-camel must be killed sooner than the duties of hospitality be
neglected. The story is told of Ḥátim, a gallant poet-warrior of the
tribe of Ṭayyi, which well illustrates the Arab ideal of hostship.
Ḥátim was at one time brought to the brink of starvation by the dearth
of a rainless season. For a whole day he and his family had eaten
nothing, and at night, after soothing the children to sleep by telling
them some of those stories in which the Arabs have few rivals, he was
trying by his cheerful conversation to make his wife forget her
hunger. Just then they heard steps without, and a corner of the tent
was raised. ‘Who is there?’ said Ḥátim. A woman’s voice replied, ‘I am
such a one, thy neighbour. My children have nothing to eat, and are
howling like young wolves, and I have come to beg help of thee.’
‘Bring them here,’ said Ḥátim. His wife asked him what he would do,
for if he could not feed his own children, how should he find food for
this woman’s? ‘Do not disturb thyself,’ he answered. Now Ḥátim had a
horse renowned far and wide for the purity of his stock and the
fleetness and beauty of his paces. He would not kill his favourite for
himself nor even for his own children; but now he went out and slew
him, and prepared him with fire for the strangers’ need. And when he
saw them eating with his wife and children, he exclaimed, ‘It were a
shame that you alone should eat whilst all the camp is perishing of
hunger;’ and he went and called the neighbours to the meal, and in the
morning there remained of the horse nothing but his bones. But as for
himself, wrapped in his mantle, he sat apart in a corner of the tent.

This Ḥátim is a type of the Arab nature at its noblest. Though
renowned for his courage and skill in war, he never suffered his
enmity to overcome his generosity. He had sworn an oath never to take
a man’s life, and he strictly observed it, and always withheld the
fatal last blow. In spite of his clemency, he was ever successful in
the wars of his clan, and brought back from his raids many a rich
spoil, only to spend it at once in his princely fashion. His
generosity and faithful observance of his word at times placed him in
positions of great danger; but the alternative of denying his
principles seems never to have occurred to his mind. For instance, he
had imposed upon himself as a law never to refuse a gift to him that
asked it of him. Once, engaged in single combat, he had disarmed and
routed his opponent, who then turned and said, ‘Ḥátim, give me thy
spear.’ At once he threw it to him, leaving himself defenceless; and
had he not met an adversary worthy of himself, this had been the last
of his deeds. Happily Ḥátim was not the only generous warrior of the
Arabs, and his foe did not avail himself of his advantage. When
Ḥátim’s friends remonstrated with him on the rashness of an act which,
in the spirit of shopkeepers, they regarded as quixotic, Ḥátim said,
‘What would you have me to do? He asked of me a gift!’

It was Ḥátim’s practice to buy the liberty of all captives who sought
his aid: it was but another application of the Arab virtue of
hospitality. Once a captive called to him when he was on a journey and
had not with him the means of paying the ransom. But he was not wont
to allow any difficulties to baulk him of the exercise of his duty,
and he had the prisoner released, stepping meanwhile into his chains
until his own clan should send the ransom.

Brave, chivalrous, faithful, and generous beyond the needful of Arab
ideal—so that his niggard wife, using the privilege of high dames,
repudiated him because he was ever ruining himself and her by his open
hand—Ḥátim filled up the measure of Arab virtue by his eloquence, and
such of his poems as have come down to us reflect the nobility of his
life. As a youth he had shown a strong passion for poetry, and would
spare no means of doing honour to poets. His grandfather, in despair
at the boy’s extravagance, sent him away from the camp to guard the
camels, which were pastured at a distance. Sitting there in a state of
solitude little congenial to his nature, Ḥátim lifted his eyes and saw
a caravan approaching. It was the caravan of three great poets who
were travelling to the court of the King of El-Ḥeereh. Ḥátim begged
them to alight and to accept of refreshment after the hot and dreary
journey. He killed them a camel each, though one would have more than
sufficed for the three; and in return they wrote him verses in praise
of himself and his kindred. Overjoyed at the honour, Ḥátim insisted on
the poets each accepting a hundred camels; and they departed with
their gifts. When the grandfather came to the pasturing and asked
where the camels were gone, Ḥátim answered, ‘I have exchanged them for
a crown of honour, which will shine for all time on the brow of thy
race. The lines in which great poets have celebrated our house will
pass from mouth to mouth, and will carry our glory over all Arabia.’

This story well illustrates the Arab’s passionate love of poetry. He
conceived his language to be the finest in the world, and he prized
eloquence and poetry as the goodliest gifts of the gods. There were
three great events in Arab life, when the clan was called together and
great feastings and rejoicings ensued. One was the birth of a son to a
chief; another the foaling of a generous mare; the third was the
discovery that a great poet had risen up among them. The advent of the
poet meant the immortality of the deeds of the clansmen and the
everlasting contumely of their foes; it meant the raising up of the
glory of the tribe over all the clans of Arabia, and the winning of
triumphs by bitterer weapons than sword and spear—the weapons of
stinging satire and scurrilous squib. No man might dare withstand the
power of the poets among a people who were keenly alive to the point
of an epigram, and who never forgot an ill-natured jibe if it were
borne upon musical verse. Most of the great heroes of the desert were
poets as well as warriors, and their poesy was deemed the chiefest gem
in their crown, and, like their courage, was counted a proof of
generous birth. The Khalif ´Omar said well, ‘The kings of the Arabs
are their orators and poets, those who practise and who celebrate all
the virtues of the Bedawee.’

This ancient poetry of the Arabs is the reflection of the people’s
life. Far away from the trouble of the world, barred by wild wastes
from the stranger, the Bedawee lived his happy child’s life, enjoying
to the uttermost the good the gods had sent him, delighting in the
face that Nature showed him, inspired by the glorious breath of the
deserts that were his home. His poetry rings of that desert life. It
is emotional, passionate, seldom reflective. Not the end of life, the
whence and the whither, but the actual present joy of existence, was
the subject of his song. Vivid painting of nature is the
characteristic of this poetry: it is natural, unpolished, unlaboured.
The scenes of the desert—the terrors of the nightly ride through the
hill-girdled valley where the Ghools and the Jinn have their haunts;
the gloom of the barren plain, where the wolf, ‘like a ruined
gamester,’ roams ululating; the weariness of the journey under the
noonday sun; the stifling of the sand-storm, the delusions of the
mirage; or again, the solace of the palm-tree’s shade, and the
delights of the cool well;—such are the pictures of the Arab poet. The
people’s life is another frequent theme: the daily doings of the
herdsman, the quiet pastoral life, on the one hand; on the other, the
deeds of the chiefs—war, plunder, the chase, wassail, revenge,
friendship, love. There were satires on rival tribes, panegyrics on
chiefs, laments for the dead. This poetry is wholly objective,
artless, childlike; it is the outcome of a people still in the
freshness of youth, whom the mysteries and complications of life have
not yet set a-thinking. ‘Just as his language knows but the present
and the past, so the ancient Arab lived but in to-day and yesterday.
The future is nought to him; he seizes the present with too thorough
abandonment to have an emotion left for anything beyond. He troubles
himself not with what fate the morrow may bring forth, he dreams not
of a beautiful future,—only he revels in the present, and his glance
looks backward alone. Rich in ideas and impressions, he is poor in
thought. He drains hastily the foaming cup of life; he feels deeply
and passionately; but it is as if he were never conscious of the
coming of the thoughtful age which, while it surveys the past, as
often turns an anxious look to the unknown future.’

It is very difficult for a Western mind to enter into the real beauty
of the old Arab poetry. The life it depicts is so unlike any we can
now witness, that it is almost removed beyond the pale of our
sympathies. The poetry is loaded with metaphors and similes, which to
us seem far-fetched, though they are drawn from the simplest daily
sights of the Bedawee. Moreover, it is only in fragments that we can
read it; for the change in the whole character of Arab life and in the
current of Arab ideas which followed the conquests of Islám
extinguished the old songs, which were no longer suitable to the new
conditions of things; and as they were seldom recorded in writing, we
possess but a little remnant of them.[8] Yet ‘these fragments may be
broken, defaced, dimmed, and obscured by fanaticism, ignorance, and
neglect; but out of them there arises anew all the freshness, bloom,
and glory of desert-song, as out of Homer’s epics rise the glowing
spring-time of humanity and the deep blue heavens of Hellas. It is not
a transcendental poetry, rich in deep and thoughtful legend and lore,
or glittering in the many-coloured prisms of fancy, but a poetry the
chief task of which is to paint life and nature as they really are;
and within its narrow bounds it is magnificent. It is chiefly and
characteristically full of manliness, of vigour, and of a chivalrous
spirit, doubly striking when compared with the spirit of abjectness
and slavery found in some other Asiatic nations. It is wild and vast
and monotonous as the yellow seas of its desert solitudes; it is
daring and noble, tender and true.’ [9]

There was one place where, above all others, the Ḳaṣeedehs of the
ancient Arabs were recited: this was ´Okáḍh, the Olympia of Arabia,
where there was held a great annual Fair, to which not merely the
merchants of Mekka and the south, but the poet-heroes of all the land
resorted. The Fair of ´Okáḍh was held during the sacred months,—a sort
of ‘God’s Truce,’ when blood could not be shed without a violation of
the ancient customs and faiths of the Bedawees. Thither went the poets
of rival clans, who had as often locked spears as hurled rhythmical
curses. There was little fear of a bloody ending to the poetic
contest, for those heroes who might meet there with enemies or
blood-avengers are said to have worn masks or veils, and their poems
were recited by a public orator at their dictation. That these
precautions and the sacredness of the time could not always prevent
the ill-feeling evoked by the pointed personalities of rival singers
leading to a fray and bloodshed is proved by recorded instances; but
such results were uncommon, and as a rule the customs of the time and
place were respected. In spite of occasional broils on the spot, and
the lasting feuds which these poetic contests must have excited, the
Fair of ´Okáḍh was a grand institution. It served as a focus for the
literature of all Arabia: every one with any pretensions to poetic
power came, and if he could not himself gain the applause of the
assembled people, at least he could form one of the critical audience
on whose verdict rested the fame or the shame of every poet. The Fair
of ´Okáḍh was a literary congress, without formal judges, but with
unbounded influence. It was here that the polished heroes of the
desert determined points of grammar and prosody; here the seven Golden
Songs were recited, although (alas for the charming legend!) they were
_not_ afterwards ‘suspended’ on the Kaạbeh; and here ‘a magical
language, the language of the Ḥijáz,’ was built out of the dialects of
Arabia, and was made ready to the skilful hand of Moḥammad, that he
might conquer the world with his Ḳur-án.

The Fair of ´Okáḍh was not merely a centre of emulation for Arab
poets: it was also an annual review of Bedawee virtues. It was there
that the Arab nation once-a-year inspected itself, so to say, and
brought forth and criticised its ideals of the noble and the beautiful
in life and in poetry. For it was in poetry that the Arab—and for that
matter each man all the world over—expressed his highest thoughts, and
it was at ´Okáḍh that these thoughts were measured by the standard of
the Bedawee ideal. The Fair not only maintained the highest standard
of poetry that the Arabic language has ever reached: it also upheld
the noblest idea of life and duty that the Arab nation has yet set
forth and obeyed. ´Okáḍh was the press, the stage, the pulpit, the
Parliament, and the Académie Française of the Arab people; and when,
in his fear of the infidel poets (whom Imra-el-Ḳeys was to usher to
hell), Moḥammad abolished the Fair, he destroyed the Arab nation even
whilst he created his own new nation of Muslims;—and the Muslims
cannot sit in the places of the old pagan Arabs.

It is very difficult for the Western mind to dissociate the idea of
Oriental poetry from the notion of amatory odes, and sonnets to the
lady’s eyebrow: but even the few extracts that have been given in this
chapter show that the Arab had many other subjects besides love to
sing about, and though the divine theme has its place in almost every
poem, it seldom rivals the prominence of war and nature-painting, and
it is treated from a much less sensual point of view than that of
later Arab poets. Many writers have drawn a gloomy picture of the
condition of women in Arabia before the coming of Moḥammad, and there
is no doubt that in many cases their lot was a miserable one. There
are ancient Arabic proverbs that point to the contempt in which
woman’s judgment and character were held by the Arabs of ‘the Time of
Ignorance,’ and Moḥammad must have derived his mean opinion of women
from a too general impression among his countrymen. The marriage tie
was certainly very loose among the ancient Arabs. The ceremony itself
was of the briefest. The man said _khiṭb_ (_i.e._ I am an
asker-in-marriage), and the giver-away answered _nikḥ_ (_i.e._, I am a
giver-in-marriage), and the knot was thus tied, only to be undone with
equal facility and brevity. The frequency of divorce among the Arabs
does not speak well for their constancy, and must have had a degrading
effect upon the women. Hence it is argued that women were the objects
of contempt rather than of respect among the ancient Arabs.

Yet there is reason to believe that the evidence upon which this
conclusion is founded is partial and one-sided. There was a wide gulf
between the Bedawee and the town Arab. It is not impossible that the
view commonly entertained as to the state of women in preïslamic times
is based mainly on what Moḥammad saw around him in Mekka, and not on
the ordinary life of the desert. To such a conjecture a curiously
uniform support is lent by the ancient poetry of the desert; and
though the poets were then—as they always are—men of finer mould than
the rest, yet their example, and still more their poems passing from
mouth to mouth, must have created a widespread belief in their
principles. It is certain that the roaming Bedawee, like the mediæval
knight, entertained a chivalrous reverence for women, although he,
too, like the knight, was not always above a career of promiscuous
gallantry; but there was always a certain glamour of romance about the
intrigues of the Bedawee. He did not regard the object of his love as
a chattel to be possessed, but as a divinity to be assiduously
worshipped. The poems are full of instances of the courtly respect
displayed by the heroes of the desert toward defenceless maidens, and
the mere existence of so general an ideal of conduct in the poems is a
strong argument for Arab chivalry: for with the Arabs the abyss
between the ideal accepted of the mind and the attaining thereof in
action was narrower than it is among ‘more advanced’ nations.

Whatever was the condition of women in the trading cities and
villages, it is certain that in the desert woman was regarded as she
has never since been among Muslims. The modern ḥareem system was there
as yet undreamt of; the maid of the desert was unfettered by the
ruinous restrictions of modern life in the East. She was free to
choose her own husband, and to bind him to have no other wife than
herself. She might receive male visitors, even strangers, without
suspicion: for her virtue was too dear to her and too well assured to
need the keeper. It was the bitterest taunt of all to say to a hostile
clan that their men had not the heart to give nor their women to deny;
for the chastity of the women of the clan was reckoned only next to
the valour and generosity of the men. In those days bastardy was an
indelible stain. It was the wife who inspired the hero to deeds of
glory, and it was her praise that he most valued when he returned
triumphant. The hero of desert song thought himself happy to die in
guarding some women from their pursuers. Wounded to the death,
´Antarah halted alone in a narrow pass, and bade the women press on to
a place of safety. Planting his spear in the ground, he supported
himself on his horse, so that when the pursuers came up they knew not
he was dead, and dared not approach within reach of his dreaded arm.
At length the horse moved, and the body fell to the ground, and the
enemies saw that it was but the corpse of the hero that had held the
pass. In death, as in a life _sans peur et sans reproche_, ´Antarah
was true to the chivalry of his race.

There are many instances like this of the knightly courtesy of the
Arab chief in ‘the Time of Ignorance.’ In the old days, as an ancient
writer says, the true Arab had but one love, and her he loved till
death, and she him. Even when polygamy became commoner, especially in
the towns, it was not what is meant by polygamy in a modern Muslim
state: it was rather the patriarchal system of Abram and Sarai.

There is much in the fragments of the ancient poetry which reflects
this fine spirit. It is ofttimes ‘tender and true,’ and even Islám
could not wholly root out the real Arab sentiment, which reappears in
Muslim times in the poems of Aboo-Firás. Especially valuable is the
evidence of the old poetry with regard to the love of a father for his
daughters. Infanticide, which is commonly attributed to the whole Arab
nation of every age before Islám, was in reality exceedingly rare in
the desert, and after almost dying out only revived about the time of
Moḥammad. It was probably adopted by poor and weak clans, either from
inability to support their children, or in order to protect themselves
from the stain of having their children dishonoured by stronger
tribes, and the occasional practice of this barbarous and suicidal
custom affords no ground for assuming an unnatural hatred and contempt
for girls among the ancient Arabs. These verses of a father to his
daughter tell a different story:—

   If no Umeymeh were there, no want would trouble my soul,
     no labour call me to toil for bread through pitchiest night;
   What moves my longing to live is but that well do I know
     how low the fatherless lies, how hard the kindness of kin.
   I quake before loss of wealth lest lacking fall upon her,
     and leave her shieldless and bare as flesh set forth on a board.
   My life she prays for, and I from mere love pray for her death—
     yea death, the gentlest and kindest guest to visit a maid.
   I fear an uncle’s rebuke, a brother’s harshness for her;
     my chiefest end was to spare her heart the grief of a word.

Once more, the following lines do not breathe the spirit of

   Fortune has brought me down (her wonted way)
     from station great and high to low estate;
   Fortune has rent away my plenteous store:
     of all my wealth, honour alone is left.
   Fortune has turned my joy to tears: how oft
     did Fortune make me laugh with what she gave!
   But for these girls, the Ḳaṭa’s downy brood,
     unkindly thrust from door to door as hard,
   Far would I roam and wide to seek my bread
     in earth that has no lack of breadth and length;
   Nay, but our children in our midst, what else
     but our hearts are they walking on the ground?
   If but the wind blow harsh on one of them,
     mine eye says no to slumber all night long.

Hitherto we have been looking at but one side of Arab life. The
Bedawees were indeed the bulk of the race, and furnished the swords of
the Muslim conquests; but there was also a vigorous town-life in
Arabia, and the citizens waxed rich with the gains of their
trafficking. For through Arabia ran the trade-route between East and
West: it was the Arab traders who carried the produce of the Yemen to
the markets of Syria; and how ancient was their commerce one may
divine from the words of a poet of Judæa spoken more than a thousand
years before the coming of Moḥammad.

   Wedan and Javan from San´a paid for thy produce:
     sword-blades, cassia, and calamus were in thy trafficking.
   Dedan was thy merchant in saddle-cloths for riding;
   Arabia and all the merchants of Kedar, they were the merchants
     of thy hand:
     in lambs and rams and goats, in these were they thy merchants.
   The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants,
     with the chief of all spices, and with every precious stone,
       and gold,
          they paid for thy produce.
   Haran, Aden, and Canneh, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur and
     Chilmad were thy merchants;
   They were thy merchants in excellent wares,
     in cloth of blue and broidered work,
     in chests of cloth of divers colours, bound with cords
        and made fast among thy merchandize.[10]

Mekka was the centre of this trading life, the typical Arab city of
old times—a stirring little town, with its caravans bringing the silks
and woven stuffs of Syria and the far-famed damask, and carrying away
the sweet-smelling produce of Arabia, frankincense, cinnamon,
sandal-wood, aloe, and myrrh, and the dates and leather and metals of
the south, and the goods that come to the Yemen from Africa and even
India; its assemblies of merchant-princes in the Council Hall near the
Kaạbeh; and again its young poets running over with love and
gallantry; its Greek and Persian slave-girls brightening the luxurious
banquet with their native songs, when as yet there was no Arab school
of music, and the monotonous but not unmelodious chant of the
camel-driver was the national song of Arabia; and its club, where busy
men spent their idle hours in playing chess and draughts, or in
gossiping with their acquaintance. It was a little republic of
commerce, too much infected with the luxuries and refinements of the
states it traded with, yet retaining enough of the free Arab nature to
redeem it from the charge of effeminacy.

Mekka was a great home of music and poetry, and this characteristic
lasted into Muslim times. There is a story of a certain stonemason who
had a wonderful gift of singing. When he was at work the young men
used to come and importune him, and bring him gifts of money and food
to induce him to sing. He would then make a stipulation that they
should first help him in his work; and forthwith they would strip off
their cloaks, and the stones would gather round him rapidly. Then he
would mount a rock and begin to sing, whilst the whole hill was
coloured red and yellow with the variegated garments of his audience.
Singers were then held in the highest admiration, and the greatest
chiefs used to pay their court to ladies of the musical profession.
One of them used to give receptions, open to the whole city, in which
she would appear in great state, surrounded by her ladies-in-waiting,
each dressed magnificently, and wearing ‘an elegant artificial
chignon.’ It was in this town-life that the worse qualities of the
Arab came out; it was here that his raging passion for dicing and his
thirst for wine were most prominent. In the desert there was little
opportunity for indulging in either luxury; but in a town which often
welcomed a caravan bringing goods to the value of twenty thousand
pound, such excesses were to be looked for. Excited by the song of the
Greek slave-girl and the fumes of mellow wine, the Mekkan would throw
the dice till, like the Germans of Tacitus, he had staked and lost his
own liberty.

But Mekka was more than a centre of trade and of song. It was the
focus of the religion of the Arabs. Thither the tribes went up every
year to kiss the black stone which had fallen from heaven in the
primeval days of Adam, and to make the seven circuits of the Kaạbeh
naked,—for they would not approach God in the garments in which they
had done their sins,—and to perform the other ceremonies of the
pilgrimage. The Kaạbeh, a cubical building in the centre of Mekka, was
the most sacred temple in all Arabia, and it gave its sanctity to all
the district around. It had been, saith tradition, first built by Adam
from a heavenly model, and then rebuilt from time to time by Seth and
Abraham and Ishmael, and less reverend persons, and it contained the
sacred things of the land. Here was the black stone, here the great
god of red agate, Hubal, and the three hundred and sixty idols, one
for each day of the year, which Moḥammad afterwards destroyed in one
day. Here was Abraham’s stone and that other which marked the tomb of
Ishmael, and hard by Zemzem, the god-sent spring which gushed from the
sand when the forefather of the Arabs was perishing of thirst.

The religion of the ancient Arabs, little as we know of it, is
especially interesting, inasmuch as the Arabs longest retained the
original Semitic character, and hence probably the original Semitic
religion: and so in the ancient religion of Arabia we see the religion
once professed by Chaldeans, Canaanites, Phœnicians. This ancient
religion ‘rises little higher than animistic polydaemonism. It is a
collection of tribal religions standing side by side, only loosely
united, though there are traces of a once closer connection.’ [11]
The great objects of worship were the sun and the stars and the three
moon-goddesses—El-Lát the bright moon, Menáh the dark, and El-´Uzzà
the union of the two; whilst a lower cultus of trees, stones, and
mountains, supposed to be dwelt-in by souls, shows that the religion
had not yet quite risen above simple fetishism. At the time of
Moḥammad the Arabs worshipped numerous images, which may have been
merely a development from the previous stone-worship, or may have been
introduced from intercourse with Christians. There are traces of a
belief in a supreme God behind this pantheon, and the moon-goddesses
and other divinities were regarded as daughters of _the most high God_
(Alláh ta´ála)—a conception also possibly derived from Christianity.
The various deities (but not the Supreme Allah) had their fanes, where
human sacrifices, though rare, were not unknown; and their cultus was
superintended by a hereditary line of seers, who were held in great
reverence, but never developed into a priestly caste.

Besides the tribal gods, individual households had their special
Penates, to whom was due the first and the last salám of the returning
or outgoing host. But in spite of all this superstitious apparatus the
Arabs were never a religious people. In the old days, as now, they
were reckless, skeptical, materialistic. They had their gods and their
divining-arrows, but they were ready to demolish both if the responses
proved contrary to their wishes. A great majority believed in no
future life nor in a reckoning-day of good and evil. If a few tied
camels to the graves of the dead that the corpse might ride mounted to
the judgment-seat, it must have been the exception; and if there are
some doubtful traces of the doctrine of metempsychosis, this again
must have been the creed of the very few.

Christianity and Judaism had made but small impress upon the Arabs.
There were Jewish tribes in the north, and there is evidence in the
Ḳur-án and elsewhere that the traditions and rites of Judaism were
widely known in Arabia. But the creed was too narrow and too
exclusively national to commend itself to the majority of the people.
Christianity fared even worse. Whether or not St. Paul went there, it
is at least certain that very little effect was produced by the
preaching of Christianity in Arabia. We hear of Christians on the
borders, and even two or three among the Mekkans, and bishops and
churches are spoken of at Dhafár and Nejrán. But the Christianity that
the Arabs knew was, like the Judaism of the northern tribes, a very
imperfect reflection of the faith it professed to set forth. It had
become a thing of the head instead of the heart, and the refinements
of monophysite and monothelite doctrines gained no hold upon the Arab

Thus Judaism and Christianity, though they were well known, and
furnished many ideas and ceremonies to Islám, were never able to
effect any general settlement in Arabia. The common Arabs did not care
much about any religion, and the finer spirits found the wrangling
dogmatism of the Christian and the narrow isolation of the Jew little
to their mind. For there were before the time of Moḥammad men who were
dissatisfied with the low fetishism in which their countrymen were
plunged, and who protested emphatically against the idle and often
cruel superstitions of the Arabs. Not to refer to the prophets, who,
as the Ḳur-án relates, were sent in old time to the tribes of ´Ád and
Thamood to convert them, there was, immediately before the preaching
of Moḥammad, a general feeling that a change was at hand; a prophet
was expected, and women were anxiously hoping for male children if so
be they might mother the Apostle of God; and the more thoughtful
minds, tinged with traditions of Judaism, were seeking for what they
called ‘the religion of Abraham.’ These men were called _‘Ḥaneefs,’_
or skeptics, and their religion seems to have consisted chiefly in a
negative position, in denying the superstition of the Arabs, and in
only asserting the existence of one sole-ruling God whose absolute
slaves are all mankind, without being able to decide on any minor
doctrines, or to determine in what manner this one God was to be
worshipped. So long as the Ḥaneefs could give their countrymen no more
definite creed than this, their influence was limited to a few
inquiring and doubting minds. It was reserved for Moḥammad to
formulate the faith of the Ḥaneefs in the dogmas of Islám. For the
leader of these few ‘skeptics’ was Zeyd ibn ´Amr, to whom Moḥammad
often resorted, and another, Waraḳah, was the cousin of the Prophet
and his near neighbour: and thus the Ḥaneefs were the forerunners of
the man who was to change the destinies of the Arabs.

We can no longer see the true Arab as he was in ‘the Time of
Ignorance,’ and we cannot but regret our loss; for the Pagan Arab is a
noble type of man, though there be nobler. There is much that is
admirable in his high mettle, his fine sense of honour, his
knightliness, his ‘open-handed, both-handed,’ generosity, his frank
friendship, and his manly independent spirit; and the faults of this
wild reckless nature are not to be weighed against its many
excellencies. When Moḥammad turned abroad the current of Arab life, he
changed the character of the people. The mixture with foreign nations,
and the quiet town-life that succeeded to the tumult of conquest,
gradually effaced many of the leading ideas of the old Arab nature,
and the remnant that still dwell in the land of their fathers have
lost much of that nobleness of character which in their ancestors
covered a multitude of sins. Moḥammad in part destroyed the Arab and
created the Muslim. The last is no amends for the first. The modern
Bedawee is neither the one nor the other; he has lost the greatness
of the old type without gaining that of the new. As far as the Arabs
alone are concerned, Moḥammad effected a temporary good and a lasting
harm. As to the world at large, that is matter for another chapter.


   For every fiery prophet in old times,
   And all the sacred madness of the bard,
   When God made music through them, could but speak
   His music by the framework and the chord;
   And as _he_ saw it _he hath_ spoken truth.


A prophet for the Arabs must fulfil two conditions if he will bring
with his good tidings the power of making them accepted: he must
spring from the traditional centre of Arabian religion, and he must
come of a noble family of pure Arab blood. Moḥammad fulfilled both.
His family was that branch of the Ḳureysh which had raised Mekka to
the dignity of the undisputed metropolis of Arabia, and which, though
impoverished, still held the chief offices of the sacred territory.
Moḥammad’s grandfather was the virtual chief of Mekka; for to him
belonged the guardianship of the Kaạbeh, and he it was who used the
generous privilege of giving food and water to the pilgrims who
resorted to the ‘House of God.’ His youngest son, after marrying a
kinswoman belonging to a branch of the Ḳureysh, settled at Yethrib
(Medina), died before the birth of his son (571), and this son,
Moḥammad, lost his mother when he was only six years old. The orphan
was adopted by his grandfather, ´Abd-el-Muṭṭalib; and a tender
affection sprang up between the chief of eighty years and his little
grandson. Many a day the old man might be seen sitting at his wonted
place near the Kaạbeh, and sharing his mat with his favourite. He
lived but two years more; and at his dying request, his son Aboo-Ṭálib
took charge of Moḥammad, for whom he too ever showed a love as of
father and mother.

Such is the bare outline of Moḥammad’s childhood; and of his youth we
know about as little, though the Arabian biographies abound in
legends, of which some may be true and most are certainly false. There
are stories of his journeyings to Syria with his uncle, and his
encounter with a mysterious monk of obscure faith; but there is
nothing to show for this tale, and much to be brought against it. All
we can say is, that Moḥammad probably assisted his family in the war
of the Fijár, and that he must many a time have frequented the annual
Fair of ´Oḳádh, hearing the songs of the desert chiefs and the praise
of Arab life, and listening to the earnest words of the Jews and
Christians and others who came to the Fair. He was obliged at an early
age to earn his own living; for the noble family of the Háshimees, to
which he belonged, was fast losing its commanding position, whilst
another branch of the Ḳureysh was succeeding to its dignities. The
princely munificence of Háshim and ´Abd-el-Muṭṭalib was followed by
the poverty and decline of their heirs. The duty of providing the
pilgrims with food was given up by the Háshimees to the rival branch
of Umeyyeh, whilst they retained only the lighter office of serving
water to the worshippers. Moḥammad must take his share in the labour
of the family, and he was sent to pasture the sheep of the Ḳureysh on
the hills and valleys round Mekka; and though the people despised the
shepherd’s calling, he himself was wont to look back with pleasure to
these early days, saying that God called never a prophet save from
among the sheep-folds. And doubtless it was then that he developed
that reflective disposition of mind which at length led him to seek
the reform of his people, whilst in his solitary wanderings with the
sheep he gained that marvellous eye for the beauty and wonder of the
earth and sky which resulted in the gorgeous nature-painting of the
Ḳur-án. Yet he was glad to change this menial work for the more
lucrative and adventurous post of camel-driver to the caravans of his
wealthy kinswoman Khadeejeh; and he seems to have taken so kindly to
the duty, which involved responsibilities, and to have acquitted
himself so worthily, that he attracted the notice of his employer, who
straightway fell in love with him, and presented him with her hand.
The marriage was a singularly happy one, though Moḥammad was scarcely
twenty-five and his wife nearly forty, and it brought him that repose
and exemption from daily toil which he needed in order to prepare his
mind for his great work. But beyond that, it gave him a loving woman’s
heart, that was the first to believe in his mission, that was ever
ready to console him in his despair and to keep alive within him the
thin flickering flame of hope when no man believed in him—not even
himself—and the world was black before his eyes.

We know very little of the next fifteen years. Khadeejeh bore him sons
and daughters, but only the daughters lived. We hear of his joining a
league for the protection of the weak and oppressed, and there is a
legend of his having acted with wise tact and judgment as arbitrator
in a dispute among the great families of Mekka on the occasion of the
rebuilding of the Kaạbeh. During this time, moreover, he relieved his
still impoverished uncle of the charge of his son ´Alee—afterwards the
Bayard of Islám,—and he freed and adopted a certain captive, Zeyd; and
these two became his most devoted friends and disciples. Such is the
short but characteristic record of these fifteen years of manhood. We
know very little about what Moḥammad did, but we hear only one voice
as to what he was. Up to the age of forty his unpretending modest way
of life had attracted but little notice from his townspeople. He was
only known as a simple upright man, whose life was severely pure and
refined, and whose true desert sense of honour and faith-keeping had
won him the high title of El-Emeen, ‘the Trusty.’

Let us see what fashion of man this was, who was about to work a
revolution among his countrymen, and change the conditions of social
life in a vast part of the world. The picture[12] is drawn from an
older man than we have yet seen; but Moḥammad at forty and Moḥammad at
fifty or more were probably very little different. ‘He was of the
middle height, rather thin, but broad of shoulders, wide of chest,
strong of bone and muscle. His head was massive, strongly developed.
Dark hair, slightly curled, flowed in a dense mass down almost to his
shoulders. Even in advanced age it was sprinkled by only about twenty
grey hairs—produced by the agonies of his “Revelations.” His face was
oval-shaped, slightly tawny of colour. Fine, long, arched eyebrows
were divided by a vein which throbbed visibly in moments of passion.
Great black restless eyes shone out from under long, heavy eyelashes.
His nose was large, slightly aquiline. His teeth, upon which he
bestowed great care, were well set, dazzling white. A full beard
framed his manly face. His skin was clear and soft, his complexion
“red and white,” his hands were as “silk and satin,” even as those of
a woman. His step was quick and elastic, yet firm, and as that of one
“who steps from a high to a low place,” In turning his face he would
also turn his full body. His whole gait and presence were dignified
and imposing. His countenance was mild and pensive. His laugh was
rarely more than a smile....

‘In his habits he was extremely simple, though he bestowed great care
on his person. His eating and drinking, his dress and his furniture,
retained, even when he had reached the fulness of power, their almost
primitive nature. The only luxuries he indulged in were, besides arms,
which he highly prized, a pair of yellow boots, a present from the
Negus of Abyssinia. Perfumes, however, he loved passionately, being
most sensitive of smell. Strong drinks he abhorred.

‘His constitution was extremely delicate. He was nervously afraid of
bodily pain; he would sob and roar under it. Eminently unpractical in
all common things of life, he was gifted with mighty powers of
imagination, elevation of mind, delicacy and refinement of feeling.
“He is more modest than a virgin behind her curtain,” it was said of
him. He was most indulgent to his inferiors, and would never allow his
awkward little page to be scolded, whatever he did. “Ten years,” said
Anas, his servant, “was I about the Prophet, and he never said as much
as ‘uff’ to me.” He was very affectionate towards his family. One of
his boys died on his breast in the smoky house of the nurse, a
blacksmith’s wife. He was very fond of children. He would stop them in
the streets and pat their little cheeks. He never struck any one in
his life. The worst expression he ever made use of in conversation
was, “What has come to him?—may his forehead be darkened with mud!”
When asked to curse some one he replied, “I have not been sent to
curse, but to be a mercy to mankind.” “He visited the sick, followed
any bier he met, accepted the invitation of a slave to dinner, mended
his own clothes, milked his goats, and waited upon himself,” relates
summarily another tradition. He never first withdrew his hand out of
another man’s palm, and turned not before the other had turned.... He
was the most faithful protector of those he protected, the sweetest
and most agreeable in conversation; those who saw him were suddenly
filled with reverence; those who came near him loved him; they who
described him would say, “I have never seen his like either before or
after.” He was of great taciturnity; but when he spoke it was with
emphasis and deliberation, and no one could ever forget what he said.
He was, however, very nervous and restless withal, often low-spirited,
downcast as to heart and eyes. Yet he would at times suddenly break
through these broodings, become gay, talkative, jocular, chiefly among
his own. He would then delight in telling little stories, fairy tales,
and the like. He would romp with the children and play with their

‘He lived with his wives in a row of humble cottages, separated from
one another by palm-branches, cemented together with mud. He would
kindle the fire, sweep the floor, and milk the goats himself. ´Áïsheh
tells us that he slept upon a leathern mat, and that he mended his
clothes, and even clouted his shoes, with his own hand. For months
together ... he did not get a sufficient meal. The little food that he
had was always shared with those who dropped in to partake of it.
Indeed, outside the Prophet’s house was a bench or gallery, on which
were always to be found a number of the poor, who lived entirely on
his generosity, and were hence called the “people of the bench.” His
ordinary food was dates and water or barley-bread; milk and honey were
luxuries of which he was fond, but which he rarely allowed himself.
The fare of the desert seemed most congenial to him, even when he was
sovereign of Arabia.’ [13]

Moḥammad was full forty before he felt himself called to be an apostle
to his people. If he did not actually worship the local deities of the
place, at least he made no public protest against the fetish worship
of the Ḳureysh. Yet in the several phases of his life, in his contact
with traders, in his association with Zeyd and other men, he had
gained an insight into better things than idols and human sacrifices,
divining-arrows and mountains and stars. He had heard a dim echo of
some ‘religion of Abraham;’ he had listened to the stories of the
Haggadah: he knew a very little about Jesus of Nazareth. He seems to
have suffered long under the burden of doubt and self-distrust. He
used to wander about the hills alone, brooding over these things; he
shunned the society of men, and ‘solitude became a passion to him.’

At length came the crisis. He was spending the sacred months on Mount
Ḥirá, ‘a huge barren rock, torn by cleft and hollow ravine, standing
out solitary in the full white glare of the desert sun, shadowless,
flowerless, without well or rill.’ Here in a cave Moḥammad gave
himself up to prayer and fasting. Long months or even years of doubt
had increased his nervous excitable disposition. He had had, they say,
cataleptic fits during his childhood, and was evidently more
delicately and finely constituted than those around him. Given this
nervous nature, and the grim solitude of the hill where he had almost
lived for long weary months, blindly feeling after some truth upon
which to rest his soul, it is not difficult to believe the tradition
of the cave, that Moḥammad heard a voice say, ‘Cry!’ ‘What shall I
cry?’ he answers—the question that has been burning his heart during
all his mental struggles—

   Cry[14]! in the name of thy Lord, who hath created;
   He hath created man from a clot of blood.
   Cry! and thy Lord is the Most Bountiful,
   Who hath taught [writing] by the pen:
   He hath taught man that which he knew not.

Moḥammad arose trembling, and went to Khadeejeh, and told her what he
had seen; and she did her woman’s part, and believed in him and
soothed his terror, and bade him hope for the future. Yet he could not
believe in himself. Was he not perhaps mad, possessed by a devil? Were
these voices of a truth from God? And so he went again on his solitary
wanderings, hearing strange sounds, and thinking them at one time the
testimony of Heaven, at another the temptings of Satan or the ravings
of madness. Doubting, wondering, hoping, he had fain put an end to a
life which had become intolerable in its changings from the heaven of
hope to the hell of despair, when again he heard the voice, ‘Thou art
the messenger of God, and I am Gabriel.’ Conviction at length seized
hold upon him; he was indeed to bring a message of good tidings to
the Arabs, the message of God through His angel Gabriel. He went back
to Khadeejeh exhausted in mind and body. ‘Wrap me, wrap me,’ he said;
and the word came unto him—

   O thou enwrapped in thy mantle
   Arise and warn!
   And thy Lord,—magnify Him!
   And thy raiment,—purify it!
   And the abomination,—flee it!
   And bestow not favours that thou mayest receive again with increase,
   And for thy Lord wait thou patiently.

There are those who see imposture in all this; for such I have no
answer. Nor does it matter whether in a hysterical fit or under any
physical disease soever Moḥammad saw these visions and heard these
voices. We are not concerned to draw the lines of demarcation between
enthusiasm and ecstasy and inspiration. It is sufficient that Moḥammad
_did_ see these things—the subjective creations of a tormented mind.
It is sufficient that he believed them to be a message from on high,
and that for years of neglect and persecution and for years of triumph
and conquest he acted upon his belief.

Moḥammad now (612) came forward as the Apostle of the One God to the
people of Arabia: he was at last well assured that his God was of a
truth _the_ God, and that He had indeed sent him with a message to his
people, that they too might turn from their idols and serve the living
God. He was in the minority of one, but he was no longer afraid; he
had learnt that self-trust which is the condition of all true work. At
first he spoke to his near kinsmen and friends; and it is impossible
to overrate the importance of the fact that his closest relations and
those who lived under his roof were the first to believe and the
staunchest of faith. The prophet who is _with_ honour in his own home
need appeal to no stronger proof of his sincerity, and that Moḥammad
_was_ ‘a hero to his own valet’ is an invincible argument for his
earnestness. The motherly Khadeejeh had at once, with a woman’s
instinct, divined her husband’s heart and confirmed his fainting hope
by her firm faith in him. His dearest friends, Zeyd and ´Alee, were
the next converts; and though, to his grief, he could never induce his
lifelong protector, Aboo-Ṭálib, to abandon the gods of his fathers,
yet the old man loved him none the less, and said, when he heard of
´Alee’s conversion, ‘Well, my son, he will not call thee to aught save
what is good; wherefore thou art free to cleave unto him.’ A priceless
aid was gained in the accession of Aboo-Bekr, who succeeded Moḥammad
as the first Khalif of Islám, and whose calm judgment and quick
sagacity, joined to a gentle and compassionate heart, were of
incalculable service to the faith. Aboo-Bekr was one of the wealthiest
merchants of Mekka, and exercised no small influence among his
fellow-citizens, no less by his character than his position. Like
Moḥammad, he had a nickname, Eṣ-Ṣiddeeḳ, ‘The True:’ _The True_ and
_The Trusty_,—no mean augury for the future of the religion!

Five converts followed in Aboo-Bekr’s steps; among them ´Othmán, the
third Khalif, and Ṭalḥah, the man of war. The ranks of the faithful
were swelled from humbler sources. There were many negro slaves in
Mekka, and of them not a few had been predisposed by earlier teaching
to join in the worship of the One God; and of those who were first
converted was the Abyssinian Bilál, the original Muëddin of Islám, and
ever a devoted disciple of the Prophet. These and others from the
Ḳureysh raised the number of Muslims to more than thirty souls by the
fourth year of Moḥammad’s mission—thirty in three long years, and few
of them men of influence!

This small success had been achieved with very little opposition from
the idolaters. Moḥammad had not spoken much in public; and when he did
speak to strangers, he restrained himself from attacking their
worship, and only enjoined them to worship the One God who had
created all things. The people were rather interested, and wondered
whether he were a soothsayer or madman, or if indeed there were truth
in his words. But now (A.D. 615) Moḥammad entered upon a more public
career. He summoned the Ḳureysh to a conference at the hill of
Eṣ-Ṣafá, and said, ‘I am come to you as a warner, and as the
forerunner of a fearful punishment.... I cannot protect you in this
world, nor can I promise you aught in the next life, unless ye say,
There is no God but Alláh.’ He was laughed to scorn, and the assembly
broke up; but from this time he ceased not to preach to the people of
a punishment that would come upon the unbelieving city. He told them,
in the fiery language of the early soorahs, how God had punished the
old tribes of the Arabs who would not believe in His messengers, how
the Flood had swallowed up the people who would not hearken to Noah.
He swore unto them, by the wonderful sights of nature, by the noonday
brightness, by the night when she spreadeth her veil, by the day when
it appeareth in glory, that a like destruction would assuredly come
upon them if they did not turn away from their idols and serve God
alone. He enforced his message with every resource of language and
metaphor, till he made it burn in the ears of the people. And then he
told them of the Last Day, when a just reckoning should be taken of
the deeds they had done; and he spoke of Paradise and Hell with all
the glow of Eastern imagery. The people were moved, terrified;
conversions increased. It was time the Ḳureysh should take some step.
If the idols were destroyed, what would come to them, the keepers of
the idols, and their renown throughout the land? How should they
retain the allegiance of the neighbouring tribes who came to worship
their several divinities at the Kaạbeh? That a few should follow the
ravings of a madman or magician who preferred one god above the
beautiful deities of Mekka was little matter; but that some leading
men of the city should join the sect, and that the magician should
terrify the people in open day with his denunciations of the worship
which _they_ superintended, was intolerable. The chiefs were seriously
alarmed, and resolved on a more active policy. Hitherto they had
merely ridiculed the professors of this new faith; they would now take
stronger measures. Moḥammad himself they dared not touch; for he
belonged to a noble family, which, though it was reduced and
impoverished, had deserved well of the city, and which, moreover, was
now headed by a man who was reverenced throughout Mekka, and was none
other than the adoptive father and protector of Moḥammad himself. Nor
was it safe to attack the other chief men among the Muslims, for the
blood-revenge was no light risk. They were thus compelled to content
themselves with the mean satisfaction of torturing the black slaves
who had joined the obnoxious faction. They exposed them on the
scorching sand, and withheld water till they recanted—which they did,
only to profess the faith once more when they were let go. The first
Muëddin alone remained steadfast: as he lay half stifled he would only
answer, ‘Aḥad! Aḥad!’—‘One [God]! One!’—till Aboo-Bekr came and bought
his freedom, as he was wont to do for many of the miserable victims.
Moḥammad was very gentle with these forced renegades: he knew what
stuff men are made of, and he bade them be of good cheer for their
lips, so that their hearts were sound.

At last, moved by the sufferings of his lowly followers, he advised
them to seek a refuge in Abyssinia—‘a land of righteousness, wherein
no man is wronged;’ and in the fifth year of his mission (616) eleven
men and four women left Mekka secretly, and were received in Abyssinia
with welcome and peace. These first emigrants were followed by more
the next year, till the number reached one hundred. The Ḳureysh were
very wroth at the escape of their victims, and sent ambassadors to the
Nejáshee, the Christian king of Abyssinia, to demand that the refugees
should be given up to them. But the Nejáshee assembled his bishops
and sent for the Muslims and asked them why they had fled; and one of
them answered and said—

‘O king! we lived in ignorance, idolatry, and unchastity; the strong
oppressed the weak; we spoke untruth; we violated the duties of
hospitality. Then a prophet arose, one whom we knew from our youth,
with whose descent and conduct and good faith and morality we are all
well acquainted. He told us to worship one God, to speak truth, to
keep good faith, to assist our relations, to fulfil the rights of
hospitality, and to abstain from all things impure, ungodly,
unrighteous. And he ordered us to say prayers, give alms, and to fast.
We believed in him; we followed him. But our countrymen persecuted us,
tortured us, and tried to cause us to forsake our religion; and now we
throw ourselves upon thy protection. Wilt thou not protect us?’ And he
recited a chapter of the Ḳur-án, which spoke of Christ; and the king
and the bishops wept upon their beards. And the king dismissed the
messengers and would not give up the men.

The Ḳureysh, foiled in their attempt to recapture the slaves, vented
their malice on those believers who remained. Insults were heaped upon
the Muslims, and persecution grew hotter each day. For a moment
Moḥammad faltered in his work. Could he not spare his people these
sufferings? Was it impossible to reconcile the religion of the city
with the belief in one supreme God? After all, was the worship of
those idols so false a thing? did it not hold the germ of a great
truth? And so Moḥammad made his first and last concession. He recited
a revelation to the Ḳureysh, in which he spoke respectfully of the
three moon-goddesses, and asserted that their intercession with God
might be hoped for: ‘Wherefore bow down before God and serve Him;’ and
the whole audience, overjoyed at the compromise, bowed down and
worshipped at the name of the God of Moḥammad—the whole city was
reconciled to the double religion. But this Dreamer of the Desert was
not the man to rest upon a lie. At the price of the whole city of
Mekka he would not remain untrue to himself. He came forward and said
he had done wrong—the devil had tempted him. He openly and frankly
retracted what he had said: and ‘As for their idols, they were but
empty names which they and their fathers had invented.’

Western biographers have rejoiced greatly over ‘Moḥammad’s fall.’ Yet
it was a tempting compromise, and few would have withstood it. And the
life of Moḥammad is not the life of a god, but of a man: from first to
last it is intensely human. But if for once he was not superior to the
temptation of gaining over the whole city and obtaining peace where
before there was only bitter persecution, what can we say of his
manfully thrusting back the rich prize he had gained, freely
confessing his fault, and resolutely giving himself over again to the
old indignities and insults? If he was once insincere—and who is
not?—how intrepid was his after-sincerity! He was untrue to himself
for a while, and he is ever referring to it in his public preaching
with shame and remorse; but the false step was more than atoned for by
his magnificent recantation.

Moḥammad’s influence with the people at large was certainly weakened
by this temporary change of front, and the opposition of the leaders
of the Ḳureysh, checked for the moment by the Prophet’s concession,
now that he had repudiated it, broke forth into fiercer flame. They
heaped insults upon him, and he could not traverse the city without
the encounter of a curse. They threw unclean things at him, and vexed
him in his every doing. The protection of Aboo-Ṭálib alone saved him
from personal danger. This refuge the Ḳureysh determined to remove.
They had attempted before, but had been turned back with a soft
answer. They now went to the chief, of fourscore years, and demanded
that he should either compel his nephew to hold his peace, or else
that he should withdraw his protection. Having thus spoken they
departed. The old man sent for Moḥammad, and told him what they had
said. ‘Now therefore save thyself and me also, and cast not upon me a
burden heavier than I can bear;’ for he was grieved at the strife
between his family and his wider kindred, and would fain have seen
Moḥammad temporize with the Ḳureysh. But though the Prophet believed
that at length his uncle was indeed about to abandon him, his courage
and high resolve never faltered. ‘Though they should set the sun on my
right hand and the moon on my left to persuade me, yet while God
commands me I will not renounce my purpose.’ But to lose his uncle’s
love!—he burst into tears, and turned to go. But Aboo-Ṭálib called
aloud, ‘Son of my brother, come back.’ So he came. And he said,
‘Depart in peace, my nephew, and say whatsoever thou desirest; for, by
the Lord, I will never deliver thee up.’

The faithfulness of Aboo-Ṭálib was soon to be tried. At first, indeed,
things looked brighter. The old chief’s firm bearing overawed the
Ḳureysh, and they were still more cowed by two great additions that
were now joined to the Muslim ranks. One was Moḥammad’s uncle, Ḥamzeh,
‘the Lion of God,’ a mighty hunter and warrior of the true Arab
mettle, whose sword was worth twenty of weaker men to the cause of
Islám. The other was ´Omar, afterwards Khalif, whose fierce impulsive
nature had hitherto marked him as a violent opponent of the new faith,
but who afterwards proved himself one of the mainstays of Islám. The
gain of two such men first frightened then maddened the Ḳureysh. The
leaders met together and consulted what they should do. It was no
longer a case of an enthusiast followed by a crowd of slaves and a few
worthy merchants; it was a faction led by stout warriors, such as
Ḥamzeh, Ṭalḥah, ´Omar,—half-a-dozen picked swordsmen; and the Muslims,
emboldened by their new allies, were boldly surrounding the Kaạbeh,
and performing the rites of their religion in the face of all the
people. The Ḳureysh resolved on extreme measures. They determined to
shut off the obnoxious family of the Háshimees from the rest of their
kindred. The chiefs drew up a document, in which they vowed that they
would not marry with the Háshimees, nor buy and sell with them, nor
hold with them any communication soever; and this they hung up in the

The Háshimees were not many enough to fight the whole city, so they
went every man of them, save one, to the shi-b (or quarter) of
Aboo-Ṭálib,—a long, narrow mountain defile on the eastern skirts of
Mekka, cut off by rocks or walls from the city, except for one narrow
gateway,—and there shut themselves up. For though the ban did not
forbid them to go about as heretofore, they knew that no soul would
speak with them, and that they would be subject to the maltreatment of
any vagabond they met. So they collected their stores and waited.
Every man of the family, Muslim or Pagan, cast in his lot with their
common kinsman, Moḥammad, saving only his own uncle, Aboo-Lahab, a
determined enemy to Islám, to whom a special denunciation is justly
consecrated in the Ḳur-án.

For two long years the Háshimees remained shut up in their quarter.
Only at the pilgrimage-time—when the blessed institution of the sacred
months made violence sacrilege—could Moḥammad come forth and speak
unto the people of the things that were in his heart to say. Scarcely
any converts were made during this weary time; and most of those who
had previously been converted, and did not belong to the doomed clan,
took refuge in Abyssinia; so that in the seventh year of Moḥammad’s
mission there were probably not more than twelve Muslims of any weight
who remained by him. Still the Háshimees remained in their quarter. It
seemed as if they must all perish: their stores were almost gone, and
the cries of starving children could be heard outside. Kind-hearted
neighbours would sometimes smuggle-in a camel’s load of food, but it
availed little. The Ḳureysh themselves were getting ashamed of their
work, and were wishing for an excuse for releasing their kinsmen. The
excuse came in time. It was discovered that the deed of ban was eaten
up by worms, and Aboo-Ṭálib turned the discovery to his advantage. The
venerable old chief went out and met the Ḳureysh at the Kaạbeh, and
pointing to the crumbling leaf he bitterly reproached them with their
hardness of heart towards their brethren: then he departed. And
straightway there rose up five chiefs, heads of great families, and,
amid the murmurs of the fiercer spirits who were still for no quarter,
they put on their armour, and going to the shi-b of Aboo-Ṭálib, bade
the Háshimees come forth in peace. And they came forth.

It was now the eighth year of Moḥammad’s mission; and for the last two
years, wasted in excommunication, Islám had almost stood still, at
least externally. For though Moḥammad’s patient bearing under the ban
had gained over a few of his imprisoned clan to his side, he had made
no converts beyond the walls of his quarter. During the sacred months
he had gone forth to speak to the people,—to the caravans of strangers
and the folk at the fairs,—but he had no success; for hard behind him
followed Aboo-Lahab, the squinter, who mocked at him, and told the
people he was only ‘a liar and a sabian.’ And the people answered that
his own kindred must best know what he was, and they would hear
nothing from him. The bold conduct of the five chiefs had indeed
secured for Moḥammad a temporary respite from persecution; but this
relief was utterly outweighed by the troubles that now fell upon him
and fitly gave that year the name of ‘The Year of Mourning.’ For soon
after the revoking of the ban Aboo-Ṭálib died, and five weeks later
Khadeejeh. In the first Moḥammad lost his ancient protector, who,
though he would never give up his old belief, had yet faithfully
guarded the Prophet from his childhood upwards, and, with the true
Arab sentiment of kinship, had subjected himself and his clan to years
of persecution and poverty in order to defend his brother’s son from
his enemies. The death of Khadeejeh was even a heavier calamity to
Moḥammad. She first had believed in him, and she had ever been his
angel of hope and consolation. To his death he cherished a tender
regret for her; and when his young bride ´Áïsheh, the favourite of his
declining years, jealously abused ‘that toothless old woman,’ he
answered with indignation, ‘When I was poor, she enriched me; when
they called me a liar, she alone believed in me; when all the world
was against me, she alone remained true.’

Moḥammad might well feel himself alone in the world. Most of his
followers were in Abyssinia; only a few tried friends remained at
Mekka. All the city was against him; his protector was dead, and his
faithful wife. Dejected, almost hopeless, he would try a new field. If
Mekka rejected him, might not Et-Ṭáïf give him welcome? He set out on
foot on his journey of seventy miles, taking only Zeyd with him; and
he told the people of Et-Ṭáïf his simple message. They stoned him out
of the city for three miles. Bleeding and fainting, he paused to rest
in an orchard, to recover strength before he went back to the insults
of his own people. The owners of the place sent him some grapes; and
he gathered up his strength once more, and bent his weary feet towards
Mekka. On the way, as he slept, his fancy called up a strange dream:
men had rejected him, and now he thought he saw the Jinn, the spirits
of the air, falling down and worshipping the One God, and bearing
witness to the truth of Islám. Heartened by the vision, he pushed on;
and when Zeyd asked him if he did not fear to throw himself again into
the hands of the Ḳureysh, he answered, ‘God will protect His religion
and help His prophet.’

So this lonely man came back to dwell among his enemies. Though a
brave Arab gentleman, compassionating his aloneness, gave him the
Bedawee pledge of protection, yet he well knew that the power of his
foes made such protection almost useless, and at any time he might be
assassinated. But the Ḳureysh had not yet come to think of the last
resource, and meanwhile a new prospect was opening out for Moḥammad.
That same year, as he was visiting the caravans of the pilgrims who
had come from all parts of Arabia to worship at the Kaạbeh, he found a
group of men of Yethrib who were willing to listen to his words. He
expounded to them the faith he was sent to preach, and he told them
how his people had rejected him, and asked them whether Yethrib would
receive him. The men were impressed with his words and professed
Islám, and promised to bring news the next year; then they returned
home and talked of this matter to their brethren. Now at Yethrib,
besides two pagan tribes that had migrated upwards from the south,
there were three clans of Jewish Arabs. Between the pagans and Jews,
and then between the two pagan clans, there had been deadly wars; and
now there were many parties in the city, and no one was master. The
Jews, on the one hand, were expecting their Messiah; the pagans looked
for a prophet. If Moḥammad were not the Messiah, the Jews thought that
he might at least be their tool to subdue their pagan rivals. ‘Whether
he is a prophet or not,’ said the pagans, ‘he is our kinsman by his
mother, and will help us to overawe the Jews; and if he is the coming
prophet, it is our policy to recognise him before those Jews who are
always threatening us with their Messiah.’ The teaching of Moḥammad
was so nearly Jewish, that a union of the two creeds might be hoped
for; whilst to the pagan Arabs of Yethrib monotheism was no strange
doctrine. All parties were therefore willing to receive Moḥammad and
at least try the experiment of his influence. As a peace-maker,
prophet, or messiah, he would be equally welcome in a city torn
asunder by party jealousies.

When the time of pilgrimage again came round, Moḥammad waited at the
appointed place in a secluded glen, and there met him men from the two
pagan tribes of Yethrib—the clans of Khazraj and Aws—ten from one and
two from the other. They told him of the willingness of their people
to embrace Islám, and their hope to make ready the city for his
welcome. They plighted their faith with him in these words: ‘We will
not worship save one God; we will not steal, nor commit adultery, nor
kill our children; we will in nowise slander, nor will we disobey the
prophet in anything that is right.’ This is the first pledge of the

The twelve men of Yethrib went back and preached Islám to their
people. ‘So prepared was the ground, so zealous the propagation, and
so apt the method, that the new faith spread rapidly from house to
house and from tribe to tribe. The Jews looked on in amazement at the
people, whom they had in vain endeavoured for generations to convince
of the errors of Polytheism and dissuade from the abominations of
idolatry, suddenly and of their own accord casting away their idols
and professing belief in God alone.’ They asked Moḥammad to send them
a teacher versed in the Ḳur-án, so anxious were they to know Islám
truly; and Muṣ´ab was sent, and taught them and conducted their
worship; so that Islám took deep root at Yethrib.

Meanwhile Moḥammad was still among the Ḳureysh at Mekka. His is now an
attitude of waiting; he is listening for news from his distant
converts. Resting his hopes upon them, and despairing of influencing
the Mekkans, he does not preach so much as heretofore. He holds his
peace mainly, and bides his time. One hears little of this interval of
quietude. Islám seems stationary at Mekka, and its followers are
silent and reserved. The Ḳureysh are joyful at the ceasing of those
denunciations which terrified whilst they angered them, yet they are
not quite satisfied. The Muslims have a waiting look, as though there
were something at hand.

It was during this year of expectation that the Prophet’s celebrated
‘Night Journey’ took place. This Mi´ráj has been the subject of
extravagant embellishments on the part of the traditionists and
commentators, and the cause of much obloquy to the Prophet from his
religious opponents. Moḥammad dreamed a dream, and referred to it
briefly and obscurely in the Ḳur-án. His followers persisted in
believing it to have been a reality—an ascent to heaven in the
body—till Moḥammad was sick of repeating his simple assertion that it
was a dream. The traditional form of this wonderful vision may be read
in any life of Moḥammad, and though it is doubtless very different
from the story the Prophet himself gave, it is still a grand vision,
full of glorious imagery, fraught with deep meaning.

Again the time of pilgrimage came round, and again Moḥammad repaired
to the glen of the Mountain-road. Muṣ´ab had told him the good tidings
of the spread of the faith at Yethrib, and he was met at the
rendezvous by more than seventy men. They came by twos and threes
secretly for fear of the Ḳureysh, ‘waking not the sleeper, nor
tarrying for the absent.’ Then Moḥammad recited to them verses from
the Ḳur-án, and in answer to their invitation that he should come to
them, and their profession that their lives were at his service, he
asked them to pledge themselves to defend him as they would their own
wives and children. And a murmur of eager assent rolled round about
from the seventy, and an old man, one of their chiefs, stood forth and
said, ‘Stretch out thy hand, O Moḥammad.’ And the chief struck his own
hand into Moḥammad’s palm in the frank Bedawee fashion, and thus
pledged his fealty. Man after man the others followed, and struck
their hands upon Moḥammad’s. Then he chose twelve of them as leaders
over the rest, saying, ‘Moses chose from among his people twelve
leaders. Ye shall be the sureties for the rest, even as the apostles
of Jesus were; and I am the surety for my people.’ A voice of some
stranger was heard near by, and the assembly hastily dispersed and
stole back to their camp. This is the second pledge of the ´Aḳabeh.

The Ḳureysh knew that some meeting had taken place, and though they
could not bring home the offence to any of the Yethrib pilgrims, they
kept a stricter watch on the movements of Moḥammad and his friends
after the pilgrims had returned homeward. It was clear that Mekka was
no longer a safe place for the Muslims, and a few days after the
second pledge Moḥammad told his followers to betake themselves
secretly to Yethrib. For two months at the beginning of the eleventh
year of the mission (622) the Muslims were leaving Mekka in small
companies to make the journey of 250 miles to Yethrib. One hundred
families had gone, and whole quarters of the city were deserted, left
with empty houses and locked doors, ‘a prey to woe and wind.’ There
were but three believers now remaining in Mekka—these were Moḥammad,
Aboo-Bekr, and ´Alee. Like the captain of a sinking ship, the Prophet
would not leave till all the crew were safe. But now they were all
gone save his two early friends, and everything was ready for the
journey; still the Prophet did not go. But the Ḳureysh, who had been
too much taken by surprise to prevent the emigration, now prepared
measures for a summary vengeance on the disturber of their peace and
the emptier of their city. They set a watch on his house, and, it is
said, commissioned a band of armed youths of different families to
assassinate him together, that the blood recompense might not fall on
one household alone. But Moḥammad had warning of his danger, and
leaving ´Alee to deceive the enemy, he was concealed with Aboo-Bekr in
a narrow-mouthed cave on Mount Thór, an hour-and-a-half’s journey from
Mekka, before the Ḳureysh knew of his escape. For three days they
remained hidden there, while their enemies were searching the country
for them. Once they were very near, and Aboo-Bekr trembled:—‘We are
but two.’ ‘Nay,’ answered Moḥammad, ‘we are three, for God is with
us.’ And a spider, they say, wove its web over the entrance of the
cave, so that the Ḳureysh passed on, thinking that no man had entered

On the third night the pursuit had been almost given over, and the two
fugitives took up their journey again. Mounted on camels they
journeyed to Yethrib. In eight days they reached the outskirts of the
city (September 622). Moḥammad was received with acclamation, and took
up his residence among his kindred. The seat of Islám was transferred
from Mekka to Yethrib, henceforward to be known as
Medina,—_Medeenet-en-Nebee_, ‘the City of the Prophet.’

This is the _Hijreh_, or Flight of the Prophet, from which the Muslims
date their history. Their first year began on the 16th day of June of
the Year of Grace 622.

       *       *       *       *       *

A great change now comes over the Prophet’s life. It is still the same
man, but the surroundings are totally different; the work to be done
is on a wider, rougher stage. Thus far we have seen a gentle,
thoughtful boy tending the sheep round Mekka;—a young man of little
note, of whom the people only knew that he was pure and upright and
true;—then a man of forty whose solitary communion with his soul has
pressed him to the last terrible questions that each man, if he will
think at all, must some time ask himself—What is life? What does this
world mean? What is reality, what is truth? Long months, years
perhaps, we know not how long and weary, filled with the tortures of
doubt and the despair of ever attaining to the truth, filled with the
dreary thought of his aloneness in the relentless universe, and the
longing to end it all, brought at last their fruits—sure conviction of
the great secret of life, a firm belief in the Creator in whom all
things live and move and have their being, whom to serve is man’s
highest duty and privilege, the one thing to be done. And then ten
years of struggling with careless, unthinking idolators; ten years of
slow results, the gaining over of a few close friends, the devoted
attachment of some slaves and men of the meaner rank; finally, the
conversion of half-a-dozen great citizen chiefs, ending in the flight
of the whole brotherhood of believers from their native city and their
welcome to a town of strangers, where the faith had forced itself home
to the hearts of perhaps two hundred citizens. It was but little that
was done; so many years of toil, of indomitable courage and
perseverance and long-suffering, and only about three hundred converts
at the end! But it was the seed of a great harvest. Moḥammad had shown
men what he was; the nobility of his character, his strong friendship,
his endurance and courage, above all, his earnestness and fiery
enthusiasm for the truth he came to preach,—these things had revealed
the hero, the master whom it was alike impossible to disobey and
impossible not to love. Henceforward it is only a question of time. As
the men of Medina come to know Moḥammad, they too will devote
themselves to him body and soul; and the enthusiasm will catch fire
and spread among the tribes till all Arabia is at the feet of the
Prophet of the One God. ‘No emperor with his tiaras was obeyed as this
man in a cloak of His own clouting.’ He had the gift of influencing
men, and he had the nobility only to influence them for good.

We have now to see Moḥammad as king. Though he came as a fugitive,
rejected as an impostor by his own citizens, yet it was not long
before his word was supreme in his adopted city. He had to rule over a
mixed and divided people, and this must have helped him to the supreme
voice. There were four distinct parties at Medina. First, the
‘Refugees’ (Muḥájiroon), who had fled from Mekka; on these Moḥammad
could always rely with implicit faith. But he attached equal
importance to the early converts of Medina, who had invited him among
them and given him a home when the future seemed very hopeless before
him, and who were thenceforward known by the honourable title of the
‘Helpers’ (Anṣár). How devoted was the affection of these men is
shown by the well-known scene at El-Ji´ráneh, when the Helpers were
discontented with their share of the spoils, and Moḥammad answered,
‘Why are ye disturbed in mind because of the things of this life
wherewith I have sought to incline the hearts of these men of Mekka
into Islám, whereas ye are already steadfast in the faith? Are ye not
satisfied that others should obtain the flocks and the camels, while
ye carry back the Prophet of the Lord unto your homes? Nay, I will not
leave you for ever. If all mankind went one way, and the men of Medina
went another way, verily I would go the way of the men of Medina. The
Lord be favourable unto them, and bless them, and their sons, and
their sons’ sons, for ever!’ And the ‘Helpers’ wept upon their beards,
and cried with one voice, ‘Yea, we are well satisfied, O Prophet, with
our lot.’ To retain the allegiance of the Refugees and the Helpers was
never a trouble to Moḥammad; the only difficulty was to rein in their
zeal and hold them back from doing things of blood and vengeance on
the enemies of Islám. To prevent the danger of jealousy between the
Refugees and the Helpers, Moḥammad assigned each Refugee to one of the
Anṣár to be his brother; and this tie of gossipry superseded all
nearer ties, till Moḥammad saw the time was over when it was needed.
The third party in Medina was that of the ‘Disaffected,’ or in the
language of Islám the ‘Hypocrites’ (Munáfiḳoon). This was composed of
the large body of men who gave in their nominal allegiance to Moḥammad
and his religion when they saw they could not safely withstand his
power, but who were always ready to turn about if they thought there
was a chance of his overthrow. Moḥammad treated these men and their
leader ´Abdallah ibn Ubayy (who himself aspired to the sovranty of
Medina) with patient courtesy and friendliness, and, though they
actually deserted him more than once at vitally critical moments, he
never retaliated, even when he was strong enough to crush them, but
rather sought to win them over heartily to his cause by treating them
as though they were what he would have them be. The result was that
this party gradually diminished and became absorbed in the general
mass of earnest Muslims, and though up to its leader’s death it
constantly called forth Moḥammad’s powers of conciliation, after that
it vanished from the history of parties.

The fourth party was the real thorn in the Prophet’s side. It
consisted of the Jews, of whom three tribes were settled in the
suburbs of Medina. They had at first been well disposed to Moḥammad’s
coming. He could not indeed be the Messiah, because he was not of the
lineage of David; but he would do very well to pass off upon their
neighbours, the pagan Arabs, as, if not the Messiah, at least a great
prophet; and by his influence the Jews might regain their old
supremacy in Medina. Moḥammad’s teaching was very nearly Jewish—they
had taught him the fables of their Haggadah, and he believed in their
prophets—why should he not be one of them and help them to the
dominion? When Moḥammad came, they found out their mistake; instead of
a tool they had a master. He told the people, indeed, the stories of
the Midrash, and he professed to revive the religion of Abraham: but
he added to this several damning articles; he taught that Jesus _was_
the Messiah, and that no other Messiah was to be looked for; and,
moreover, whilst reverencing and inculcating the doctrine of the
Hebrew prophets and of Christ, as he knew it, he yet insisted on his
own mission as in nowise inferior to theirs—as, in fact, the seal of
prophecy by which all that went before was confirmed or abrogated. The
illusion was over; the Jews would have nothing to say to Islám: they
set themselves instead to oppose it, ridicule it, and vex its Preacher
in every way that their notorious ingenuity could devise.

The step was false: the Jews missed their game, and they had to pay
for it. Whether it was possible to form a coalition,—whether the Jews
might have induced Moḥammad to waive certain minor points if they
recognised his prophetic mission,—it is difficult to say. It seems
most probable that Moḥammad would not have yielded a jot to their
demands, and would have accepted nothing short of unconditional
surrender to his religion. And it is at least doubtful whether Islám
would have gained anything by a further infusion of Judaism. It
already contained all that it could assimilate of the Hebrew faith;
the rest was too narrow for the universal scope of Islám. The religion
of Moḥammad lost little, we may be sure, by the standing aloof of the
Arabian Jews; but the Jews themselves lost much. Moḥammad, indeed,
treated them kindly so long as kindness was possible. He made a treaty
with them, whereby the rights of the Muslims and the Jews were
defined. They were to practise their several religions unmolested;
protection and security were promised to all the parties to the
treaty, irrespective of creed; each was to help the other if attacked;
no alliance was to be made with the Ḳureysh; war was to be made in
common, and no war could be made without the consent of Moḥammad:
crime alone could do away with the protection of this treaty.

But the Jews would not content themselves with standing aloof; they
must needs act on the offensive. They began by asking Moḥammad hard
questions out of their law, and his answers they easily refuted from
their books. They denied all knowledge of the Jewish stories in the
Ḳur-án—though they knew that they came from their own Haggadah, which
was ever in their mouths in their own quarter,—and they showed him
their Bible, where, of course, the Haggadistic legends were not to be
found. Moḥammad had but one course open to him—to say they had
suppressed or changed their books; and he denounced them accordingly,
and said that his was the true account of the patriarchs and prophets,
revealed from heaven. Not satisfied with tormenting Moḥammad with
questions on that Tórah which they were always wrangling about
themselves, they took hold of the every day formulas of Islám, the
daily prayers and ejaculations, and, ‘twisting their tongues,’
mispronounced them so that they meant something absurd or blasphemous.
When asked which they preferred, Islám or idolatry, they frankly
avowed that they preferred idolatry. To lie about their own religion
and to ridicule another religion that was doing a great and good work
around them was not enough for these Jews; they must set their poets
to work to lampoon the women of the believers in obscene verse, and
such outrages upon common decency, not to say upon the code of Arab
honour and chivalry, became a favourite occupation among the poets of
the Jewish clans.

These were offences against the religion and the persons of the
Muslims. They also conspired against the state. Moḥammad was not only
the preacher of Islám, he was also the king of Medina, and was
responsible for the safety and peace of the city. As a prophet, he
could afford to ignore the jibes of the Jews, though they maddened him
to fury; but as the chief of the city, the general in a time of almost
continual warfare, when Medina was kept in a state of military defence
and under a sort of military discipline, he could not overlook
treachery. He was bound by his duty to his subjects to suppress a
party that might (and nearly did) lead to the sack of the city by
investing armies. The measures he took for this object have furnished
his European biographers with a handle for attack. It is, I believe,
solely on the ground of his treatment of the Jews that Moḥammad has
been called ‘a bloodthirsty tyrant:’ it would certainly be difficult
to support the epithet on other grounds.

The bloodthirstiness consists in this: some half-dozen Jews, who had
distinguished themselves by their virulence against the Muslims, or by
their custom of carrying information to the common enemy of Medina,
were executed; two of the three Jewish clans were sent into exile,
just as they had previously come into exile, and the third was
exterminated—the men killed, and the women and children made slaves.
The execution of the half-dozen marked Jews is generally called
assassination, because a Muslim was sent secretly to kill each of the
criminals. The reason is almost too obvious to need explanation. There
were no police or law-courts or even courts-martial at Medina; some
one of the followers of Moḥammad must therefore be the executor of the
sentence of death, and it was better it should be done quietly, as the
executing of a man openly before his clan would have caused a brawl
and more bloodshed and retaliation, till the whole city had become
mixed up in the quarrel. If secret assassination is the word for such
deeds, secret assassination was a necessary part of the internal
government of Medina. The men must be killed, and best in that way. In
saying this I assume that Moḥammad was cognisant of the deed, and that
it was not merely a case of private vengeance; but in several
instances the evidence that traces these executions to Moḥammad’s
order is either entirely wanting or is too doubtful to claim our

Of the sentences upon the three whole clans, that of exile, passed
upon two of them, was clement enough. They were a turbulent set,
always setting the people of Medina by the ears; and finally a brawl
followed by an insurrection resulted in the expulsion of one tribe;
and insubordination, alliance with enemies, and a suspicion of
conspiracy against the Prophet’s life, ended similarly for the second.
Both tribes had violated the original treaty, and had endeavoured in
every way to bring Moḥammad and his religion to ridicule and
destruction. The only question is whether their punishment was not too
light. Of the third clan a fearful example was made, not by Moḥammad,
but by an arbiter appointed by themselves. When the Ḳureysh and their
allies were besieging Medina, and had well-nigh stormed the defences,
this Jewish tribe entered into negotiations with the enemy, which were
only circumvented by the diplomacy of the Prophet. When the besiegers
had retired, Moḥammad naturally demanded an explanation of the Jews.
They resisted in their dogged way, and were themselves besieged and
compelled to surrender at discretion. Moḥammad, however, consented to
the appointing of a chief of a tribe allied to the Jews as the judge
who should pronounce sentence upon them. The man in question was a
fierce soldier, who had been wounded in the attack on the Jews, and
indeed died from his wound the same day. This chief gave sentence that
the men, in number some six hundred, should be killed, and the women
and children enslaved; and the sentence was carried out. It was a
harsh, bloody sentence, worthy of the episcopal generals of the army
against the Albigenses, or of the deeds of the Augustan age of
Puritanism; but it must be remembered that the crime of these men was
high treason against the State, during time of siege; and those who
have read how Wellington’s march could be traced by the bodies of
deserters and pillagers hanging from the trees, need not be surprized
at the summary execution of a traitorous clan.

Whilst Moḥammad’s supremacy was being established and maintained among
the mixed population of Mekka, a vigorous warfare was being carried on
outside with his old persecutors, the Ḳureysh. On the history of this
war, consisting as it did mainly of small raids and attacks upon
caravans, I need not dwell; its leading features were the two battles
of Bedr and Oḥud, in the first of which three hundred Muslims, though
outnumbered at the odds of three to one, were completely victorious
(A.D. 624, A.H. 2); whilst at Oḥud, being outnumbered in the like
proportion and deserted by the ‘Disaffected’ party, they were almost
as decisively defeated (A.H. 3). Two years later the Ḳureysh,
gathering together their allies, advanced upon Medina and besieged it
for fifteen days; but the foresight of Moḥammad in digging a trench,
and the enthusiasm of the Muslims in defending it, resisted all
assaults, and the coming of the heavy storms for which the climate of
Medina is noted drove the enemy back to Mekka. The next year (A.H. 6)
a ten years’ truce was concluded with the Ḳureysh, in pursuance of
which a strange scene took place in the following spring. It was
agreed that Moḥammad and his people should perform the Lesser
Pilgrimage, and that the Ḳureysh should for that purpose vacate Mekka
for three days. Accordingly, in March 629, about two thousand Muslims,
with Moḥammad at their head on his famous camel El-Ḳaṣwá—the same on
which he had fled from Mekka—trooped down the valley and performed the
rites which every Muslim to this day observes.

‘It was surely a strange sight which at this time presented itself in
the vale of Mekka,—a sight unique in the history of the world. The
ancient city is for three days evacuated by all its inhabitants, high
and low, every house deserted; and, as they retire, the exiled
converts, many years banished from their birthplace, approach in a
great body, accompanied by their allies, revisit the empty homes of
their childhood, and within the short allotted space fulfil the rites
of pilgrimage. The ousted inhabitants, climbing the heights around,
take refuge under tents or other shelter among the hills and glens;
and, clustering on the overhanging peak of Aboo-Ḳubeys, thence watch
the movements of the visitors beneath, as with the Prophet at their
head they make the circuit of the Kaạbeh and the rapid procession
between Eṣ-Ṣafá and Marwah; and anxiously scan every figure if
perchance they may recognise among the worshippers some long-lost
friend or relative. It was a scene rendered possible only by the
throes which gave birth to Islám.’[15]

When the three days were over, Moḥammad and his party peaceably
returned to Medina; and the Mekkans re-entered their homes. But this
pilgrimage, and the self-restraint of the Muslims therein, advanced
the cause of Islám among its enemies. Converts increased daily, and
some leading men of the Ḳureysh now went over to Moḥammad. The clans
around were sending in their deputations of homage. But the final
keystone was set in the eighth year of the flight (A.D. 630), when a
body of Ḳureysh broke the truce by attacking an ally of the Muslims;
and Moḥammad forthwith marched upon Mekka with ten thousand men, and
the city, defence being hopeless, surrendered. Now was the time for
the Prophet to show his bloodthirsty nature. His old persecutors are
at his feet. Will he not trample on them, torture them, revenge
himself after his own cruel manner? Now the man will come forward in
his true colours: we may prepare our horror, and cry shame beforehand.

But what is this? Is there no blood in the streets? Where are the
bodies of the thousands that have been butchered? Facts are hard
things; and it is a fact that the day of Moḥammad’s greatest triumph
over his enemies was also the day of his grandest victory over
himself. He freely forgave the Ḳureysh all the years of sorrow and
cruel scorn they had inflicted on him: he gave an amnesty to the whole
population of Mekka. Four criminals, whom justice condemned, made up
Moḥammad’s proscription list when he entered as a conqueror the city
of his bitterest enemies. The army followed his example, and entered
quietly and peaceably; no house was robbed, no woman insulted. One
thing alone suffered destruction. Going to the Kaạbeh, Moḥammad stood
before each of the three hundred and sixty idols and pointed to it
with his staff, saying, ‘Truth is come and lying is undone,’ and at
these words his attendants hewed it down; and all the idols and
household gods of Mekka and round about were destroyed.

It was thus that Moḥammad entered again his native city. Through all
the annals of conquest, there is no triumphant entry like unto this

The taking of Mekka was soon followed by the adhesion of all Arabia.
Every reader knows the story of the spread of Islám. The tribes of
every part of the peninsula sent embassies to do homage to the
Prophet. Arabia was not enough: the Prophet had written in his bold
uncompromising way to the great kings of the East, to the Persian
Khusru, and the Greek Emperor; and these little knew how soon his
invitation to the faith would be repeated, and how quickly Islám would
be knocking at their doors with no faltering hand.

The Prophet’s career was near its end. In the tenth year of the
Flight, twenty years after he had first felt the Spirit move him to
preach to his people, he resolved once more to leave his adopted city
and go to Mekka to perform a farewell pilgrimage. And when the rites
were done in the valley of Miná, the Prophet spoke unto the
multitude—the forty thousand pilgrims—with solemn last words.[16]

‘YE PEOPLE! Hearken to my words; for I know not whether after this
year I shall ever be amongst you here again.

‘Your Lives and your Property are sacred and inviolable amongst one
another until the end of time.

‘The Lord hath ordained to every man the share of his inheritance: a
Testament is not lawful to the prejudice of heirs.

‘The child belongeth to the Parent; and the violator of Wedlock shall
be stoned.

‘Ye people! Ye have rights demandable of your Wives, and they have
rights demandable of you. Treat your women well.

‘And your Slaves, see that you feed them with such food as ye eat
yourselves, and clothe them with the stuff ye wear. And if they commit
a fault which ye are not willing to forgive, then sell them, for they
are the servants of the Lord, and are not to be tormented.

‘Ye people! Hearken unto my speech and comprehend it. Know that every
Muslim is the brother of every other Muslim. All of you are on the
same equality: ye are one Brotherhood.’

Then, looking up to heaven, he cried, ‘O Lord! I have delivered my
message and fulfilled my mission.’ And all the multitude answered,
‘Yea, verily hast thou’!—‘O Lord! I beseech Thee, bear Thou witness to
it’! and, like Moses, he lifted up his hands and blessed the people.

Three months more and Moḥammad was dead.

   A.H. 11. June, 632.

It is a hard thing to form a calm estimate of the Dreamer of the
Desert. There is something so tender and womanly, and withal so
heroic, about the man, that one is in peril of finding the judgment
unconsciously blinded by the feeling of reverence and well-nigh love
that such a nature inspires. He who, standing alone, braved for years
the hatred of his people, is the same who was never the first to
withdraw his hand from another’s clasp, the beloved of children, who
never passed a group of little ones without a smile from his wonderful
eyes and a kind word for them, sounding all the kinder in that
sweet-toned voice. The frank friendship, the noble generosity, the
dauntless courage and hope of the man, all tend to melt criticism in

In telling in brief outline the story of Moḥammad’s life I have
endeavoured to avoid controversial points. I have tried to convey in
the simplest manner the view of that life which a study of the
authorities must force upon every unbiassed mind. Many of the events
of Moḥammad’s life have been distorted and credited with ignoble
motives by European biographers; but on the facts they mainly agree,
and these I have narrated, without encumbering them with the
ingenious adumbrations of their learned recorders. But there are some
things in the Prophet’s life which have given rise to charges too
weighty to be dismissed without discussion. He has been accused of
cruelty, sensuality, and insincerity; he has been called a
‘bloodthirsty tyrant,’ a voluptuary, and an impostor.

The charge of cruelty scarcely deserves consideration. I have already
spoken of the punishment of the Jews, which forms the ground of the
accusation. One has but to refer to Moḥammad’s conduct to the
prisoners after the battle of Bedr, to his patient tolerance towards
his enemies at Medina, his gentleness to his people, his love of
children and the dumb creatures, and above all, his bloodless entry
into Mekka, and the complete amnesty he gave to those who had been his
bitter enemies during eighteen years of insult and persecution and
finally open war, to show that cruelty was no part of Moḥammad’s

To say that Moḥammad, or any other Arab, was sensual in a higher
degree than an ordinary European is simply to enounce a well-worn
axiom: the passions of the men of the sunland are not as those of the
chill north. But to say that Moḥammad was a voluptuary is false. The
simple austerity of his daily life, to the very last, his hard mat for
sleeping on, his plain food, his self-imposed menial work, point him
out as an ascetic rather than a voluptuary in most senses of the word.
Two things he loved, perfumes and women; the first was harmless
enough, and the special case of his wives has its special answer. A
great deal too much has been said about these wives. It is a
melancholy spectacle to see professedly Christian biographers gloating
over the stories and fables of Moḥammad’s domestic relations like the
writers and readers of ‘society’ journals. It is, of course, a fact
that whilst the Prophet allowed his followers only four wives he took
more than a dozen himself; but be it remembered that, with his
unlimited power, he need not have restricted himself to a number
insignificant compared with the ḥareems of some of his successors,
that he never divorced one of his wives, that all of them save one
were widows, and that one of these widows was endowed with so terrific
a temper that Aboo-Bekr and ´Othmán had already politely declined the
honour of her alliance before the Prophet married her: the
gratification of living with a vixen cannot surely be excessive.
Several of these marriages must have been entered into from the
feeling that those women whose husbands had fallen in battle for the
faith, and who had thus been left unprotected, had a claim upon the
generosity of him who prompted the fight. Other marriages were
contracted from motives of policy, in order to conciliate the heads of
rival factions. It was not a high motive, but one does not look for
very romantic ideas about love-matches from a man who regarded women
as ‘crooked ribs,’ and whose system certainly does its best to make
marriage from love impossible; yet, on the other hand, it was not a
sensual motive. Perhaps the strongest reason—one of which it is
impossible to over-estimate the force—that impelled Moḥammad to take
wife after wife was his desire for male offspring. It was a natural
wish that he should have a son who should follow in his steps and
carry on his work; but the wish was never gratified, Moḥammad’s sons
died young. After all, the overwhelming argument is his fidelity to
his first wife. When he was little more than a boy he married
Khadeejeh, who was fifteen years older than himself, with all the
added age that women gain so quickly in the East. For five-and-twenty
years Moḥammad remained faithful to his elderly wife, and when she was
sixty-five, and they might have celebrated their ‘silver wedding,’ he
was as devoted to her as when first he married her. During all those
years there was never a breath of scandal. Thus far Moḥammad’s life
will bear microscopic scrutiny. Then Khadeejeh died; and though he
married many women afterwards, some of them rich in youth and beauty,
he never forgot his old wife, and loved her best to the end: ‘when I
was poor she enriched me, when they called me a liar she alone
believed in me, when all the world was against me she alone remained
true.’ This loving, tender memory of an old wife laid in the grave
belongs only to a noble nature; it is not to be looked for in a

When, however, all has been said, when it has been shown that Moḥammad
was not the rapacious voluptuary some have taken him for, and that his
violation of his own marriage-law may be due to motives reasonable and
just from his point of view rather than to common sensuality, there
remains the fact that some of the soorahs of the Ḳur-án bear
unmistakable marks of self-accommodation and personal convenience;
that Moḥammad justified his domestic excesses by words which he gave
as from God. And hence the third and gravest charge, the charge of
imposture. We must clearly understand what is meant by this
accusation. It is meant that the Prophet _consciously_ fabricated
speeches, and palmed them off upon the people as the very word of God.
The question, it will at once be perceived, has nothing whatever to
do with the truth or untruth of the revelations. Many an earnest
enthusiast has uttered prophecies and exhortations which he firmly
believed to be the promptings of the Spirit, and no man can charge
such an one with imposture. He thoroughly believes what he says, and
the fault is in the judgment, not the conscience. The question is
clearly narrowed to this: Did Moḥammad believe he was speaking the
words of God equally when he declared that permission was given him to
take unto him more wives, as when he proclaimed ‘There is no god but
God’? It is a question that concerns the conscience of man; and each
must answer it for himself. How far a man may be deluded into
believing everything he says is inspired it is impossible to define.
There are men to-day who would seem to claim infallibility; and in
Moḥammad’s time it was so much easier to believe in one’s self. Now,
one never wants a friend to remind him of his weakness; then, there
were hundreds who would fain have made the man think himself God. It
is wonderful, with his temptations, how great a humility was ever his,
how little he assumed of all the god-like attributes men forced upon
him. His whole life is one long argument for his loyalty to truth. He
had but one answer for his worshippers, ‘I am no more than a man, I am
only human.’ ‘Do none enter Paradise save by the mercy of God?’ asked
´Áïsheh. ‘None, none, none,’ he answered. ‘Not even thou by thy own
merits?’ ‘Neither shall I enter Paradise unless God cover me with His
mercy.’ He was a man like unto his brethren in all things save one,
and that one difference served only to increase his humbleness, and
render him the more sensitive to his shortcomings. He was sublimely
confident of this single attribute, that he was the messenger of the
Lord of the Daybreak, and that the words he spake came verily from
Him. He was fully persuaded—and no man dare dispute his right to the
belief—that God had sent him to do a great work among his people in
Arabia. Nervous to the verge of madness, subject to hysteria, given to
wild dreamings in solitary places, his was a temperament that easily
leads itself to religious enthusiasm. He felt a subtle influence
within him which he believed to be the movings of the Spirit: he
thought he heard a voice; it became real and audible to him, awed and
terrified him, so that he fell into frantic fits. Then he would arise
and utter some noble saying; and what wonder if he thought it came
straight from highest heaven? It was not without a sore struggle that
he convinced himself of his own inspiration; but once admitted, the
conviction grew with his years and his widening influence for good,
and nothing then could shake his belief that he was the literal
mouthpiece of the All-Merciful. When a man has come to this point, he
cannot be expected to discriminate between this saying and that. As
the instrument of God he has lost his individuality; he believes God
is ever speaking through his lips; he dare not question the
inspiration of the speech lest he should seem to doubt the Giver.

Yet there must surely be a limit to this delusion. There are some
passages in the Ḳur-án which it is difficult to think Moḥammad truly
believed to be the voice of the Lord of the Worlds. Moḥammad’s was a
sensitive conscience in the early years of his teaching, and it is
hard to think that it could have been so obscured in later times that
he could really believe in the inspired source of some of his
revelations. He may have thought the commands they conveyed necessary,
but he could hardly have deemed them divine. In some cases he could
scarcely fail to be aware that the object of the ‘revelation’ was his
own comfort or pleasure or reputation, and not the _major Dei gloria_,
nor the good of the people.

The truth would seem to be that in the latter part of his life
Moḥammad was forced to enlarge the limits of his revelations as the
sphere of his influence increased. From a private citizen of Mekka he
had become the Emeer, the chief of the Arabs, the ruler of a
factious, jealous, turbulent people; and the change must have had its
effect upon his character. The man who from addressing a few devout
followers in a tent in the desert finds himself the head of a nation
of many tribes, king of a country twice the size of France, will find
many things difficult that before seemed easy. As a statesman Moḥammad
was as great as he was as a preacher of righteousness; but as his
field of work enlarged, his mind had to accommodate itself to the
needs of commoner minds. He learnt to see the expedient where before
he knew only the right. His revelations now deal with the things of
earth, when before they looked only towards the things of heaven; and
petty social rules, ‘general orders,’ selfish permissions, are
promulgated with the same authority and as from the same divine source
as the command to worship one God alone. He governed the nation as a
prophet and not as a king, and as a prophet his ordinances must be
endorsed with the divine afflatus. He found he must regulate the
meanest details of the people’s life, and he believed he could only do
this by using God’s name for his decrees. He doubtless argued himself
into the belief that even these petty, and to us sometimes immoral,
regulations, being for the good of the people, as he conceived the
good, were really God’s ordinances; but even thus he had lowered the
standard of his teaching, and alloyed with base metal the pure gold of
his early ideal. It was a temptation that few men have withstood, but
it was, nevertheless, a falling-off from the Moḥammad we loved at
Mekka, the simple truth-loving bearer of good tidings to the Arabs.

Yet behind this engrafted character, formed by the difficulties of his
position, by the invincible jealousy and treachery of the tribes he
governed, the old nature still lived, and ever and anon broke forth in
fervid words of faith and hope in the cause and the promises that had
been the light and support of his early years of trial. In the late
chapters of the Ḳur-án, among complicated directions for the Muslim’s
guidance in all the circumstances of life, we suddenly hear an echo of
the old fiery eloquence and the expression of the strong faith which
never deserted him.

Surely the character of Moḥammad has been misjudged. He was not the
ambitious schemer some would have him, still less the hypocrite and
sham prophet others have imagined. He was an enthusiast in that
noblest sense when enthusiasm becomes the salt of the earth, the one
thing that keeps men from rotting whilst they live. Enthusiasm is
often used despitefully, because it is joined to an unworthy cause, or
falls upon barren ground and bears no fruit. So was it not with
Moḥammad. He was an enthusiast when enthusiasm was the one thing
needed to set the world aflame, and his enthusiasm was noble for a
noble cause. He was one of those happy few who have attained the
supreme joy of making one great truth their very life-spring. He was
the messenger of the One God, and never to his life’s end did he
forget who he was, or the message which was the marrow of his being.
He brought his tidings to his people with a grand dignity, sprung from
the consciousness of his high office, together with a most sweet
humility, whose roots lay in the knowledge of his own weakness. Well
did Carlyle choose him for his prophet-hero! There have been purer
lives and higher aspirations than Moḥammad’s; but no man was ever more
thoroughly filled with the sense of his mission or carried out that
mission more heroically.


   ‘Your turning your faces in prayer towards the east and the
   west is not piety; but the pious is he who believeth in God
   and the Last Day, and in the Angels, and the Scripture, and
   who giveth money, notwithstanding his love thereof, to
   relations and orphans, and to the needy and the son of the
   road, and to the askers, and for the freeing of slaves, and
   who performeth prayer and giveth the appointed alms; and those
   who perform their covenant when they covenant, and the patient
   in adversity and affliction and in the time of violence. These
   are they who have been true: and these are they who fear
   God.’—_Ḳur-án_, ii. 172.

When it was noised abroad that the Prophet was dead, ´Omar, the
fiery-hearted, the Simon Peter of Islám, rushed among the people, and
fiercely told them they lied, it could not be true, Moḥammad was not
dead. And Aboo-Bekr came and said, ‘Ye people! he that hath worshipped
Moḥammad, let him know that Moḥammad is dead; but he that hath
worshipped God,—that the Lord liveth, and doth not die.’

Many have sought to answer the questions—Why was the triumph of Islám
so speedy and so complete? Why have so many millions embraced the
religion of Moḥammad, and scarcely a hundred ever recanted? Why do a
thousand Christians become Muslims to one Muslim who adopts
Christianity? Why do a hundred and fifty millions of human beings
still cling to the faith of Islám? Some have attempted to explain the
first overwhelming success of the Moḥammadan religion by the argument
of the sword. They forget Carlyle’s laconic reply, ‘First get your
sword.’ You must win men’s hearts before you can induce them to peril
their lives for you, and the first conquerors of Islám must have been
made Muslims before they were made ‘fighters on the path of God.’
Others allege the low morality of the religion and the sensual
paradise it promises as a sufficient cause for the zeal of its
followers; but even were these admitted to the full, to say that such
reasons could win the hearts of millions of men who have the same
hopes and longings after the right and the noble as we, is to libel
mankind. No religion has ever gained a lasting hold upon the souls of
men by the force of its sensual permissions and fleshly promises. It
is urged, again, that Islám met no fair foe, that the worn-out forms
of Christianity and Judaism it encountered were no test of its power
as a quickening faith, and that it prevailed simply because there was
nothing to prevent it; and this was undoubtedly a help to the progress
of the new creed, but it could not have been the cause of its victory.

In all these reasons the religion itself is left out of the question.
Decidedly Islám itself was the main cause of its triumph. By some
strange intuition Moḥammad succeeded in finding the one form of
Monotheism that has ever commended itself to any wide section of the
Eastern world. It was only a remnant of the Jews that learned to
worship the one God of the prophets after the hard lessons of the
Captivity. Christianity has never gained a hold upon the East. Islám
not only was at once accepted (partly in earnest, partly in name, but
accepted) by Arabia, Syria, Persia, Egypt, Northern Africa, and
Southern Spain at its first outburst, but, with the exception of
Spain, it has never lost its vantage-ground; it has seen no country
that has once embraced its doctrine turn to another faith; it has
added great multitudes in India and China and Turkestan to its
subjects; and in quite recent times it has been spreading in wide and
swiftly—following waves over Africa, and has left but a small part of
that vast continent unconverted to its creed. Admitting the mixed
causes that contributed to the rapidity of the first torrent of
Moḥammadan conquest, they do not account for the duration of Islám.
There must be something in the religion itself to explain its
persistence and increase, and to account for its present hold over so
large a proportion of the dwellers on the earth.

Men trained in European ideas of religion have always found a
difficulty in understanding the fascination which the Muslim faith has
for so many minds in the East. ‘There is no god but God, and Moḥammad
is His Prophet.’ There is nothing in this, they say, to move the
heart. Yet this creed has stirred an enthusiasm that has never been
surpassed. Islám has had its martyrs, its self-tormentors, its
recluses, who have renounced all that life offered and have accepted
death with a smile for the sake of the faith that was in them. It is
idle to say the eternity of happiness will explain this. The truest
martyrs of Islám, as well as of Christianity, did not die to gain
paradise. And if they did, the belief in the promises of the creed
must follow the hearty belief in the creed. Islám must have possessed
a power of seizing men’s belief before it could have inspired them
with such a love of its paradise.

Moḥammad’s conception of God has, I think, been misunderstood, and its
effect upon the people consequently under-estimated. The God of Islám
is commonly represented as a pitiless tyrant, who plays with humanity
as on a chessboard, and works out his game without regard to the
sacrifice of the pieces; and there is a certain truth in the figure.
There is more in Islám of the potter who shapes the clay than of the
father pitying his children. Moḥammad conceived of God as the Semitic
mind has always preferred to think of Him: his God is the All-Mighty,
the All-Knowing, the All-Just. Irresistible Power is the first
attribute he thinks of: the Lord of the Worlds, the Author of the
Heavens and the Earth, who hath created Life and Death, in whose hand
is Dominion, who maketh the Dawn to appear and causeth the Night to
cover the Day, the Great, All-Powerful Lord of the glorious Throne;
the Thunder proclaimeth His perfection, the whole earth is His
handful, and the Heavens shall be folded together in His right hand.
And with the Power He conceives the Knowledge that directs it to
right ends. God is the Wise, the Just, the True, the Swift in
reckoning, who knoweth every ant’s weight of good and of ill that each
man hath done, and who suffereth not the reward of the faithful to

   ‘God! There is no God but He, the Ever-Living, the
   Ever-Subsisting. Slumber seizeth Him not nor sleep. To Him
   belongeth whatsoever is in the Heavens and whatsoever is in
   the Earth. Who is he that shall intercede with Him, save by
   His permission? He knoweth the things that have gone before
   and the things that follow after, and men shall not compass
   aught of His knowledge, save what He willeth. His Throne
   comprehendeth the Heavens and the Earth, and the care of them
   burdeneth Him not. And He is the High, the Great.’—_Ḳur-án_,
   ii. 256.

But with this Power there is also the gentleness that belongs only to
great strength. God is the Guardian over His servants, the Shelterer
of the orphan, the Guider of the erring, the Deliverer from every
affliction; in His hand is Good, and He is the Generous Lord, the
Gracious, the Hearer, the Near-at-Hand. Every soorah of the Ḳur-án
begins with the words, ‘In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the
Merciful,’ and Moḥammad was never tired of telling the people how God
was Very-Forgiving, that His love for man was more tender than the
mother-bird for her young.

It is too often forgotten how much there is in the Ḳur-án of the
loving-kindness of God, but it must be allowed that these are not the
main thoughts in Moḥammad’s teaching. It is the doctrine of the Might
of God that most held his imagination, and that has impressed itself
most strongly upon Muslims of all ages. The fear rather than the love
of God is the spur of Islám. There can be no question which is the
higher incentive to good; but it is nearly certain that the love of
God is an idea absolutely foreign to most of the races that have
accepted Islám, and to preach such a doctrine would have been to
mistake the leaning of the Semitic mind.

The leading doctrine of Moḥammad, then, is the belief in One
All-Powerful God. Islám is the self-surrender of every man to the will
of God. Its danger lies in the stress laid on the power of God, which
has brought about the stifling effects of fatalism. Moḥammad taught
the foreknowledge of God, but he did not lay down precisely the
doctrine of Predestination. He found it, as all have found it, a
stumbling-block in the way of man’s progress. It perplexed him, and he
spoke of it, but often contradicted himself; and he would become angry
if the subject were mooted in his presence: ‘Sit not with a disputer
about fate,’ he said, ‘nor begin a conversation with him.’ Moḥammad
vaguely recognised that little margin of Free Will which makes life
not wholly mechanical.

This doctrine of one Supreme God, to whose will it is the duty of
every man to surrender himself, is the kernel of Islám, the truth for
which Moḥammad lived and suffered and triumphed. But it was no new
teaching, as he himself was constantly saying. His was only the last
of revelations. Many prophets—Abraham, Moses, and Christ—had taught
the same faith before; but people had hearkened little to their words.
So Moḥammad was sent, not different from them, only a messenger, yet
the last and greatest of them, the ‘seal of prophecy,’ the ‘most
excellent of the creation of God.’ This is the second dogma of Islám:
Moḥammad is the apostle of God. It is well worthy of notice that it is
not said, ‘Moḥammad is the only apostle of God.’ Islám is more
tolerant in this matter than other religions. Its prophet is not the
sole commissioner of the Most High, nor is his teaching the only true
teaching the world has ever received. Many other messengers had been
sent by God to guide men to the right, and these taught the same
religion that was in the mouth of the preacher of Islám. Hence Muslims
reverence Moses and Christ only next to Moḥammad. All they claim for
their founder is that he was the last and best of the messengers of
the one God.[18]

After the belief in God and his prophets and scriptures, the Muslim
must believe in angels, good and evil genii, in the resurrection and
the judgment, and in future rewards and punishments. What the teaching
of the Ḳur-án is upon these points may be seen in the First Part of
the ‘Selections.’ They form a very common weapon of attack on the
ground of their superstition, their anthropomorphism, and their
sensuality. Yet these minor beliefs have their place in all religions,
and they are conceived in scarcely more absurdly realistic a manner in
Islám than in any other creed. Every religion seems to need an
improbable, almost a ludicrous, side, in order to provide material for
the faith of the masses. Moḥammad himself was what is called a
superstitious man, and the improbable side thus found its way easily
into his creed. With all the fancies floating in Arabia in his time,
it would have been strange if he had introduced nothing of the
superstitious into Islám. The Jinn, the Afreets, and the other beings
of the air and water, have not done much harm to the Mohammadan mind;
and they have given so many a delightful fable to the West, that we
must feel a certain grateful respect for them. The realistic pictures
of paradise and hell have exercised a more serious influence. The
minute details of these infernal and celestial pictures must move
alternately the disgust and the contemptuous amusement of a Western
reader; yet these same things were very real facts to Moḥammad, and
have been of the utmost importance to generation after generation of
Muslims. In the present day there are cultured men who receive these
descriptions in the same allegorical sense as some Christians accept
the Revelation of S. John—which, indeed, in some respects offers a
close parallel to the pictorial parts of the Ḳur-án; but the vast
majority of believers (like many Christians in the parallel case) take
the descriptions literally, and there can be no doubt that the belief
founded on such pictures, accepted literally, must work an ill effect
on the professors of the faith of which these doctrines form a minor,
but a too prominent, part; and it is the aim of rational Muslims to
sweep away such cobwebs from their sky.

Islám lies more in doing than in believing. That ‘faith without works
is dead’ is a doctrine which every day’s routine must bring home to
the mind of the devout Muslim. The practical duties of the Mohammadan
religion, beyond the actual profession of faith, are the performance
of prayer, the giving of alms, the keeping of the fasts, and the
accomplishing the pilgrimage. Mr. Lane has so minutely described the
regular prayers used over all the Mohammadan East, that it is only
necessary here to refer to his account of them in the ‘Modern
Egyptians.’ There it will be seen that they form no light part of the
religious duties of the Muslim, especially since they involve careful
preparatory ablutions; for Moḥammad impressed upon his followers the
salutary doctrine that cleanliness is an essential part of godliness,
and the scrupulous cleanliness of the Mohammadan, which contrasts so
favourably with the unsavoury state of Easterns of other creeds, is an
excellent feature in the practical influence of Islám. The charge
which missionaries and the like are fond of bringing against the
Muslim prayers, that they are merely lifeless forms and vain
repetitions, is an exaggeration. There is a vast deal of repetition in
the Mohammadan ritual, just as the paternoster is repeated again and
again in the principal Christian liturgies; but iteration does not
necessarily kill devotion. There is plenty of real fervour in the
prayers of the Mosque, and they are joined-in by the worshippers with
an earnest attention which shames the listless sleepy bearing of most
congregations in England. It is true the greater part of the prayers
are laid down in prescribed forms; but there is an interval set apart
for private supplication, and the original congregations in the
mosques availed themselves of this permission more generally than is
now the case, when the old fervour has become comparatively cool; and
Moḥammad frequently enjoins private prayer at home, and specially
praises him who ‘passeth his night worshipping God.’

Almsgiving was originally compulsory, and the tax was collected by the
officers of the Khalif; but now the Muslim is merely expected to give
voluntarily about a fortieth part of his income in charity each year.
The great fast of Ramaḍán is too well known to need more than a
passing mention here; but it is not so well known that Moḥammad,
ascetic as he was himself in this as in many other matters, whilst he
ordained the month of fasting for the chastening of his able-bodied
followers, was a determined enemy to useless mortification of the
flesh, and boldly affirmed that God took no pleasure in a man’s
wantonly injuring himself; and so if one that was weakly and sick
could not keep the fast without bodily detriment he was to omit it.
And the same wise leniency was shown by the Arab prophet in respect of
prayer,—which may be curtailed or omitted in certain cases,—and with
regard to the pilgrimage, which no one was to perform to his hurt.
This same pilgrimage is often urged as a sign of Moḥammad’s tendency
to superstition and even idolatry. It is asked how the destroyer of
idols could have reconciled his conscience to the circuits of the
Kaạbeh and the veneration of the black stone covered with adoring
kisses. The rites of the pilgrimage cannot certainly be defended
against the charge of superstition; but it is easy to see why Moḥammad
enjoined them. They were hallowed to him by the memories of his
ancestors, who had been the guardians of the sacred temple, and by the
traditional reverence of all his people; and besides this tie of
association, which in itself was enough to make it impossible for him
to do away with the rites, Moḥammad perceived that the worship in the
Kaạbeh would prove of real value to his religion. He swept away the
more idolatrous and immoral part of the ceremonies, but he retained
the pilgrimage to Mekka and the old veneration of the temple for
reasons of which it is impossible to dispute the wisdom. He well knew
the consolidating effect of forming a centre to which his followers
should gather; and hence he reasserted the sanctity of the black stone
that ‘came down from Heaven;’ he ordained that everywhere throughout
the world the Muslim should pray looking towards the Kaạbeh, and he
enjoined him to make the pilgrimage thither. Mekka is to the Muslim
what Jerusalem is to the Jew. It bears with it all the influence of
centuries of associations. It carries the Muslim back to the cradle of
his faith, the childhood of his prophet; it reminds him of the
struggle between the old faith and the new, of the overthrow of the
idols, and the establishment of the worship of the One God. And, most
of all, it bids him remember that all his brother Muslims are
worshipping towards the same sacred spot; that he is one of a great
company of believers, united by one faith, filled with the same hopes,
reverencing the same things, worshipping the same God. Moḥammad showed
his knowledge of the religious emotions in man when he preserved the
sanctity of the temple of Islám.

It would take too much space to look closely into the lesser duties of
Islám, many of which suggest exceedingly wholesome lessons to Western
civilisation. But we must not pass over one of these minor duties, for
it reflects the highest credit upon the founder and the professors of
Mohammadanism—I mean the humane treatment of animals.

‘There is no religion which has taken a higher view in its
authoritative documents of animal life, and none wherein the precept
has been so much honoured by its practical observance. ‘There is no
beast on earth,’ says the Ḳur-án, ‘nor bird which flieth with its
wings, but the same is a people like unto you—unto the Lord shall they
return;’ and it is the current belief that animals will share with men
the general resurrection, and be judged according to their works. At
the slaughter of an animal, the Prophet ordered that the name of God
should always be named; but the words, ‘the Compassionate, the
Merciful,’ were to be omitted; for, on the one hand, such an
expression seemed a mockery to the sufferer, and, on the other, he
could not bring himself to believe that the destruction of any life,
however necessary, could be altogether pleasing to the All-Merciful.
‘In the name of God,’ says a pious Musalman before he strikes the
fatal blow; ‘God is most great; God give thee patience to endure the
affliction which He hath allotted thee!’ In the East there has been no
moralist like Bentham to insist in noble words on the extension of the
sphere of morality to all sentient beings, and to be ridiculed for it
by people who call themselves religious; there has been no naturalist
like Darwin, to demonstrate by his marvellous powers of observation
how large a part of the mental and moral faculties which we usually
claim for ourselves alone we share with other beings; there has been
no Oriental ‘Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.’ But
one reason of this is not far to seek. What the legislation of the
last few years has at length attempted to do, and, from the mere fact
that it is legislation, must do ineffectually, has been long effected
in the East by the moral and religious sentiment which, like almost
everything that is good in that part of the world, can be traced back,
in part at least, to the great Prophet of Arabia. In the East, so far
as it has not been hardened by the West, there is a real sympathy
between man and the domestic animals; they understand one another; and
the cruelties which the most humane of our countrymen unconsciously
effect in the habitual use, for instance, of the muzzle or the
bearing-rein on the most docile, the most patient, the most faithful,
and the most intelligent of their companions, are impossible in the
East. An Arab _cannot_ ill-treat his horse; and Mr. Lane bears
emphatic testimony to the fact that in his long residence in Egypt he
never saw an ass or a dog (though the latter is there looked upon as
an unclean animal) treated with cruelty, except in those cities which
were overrun by Europeans.’[19]

There are some very beautiful traditions of the Prophet, showing the
tenderness with which he always treated animals and which he ever
enjoined on his people. A man once came to him with a carpet and said,
‘O Prophet, I passed through a wood and heard the voices of the young
of birds, and I took and put them into my carpet, and their mother
came fluttering round my head.’ And the Prophet said, ‘Put them down;’
and when he had put them down the mother joined the young. And the
Prophet said, ‘Do you wonder at the affection of the mother towards
her young? I swear by Him who has sent me, Verily God is more loving
to his servants than the mother to these young birds. Return them to
the place from which ye took them, and let their mother be with them.’
‘Fear God with regard to animals,’ said Moḥammad; ‘ride them when they
are fit to be ridden, and get off when they are tired. Verily there
are rewards for our doing good to dumb animals, and giving them water
to drink.’

Such, in brief outline, is the religion of Moḥammad. It is a form of
pure theism, simpler and more austere than the theism of most forms of
modern Christianity, lofty in its conception of the relation of man to
God, and noble in its doctrine of the duty of man to man, and of man
to the lower creation. There is little in it of superstition, less of
complexity of dogmas; it is an exacting religion, without the
repulsiveness of asceticism; severe, but not merciless. On the other
hand, it is over-rigid and formal; it leaves too little to the
believer and too much to his ritual; it places a prophet and a book
between man and God, and practically discourages the desire for a
direct relation between the Deity and his servant; it draws the
picture of that God in too harsh outlines, and leaves out too much of
the tenderness and loving-kindness of the God of Christ’s teaching,
and hence it has been the source of more intolerance and fanatical
hatred than most creeds.

This religion is Islám as understood and taught by its Prophet, so far
as we can gather it from the Ḳur-án, aided by those traditions which
seem to have the stamp of authenticity. It need hardly be said that it
is not identical with the Islám with which the philosophers of Baghdád
amused themselves, nor with the fantastic creed which the Fáṭimee
Khalifs of Egypt represented, and brought in the person of El-Ḥákim to
its limit of extravagance; nor is it the Islám with which as much as
with their ferocity the Karmaṭees aroused the fear and abhorrence of
all good Muslims. Neither the Soofism of Persia nor the dervish
sensation-religion of Turkey conform to this ancient Islám, to which
perhaps a modification of the Waḥḥábee puritanism would be the
nearest approach. The original faith of Moḥammad has not gained by its
development in foreign lands and alien minds, and perhaps the best we
can hope for modern Islám is that it may try the experiment of
retrogression, or rather seek to regain the simplicity of the old form
without losing the advantages (if there be any) which it has acquired
from contact with Western civilisation.

Islám is unfortunately a social system as well as a religion; and
herein lies the great difficulty of fairly estimating its good and its
bad influence on the world. It is but in the nature of things that the
teacher who lays down the law of the relation of man to God should
also endeavour to appoint the proper relation between man and his
neighbour. Christianity was undoubtedly a social even more than a
religious reform, but the social regulations were too indefinite, or
at all events too impracticable, for any wide acceptance among the
professors of the religion. Islám was less fortunate. Moḥammad not
only promulgated a religion; he laid down a complete social system,
containing minute regulations for a man’s conduct in all circumstances
of life, with due rewards or penalties according to his fulfilment of
these rules. As a religion Islám is great: it has taught men to
worship one God with a pure worship who formerly worshipped many gods
impurely. As a social system Islám is a complete failure: it has
misunderstood the relations of the sexes, upon which the whole
character of a nation’s life hangs, and, by degrading women, has
degraded each successive generation of their children down an
increasing scale of infamy and corruption, until it seems almost
impossible to reach a lower level of vice.

The fatal spot in Islám is the degradation of women. The true test of
a nation’s place in the ranks of civilisation is the position of its
women. When they are held in reverence, when it is considered the most
infamous of crimes to subject a woman to dishonour, and the highest
distinction to protect her from wrong; when the family life is real
and strong, of which the mother-wife is the heart; when each man’s
pulse beats loyal to womanhood, then is a nation great. When women are
treated as playthings, toys, drudges, worth anything only if they have
beauty to be enjoyed or strength to labour; when sex is considered the
chief thing in a woman, and heart and mind are forgotten; when a man
buys women for his pleasure and dismisses them when his appetite is
glutted, then is a nation despicable.

And so is it in the East. Yet it would be hard to lay the blame
altogether on Moḥammad. The real roots of the degradation of women lie
much deeper. When Islám was instituted, polygamy was almost
necessitated by the number of women and their need of support; and the
facility of divorce was quite necessitated by the separation of the
sexes, and the consequence that a man could not know or even see the
woman he was about to marry before the marriage ceremony was
accomplished. It is not Moḥammad whom we must blame for these great
evils, polygamy and divorce; it is the state of society which demanded
the separation of the sexes, and in which it was not safe to allow men
and women freely to associate; in other words, it was the sensual
constitution of the Arab that lay at the root of the matter. Moḥammad
might have done better. He might boldly have swept away the traditions
of Arab society, unveiled the women, intermingled the sexes, and
punished by the most severe measures any license which such
association might at first encourage. With his boundless influence, it
is possible that he might have done this, and, the new system once
fairly settled, and the people accustomed to it, the good effects of
the change would have begun to show themselves. But such an idea could
never have occurred to him. We must always remember that we are
dealing with a social system of the seventh century, not of the
nineteenth. Moḥammad’s ideas about women were like those of the rest
of his contemporaries. He looked upon them as charming snares to the
believer, ornamental articles of furniture difficult to keep in order,
pretty playthings; but that a woman should be the counsellor and
companion of a man does not seem to have occurred to him. It is to be
wondered that the feeling of respect he always entertained for his
first wife, Khadeejeh, (which, however, is partly accounted for by the
fact that she was old enough to have been his mother,) found no
counterpart in his general opinion of womankind: ‘Woman was made from
a crooked rib, and if you try to bend it straight, it will break;
therefore treat your wives kindly.’ Moḥammad was not the man to make a
social reform affecting women, nor was Arabia the country in which
such a change should be made, nor Arab ladies perhaps the best
subjects for the experiment. Still he did something towards bettering
the condition of women: he limited the number of wives to four; laid
his hand with the utmost severity on the incestuous marriages that
were then rife in Arabia; compelled husbands to support their divorced
wives during their four months of probation; made irrevocable divorce
less common by adding the rough, but deterring, condition that a woman
triply divorced could not return to her husband without first being
married to some one else—a condition exceedingly disagreeable to the
first husband; and required four witnesses to prove a charge of
adultery against a wife—a merciful provision, difficult to be
fulfilled. The evil permitted by Moḥammad in leaving the number of
wives four instead of insisting on monogamy was not great. Without
considering the sacrifice of family peace which the possession of a
large harem entails, the expense of keeping several wives, each of
whom must have a separate suite of apartments or a separate house, is
so great that not more than one in twenty can afford it. It is not so
much in the matter of wives as in that of concubines that Moḥammad
made an irretrievable mistake. The condition of the female slave in
the East is indeed deplorable. She is at the entire mercy of her
master, who can do what he pleases with her and her companions; for
the Muslim is not restricted in the number of his concubines, as he is
in that of his wives. The female white slave is kept solely for the
master’s sensual gratification, and is sold when he is tired of her,
and so she passes from master to master, a very wreck of womanhood.
Her condition is a little improved if she bear a son to her tyrant;
but even then he is at liberty to refuse to acknowledge the child as
his own, though it must be owned he seldom does this. Kind as the
Prophet was himself towards bondswomen, one cannot forget the
unutterable brutalities which he suffered his followers to inflict
upon conquered nations in the taking of slaves. The Muslim soldier was
allowed to do as he pleased with any ‘infidel’ woman he might meet
with on his victorious march. When one thinks of the thousands of
women, mothers and daughters, who must have suffered untold shame and
dishonour by this license, he cannot find words to express his horror.
And this cruel indulgence has left its mark on the Muslim character,
nay, on the whole character of Eastern life. Now, as at the first,
young Christian girls are dragged away from their homes and given over
to the unhallowed lusts of a Turkish voluptuary; and not only to
Turks, but to Englishmen; for the contagion has spread, and
Englishmen, even those who by their sacred order should know better,
instead of uttering their protest, as men of honour and Christians,
against the degradation, have followed the example of the Turk, and
helped in the ruin of women. Concubinage is the black stain in Islám.
With Moḥammad’s views of women, we could hardly expect him to do
better; but, on the other hand, he could scarcely have done worse.
There are, however, one or two alleviating circumstances. One is the
fact that the canker has not eaten into the whole of Eastern society;
it is chiefly among the rich that the evil effects of the system are
felt. And another fact which shows that the Mohammadan system, bad as
it is, is free from a defect which social systems better in other
respects than Moḥammad’s are subject to is the extreme rarity of
prostitution in Muslim towns. The courtesan forms a very small item in
the census of a Mohammadan city, and is retained more for strangers
from Europe than for the Muslim inhabitants. Instances are frequently
occurring in the Indian law courts which show the strong feeling that
exists on the subject among the Mohammadans of India. They consider it
quite inconceivable that a Muslim should have illicit intercourse with
a free Muslimeh woman, and this inconceivableness of the action is
urged as evidence in trials of the legitimacy of children. But whilst
admitting the importance of this remarkable feature in Islám, it must
not be forgotten that the liberty allowed by their law to Muslims in
the matter of concubines does not very materially differ from
prostitution, and whilst the latter is directly forbidden by the
dominant religion of Europe, concubinage is as directly permitted by

One would think that long intercourse with Europeans might have
somewhat raised the estimation of women in the East; but either
because travellers in the East are not always the best specimens of
Western morality, or because the Eastern mind has an unequalled
aptitude for assimilating the bad and rejecting the good in any system
it meets, it is certain that women are no better off now than they
were in the East. A well-known correspondent of a leading daily print
writes thus of Turkish home life:—

   ‘It is obvious that the home life of any people will depend
   almost entirely on the position which is assigned to women. It
   is not necessary to inquire what this position is according to
   the teaching of the sacred books of a race. Between
   Christianity and Islám it is enough to notice that there is
   apparently no country where the first is the prevailing
   religion in which woman is hindered by religion from obtaining
   a position almost, if not quite, on an equality with man, and
   similarly, no country where the second prevails where woman is
   not in a degraded position.... Under Christianity she is
   everywhere free. Under Islám she is everywhere a slave. The
   pious Mohammadan, like the pious Jew, thanks God that he has
   not been made a woman. The pious Mohammadan woman, like the
   pious Jewess, thanks God that she has been made according to
   the Creator’s will. Man and woman alike recognise that to be a
   woman is to be in an inferior condition. This feeling of the
   degradation of woman so pervades Turkey that the poorer
   classes of Christians have even become infected by it. When a
   son is born there is nothing but congratulations. When a
   daughter, nothing but condolences. A polite Turk, if he has
   occasion to mention his wife, will do so with an apology....
   He regards it as a piece of rudeness to mention the fact to
   you, and it would be equally rude for him to inquire after
   your wife, or to hint that he knew you were guilty of anything
   so unmentionable as to have one. Charles the Twelfth told his
   queen that she had been chosen to give children, and not
   advice. The Turk regards woman as destined solely for the same
   purpose and for his pleasure. Probably polygamy is of itself
   sufficient to account for the way in which Mohammadans regard
   woman. But whether this is so or not, there is one influence
   which polygamy asserts which accounts for the low ideal of
   woman prevalent in all Muslim countries. When a man has a
   number of wives it is impossible that they can all become his
   companions and his confidantes, or that one of them can become
   his companion or confidante to the same extent as if the man
   had only one wife. Hence a man who is limited to one will not
   be contented with beauty alone. He must have a certain amount
   of intelligence and education. The Turk, on the other hand,
   has no reason whatever to think of anything except beauty. As
   he never means to see much of his wife, intelligence or
   education is a matter of small account. If he can afford it he
   will have a Circassian wife, a woman who has been reared with
   the intention of being sold, who has not an idea in her head,
   who has seen nothing, and knows nothing. Such a woman would be
   as objectionable as a wife to the great majority of Europeans
   as a South Sea Island beauty. But she satisfies the ideal of
   the Turk. She is beautiful, and beauty is all that he

It is this sensual and degraded view of woman that destroys to so
great an extent the good influence which the better part of the
teaching of Islám might exert in the East. So long as women are held
in so light an esteem, they will remain ignorant, and bigoted, and
sensual; and so long as mothers are what most Muslim mothers are now,
their children will be ignorant and fanatical and vicious. In Turkey
there are other influences at work besides the Mohammadan social
system; but Turkish women may serve as an instance of the state of
things which that system encourages. ‘In those early years spent at
home, when the child ought to have instilled into him some germ of
those principles of conduct by which men must walk in the world if
they are to hold up their heads among civilised nations, the Turkish
child is only taught the first steps towards those vicious habits of
mind and body which have made his race what it is. The root of the
evil is partly found in the harem system. So long as that system keeps
Turkish women in their present depressed state, so long will Turkish
boys and girls be vicious and ignorant.’ As I have said elsewhere,[20]
‘It is quite certain that there is no hope for the Turks so long as
Turkish women remain what they are, and home-training is the
initiation of vice.’ If the mother is ignorant and vicious, the son
cannot form a high ideal of womanhood, and thus is barred off from the
chivalrous spirit wherewith alone a man may reach to the highest

           ‘Subtle master under heaven,
   Not only to keep down the base in man,
   But teach high thought, and amiable words,
   And courtliness, and the desire of fame,
   And love of truth, and all that makes a man.’

The Muslin has no ideal of chivalry like this to make his life pure
and honourable: his religion encourages an opposite view, and the
women among whom he is brought up only confirm it.

If Islám is to be a power for good in the future, it is imperatively
necessary to cut off the social system from the religion. At the
beginning, among a people who had advanced but a little way on the
road of civilisation, the defects of the social system were not so
apparent; but now, when Easterns are endeavouring to mix on equal
terms with Europeans, and are trying to adopt the manners and customs
of the West, it is clear that the condition of their women must be
radically changed if any good is to come of the Europeanising
tendency. The difficulty lies in the close connection between the
religious and social ordinances in the Ḳur-án: the two are so
intermingled that it is hard to see how they can be disentangled
without destroying both. The theory of revelation would have to be
modified. Muslims would have to give up their doctrine of the syllabic
inspiration of the Ḳur-án and exercise their moral sense in
distinguishing between the particular and the general, the temporary
and the permanent: they would have to recognise that there was much in
Moḥammad’s teaching which, though useful at the time, is inapplicable
to the present conditions of life; that his knowledge was often
partial, and his judgment sometimes at fault; that the moral sense is
capable of education as much as the intellect, and, therefore, that
what was apparently moral and wise in the seventh century may quite
possibly be immoral and suicidal in a society of the nineteenth
century. Moḥammad himself said, according to tradition, ‘I am no more
than a man: when I order you anything respecting religion, receive it;
and when I order you about the affairs of the world, then I am nothing
more than man.’ And he seemed to foresee that the time would come when
his minor regulations would call for revision: ‘Ye are in an age,’ he
said, ‘in which, if ye abandon one-tenth of what is ordered, ye will
be ruined. After this, a time will come when he who shall observe
one-tenth of what is now ordered will be redeemed.’[21]

If Muslims would take these warnings of their prophet to heart, there
would be some hope for Islám. Some few of the higher intellects among
them have already admitted the principle of moral criticism applied to
the Ḳur-án; but it is very doubtful whether ‘rational Islám’ will ever
gain a wide following, any more than ‘rational Christianity.’ People
in general do not care to think for themselves in matters religious.
They like their creed served up to them as cooked meat, not raw flesh.
They must have definite texts and hard-and-fast commandments to appeal
to. They will not believe in the spirit, but prefer the letter. They
will have nothing to say to tendencies, but must have facts. It is of
no avail to speak to them of the spirit of a life or of a whole book;
they must hang their doctrine on a solitary sentence. They will either
believe every letter of their scripture, or they will believe nothing.

Such people make up the majority of the professors of Islám; and with
them no reform, within Islám, seems possible. Among the upper (I will
not call them the higher) classes, they are either fanatics or
concealed infidels; and their lives are a proof of the
incompatibility of ordinary Mohammadanism, real or nominal, with a
high social and national life. Among the poorer classes, the social
system has a more restricted field of operation, for the poor are
naturally less able to avail themselves of the permissions of their
Prophet. In a poor community Islám exerts an eminently salutary
influence, as the condition of the Mohammadan converts in Western
Africa conclusively proves. An able observer,[22] whose African birth
and training qualify him in a high degree for properly understanding
the true state of his countrymen, whilst his Christian profession
serves as a guarantee against excessive prejudice in favour of Islám,
has recorded his experience of the work of Mohammadan missionaries in
Liberia and the neighbouring parts of Africa. ‘All careful and candid
observers,’ he remarks, ‘agree that the influence of Islám in Central
and West Africa has been, upon the whole, of a most salutary
character.... As an eliminatory and subversive agency it has displaced
or unsettled nothing as good as itself.’ It has inculcated habits of
moderation and soberness over the whole of the vast region covered by
its emissaries; and so great is the influence of its teaching, that
where there are Muslim inhabitants, even in pagan towns, it is a very
rare thing to see a person intoxicated. The Mohammadan converts drink
nothing but water. ‘From Senegal to Lagos, over two thousand miles,
there is scarcely an important town on the seaboard where there is not
at least one mosque and active representatives of Islám, side by side
with the Christian teacher. And as soon as a pagan, however obscure or
degraded, embraces the Muslim faith, he is at once admitted as an
equal to the society.... The pagan village possessing a Muslim teacher
is always found to be in advance of its neighbours in all the elements
of civilisation.... The introduction of Islám into Central and West
Africa has been the most important, if not the sole, preservative
against the desolations of the slave trade. Mohammadanism furnished a
protection to the tribes who embraced it, by effectually binding them
together in one strong religious fraternity, and enabling them by
their united efforts to baffle the attempts of powerful slave-hunters.
Enjoying this comparative immunity from sudden hostile incursion,
industry was stimulated among them; industry diminished their poverty;
and as they increased in worldly substance, they also increased in
desire for knowledge. Receiving a desire of letters by a study of the
Arabic language, they acquired loftier views, wider tastes, and those
energetic habits which so pleasingly distinguish them from their pagan
neighbours.’ Students often travel on foot from the west coast right
across Africa to study at the great mosque of the Azhar in Cairo. It
must be remembered that these results were observed in the very centre
of African Christianity, in Sierra Leone and other coast settlements.
It is said that in Sierra Leone three-fourths of the Muslim population
were not born Muslims, but were converted from Christianity or
paganism; and this, although ‘all liberated Africans are always handed
over to Christian missionaries for instruction, and their children are
baptized and brought up at the public expense in Christian schools,
and are thus, in a sense, ready-made Christians.’

These facts show that, even in the present day, and with the
competition of Christian missionary societies, Islám may be a power
for good in poor communities—that it can not only give them a pure
instead of a degraded faith, but can raise them socially and
intellectually. The effects of a simple form of Islám on these African
converts may give one some notion of its influence on its hearers in
the early days, before the theologians had corrupted it.

But this good influence is very partial and limited, even among the
poorer classes. In communities where all are poor, Islám is an
excellent agent for improvement; but in countries where there are
many grades of wealth and rank, the poor only ape in a humble manner
the vices of those whom they are taught to regard as their ‘betters.’
In all civilised and wealthy countries the social system of Islám
exerts a ruinous influence on all classes, and if there is to be any
great future for the Mohammadan world, that system of society must be
done away.



   The Muslim who reads the Ḳur-án is like the orange-fruit,
   whose smell and taste are sweet; and the Muslim who reads not
   the Ḳur-án is like the date, which hath no smell, but its
   taste is sweet; and the Hypocrite who reads not the Ḳur-án is
   like the colocynth, without a smell, and with a bitter taste;
   and the Hypocrite who reads it is like the sweet bazil, whose
   smell is sweet, but its taste bitter.—_Tradition._

It is an immense merit in the Ḳur-án that there is no doubt as to its
genuineness. The ‘Word of the Lord’ came to Moḥammad, and he uttered
it, and the people wrote it down or committed it to memory; and that
very word we can now read with full confidence that it has remained
unchanged through nearly thirteen hundred years.

The revelations came to Moḥammad in many ways and at all times, but
never ‘in visions bright, transcendant, exalted. They came ghastly,
weird, most horrible. After long solitary broodings, a something used
to move Moḥammad, all of a sudden, with frightful vehemence. He
“roared like a camel,” his eyes rolled and glowed like red coals, and
on the coldest day terrible perspirations would break out all over his
body. When the terror ceased, it seemed to him as if he had heard
bells ringing, “the sound whereof seemed to rend him to pieces”—as if
he had heard the voice of a man—as if he had seen Gabriel—or as if
words _had been written in his heart_. Such was the agony he endured,
that some of the verses revealed to him well-nigh made his hair turn

No collection of these revelations was made during Moḥammad’s
lifetime; at his death, the Ḳur-án existed only as scattered
chaotically among the believers. But about a year later, the death in
battle of some of the men who had specially committed passages of the
Ḳur-án to memory, and the dread that the whole of Moḥammad’s teaching
might vanish at the end of a generation or two, induced Aboo-Bekr to
make the innovation from which every one shrank, and he gave orders to
the Prophet’s secretary, Zeyd ibn Thábit, to collect the fragments of
the Ḳur-án in one book. So Zeyd gathered the Ḳur-án from palm-leaves,
skins, shoulder-blades, stones, and the hearts of men, arranged the
chapters in a certain order, and presented Aboo-Bekr with a Ḳur-án
which probably differed in no essential particular from the book we
have now. All scholars are agreed that Zeyd did his work faithfully,
and neither inserted nor omitted anything from party motives. But he
seems to have occasionally mixed up fragments of very different date
in one chapter—Moḥammad himself countenanced this—and may possibly
have omitted some portions that were not found till afterwards.

Some twenty years later a second recension was ordered by the Khalif
´Othmán. Slight varieties of reading, mainly dialectal, had arisen;
swords were near being drawn over them; and it was evident that a
serious schism would come about if a uniform authorised text of the
Ḳur-án were not provided. These slight dialectal differences were not
sufficiently settled, it would seem, in Aboo-Bekr’s edition, so this
new recension was made by Zeyd and three men of the Ḳureysh, for they
would best know the original dialect of the Ḳur-án. The new edition
followed the first one, apparently, both in order and in matter;
definitely fixing, however, the true text in the dialect of the
Ḳureysh, and possibly adding any verses that might have been
discovered since Zeyd’s first edition. This second recension was
conducted with the same careful fidelity and scrupulous impartiality
as the first; and it was accepted by all the different parties that
were then disputing the supremacy. Copies of this edition were then
distributed to the principal cities of the empire, and the old copies
and fragments were called-in and burned.

This edition of ´Othmán, made about A.D. 660, is the one that has ever
since been the authorised and only version of the Ḳur-án throughout
the Muslim world and in the studies of European linguists. The only
differences that have since crept into the text are certain
unimportant varieties in vocalisation and orthography and in the
division of verses.

It was a singular system these early revisers went upon. They seem,
indeed, to have established the authenticity of each saying
satisfactorily; but in the arrangement of them they showed an
extraordinary dulness. The tradition of the year when each revelation
was spoken appears to have been lost even in the short time that had
elapsed since it had been spoken. People remembered the words, but
seldom the occasion of the words. Hence the revisers had to devise an
artificial order; not according to subject, nor after the development
of the style, but simply in order of length! They put the longest
chapters first and the shortest last; that is to say, they inverted,
roughly speaking, the true order, for the early soorahs were short and
the later ones long.

Read in this order, the Ḳur-án is an unintelligible jumble. Carlyle
may well say that ‘nothing but a sense of duty could carry any
European through the Ḳur-án.’ You can trace no development of mind or
doctrine in the present arrangement; it is indeed a confused mass of
‘endless iterations, long-windedness, entanglement, most crude,
incondite.’ But scholars have long discovered certain signs of a true
order—several kinds of evidence by which a chronological arrangement
of the Ḳur-án may be attempted. These are—(1.) The _references to
historical events_ in the Ḳur-án, as identified by tradition. These,
however, are but few, and occur chiefly in quite the latest soorahs;
and tradition is apt to identify any reference with any event it
chooses. A much more important test is (2.) the _style_; for a
distinct development can be traced in the rime, in the length of
verses, and in the words employed. And then there is (3.) the
_matter_ test, based on what we know of Moḥammad’s life, from which we
can argue a certain change in his preaching at Mekka, and still more
when, from addressing idolaters in his birthplace, he came to preach
to Jews and Christians at Medina. The danger of this last test is that
each man forms his own theory of Moḥammad’s mental and religious
growth, and may arrange the soorahs in accordance with that theory.
Even with these three tests, used by the most accomplished critics, it
is impossible to arrive at an exact order, and to determine the
precise chronological position of each soorah. But whilst it is
admitted that an exact chronological arrangement of each individual
chapter of the Ḳur-án is impossible, it is yet no less certain that
the soorahs may be roughly grouped together, and that these groups can
be definitely assigned to certain periods of Moḥammad’s career.

Professor Th. Nöldeke’s _Geschichte des Qorâns_ has established his
right to the first place in this science of Ḳur-án arrangement, and
his order of soorahs may fairly be accepted as authoritative. Of this
order Mr. Rodwell’s English version of the Ḳur-án is an example,
except that a few of the earliest soorahs are transposed. Nöldeke has
two great divisions of the soorahs: those revealed at Mekka, and those
revealed during the Medina period. Further, he divides the Mekkan
division into three groups.[23]

         {   I. A.D. 612-617 (Rodwell, pp. 1-64)—To the Abyssinian
         {         exile (fifth year).
         {  II. A.D. 617-619 (Rodwell, pp. 64-192)—Fifth and sixth
   Mekka {         years of Moḥammad’s mission.
         { III. A.D. 619-622 (Rodwell, pp. 193-366)—From the
         {         seventh year to the Flight.

   Medina       A.D. 622-633 (Rodwell, pp. 366-555)—At Medina.

Read in this order the Ḳur-án becomes intelligible. It is still
confused in its progression and strangely mixed in its contents; but
the development of Moḥammad’s faith can be traced in it, and we can
see dimly into the workings of his mind, as it struggles with the deep
things of God, wrestles with the doubts which echoed the cavils of the
unbelievers, soars upwards on the wings of ecstatic faith, till at
last it gains the repose of fruition. Studied thus, the Ḳur-án is no
longer dull reading to one who cares to look upon the working of a
passionate troubled human soul, and who can enter into its trials and
share in the joy of its triumphs.

In the soorahs revealed at Mekka, Moḥammad has but one theme—God; and
one object—to draw his people away from their idols and bring them to
the feet of that God. He tells them of Him in glowing language, that
comes from the heart’s white heat. He points to the glories of nature,
and tells them these are God’s works. With all the brilliant imagery
of the Arab, he tries to show them what God is, to convince them of
His power and His wisdom and His justice. The soorahs of this period
are short, for they are pitched in too high a key to be long
sustained. The language has the ring of poetry, though no part of the
Ḳur-án complies with the demands of Arab metre. The sentences are
short and full of half-restrained energy, yet with a musical cadence.
The thought is often only half expressed; one feels the speaker has
essayed a thing beyond words, and has suddenly discovered the
impotence of language, and broken off with the sentence unfinished.
There is the fascination of true poetry about these earliest soorahs;
as we read them we understand the enthusiasm of the Prophet’s
followers, though we cannot fully realise the beauty and the power,
inasmuch as we cannot hear them hurled forth with Moḥammad’s fiery
eloquence. From first to last the Ḳur-án is essentially a book to be
heard, not read, but this is especially the case with the earliest

In the soorahs of the second period of Mekka we begin to trace the
decline of the Prophet’s eloquence. There are still the same earnest
appeals to the people, the same gorgeous pictures of the Last Day and
the world to come; but the language begins to approach the quiet of
prose, the sentences become longer, the same words and phrases are
frequently repeated, and the wearisome stories of the Jewish prophets
and patriarchs, which fill so large a place in the later portion of
the Ḳur-án, now make their appearance. The fierce passion of the
earliest soorahs, that could not out save in short burning verses,
gives place to a calmer more argumentative style. Moḥammad appeals
less to the works of God as proofs of his teaching, and more to the
history of former teachers, and the punishments of the people who
would not hear them. And the characteristic oaths of the first period,
when Moḥammad swears by all the varied sights of nature as they
mirrored themselves in his imagination, have gone, and in their place
we find only the weaker oath ‘by the Ḳur-án.’ And this declension is
carried still further in the last group of the soorahs revealed at
Mekka. The style becomes more involved and the sentences longer, and
though the old enthusiasm bursts forth ever and anon, it is rather an
echo of former things than a new and present intoxication of faith.
The fables and repetitions become more and more dreary, and but for
the rich eloquence of the old Arabic tongue, which gives some charm
even to inextricable sentences and dull stories, the Ḳur-án at this
period would be unreadable. As it is, we feel we have fallen the whole
depth from poetry to prose, and the matter of the prose is not so
superlative as to give us amends for the loss of the poetic thought
of the earlier time and the musical fall of the sentences.

In the soorahs of the Medina period these faults reach their climax.
We read a singularly varied collection of criminal laws, social
regulations, orders for battle, harangues to the Jews, first
conciliatory, then denunciatory, and exhortations to spread the faith,
and such-like heterogeneous matters. Happily the Jewish stories
disappear in the latest soorahs, but their place is filled by scarcely
more palatable materials. The chapters of this period are interesting
chiefly as containing the laws which have guided every Muslim state,
regulated every Muslim society, and directed in their smallest acts
every Mohammadan man and woman in all parts of the world from the
Prophet’s time till now. The Medina part of the Ḳur-án is the most
important part for Islám, considered as a scheme of ritual and a
system of manners; the earliest Mekka revelations are those which
contain what is highest in a great religion and what was purest in a
great man.

The word _Ḳur-án_ means the _crying_, _reciting_, _reading_, and is
applied not only to the whole book, but to any chapter or section of
it. The Ḳur-án is also called El-Furḳán, ‘the Distinguisher,’ and
El-Muṣḥaf, ‘the Volume,’ and El-Kitáb, ‘the Book,’ and Edh-Dhikr, ‘the
Admonition.’ The Ḳur-án contains, in its ordinary form, 114 chapters
(_soorahs_), 6616 verses (_áyát_, literally ‘signs’ or ‘wonders’),
77,934 words, and 323,671 letters, according to the estimates of
laborious Muslim divines, which differ, however, in a slight manner in
consequence of the various divisions of verses. After the first
chapter, which is a short prayer (the Fátiḥah), the soorahs gradually
decrease in length from 289 verses in the second to from three to six
in the ten concluding chapters. Each chapter is headed by a title,
taken from same prominent word in it (as the ‘Chapter of the
Striking,’ ‘of the Cow,’ &c.); beneath which is noted whether it was
promulgated (according to tradition) at Mekka or Medina, and the
number of its verses. Then follow the words:—‘In the Name of God, the
Compassionate, the Merciful;’ after which the chapter begins. To
twenty-nine chapters are prefixed certain letters (_e.g._, ch. ii. on
p. 4), or a single letter, which have never been successfully
interpreted. The Muslims believe them to conceal profound mysteries.
In Soorah 55 a refrain is found, and traces of a like imitation in
Soorahs 54 and 17. It is probable that the Ḳur-án was originally
_chanted_ in somewhat the same manner as it is in the present day.

The Ḳur-án is also divided in thirty sections, and these are again
subdivided; and from this division rather than from chapter and verse
do the Muslims generally quote.

‘The Muslims absolutely deny that the Ḳur-án was composed by their
Prophet himself, or by any other for him; it being their general and
orthodox belief that it is of divine original; nay, that it is eternal
and uncreated, remaining, as some express it, in the very essence of
God; that the first transcript has been from everlasting by God’s
throne, written on a tablet of vast size, called the Preserved Tablet,
in which are also recorded the divine decrees, past and future; that a
copy from this tablet, in one volume on paper, was, by the ministry of
the angel Gabriel, sent down to the lowest heaven, in the month of
Ramaḍán, on the Night of Power;[24] whence Gabriel revealed it to
Moḥammad by parcels, some at Mekka, and some at Medina, at different
times during the space of twenty-three years, as the exigency of
affairs required; giving him, however, the consolation to show him the
whole (which they tell us was bound in silk, and adorned with gold and
precious stones of Paradise) once a year; but in the last year of his
life he had the favour to see it twice. They say that few chapters
were delivered entire, the most part being revealed piecemeal, and
written down from time to time by the Prophet’s amanuensis, in such or
such a part of such or such a chapter, till they were completed,
according to the directions of the angel. The first parcel that was
revealed is generally agreed to have been the first five verses of the
ninety-sixth chapter. After the new revealed passages had been from
the Prophet’s mouth taken down in writing by his scribe, they were
published to his followers, several of whom took copies for their
private use; but the far greater number got them by heart. The
originals, when returned, were put promiscuously into a chest, without
regard to any order of time, for which reason it is uncertain when
many passages were revealed.

‘The Ḳur-án being the Muslims’ rule of faith and practice, it is no
wonder its expositors and commentators are so very numerous; and it
may not be amiss to take notice of the rules they observe in
expounding it.

‘One of the most learned commentators distinguishes the contents of
the Ḳur-án into allegorical and literal. The former comprehends the
more obscure, parabolical, and enigmatical passages, and such as are
repealed or abrogated; the latter, those which are plain, perspicuous,
liable to no doubt, and in full force.

‘To explain these severally in a right manner, it is necessary, from
tradition and study, to know the time when each passage was revealed,
its circumstances, state, and history, and the reasons or particular
emergencies for the sake of which it was revealed. Or, more
explicitly, whether the passage was revealed at Mekka or at Medina;
whether it be abrogated, or does itself abrogate any other passage;
whether it be anticipated in order of time or postponed; whether it be
distinct from the context or depend thereon; whether it be particular
or general; and lastly, whether it be implicit by intention, or
explicit in words.

‘By what has been said, the reader may easily believe that this book
is held by the Muslims in the greatest reverence and esteem. The more
strict among them dare not touch it without being first washed or
legally purified; which lest they should do by inadvertence, they
sometimes write these words of the book itself on the cover or label,
“None shall touch it but they who are purified.” They read it with
great care and respect, never holding it below their girdles. They
swear by it, consult it in their weighty occasions, carry it with them
to war, inscribe sentences from it on their banners, sometimes adorn
it with gold and precious stones, and knowingly suffer it not to be in
the possession of any person of a different persuasion. It is the
foundation of their education; and the children in the schools are
taught to chant it, and commit the whole of it to memory.’


In reading a large number of works bearing upon the subjects of this
Introduction, I have remarked a curious freedom of quotation in most
of the writers. I find the same sentence, or at least the same
thought, repeated in several books without any reference to the author
who first put it forth. Each writer seems to have studied his
predecessors with such minuteness that he can quote their very words,
but he does not appear to remember whence the words came. When a
thought has once been perfectly expressed, it were a ridiculous vanity
to seek to frame it in different words, and so far it is undoubtedly
wise to make use of the best of what has preceded us; nevertheless, it
is well to acknowledge our debt. Yet thoughts, and even phrases,
impress themselves on the memory till one unconsciously comes to
appropriate them as his own; and this, I doubt not, is the cause of
much of the plagiarism I have noticed. It is extremely probable that I
have been guilty of the same sin. I have crowded my pages with marks
of quotation, sometimes with foot references, sometimes without (for
the student of the subject will know where to look for them), but it
is quite likely that I have often unconsciously used another’s phrase
or metaphor without rendering thanks. So I now append a list of the
principal European books I have used, and beg once and for all to
record my indebtedness to their writers. The original Arabic
authorities will dispense with my acknowledgments, and the catalogue
of them would not assist the English reader who wishes to proceed
further in the study of the subject, for whom this list may prove

   BURCKHARDT, J. L. _Notes on the Bedouins and Wahábys._ 2 vols.

   DEUTSCH, EMANUEL. _Literary Remains._ 1874.

   DOZY, R. _Essai sur l´Histoire de l´Islamisme_, trad. par V.
       Chauvin. 1879.

   FRESNEL, F. _Lettres sur l´Histoire des Arabes avant
       l´Islamisme._ 1836-38.

   HUGHES, REV. T. P. _Notes on Muhammadanism._ 2d ed. 1877.

   KREMER, A. VON. _Geschichte der herrschenden Ideen des
       Isláms._ 1868.

   —— _Culturgeschichte des Orients unter den Chalifen._ 2 vols.
   1876, 1877.

   LANE, E. W. _The Modern Egyptians._ 5th ed. 1 vol. 1860.

   —— _The Thousand and One Nights_ (notes). 2d ed. 3 vols.
       1859, 1860.

   —— _Selections from the Kur-án._ 1st ed. 1843.

   —— _Arabic-English Lexicon_, Preface, &c. 1863.

   LYALL, C. J. _Translations from the Hamâseh and the Aghânî; The
       Mo´allaqah of Zuheyr._ (Journal As. Soc. of Bengal, 1878.)

   MUIR, SIR W. _The Life of Mahomet._ 4 vols. New edition.[25]

   NÖLDEKE, TH. _Geschichte des Qorâns._ 1860.

   —— _Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Poesie der alten Araber._

   PALGRAVE, W. GIFFORD. _Central and Eastern Arabia._ 6th ed.

   PERCEVAL, A.-P. CAUSSIN DE. _Essai sur l´Histoire des Arabes
       avant l´Islamisme._ 3 vols. 1847, 1848.

   POOLE, R. STUART. _Pagan and Muslim Arabs._ (Fortnightly
       Review, October 15, 1865.)

   RODWELL, J. M. _El-Korân._ 2d ed. 1876.

   SALE, G. _The Koran._ 1836.

   SÉDILLOT, L.-A. _Histoire Générale des Arabes._ 2d ed. 2 vols.

   SMITH, R. BOSWORTH. _Mohammed and Mohammedanism._ 2d ed. 1876.

   SPRENGER, A. _Das Leben und die Lehre des Mohammad._ 2d ed. 3
       vols. 1869.

   ST. HILAIRE, T.-BARTHÉLEMY. _Mahomet et le Coran._ 2d ed.

   TIELE, C. P. _Outlines of the History of Religion_, translated
       by J. E. Carpenter. (Trübner’s Philosophical Library. Vol.
       vii. 1877.)

   WEIL, G. _Das Leben Mohammed’s nach Ibn Ishak_ bearbeitet von
       Ibn Hischam. 2 vols. 1864.




The following extracts were all translated by Mr. Lane, with the
exception of those to which an obelus (†) is prefixed, for
which I alone am responsible. In the text, the words in italics are
inserted from the commentary of the Jeláleyn; words in square brackets
[] are Mr. Lane’s additions, inserted where the difference between the
Arabic and English idioms required them.

In the foot-notes, words in italics are from the commentary of the
Jeláleyn; notes followed by the initial S., from Sale’s _Koran_; the
letters B., Z., and A. F., following S. in parenthesis, point to the
authorities from which Sale’s note was derived, the great commentaries
of El-Beydáwee and Ez-Zamakhsharee, and Abu-l-Fidá’s Life of Moḥammad,
respectively. The other notes are Mr. Lane’s, either from the original
edition or extracted from his _Modern Egyptians_ (5th 1 vol. ed.
1860), or his notes to the _Thousand and One Nights_ (2d ed. 1859);
except those enclosed in square brackets, which are due to myself.

The numbers at the end of each extract refer to the chapter (soorah)
and verse in Flügel’s text of the Ḳur-án (Lipsiæ, 1869).

   S. L. P.





   In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

   Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds,[27]
   The Compassionate, the Merciful,
   The King of the day of judgment.
   Thee do we worship, and of Thee seek we help.[28]
   Guide us in the right way,
   The way of those to whom Thou hast been gracious,
   Not of those with whom Thou art wroth, nor of the erring.




A.L.M.[29] Respecting this Book there is no doubt;[30] _it is_ a
guidance for them that fear Him,

Who believe in the unseen,[31] and perform the prayer, and of what We
have bestowed on them expend,

And who believe in that which hath been sent down to thee,[32] and
what hath been sent down before thee,[33] and have firm assurance of
the life to come.

Those follow a right direction from their Lord, and those are they who
shall prosper.

As for those who have disbelieved, it will be equal to them whether
thou admonish them or admonish them not: they will not believe.

God hath sealed their hearts and their ears, and over their eyes is a
covering, and for them is [ordained] a great punishment.

   (ii. 1-6.)



   SAY, He is God, One [God];
   God, the Eternal.
   He begetteth not nor is begotten,
   And there is none equal unto Him.



_The Throne-Verse._[35]

God! There is no God but He, the _Ever_-Living, the Ever-Subsisting.
Slumber seizeth Him not, nor sleep. To Him belongeth whatsoever is in
the Heavens and whatsoever is in the Earth. Who is he that shall
intercede with Him, unless by His permission? He knoweth what [hath
been] before them and what [shall be] after them, and they shall not
compass aught of His knowledge save what He willeth. His Throne
comprehendeth the Heavens and the Earth,[36] and the care of them
burdeneth Him not. And He is the High, the Great.

   (ii. 256.)


†SAY, O God, to whom belongeth dominion, Thou givest dominion
to whom Thou wilt, and from whom Thou wilt Thou takest it away; Thou
exaltest whom Thou wilt, and whom Thou wilt Thou humblest. In Thy hand
is good. Verily Thou art all-powerful.

Thou causest the night to pass into the day, and Thou causest the day
to pass into the night; and Thou bringest forth the living from the
dead, and Thou bringest forth the dead from the living; and thou
givest sustenance to whom Thou wilt without measure.

   (iii. 25, 26.)


Blessed be He in whose hand is the dominion and who is

Who hath created death and life, that He may prove you, which of you
[will be] best in works: and He is the Mighty, the Very-Forgiving:

Who hath created seven heavens, one above another. Thou seest not any
fault in the creation of the Compassionate. But lift up the eyes again
_to heaven_. Dost thou see any fissures?

Then lift up the eyes again twice; the sight shall return unto thee
dull and dim.

   (lxvii. 1-4.)


Verily your Lord is God, who created the heavens and the earth in six
days: then He ascended the throne. He causeth the night to cover the
day; it followeth it swiftly: and _He created_ the sun and the moon
and the stars, made subject utterly to His command. Do not the _whole_
creation and command belong to Him? Blessed be God, the Lord of the

   (vii. 52.)


We have placed in heaven _the twelve_ signs _of the Zodiac_, and
adorned them for the beholders _with the constellations_;

And We have guarded them (_by means of shooting stars_) from every
accursed devil,[38]

Excepting him who listeneth by stealth, whom a manifest shooting star

We have also spread forth the earth, and thrown thereon firm
_mountains_,[39] and We have caused to spring forth in it every kind
[of green thing] weighed.[40]

And We have provided for you therein necessaries of life, and _for_
him whom ye do not sustain;[41]

And there is not a thing but the storehouses thereof are with Us, and
We send it not down save in determined quantities.

We also send the fertilizing winds,[42] and We send down water from
heaven, and give you to drink thereof; and ye are not the storers of

And verily We give life and death, and We are the heirs _of all the

We also know those who have gone before you, and We know those who
follow after [you].

And verily thy Lord will assemble them together: for He is Wise,

   (xv. 16-25.)


And your God is One God: there is no god but He, the Compassionate,
the Merciful.

Verily in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the varying
of night and day, and the ships that course upon the sea _laden_ with
what is profitable to mankind, and the water that God hath sent down
from heaven, quickening the earth thereby after its death, and
scattering about it all kinds of beasts; and in the changing of the
winds, and the clouds that are compelled to do service between heaven
and earth, are signs unto a people who understand.

Yet among men are those who take to themselves, beside God, idols,
which they love as _with_ the love for God: but those who have
believed are more loving towards God _than these towards their idols_.

   (ii. 158-160.)


Verily God causeth the grain to come forth, and the date-stone: He
bringeth forth the living from the dead,[43] and He bringeth forth the
dead from the living:[44] This is God; then wherefore are ye turned

He causeth the dawn to appear, and hath ordained the night for rest,
and the sun and the moon for reckoning _time_: this is the appointment
of the Mighty, the Wise.

And it is He who hath ordained for you the stars, that ye may be
guided by them in the darknesses of the land and of the sea: We have
clearly shown the signs _of Our power_ unto the people who know.[45]

And it is He who hath produced you from one soul, and _there is_ a
place of rest and of storing:[46] We have clearly shown the signs to
the people who understand.

And it is He who hath sent down water from heaven, and We have
produced thereby the germs of everything, and We have caused the
green thing to come forth therefrom, from which We draw forth grains
massed; and from the palm-tree, from its fruit-branch, clusters of
dates heaped together:[47] and gardens of grapes, and the olive and
the pomegranate, like one another[48] and not like.[49] Look ye at
their fruits when they bear fruit, and their ripening. Verily therein
are signs unto the people who believe.

Yet they have set up the Jinn[50] as partners of God, though He hath
created them, and without knowledge have they falsely attributed to
Him sons and daughters. Extolled be His purity, and high be He exalted
above that which they attribute [to Him]!

_He is_ the Author of the heavens and the earth. How then should He
have offspring, when He hath no consort, and hath created everything
and knoweth everything?

This is God your Lord. There is no God but He, the Creator of
everything: therefore worship ye Him;[51] and He is guardian over

The eyes see Him not, but He seeth the eyes: and He is the Gracious,
the Knowing.

   (vi. 95-103.)


It is He who maketh the lightning to appear unto you, [causing] fear
and hope _of rain_, and formeth the pregnant clouds.

And the thunder proclaimeth His perfection with His praise; and
[likewise] the angels, in fear of Him. And He sendeth the
thunderbolts, and striketh with them whom He pleaseth, whilst they
dispute concerning God; for He is mighty in power.[52]

   (xiii. 13, 14.)


With Him are the keys of the hidden things: none knoweth them but He:
and He knoweth whatsoever is on the land and in the sea, and there
falleth not a leaf but He knoweth it, nor a grain in the dark parts of
the earth, nor a moist thing nor a dry thing, but [it is noted] in a
distinct writing.[53]

And it is He who taketh your souls at night, and knoweth what ye have
gained in the day; then He reviveth you therein,[54] that an appointed
time[55] may be fulfilled. Then unto Him shall ye return: then will He
declare unto you what ye have done.

And He is the Supreme[56] over His servants, and He sendeth watchers
over you,[57] until when death cometh unto any one of you, Our
messengers take his soul, and they fail not.

Then are they[58] returned unto God their Lord, the True.[59] Doth not
judgment belong to Him? And He is the most quick of reckoners.

SAY,[60] Who delivereth you from the darknesses of the land and of the
sea, _when_ ye supplicate Him humbly and in secret, _saying_, ‘If Thou
deliver us from these _dangers_, we will assuredly be of [the number
of] the thankful’?

SAY, God delivereth you from them and from every affliction.

   (vi. 59-64.)


Verily God will not forgive the associating with Him [any other being
as a god], but will forgive other _sins_ unto whom He pleaseth; and
whoso associateth [another] with God hath wrought a great wickedness.

   (iv. 51.)


They[61] say, ‘The Compassionate hath gotten offspring:’ Ye have done
an impious thing.

It wanteth little but that the heavens be rent thereat, and that the
earth cleave asunder, and that the mountains fall down in pieces.[62]

_For_ that they have attributed offspring to the Compassionate, when
it beseemeth not the Compassionate to get offspring.

There is none of all that are in the heavens and the earth but he
shall come unto the Compassionate as a servant.[63] He hath known them
and numbered them with an _exact_ numbering.

And each of them shall come unto Him on the day of resurrection,

†Verily those who have believed and have done the things that
are right, on them the Compassionate will bestow [His] love.

   (xix. 91-96.)


O men _of Mekkeh_, a parable is propounded, wherefore hearken unto it.
Verily, those _idols_ which ye invoke beside God can never create a
fly, although they assembled for it: and if the fly carry off from
them aught,[65] they cannot recover the same from it. Weak are the
seeker and the sought!

   (xxii. 72.)


The likeness of those who take to themselves Tutelars[66] instead of
God is as the likeness of the spider, which maketh for herself a
dwelling; and the frailest of dwellings surely is the dwelling of the
spider! If they knew[67]——!

Verily God knoweth whatever thing they invoke in His stead; and He is
the Mighty, the Wise.

And these parables[68] we propound unto men; but none understand them
except the wise.

God hath created the heavens and the earth in truth: verily therein is
a sign unto the believers.

   (xxix. 40-43.)



   †O thou enwrapped _in thy mantle_,[69]
   Arise and warn!
   And thy Lord—magnify Him!
   And thy raiment—purify it!
   And the abomination[70]—flee it!
   And bestow not favours that thou mayest receive again with increase.
   And for thy Lord wait thou patiently.[71]

   (lxxiv. 1-7.)


   †By the morning-brightness,
   And by the still of night,[72]
   Thy Lord hath not forsaken thee, neither hath He hated thee.
   And surely the Future will be better for thee than the Present,
   And thy Lord will give to thee, and thou wilt be well-pleased.
   Did He not find thee an orphan, and sheltered thee?
   And He found thee erring, and guided thee,
   And found thee needy, and enriched thee.
   Then, as to the orphan, oppress him not;
   And as to him that asketh of thee, chide him not away;
   And as for the bounty of thy Lord, tell it then [abroad].



SAY, I do not say unto you, ‘With me[73] are the treasures of God,’
nor, ‘I know what is unseen,’ nor do I say unto you, ‘Verily I am an
angel.’ I follow not [aught] but what is revealed unto me.

   (vi. 50.)


†SAY, I am only a man like unto you. It is only revealed unto
me that your God is One God. He then that hopeth to meet his Lord, let
him work a righteous work, and in the worship of his Lord let him not
associate any [other god].

   (xviii. 110.)


†SAY, If I err, only against myself shall I err, but if I am
rightly-guided, it [is] of what my Lord hath revealed to me. Verily,
He is the Hearer, the Near-at-hand!

   (xxxiv. 49.)


Moḥammad is nought but a Messenger.[74] The Messengers have passed
away before him. If then he die or be slain, will ye turn round upon
your heels?[75] But he who turneth round upon his heels will not
injure God a whit;[76] and God will reward the thankful.

   (iii. 138.)


Verily We have revealed unto thee as we revealed unto Noah and the
prophets after him, and _as_ We revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael,
and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and Jesus, and Job, and Jonah,
and Aaron, and Solomon; and We gave unto David the Psalms.

   (iv. 161.)


[77] SAY _unto them_, Do ye argue with us concerning God, when
He is our Lord and your Lord,[78] and when we have our works and ye
have your works, and when we are sincere towards Him?

Nay, do ye say that Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the
tribes were Jews or Christians? SAY _unto them_, Are ye the more
knowing, or is God?[79] And who is more unrighteous than they who
conceal a testimony that they have from God?[80] But God is not
heedless of that which ye do.

   (ii. 133, 134.)


_Remember_, when Jesus the son of Mary said, ‘O children of Israel,
Verily I am the Messenger of God unto you, confirming the Law which
[was] before me, and giving good tidings of a Messenger who shall come
after me, whose name [shall be] Aḥmad.’[81] But when he (_Aḥmad_) came
unto them with evident proofs, they said, ‘This is manifest magic!’

And who is more unrighteous than he who forgeth falsehood against God,
when he is invited unto El-Islám? And God directeth not the
unrighteous people.

They desire to put out the light of God with their mouths: but God
will perfect His light, though the unbelievers be loth _thereto_.

It is He who hath sent His messenger with the direction and the
religion of truth, that He may exalt above every religion, though the
polytheists be loth _thereto_.

   (lxi. 6-9.)


Those to whom We have given the Scripture know him (_Moḥammad_) as
they know their children.[82] But a party of them do conceal the
truth[83] while they know.

   (ii. 141.)


_The Jews said unto Moḥammad_, ‘Verily God hath enjoined us[84] that
we should not believe an apostle until he bring us a sacrifice which
fire shall devour.’

SAY, Apostles have come unto you before me with manifest proofs,[85]
and with that ye have mentioned:[86] then wherefore did ye slay them,
if ye be speakers of truth?

   (iii. 179, 180.)


_The unbelievers of Mekkeh_ have sworn by God, with the mightiest of
their oaths, that if a sign come unto them they will assuredly believe
therein. SAY, Signs are only with God. And what will make you to
know?[87] Verily if they come they will not believe.

And We will turn away their hearts and their eyes,[88] as they
believed not therein the first time; and We will leave them in their
transgression, wandering about in perplexity.

And though We had sent down unto them the angels, and the dead had
spoken unto them, and We had gathered together about them everything
in tribes, they had not believed unless God had pleased; but the
greater number of them know not.

   (vi. 109-111.)


And they have said, ‘O thou unto whom the Admonition[89] hath been
sent down, thou art certainly possessed by a Jinnee.[90]

Why dost thou not come unto us with the angels, if thou be of those
that speak truth?’

We send not down the angels save with justice,[91] nor would they then
be respited.

Verily, We have sent down the Admonition, and We will surely preserve

And We have sent _Messengers_ before thee among the sects of the
former generations;

And there came not unto them any Messenger but they had him in

In like manner will We put it into the hearts of the sinners _of
Mekkeh to do so_;

They shall not believe in him, and the punishment of the former
generations hath passed.

And if We should open above them a gate in heaven, and they should
pass the day mounting up to it,

They would say, ‘Our eyes are only intoxicated, or rather we are a
people enchanted.’

   (xv. 6-15.)


   †Verily, it is the excellent Ḳur-án,
   Written in the Preserved Book.[92]
   None shall touch it but they who are purified.[93]
   It is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds.

   (lvi. 76-79.)


SAY, Verily if mankind and the Jinn assembled together for the purpose
of producing the like of this Ḳur-án,[94] they could not produce the
like thereof, although they helped one another.[95]

And We have explained unto men in this Ḳur-án every _kind of_
parable,[96] but the greater number of men have refused [all else]
save unbelief,

And have said, ‘We will by no means believe in thee until thou cause a
fountain to gush forth for us from the earth,

_Or_ thou have a garden of palm-trees and grapes, and thou cause
rivers to spring forth in the midst thereof in abundance,

_Or_ thou cause heaven to fall down upon us, as thou hast pretended,
in pieces, or thou bring God and the angels before _us_,

_Or_ thou have a house of gold, or thou ascend into heaven, and we
will not believe thy ascending until thou cause a book to descend unto
us which we may read.’ SAY, Extolled be the perfection of my Lord! Am
I [aught] save a man, [sent] as a Messenger?

And nothing hath hindered men from believing when the direction hath
come unto them, but their saying, ‘Hath God sent a man as a

SAY, If there were upon the earth angels walking at ease,[98] We had
sent down unto them from heaven an angel as a Messenger.[99]

SAY, God is a sufficient witness between me and you: for He knoweth
and seeth His servants.

   (xvii. 90-98.)


And this Ḳur-án is not an invention[100] of one who is not God, but
_it hath been sent down_ as a confirmation of those _books which have
been_ before it, and an explanation of the Scripture—there is no doubt
thereof—from the Lord of the Worlds.

Do they say, ‘He[101] hath forged it?’ SAY, Then bring ye a
Soorah[102] like unto it and call whom ye can,[103] other than God, if
ye speak truth.

Nay they have charged with falsehood that which they comprehend not,
and the explanation thereof[104] hath not yet come unto them. In like
manner did those who were before them charge _their Messengers_ with
falsehood; but see how was the end of the offenders!

   (x. 38-40.)


If ye be in doubt concerning that which We have sent down unto Our
servant _Moḥammad_,[105] bring ye a Soorah like unto it,[106] and
invoke your witnesses,[107] other than God, if ye be speakers of

But if ye do _it_ not (and do _it_ ye shall not), fear the fire whose
fuel is men and stones: it is prepared for the unbelievers.

   (ii. 21, 22.)


Whatsoever[108] verse We abrogate or cause _thee_ to forget, We will
produce one better than it or like unto it. Dost thou not know that
God is all-powerful?

Dost thou not know that to God _belongeth_ the dominion of the heavens
and the earth, and that beside God ye have no protector or defender?

   (ii. 100, 101.)


When We substitute a verse in the stead of a verse (and God best
knoweth what He revealeth), they say, ‘Thou art but a forger!’—but the
greater number of them know not!

SAY, The Holy Spirit _Gabriel_ hath brought it down from thy Lord with
truth, to stablish those who have believed, and as a direction and
good tidings unto the Muslims.

And We well know that they say, ‘Only a man[109] teacheth him.’ The
tongue of him to whom they incline is foreign, and this _is the_
perspicuous Arabic tongue.

   (xvi. 103-105).


SAY, If the sea were ink, for _writing_ the words of my Lord, the sea
would be dried up or ever the words of my Lord were exhausted; and
[so] if we brought its like in aid.[110]

   (xviii. 109).



   †The Striking! what is the Striking?
   And what shall teach thee what the Striking is?
   _It is_ a day when men shall be like scattered moths,
   And the mountains like carded wool!
   Then as for him whose balances are heavy, his shall be a life
   As for him whose balances are light, his abode shall be the Pit.
   And what shall teach thee what that is?
   A raging fire!



   †When the earth is shaken with her shaking,
   And the earth hath cast forth her dead,[111]
   And man shall say, ‘What aileth her?’
   On that day shall she tell out her tidings,
   Because thy Lord hath inspired her.
   On that day shall men come one by one to behold their works,
   And whosoever shall have wrought an ant’s weight of good shall
     behold it,
   And whosoever shall have wrought an ant’s weight of ill shall
     behold it.



   †When the heaven shall be cloven asunder,
   And when the stars shall be scattered,
   And when the seas shall be let loose,
   And when the graves shall be turned upside-down,
   _Every_ soul shall know what it hath done and left undone.
   O man! what hath seduced thee from thy generous Lord,
   Who created thee and fashioned thee and disposed thee aright?
   In the form which pleased Him hath He fashioned thee.
   Nay, but ye treat the Judgment as a lie.
   Verily there are watchers over you,
   Worthy recorders,
   Knowing what ye do.
   Verily in delight shall the righteous dwell;
   And verily the wicked in Hell[-Fire];
   They shall be burnt at it on the day of doom,
   And they shall not be hidden from it.
   And what shall teach thee what the Day of Judgment is?
   Again: What shall teach thee what is the Day of Judgment?
   _It is_ a day when one soul shall be powerless for another soul;
     and all on that day shall be in the hands of God.



   When the sun shall be wrapped up,
   And when the stars shall fall down,
   And when the mountains shall be made to pass away,
   And when the camels ten months gone with young[112] shall be neglected,
   And when the wild beasts shall be gathered together,
   And when the seas shall overflow,[113]
   And when the souls shall be joined _to their bodies_,
   And when the child[114] that hath been buried alive shall be asked
   For what crime she was put to death,
   And when the books[115] shall be laid open,
   And when the heaven shall be removed,[116]
   And when Hell shall be made to burn,
   And when Paradise shall be brought near,—
   _Then every_ soul shall know what it hath done.

   (lxxxi. 1-14.)


   Hath the news of the Overwhelming reached thee?
   Countenances on that day [shall be] abased,
   Labouring, toiling:
   They shall feel the heat of scorching fire,
   They shall be given to drink from a fountain fiercely boiling,
   There shall be no food for them but of daree’,[117]—
   It shall not fatten nor satisfy hunger.

   (lxxxviii. 1-7.)


   When one blast shall be blown on the trumpet,
   And the earth shall be raised and the mountains, and be broken to
     dust with one breaking,
   On that day the Calamity shall come to pass:
   And the heaven shall cleave asunder, being frail on that day,
   And the angels on the sides thereof; and over them on that day
     eight _of the angels_[118] shall bear the throne of thy Lord.
   On that day ye shall be presented _for the reckoning_; none of
     your secrets shall be hidden.
   And as to him who shall have his book given to him in his right
     hand, he shall say,[119] ‘Take ye, read my book;
   Verily I was sure I should come to my reckoning.
   And his [shall be] a pleasant life
   In a lofty garden,
   Whose clusters [shall be] near at hand.
   [120]‘Eat ye and drink with benefit on account of that which ye paid
      beforehand in the past days.’

   But as to him who shall have his book given to him in his left
     hand, he shall say, ‘O would that I had not had my book given
     to me,
   Nor known what [was] my reckoning!
   O would that _my death_ had been the ending _of me_!
   My wealth hath not profited me!
   My power is passed away from me!’
   ‘[121]Take him and chain him,
   Then cast him into hell to be burnt,
   Then in a chain of seventy cubits bind him:
   For he believed not in God, the Great,
   Nor urged to feed the poor;
   Therefore he shall not have here this day a friend,
   Nor any food save filth
   Which none but the sinners shall eat.’

   (lxix. 13-37.)


   When the Calamity shall come to pass
   There shall not be _a soul_ that will deny its happening,[122]
   [It will be] an abaser _of some_, an exalter _of others_;
   When the earth shall be shaken with a _violent_ shaking,
   And the mountains shall be crumbled with a [violent] crumbling,
   And shall become fine dust scattered abroad;
   And ye shall be three classes.
   And the people of the right hand,[123] what [shall be] the people
     of the right hand![124]
   And the people of the left hand, what the people of the left
   And the Preceders,[126] the Preceders!
   These [shall be] the brought-nigh [unto God]
   In the gardens of delight,—
   A crowd of the former generations,
   And a few of the latter generations,
   Upon inwrought couches
   Reclining thereon, face to face.
   Youths ever-young[127] shall go unto them round about
   With goblets and ewers and a cup of flowing wine,
   Their [heads] shall ache not with it neither shall they be drunken;
   And with fruits of the [sorts] which they shall choose,
   And the flesh of birds of the [kinds] which they shall desire.
   And damsels[128] with eyes[129] like pearls laid up
   _We will give them_ as a reward for that which they have done.
   Therein shall they hear no vain discourse nor accusation of sin,
   But [only] the saying, ‘Peace! Peace!’

   And the people of the right hand—what [shall be] the people of
     the right hand!
   [They shall dwell] among lote-trees without thorns
   And bananas loaded with fruit,[130]
   And a shade _ever_-spread,
   And water _ever_-flowing,
   And fruits abundant
   Unstayed and unforbidden,
   And couches raised.
   Verily we have created them[131] by a [peculiar] creation,
   And have made them virgins,
   Beloved of their husbands, of equal age [with them],
   For the people of the right hand,
   A crowd of the former generations
   And a crowd of the latter generations.

   And the people of the left hand—what [shall be] the people of
     the left hand!
   [They shall dwell] amidst burning wind and scalding water,
   And a shade of blackest smoke,
   Not cool and not grateful.
   For before this they were blest with worldly goods,
   And they persisted in heinous sin,[132]
   And said, ‘When we shall have died and become dust and bones,
     shall we indeed be raised to life,
   And our fathers the former generations?’
   SAY, Verily the former and the latter generations
   Shall be gathered together for the appointed time of a known day.
   Then ye, O ye erring, belying [people],
   Shall surely eat of the tree of Ez-Zaḳḳoom,
   And fill therewith [your] bellies,
   And drink thereon boiling water,
   And ye shall drink as thirsty camels drink.—
   This [shall be] their entertainment on the day of retribution.

   (lvi. 1-56.)


Verily We have prepared for the offenders fire, the smoke of which
shall encompass them; and if they ask relief, they shall be relieved
with water like the dregs of oil, which shall scald _their_ faces.
Miserable shall be the drink, and evil shall be the couch.

As for those who have believed and done the things that are right,
verily We will not suffer the reward of him that hath done well to

For these are gardens of perpetual abode, beneath them[133] shall
rivers run; they shall be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and
shall wear green garments of fine brocade and of thick brocade,
reclining therein on the thrones. Excellent shall be the reward, and
pleasant shall be the couch.

   (xviii. 28-30.)


_Call to mind_ the day when We will cause the mountains to pass away
and thou shalt see the earth plain; and We will assemble them[134] 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 the first time.[135] Nay, ye thought that We
would not perform [Our] promise to you.’[136]

And the book shall be put [in every man’s hand], and thou shalt see
the sinners fearful because of that which is [written] therein, and
they shall say, ‘O woe is us! what meaneth this book? It leaveth
neither a small _sin_ nor a great _sin_, but it enumerateth it!’ And
they shall find that which they shall have wrought present;[137] and
thy Lord will not deal unjustly with any one.

   (xviii. 45-47.)


They have not esteemed God with the estimation due unto Him, since the
whole earth [shall be] His handful on the day of resurrection, and the
heavens [shall be] folded together by His right hand. Extolled be His
perfection and high be He exalted above the [things] they associate
_with Him_!

And the trumpet shall be blown, and they that are in the heavens and
they that are in the earth shall die, except those whom God shall
please. Then it shall be blown another time; and lo, they shall arise,

And the earth shall shine with the light of its Lord. And the book
shall be placed, and the prophets shall be brought and the witnesses,
and judgment shall be given between them with truth, and they shall
not be treated unjustly.

And every soul shall be fully paid _the reward_ of what it hath done,
and He well knoweth what they do.

And those who have disbelieved shall be driven in troops unto hell,
until when they come to it, its gates shall be opened, and its
guardians shall say unto them, ‘Did not Messengers from among you come
unto you rehearsing the signs of your Lord, and warning you of the
meeting of this your day?’ They shall answer, ‘Yea:’ (But the sentence
of punishment[138] hath been justly pronounced against the

It shall be said, ‘Enter ye the gates of hell to remain therein for
ever:’ and evil shall be the abode of the proud.

And those who have feared their Lord shall be urged on in troops unto
paradise, until when they come unto it, its gates are already opened,
and its guardians say unto them: ‘Peace be on you! Ye have been good:
therefore enter it to abide _therein_ for ever.’

And they shall say, ‘Praise be to God, who hath performed unto us His
promise, and hath made us to inherit the land, that we may dwell in
Paradise wheresoever we please; and how excellent is the reward of the

And thou shalt see the angels encompassing the throne, extolling the
perfection with the praise of their Lord. And judgment shall be given
between them[140] with truth: and it shall be said,‘Praise be to God,
the Lord of the Worlds!’

   (xxxix. 67-75.)


Paradise shall be brought near unto the pious, _to a place_ not
distant _from them, so that they shall see it_.

_And it shall be said unto them_, ‘This is what ye have been promised,
unto every one who hath earnestly turned himself unto God and kept
_His laws_,

Who hath feared the Compassionate in secret, and come with a penitent

Enter it in peace: this is the Day of Eternity.’

   (l. 30-33.)


†Fairseeming to men is the love of pleasures from women and
children, and hoarded riches of gold and silver, and pastured[141]
horses, and flocks, and corn-fields. Such is the enjoyment of this
world’s life! But God, goodly is the home with Him!

SAY, Shall I tell you of better things than these prepared in the
presence of their Lord for those that fear [God]? Theirs shall be
gardens beneath which rivers run, and in which they shall abide for
ever, and stainless wives, and acceptance with God: for God regardeth
His servants,

—Who say, ‘O our Lord, verily we have believed; forgive us then our
sins, and keep us from the torment of the fire,’—

The patient, and the truthful, and the lowly, and the charitable, and
they who seek pardon at each daybreak.

   (iii. 12-15.)


†And repute not those slain in God’s cause[142] to be dead:
nay, alive with their Lord, they are provided for;

Joyful in what God of His bounty hath vouchsafed them, and rejoicing
for those that follow after them, but have not yet overtaken them,
that on them no fear shall come, neither shall they grieve;

Rejoicing at the favour of God and His bounty, and that God suffereth
not the reward of the faithful to perish.

   (iii. 163-165.)


Whosoever doeth the things that are right, whether male or female,
being a believer,—these shall enter paradise, and shall not be wronged
in the least degree.

   (iv. 123.)


For those who have disbelieved in their Lord [is prepared] the
punishment of hell; and evil [shall be] the journey.[143]

When they shall be cast into it they shall hear it braying,[144] while
it boileth, well-nigh bursting with fury.

   (lxvii. 6-8.)


If thou shouldst see[145] those who have offended[146] when they see
the punishment![147]—for power belongeth altogether unto God, and God
is severe in punishing:

When those who have been followed will declare themselves clear of
those who have followed [them],[148] when they have seen the
punishment, and the ties [that bound them together] shall be severed
from them:

And those who have followed shall say, ‘O that there were for us a
return _to the world_! then would we declare ourselves clear of them,
like as they have _now_ declared themselves clear of us!’ After this
manner will God show them their _evil_ works, for which [they shall
pour forth] lamentations; and they shall not come forth from the fire.

   (ii. 160-162.)


And the Devil[149] shall say, when the matter shall have been
determined,[150] ‘Verily God promised you the promise of truth;[151]
and I promised you,[152] but I deceived you: yet had I no power over

But I only called you and ye answered me. Therefore blame not me, but
blame your own selves. I am not a helper of you, neither are ye
helpers of me. Verily I renounce your having associated me _with God_

   (xiv. 26, 27).


Verily the hypocrites shall be in the lowest abyss of the fire, and
thou shalt not find for them any defender.

   (iv. 144.)


They[153] will ask thee respecting the Hour,[154] at 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 grievous in the heavens
and in the earth. It shall not come upon you otherwise than suddenly.

They will ask thee as though thou wert well acquainted therewith. SAY,
The knowledge of it is only with God: but the greater number of men
know not!

SAY, I possess not for myself _power to procure_ advantage nor _to
avert_ mischief, save as God pleaseth: and if I knew things unseen, I
should obtain abundance of good, and evil should not happen unto me. I
am only a denouncer of threats _unto the unbelievers_, and an
announcer of good tidings unto the people who believe.

   (vii. 186-188.)



A soul cannot die unless by permission of God, according to a writing
_of God_, definite _as to time_.

   (iii. 139.)


They say [whose companions were slain at the battle of Oḥod], ‘If
aught of the affair had been _submitted_ to us we had not been slain
here.’[155] SAY, Had ye been in your houses, those _of you_ who were
decreed to be slain had gone forth to the places where they lie.

   (iii. 148.)


Wheresoever ye be, death will overtake you, although you be in lofty
towers. If good fortune betide them,[156] they say, ‘This is from
God!’ But if evil betide them, they say, ‘This is from thee, _O
Moḥammad_!’ SAY, All is from God. And what aileth this people that
they are not near to understanding what is said _unto them_?

Whatsoever good betideth thee, _O man, it is_ from God; and whatsoever
evil betideth thee, from thyself _is it_.

   (iv. 80, 81.)


†No soul can believe but by the permission of God.

   (x. 100.)


†And whoso willeth taketh the way to his Lord: But ye shall
not will it, unless God will it.

   (lxxvi. 29, 30.)


†Expend in the way of God, and throw not yourselves into

   (ii. 191.)



They say, ‘The Compassionate hath gotten offspring.’[159] Extolled be
His purity! Nay, _they are_ honoured servants.

They prevent Him not in speech,[160] and according to His command they

He knoweth what is before them and what is behind them, and they shall
not intercede

Save for whom He shall please, and they fear in dread of Him.

And him[161] among them who saith, ‘I am a god beside Him,’ that
[angel] We will recompense with Hell.

   (xxi. 26-30.)


†SAY, It hath been revealed to me that a company of the Jinn
listened [to me] and said, ‘Verily we have heard a wonderful

Which guideth unto right: wherefore we believed in it, and we will by
no means associate any one with our Lord....

We tried the heaven, but we found it filled with a mighty garrison and
darting flames;

We sat on some of its seats to listen, but whosoever listeneth now
findeth a darting flame in ambush for him.

We know not whether evil be meant for them that are on the earth, or
whether their Lord intendeth for them a right guidance.

There are among us the good, and among us _those who are_ not so,—we
are of various ways.

   (lxxii. 1, 2, 8-11.)



Verily God commandeth justice and the doing of good and the giving
unto the relation: and He forbiddeth wickedness and iniquity and
oppression. He admonisheth you that ye may reflect.

   (xvi. 92.)[163]


   †By the Night when she spreadeth her veil,
   By the Day when it appeareth in glory,
   By Him who made male and female;
   Verily your aims are indeed different!
   As then for him who giveth [alms] and feareth [God],
   And yieldeth assent to the Good,
   To him will We therefore 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 distress;
   And what shall his wealth avail him when he goeth down headlong?
   Truly man’s guidance is with Us,
   And Ours the next Life and this life Present.
   I warn you therefore of the flaming fire;
   None shall be burned at it but the most wretched,—
   Who hath called the truth a lie and turned his back.
   But the greatly God-fearing shall escape it,—
   Who giveth away his substance that he may become pure,
   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 assuredly in the end he shall be well content.[1]



   †What thinkest thou of him who treateth the day of judgment as a lie?
   It is he who thrusteth away the orphan,
   And stirreth not [others] up to feed the poor.
   Woe, then, to those who pray,
   Who in their prayer are careless,
   Who make a show [of devotion],
   But refuse help [to the needy].[164]



Your turning your faces _in prayer_ towards the east and the west is
not piety: but the pious is he who believeth in God and the Last Day,
and in the angels, and the Scripture, and the prophets, and who giveth
money, notwithstanding his love _of it_, to relations and orphans, and
to the needy and the son of the road,[165] and to the askers and for
_the freeing_ of slaves, and who performeth prayer and giveth the
[appointed] alms, and those who perform their covenant when they
covenant, and the patient in adversity and affliction and in the time
of violence. These are they who have been true: and these are they who
fear God.

   (ii. 172.)


†He only shall visit the temples of God who believeth in God
and the Last Day, and observeth prayer, and payeth the [appointed]
alms, and dreadeth none but God: for these are among the

   (ix. 18.)


O ye who have believed, make not your alms of no effect by reproach
and harm, like him who expendeth his wealth to make a vain show unto
men, and believeth not in God and the Last Day. For his likeness is as
the likeness of a smooth stone upon which was earth, and a violent
rain hath fallen upon it, and left it smooth and hard. [Such] cannot
have aught that they have gained, and God directeth not the
unbelieving people.

And the likeness of those who expend their wealth from a desire of
God’s being pleased, and from assurance on their part,[166] is as the
likeness of a garden upon a hill, on which a violent rain hath fallen,
and it hath produced its fruit twofold: and if a violent rain fall not
upon it, a gentle rain _falleth_.

   (ii. 266, 267.)


If ye manifest alms, good will it be: but if ye conceal them and give
them to the poor, it will be better for you; and it will expiate
_some_ of your sins.

   (ii. 273.)


A kind speech and forgiveness are better than alms which hurt[167]

   (ii. 265.)


Revile not what they invoke in preference to God,[168] lest they
revile God evilly without knowledge.

   (vi. 108.)


Turn away _evil_ by that which is better: and lo, he between whom and
thyself [was] enmity [shall become] as though he were a warm friend:

But none is endowed with this[169] except those who have been patient,
and none is endowed with it except he who is greatly favoured.[170]

   (xli. 34, 35.)


†If ye are greeted with a greeting, then greet ye with a
better greeting, or at least return it: verily God taketh count of all

   (iv. 88.)


†If there be any [debtor] under a difficulty [of paying his
debt], let [his creditor] wait until it be easy: but if ye remit it as
alms, it will be better for you.

   (ii. 280.)[171]



†Dispute not with the people of the Scripture[172] unless in
the kindliest[173] manner, except against such of them as deal evilly
[with you]; and say [unto them], We believe in that which hath been
sent down unto us and [that which] hath been sent down unto you, and
our God and your God is one, and to Him are we self-surrendered.[174]

   (xxix. 45.)


Verily those who have believed,[175] and those who have become Jews,
and the Christians, and the Sabians, whosoever hath believed in God
and the Last Day, and hath done that which is right,—they shall have
their reward with their Lord, and _there shall come_ no fear upon
them, neither shall they grieve.

   (ii. 59.)[176]


Whoso desireth any other religion than El-Islám, it shall not be
accepted of him, and in the world to come he [shall be] of those that

   (iii. 79.)


The likeness of those who have disbelieved[177] is as the likeness of
him who crieth out to that which heareth not [aught] save a calling
and a voice. _They are_ deaf, dumb, blind: therefore they do not

   (ii. 166.)


[As to] the unbelievers, their works are like a vapour[178] in a
plain, which the thirsty imagineth to be water, until when he cometh
to it he findeth it not aught:[179] (but he findeth God there, and He
fully payeth him his account: and God is swift in reckoning:)

Or, like darknesses in a deep sea, covered by waves over waves,—over
them clouds,—darknesses one over another: when [one] putteth forth his
hand he is not nearly able to see it. And unto whomsoever God giveth
not light, he hath no light.

   (xxiv. 39, 40.)


Propound unto them as a parable two men, on one of whom[180] We
bestowed two gardens of grape-vines, and We surrounded them with
palm-trees, and put corn between them; each of the gardens brought
forth its fruit, and failed not thereof at all;

And We caused a river to flow between them; and he had abundance. And
he said unto his companion, disputing with him, ‘I am greater than
thou in wealth and more mighty in family.’

And he entered his garden, being unjust to his own soul.[181] He said,
‘I do not think that this will ever perish,

And I do not think that the [Last] Hour will come; and if I should be
taken back unto my Lord, I shall assuredly find a better [garden] than
it in return.’

His companion said unto him, disputing with him, ‘Dost thou disbelieve
in Him who created thee of dust, then completely fashioned thee into a

God is my Lord, and I will not associate any one with my Lord.

And why when thou enteredst thy garden didst thou not say, ‘What God
willeth[182] [cometh to pass]: there is no power but in God?’ If thou
seest me to be inferior to thee in amount of wealth and in number of

Perhaps my Lord may give me [what will be] better than thy garden; and
may send upon [thine] thunderbolts from heaven, so that it shall
become a smooth and slippery ground;

Or its water may become deep-sunk [in the earth], so that thou shalt
not be able to draw it.’—

And his possessions were encompassed _with destruction_, and he began
to turn down the palms of his hands for that which he had expended
thereon; for it[s vines were] falling down upon its trellises; and he
said, ‘O would that I had not associated any one with my Lord!’

And there was no party for him to assist him instead of God, nor was
he able to defend himself.

In that case[183] protection [belongeth] unto God, the True; He is the
best rewarder and the best giver of success.

   (xviii. 31-42.)


Thou shalt certainly find[184] the Jews and those who have attributed
partners to God[185] the most violent of men in hatred of those who
have believed; and thou shalt certainly find the nearest of them to
friendship to those who have believed those who say, ‘We are
Christians.’ This is because there are among them priests and monks,
and because they are not proud.[186]

And when they hear that which hath been sent down unto the Apostle,
thou seest their eyes overflow with tears because of the truth that
they know: they say, ‘O our Lord, we believe, therefore write us down
among those who bear witness.’

   (v. 85, 86.)


The likeness of those who were charged to bear in mind the Law [of
Moses], then bore it not in mind,[187] is as the likeness of the ass
that beareth books. Evil is the likeness of the people who have
charged the signs of God with falsehood: and God directeth not the
unjust people.

   (lxii. 5.)


[188] Among men are those who say, We believe in God and in
the Last Day: but they are not believers.

They try to deceive God and those who have believed; but they deceive
not any except themselves, and they know [it] not.

In their hearts is a disease, and God hath increased their disease,
and for them [is ordained] a painful punishment, because they have
charged with falsehood _the prophet of God_.

And when it is said unto them, Corrupt not in the earth, they reply,
‘We are only rectifiers.’

Assuredly they are the corrupters; but they know [it] not.

And when it is said unto them, Believe ye as _other_ men have
believed, they say, ‘Shall we believe as the fools have believed?’
Assuredly they are the fools; but they know it not.

And when they meet those who have believed, they say, ‘We believe:’
but when they retire privately to their devils,[189] they say, ‘We
_hold_ with you: we only mock _at them_.’

God will mock at them, and keep them in their exceeding wickedness,
wandering about in perplexity.

These are they who have purchased error in exchange for right
guidance: but their traffic hath not been profitable; and they have
not been rightly guided.

Their likeness is as the likeness of those who have kindled a fire _in
the dark_, and when it hath enlightened what is around them, God
taketh away their light and leaveth them in darkness, seeing not.

_They are_ deaf, dumb, blind: therefore they will not turn back.

Or _they are_ like _people in_ a storm of rain from heaven, wherein
are darkness and thunder and lightning: they put their fingers in
their ears because of the vehement sounds of the thunder, for fear of
death. And God encompasseth the unbelievers.

The lightning almost snatcheth away their eyes: whenever it shineth on
them they walk in _the light of_ it, but when darkness cometh on them
they stand still. And if God pleased He would certainly take away
their ears and eyes: for God is all-powerful.

   (ii. 7-19.)


O ye who have believed, take not the Jews and Christians as friends.
They are friends one to another; and whosoever of you taketh them as
his friends, verily he is _of the number_ of them.

O ye who have believed, take not as friends those who have made your
religion a laughing-stock and a jest, of those who have received the
Scripture before you, and the unbelievers: (But fear God if ye be

And _those who_ when ye call to prayer make it a laughing-stock and a
jest. This _they do_ because they are a people who do not understand.

   (v. 56, 62, 63.)


†The servants of the Merciful are they that walk upon the
earth softly; and when the ignorant speak unto them, they reply

And they that pass the night worshipping their Lord, prostrate and

And that say, ‘O our Lord, turn away from us the torment of Hell:
verily its torment is endless; verily it is an ill abode and

And those who when they spend are neither lavish nor niggard, but keep
the mean;—

And those who call on no other gods with God, nor slay whom God hath
forbidden to be slain, except for a just cause; nor are unchaste;—

And they who bear not witness to a lie, and when they pass by vain
discourse pass it by with dignity;—

These shall be rewarded with the highest Heaven, for that they
persevered, and they shall be accosted therein with ‘Welcome and
Peace,’ to live therein for ever—a fair abode and resting-place!

   (xxv. 64-75.)



SAY YE, We believe in God, and in that which hath been sent down unto
us (_namely, the Ḳur-án_), and what hath been sent down unto Abraham
(_the ten books_), and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes,
_his children_, and what Moses received (_namely, the Pentateuch_),
and Jesus (_namely, the Gospel_), and what the prophets received from
their Lord (_namely, books and signs_): we make no separation of any
of them, _believing in some, and disbelieving in some, like the Jews
and the Christians_; and we resign ourselves unto Him.

   (ii. 130.)


_Remember, O Moḥammad_, when thy Lord said unto the angels, I am about
to place in the earth a vicegerent _to act for me in the execution of
my ordinances therein, namely, Adam_,—they said, Wilt Thou place in it
one who will corrupt in it _by disobediences_, and will shed blood
(_as did the sons of El-Jánn,[191] who were in it; wherefore, when
they acted corruptly, God sent to them the angels, who drove them away
to the islands and the mountains_), when we [on the contrary]
celebrate the divine perfection, _occupying ourselves_ with Thy
praise, and extol Thy holiness? _Therefore we are more worthy of the
vicegerency._—_God_ replied, Verily, I know that which ye know not,
_as to the affair of appointing Adam vicegerent, and that among his
posterity will be the obedient and the rebellious, and the just will
be manifest among them. And He created Adam from the surface of the
earth, taking a handful of every colour that it comprised, which was
kneaded with various waters; and He completely formed it, and breathed
into it the soul: so it became an animated sentient being._[192] And
He taught Adam the names of all things, _infusing the knowledge of
them into his heart_. Then He showed them (_namely, the things_) to
the angels, and said, Declare unto me the names of these _things_, if
ye say truth _in your assertion that I will not create any more
knowing than ye, and that ye are more worthy of the vicegerency_. They
replied, [_We extol_] Thy perfection! We have no knowledge excepting
what Thou hast taught us; for Thou art the Knowing, the Wise.—_God_
said, O Adam, tell them their names. And when he had told them their
names, _God_ said, Did I not say unto you that I know the secrets of
the heavens and the earth, and know what ye reveal _of your words,
saying, Wilt thou place in it_, etc., and what ye did conceal _of your
words, saying, He will not create any more generous towards Him than
we, nor any more knowing_?

   (ii. 28-31.)

We created you; _that is, your father Adam_: then we formed you; _we
formed him, and you in him_: then We said unto the angels, Prostrate
yourselves unto Adam, _by way of salutation_; whereupon they
prostrated themselves, except Iblees, _the father of the jinn, who was
amid the angels_: he was not of those who prostrated themselves. _God_
said, What hath hindered thee from prostrating thyself, when I
commanded thee? He answered, I am better than he: Thou hast created me
of fire, and Thou hast created him of earth. [God] said, Then descend
thou from it; _that is, from Paradise; or, as some say, from the
heavens_; for it is not fit for thee that thou behave thyself proudly
therein: so go thou forth: verily thou [shalt be] of the contemptible.
He replied, Grant me respite until the day when they (_that is,
mankind_) shall be raised from the dead. He said, Thou shalt be of
those [who are] respited: _and, in another verse_ [in xv. 38, it is
said], _until the day of the known period; that is, until the period
of the first blast_ [of the trumpet]. [And the devil] said, Now, as
Thou hast led me into error, I will surely lay wait for them (_that
is, for the sons of Adam_) in Thy right way, _the way that leadeth to
Thee_: then I will surely come upon them, from before them, and from
behind them, and from their right hands, and from their left, _and
hinder them from pursuing the way_ (_but, saith Ibn-´Abbás, he cannot
come upon them above, lest he should intervene between the servant and
God’s mercy_), and Thou shalt not find the greater number of them
grateful, _or believing_. [God] said, Go forth from it, despised and
driven away _from mercy_. Whosoever of them (_that is, of mankind_)
shall follow thee, I will surely fill hell with you all; _with thee,
and thy offspring, and with men_.

   (vii. 10-17.)

And we said, O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife (_Howwá_ [or Eve], _whom
God created from a rib of his left side_) in the garden, and eat ye
therefrom plentifully, wherever ye will; but approach ye not this
tree, _to eat thereof_; (_and it was wheat, or the grape-vine, or some
other tree_;) for _if ye do so_, ye will be of _the number of_ the
offenders. But the devil, _Iblees_, caused them to slip from it, _that
is, from the garden, by his saying unto them, Shall I show you the way
to the tree of eternity? And he swore to them by God that he was one
of the faithful advisers to them: so they ate of it_, and He ejected
them from that _state of delight_ in which they were. And We said,
Descend ye[193] _to the earth, ye two with the offspring that ye
comprise_ [yet unborn], one of you (_that is, of your offspring_) an
enemy to another; and there shall be for you, in the earth, a place of
abode, and a provision, _of its vegetable produce_, for a time, _until
the period of the expiration of your terms of life_. And Adam learned,
from his Lord, words, _which were these_:—_O Lord, we have acted
unjustly to our own souls, and if Thou do not forgive us, and be
merciful unto us, we shall surely be of those who suffer loss_.[194]
_And he prayed in these words_; and He became propitious towards him,
_accepting his repentance_; for He is the Very Propitious, the
Merciful. We said, Descend ye from it (_from the garden_) altogether;
and if there come unto you from Me a direction (_a book and an
apostle_), those who follow my direction, _there shall come_ no fear
on them, nor shall they grieve _in the world to come; for they shall
enter paradise_: but they who disbelieve and accuse our signs[195] of
falsehood, these shall be the companions of the fire: they shall
remain therein for ever.

   (ii. 33-37.)


Recite, _O Moḥammad_, unto them (_that is, to thy people_) the history
of the two sons of Adam, _namely, Abel and Cain_,[196] with truth.
When they offered [their] offering _to God_[197] (_Abel’s being a ram,
and Cain’s being produce of the earth_), and it was accepted from one
of them (_that is, from Abel; for fire descended from heaven, and
devoured his offering_), and it was not accepted from the other, _Cain
was enraged; but he concealed his envy until Adam performed a
pilgrimage, when_ he said _unto his brother_, I will assuredly slay
thee. _Abel said, Wherefore? Cain answered, Because of the acceptance
of thine offering to the exclusion of mine. Abel_ replied, God only
accepteth from the pious. If thou stretch forth to me thy hand to slay
me, I will not stretch forth to thee my hand to slay thee; for I fear
God, the Lord of the worlds. I desire that thou shouldst bear the sin
[which thou intendest to commit] against me, _by slaying me_, and thy
sin _which thou hast committed before_, and thou wilt be of the
companions of the fire.—And that is the recompense of the
offenders.—But his soul suffered him to slay his brother: so he slew
him; and he became of [the number of] those who suffer loss. _And he
knew not what to do with him; for he was the first dead person upon
the face of the earth of the sons of Adam. So he carried him upon his
back._ And God sent a raven, which scratched up the earth _with its
bill and its talons and raised it over a dead raven that was with it
until it hid it_, to show him how he should hide the corpse of his
brother. He said, O my disgrace! Am I unable to be like this raven,
and to hide the corpse of my brother?—And he became of [the number of]
the repentant. _And he digged_ [a grave] _for him, and hid him_.—On
account of this _which Cain did_ We commanded the children of Israel
that he who should slay a soul (not for _the latter’s having slain_ a
soul or _committed_ wickedness in the earth, _such as infidelity, or
adultery, or intercepting the way, and the like_) [should be regarded]
as though he had slain all mankind; and he who saveth it alive, _by
abstaining from slaying it_, as though he had saved alive all mankind.

   (v. 30-35.)


We formerly sent Noah [Nooḥ] unto his people, _saying_, Verily I am
unto you a plain admonisher that ye worship not [any] but God. Verily
I fear for you, _if ye worship any other_, the punishment of an
afflictive day _in this world and in the world to come_.—But the
chiefs who disbelieved among his people replied, We see thee not to be
other than a man, like unto us; and we see not any to have followed
thee except the meanest of us, _as the weavers and the cobblers_, at
first thought (_or rashly_), nor do we see you to have any excellence
above us: nay, we imagine you to be liars _in your claim to the
apostolic commission_. He said, O my people, tell me, if I have an
evident proof from my Lord and He hath bestowed on me mercy (_the gift
of prophecy_) from Himself which is hidden from you, shall we compel
you to _receive_ it when ye are averse thereto? _We cannot do so._
And, O my people, I ask not of you any riches for it; _namely, for
delivering my message_. My reward is not due from any but God; and I
will not drive away those who have believed _as ye have commanded me_
[because they are poor people]. Verily they shall meet their Lord _at
the resurrection, and He will recompense them, and will exact for
them_ [reparation] _from those who have treated them with injustice,
and driven them away_. But I see you [to be] a people who are ignorant
_of the end of your case_. And, O my people, who will defend me
against God if I drive them away? Will ye not then consider? And I do
not say unto you, I have the treasures of God; nor [do I say], I know
the things unseen; nor do I say, Verily I am an angel; nor do I say,
of those whom your eyes contemn, God will by no means bestow on them
good: (God best knoweth what is in their minds:) verily I should in
that case be [one] of the offenders.—They replied, O Noah, thou hast
disputed with us and multiplied disputes with us: now bring upon us
that _punishment_ wherewith thou threatenest us, if thou be of those
that speak truth. He said, Only God will bring it upon you, if He
please _to hasten it unto you; for it is His affair, not mine_; and ye
shall not escape _God_: nor will my counsel profit you, if I desire to
counsel you, if God desire to lead you into error. He is your Lord;
and unto Him shall ye be brought back.

   (xi. 27-36.)

And it was said by revelation unto Noah, Verily there shalt not
believe of thy people [any] but they who have already believed;
therefore be not grieved for that which they have done.

   (xi. 38.)

_And he uttered an imprecation upon them, saying_, O my Lord, leave
not upon the earth any one of the unbelievers; for if Thou leave them,
they will lead Thy servants into error, and will not beget [any] but a
wicked, ungrateful [offspring]. O my Lord, forgive me and my parents
(_for they were believers_), and whomsoever entereth my house (_my
abode, or my place of worship_), being a believer, and the believing
men, and the believing women, (_to the day of resurrection_), and add
not to the offenders [aught] save destruction.

   (lxxi. 27-29.)

_And God answered his prayer, and said_, Construct the ark in our
sight and according to our revelation, and speak not unto Me
concerning those who have offended, _to beg Me not to destroy them_;
for they [shall be] drowned. And he constructed the ark; and whenever
a company of his people passed by him, they derided him. He said, If
ye deride us, we will deride you, like as ye deride, _when we are
saved and ye are drowned_, and ye shall know on whom shall come a
punishment which shall render him vile, and whom shall befall a
lasting punishment. [Thus he was employed] until when Our decree _for
their destruction_ came to pass, and the _baker’s_ oven overflowed
_with water_[198] (_for this was a signal unto Noah_), We said, Carry
into it (_that is, into the ark_) of every pair, _male and female, of
each of these descriptions_, two (_and it is related that God
assembled for Noah the wild beasts and the birds and other creatures,
and he proceeded to put his hands upon each kind, and his right hand
fell always upon the male, and his left upon the female, and he
carried them into the ark_), and thy family (excepting him upon whom
the sentence _of destruction_ hath already been pronounced, _namely,
Noah’s wife, and his son Canaan: but Shem and Ham and Japheth and
their three wives he took_), and those who have believed; but there
believed not with him save a few: _they were six men and their wives:
and it is said that all who were in the ark were eighty, half of whom
were men and half women_. And _Noah_ said, Embark ye therein. In the
name of God [be] its course and its mooring.[199] Verily my Lord is
very forgiving [and] merciful.—And it moved along with them amid
waves like mountains; and Noah called unto his son, _Canaan_, who was
apart _from the ark_, O my child, embark with us, and be not with the
unbelievers! He replied, I will betake me to a mountain which will
secure me from the water. [Noah] said, There is nought that will
secure to-day from the decree of God [any] but him on whom He hath
mercy. And the waves intervened between them; so he became [one] of
the drowned. And it was said, O earth, swallow up thy water
(_whereupon it drank it up, except what had descended from heaven,
which became rivers and seas_), and, O heaven, cease _from
raining_;—and the water abated, and the decree was fulfilled, and it
(_namely, the ark_) rested on El-Joodee (_a mountain of El-Jezeereh,
near El-Mósil_); and it was said, Perdition to the offending

   (xi. 38-46.)

And Noah called upon his Lord, and said, O my Lord, verily my son is
of my family, _and Thou hast promised me to save them_, and verily Thy
promise is true, and Thou art the most just of those who exercise
judgment. _God_ replied, O Noah, verily he is not of thy family _who
should be saved, or of the people of thy religion_. Verily it
(_namely, thine asking me to save him_) is not a righteous act; _for
he was an unbeliever, and there is no safety for the unbelievers_;
therefore ask not of me that wherein thou hast no knowledge. I
admonish thee, lest thou become [one] of the ignorant.—_Noah_ said, O
my Lord, I beg Thee to preserve me from asking Thee that wherein I
have no knowledge; and if Thou do not forgive me and have mercy upon
me, I shall be of those who suffer loss.—It was said, O Noah, descend
_from the ark_,[201] with peace from Us, and blessings, upon thee and
upon peoples [that shall proceed] from those who are with thee _in the
ark_ (_that is, their believing posterity_); but peoples [that shall
proceed] _from those who are with thee_ We will permit to enjoy _the
provisions of this world_; then a painful punishment shall befall them
from Us, _in the world to come; they being unbelievers_.

   (xi. 47-50.)


And _we sent_ unto _the former_ [tribe of] ´Ád[202] their brother
Hood.[203] He said, O my people, worship God: _assert His unity_. Ye
have no other deity than Him. Will ye not then fear _Him, and
believe_?—The chiefs who disbelieved among his people answered, Verily
we see thee to be in a foolish way, and verily we esteem thee one of
the liars _with respect to the apostolic commission_. He replied, O my
people, there is no folly in me; but I am an apostle from the Lord of
the worlds. I bring unto you the messages of my Lord, and I am unto
you a counsellor, intrusted _with the apostolic office_. Do ye wonder
that an admonition hath come unto you from your Lord by _the tongue
of_ a man from among you, that he may warn you? And remember how He
hath appointed you vicegerents _in the earth_ after the people of
Noah, and increased you in tallness of stature. (_For the tall among
them was a hundred cubits, and the short among them sixty._) Remember,
then, the benefits of God, that ye may prosper. They said, Art thou
come unto us that we may worship God alone, and relinquish what our
fathers worshipped? Then bring upon us that _punishment_ with which
thou threatenest us, if thou be of those who speak truth.—He replied,
Punishment and indignation from your Lord have become necessary for
you. Do ye dispute with me concerning names which ye and your fathers
have given _to idols which ye worship_, concerning which (_that is,
the worship of which_) God hath not set down any convincing proof?
Then await ye _the punishment_. I am with you, of those who await
_that, for your accusing me of falsehood. And the unprofitable wind
was sent upon them._ But We delivered him (_namely, Hood_) and them
who were with him (_of the believers_) by Our mercy; and We cut off
the uppermost part of those who charged Our signs with falsehood and
who were not believers.

   (vii. 63-70.)

And _We sent_ unto _the tribe of_ Thamood[204] their brother Ṣáliḥ.
He said, O my people, worship God. Ye have no other deity than Him. A
_miraculous_ proof _of my veracity_ hath come unto you from your Lord,
this she-camel of God being a sign unto you. [He had caused her, at
their demand, to come forth from the heart of a rock.] Therefore let
her feed in God’s earth, and do her no harm, lest a painful punishment
seize you. And remember how He hath appointed you vicegerents _in the
earth_ after [the tribe of] ´Ád, and given you a habitation in the
earth: ye make yourselves, on its plains, pavilions _wherein ye dwell
in summer_, and cut the mountains into houses _wherein ye dwell in
winter_. Remember then the benefits of God, and do not evil in the
earth, acting corruptly.—The chiefs who were elated with pride, among
his people, said unto those who were esteemed weak, _namely_, to those
who had believed among them, Do ye know that Ṣáliḥ hath been sent
_unto you_ from his Lord? They answered, _Yea_: verily we believe in
that wherewith he hath been sent. Those who were elated with pride
replied, Verily we disbelieve in that wherein ye have believed.—_And
the she-camel had a day to water; and they had a day; and they became
weary of this._ And they hamstrung the she-camel (_Ḳudár_ [the son of
Sálif] _doing so by their order and slaying her with the sword_);[205]
and they impiously transgressed the command of their Lord,[206] and
said, O Ṣáliḥ, bring upon us that _punishment_ with which thou
threatenest us _for killing her_, if thou be [one] of the apostles.
And the violent convulsion (_a great earthquake, and a cry from
heaven_[207]) assailed them, and in the morning they were in their
dwellings prostrate _and dead_. So he turned away from them, and said,
O my people, I have brought unto you the message of my Lord and given
you faithful counsel; but ye loved not faithful counsellors.

   (vii. 71-77.)


They (_namely, the Jews_) will ask thee concerning Dhu-l-Ḳarneyn.[208]
(_His name was El-Iskender, and he was not a prophet._) Answer, I will
recite unto you an account of him. We gave him ability in the earth,
_by facilitating his journeying therein_, and gave him a way to
_attain_ everything _that he required_. And he followed a way _towards
a place where the sun setteth_, until, when he came to the place where
the sun setteth, he found that it set in a spring of black mud, _as it
appeared to the eye; but really that spring was greater than the
world_; and he found near it a people _who were unbelievers_.[209] We
said, _by inspiration_, O Dhu-l-Ḳarneyn, either punish _the people by
slaughter_, or proceed against them gently, _taking them captive_. He
said, As to him who offendeth _by polytheism_, we will punish him _by
slaughter_: then he shall be taken back to his Lord, and He will
punish him with a severe punishment, _in the fire of hell_. But as
to him who believeth, and doeth that which is right, he shall have as
a reward paradise, and We will say unto him, in Our command, _that
which will be_ easy _unto him_.—Then he followed a way _towards the
place where the sun riseth_, until, when he came to the place where
the sun riseth, he found that it rose upon a people (_namely, the
Zenj_) unto whom We had not given anything wherewith to shelter
themselves therefrom, _neither clothing nor roof; for their land bore
no building; but they had subterranean dwellings, into which they
retired at sunrise, and they came forth when the sun was high_. Thus
_was the case_; and We comprehended with Our knowledge what were with
him (_namely, Dhu-l-Ḳarneyn_), _of weapons and forces and other
things_.—Then he followed a way until, when he came between the two
barriers (_or mountains, at the confines of the country of the Turks,
between which is the barrier of El-Iskender, as will be related
presently_), he found before them a people who could scarce understand
speech. They said, O Dhu-l-Ḳarneyn, verily Yájooj and Májooj [Gog and
Magog[210]] are corrupting in the earth, _by plunder and tyranny, when
they came forth unto us_. Shall we therefore pay thee tribute, on the
condition that thou make a barrier between us and them?—He answered,
The ability which my Lord hath given me, _by wealth and other things_,
is better _than your tribute, which I need not. I will make the
barrier for you gratuitously_: but assist me strenuously _by doing
that which I desire_: I will make between you and them a strong
barrier. Bring me pieces of iron _of the size of the blocks of stone
used in building.—And he built with them, and placed amid them
firewood and charcoal_, until, when it [the mass] filled up the space
between the upper parts of the two mountains, _and he had put the
bellows and fire around that mass_, he said, Blow ye [with the
bellows]. _So they blew_ until, when he had made it (_that is, the
iron_) _like_ fire, he said, Bring me molten brass, that I may pour
upon it. _And he poured the molten brass upon the heated iron, so that
it entered between its pieces and the whole became one mass._ And they
(_namely, Yájooj and Májooj_) were not able to ascend to its top _by
reason of its height and smoothness_; nor were they able to perforate
it _by reason of its hardness and thickness_. _Dhu-l-Ḳarneyn_ said,
This (_namely, the barrier, or the gift of the ability to construct
it_) is a mercy from my Lord: but when the promise of my Lord, _as to
the eruption of Yájooj and Májooj shortly before the resurrection_,
shall come _to be fulfilled_, He will reduce it (_namely, the
barrier_) to dust; and the promise of my Lord concerning _their
eruption and other events_ is true. And We will suffer some of them,
on that day (_the day of their eruption_), to pour tumultuously among
others: and the trumpet shall be blown _for the resurrection_, and We
will gather them (_namely, all creatures_) together in a body, _in one
place_. And We will set hell, on that day, _near_ before the
unbelievers, whose eyes have been veiled from my admonition (_the
Ḳur-án_), _and who, being blind, have not been directed by it_, and
who could not hear _what the prophet recited unto them, by reason of
their hatred of him; wherefore they believed not in him_.

   (xviii. 82-101.)


_Remember_ when Abraham [Ibráheem] said to his father A´zar (_this was
the surname of Terah_), Dost thou take images as deities?[211] Verily
I see thee and thy people to be in a manifest error.—(And thus, _as We
showed him the error of his father and his people_, did We show
Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and [We did so] that
he might be of [the number of] those who firmly believe.) And when the
night overshadowed him, he saw a star (_it is said that it was
Venus_), [and] he said _unto his people, who were astrologers_, This
is my Lord, _according to your assertion_.—But when it set, he said, I
like not those that set, _to take them as Lords, since it is not meet
for a Lord to experience alteration and change of place, as they are
of the nature of accidents_. _Yet this had no effect upon them._ And
when he saw the moon rising, he said _unto them_, This is my Lord.—But
when it set, he said, Verily if my Lord direct me not (_if He confirm
me not in the right way_), I shall assuredly be of the erring
people.—_This was a hint to his people that they were in error; but it
had no effect upon them._ And when he saw the sun rising, he said,
This is my Lord. This is greater _than the star and the moon_.—But
when it set, _and the proof had been rendered more strong to them, yet
they desisted not_, he said, O my people, verily I am clear of the
[things] which ye associate _with God; namely, the images and the
heavenly bodies_. _So they said unto him, What dost thou worship? He
answered_, Verily I direct my face unto Him who hath created the
heavens and the earth, following the right religion, and I am not of
the polytheists.—And his people argued with him; [but] he said, Do ye
argue with me respecting God, when He hath directed me, and I fear not
what ye associate with Him, unless my Lord will _that_ aught
_displeasing should befall me_? My Lord comprehendeth everything by
_His_ knowledge. Will ye not therefore consider? And wherefore should
I fear what ye have associated _with God_, when ye fear not for your
having associated with God that of which He hath not sent down unto
you a proof? Then which of the two parties is the more worthy of
safety? _Are we, or you?_ If ye know _who is the more worthy of it,
follow him_.—_God saith_, They who have believed, and not mixed their
belief with injustice (_that is, polytheism_), for these shall be
safety _from punishment_, and they are rightly directed.

   (vi. 74-82.)

Relate _unto them_, in the book (_that is, the Ḳur-án_), _the history
of_ Abraham. Verily he was a person of great veracity, a prophet. When
he said unto his father _A´zar, who worshipped idols_, O my father,
wherefore dost thou worship that which heareth not, nor seeth, nor
averteth from thee aught, _whether of advantage or of injury_? O my
father, verily [a degree] of knowledge hath come unto me, that hath
not come unto thee: therefore follow me: I will direct thee into a
right way. O my father, serve not the devil, _by obeying him in
serving idols_; for the devil is very rebellious unto the
Compassionate. O my father, verily I fear that a punishment will
betide thee from the Compassionate, _if thou repent not_, and that
thou wilt be unto the devil an aider, _and a companion in
hell-fire_.—He replied, Art thou a rejector of my Gods, O Abraham,
_and dost thou revile them_? If thou abstain not, I will assuredly
assail thee _with stones or with ill words; therefore beware of me_,
and leave me for a long time.—_Abraham_ said, Peace _from me_ be on
thee! I will ask pardon for thee of my Lord; for He is gracious unto
me: and I will separate myself from you and from what ye invoke
instead of God; and I will call upon my Lord: perhaps I shall not be
unsuccessful in calling upon my Lord, _as ye are in calling upon
idols_.—And when he had separated himself from them, and from what
they worshipped instead of God, _by going to the Holy Land_, We gave
him _two sons, that he might cheer himself thereby, namely_, Isaac and
Jacob; and each [of them] We made a prophet; and We bestowed upon them
(_namely, the three_), of our mercy, _wealth and children_; and We
caused them to receive high commendation.

   (xix. 42-51.)

We gave unto Abraham his direction formerly, _before he had attained
to manhood_; and We knew him _to be worthy of it_. When he said unto
his father and his people, What are these images, to _the worship of_
which ye are devoted?—they answered, We found our fathers worshipping
them, _and we have followed their example_. He said _unto them_,
Verily ye and your fathers have been in a manifest error. They said,
Hast thou come unto us with truth _in saying this_, or art thou of
those who jest? He answered, Nay, your Lord (_the being who deserveth
to be worshipped_) is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, who
created them, _not after the similitude of anything pre-existing_; and
I am of those who bear witness thereof. And, by God, I will assuredly
devise a plot against your idols after ye shall have retired, turning
your backs.—So, _after they had gone to their place of assembly, on a
day when they held a festival_, he brake them in pieces _with an axe_,
except the chief of them, _upon whose neck he hung the axe_; that they
might return unto it (_namely, the chief_) _and see what he had done
with the others_. They said, _after they had returned and seen what he
had done_, Who hath done this unto our gods? Verily he is of the
unjust.—_And some of them_ said, We heard a young man mention them
_reproachfully_: he is called Abraham. They said, Then bring him
before the eyes of the people, that they may bear witness _against him
of his having done it_. They said _unto him, when he had been
brought_, Hast thou done this unto our gods, O Abraham? He answered,
Nay, this their chief did it: and ask ye them, if they [can] speak.
And they returned unto themselves, _upon reflection_, and said _unto
themselves_, Verily ye are the unjust, _in worshipping that which
speaketh not_. Then they reverted to their obstinacy, _and said_,
Verily thou knowest that these speak not: _then wherefore dost thou
order us to ask them?_ He said, Do ye then worship, instead of God,
that which doth not profit you at all, nor injure you _if ye worship
it not_? Fy on you, and on that which ye worship instead of God! Do ye
not then understand?—They said, Burn ye him, and avenge your gods, if
ye will do _so_. _So they collected abundance of firewood for him, and
set fire to it; and they bound Abraham, and put him into an engine,
and cast him into the fire. But, saith God_, We said, O fire, be
thou cold, and a security unto Abraham! _So nought of him was burned
save his bonds: the heat of the fire ceased, but its light remained;
and by God’s saying, Security,—Abraham was saved from dying, by reason
of its cold._ And they intended against him a plot; but he caused them
to be the sufferers.[212] And We delivered him and Lot, _the son of_
_his brother Haran, from El-´Eráḳ_, [bringing them] unto the land
which we blessed for the peoples, _by the abundance of its rivers and
trees, namely, Syria. Abraham took up his abode in Palestine, and Lot
in El-Mu-tekifeh, between which is a day’s journey._ And _when Abraham
had asked a son_, We gave unto him Isaac, and Jacob as an additional
gift, _beyond what he had asked, being a son’s son_; and all of them
We made righteous persons _and prophets_. And We made them models of
religion who directed _men_ by Our command _unto Our religion_; and We
commanded them by inspiration to do good works and to perform prayer
and to give the appointed alms; and they served Us. And unto Lot We
gave judgment and knowledge; and We delivered him from the city which
committed filthy actions; for they were a people of evil, shameful
doers; and We admitted him into our mercy; for he was [one] of the

   (xxi. 52-75.)

Hast thou not considered him who disputed with Abraham concerning his
Lord, because God had given him the kingdom? _And he was Nimrod._ When
Abraham said, (_upon his saying unto him, Who is thy Lord, unto whom
thou invitest us?_), My Lord is He who giveth life and causeth to
die,—he replied, I give life and cause to die.—_And he summoned two
men, and slew one of them, and left the other. So when he saw that he
understood not_, Abraham said, And verily God bringeth the sun from
the east: now do thou bring it from the west.—And he who disbelieved
was confounded; and God directeth not the offending people.

   (ii. 260.)

And Our messengers came formerly unto Abraham with good tidings _of
Isaac and Jacob, who should be after him_. They said, Peace. He
replied, _Peace be on you_. And he tarried not, but brought a roasted
calf. And when he saw that their hands touched it not, he disliked
them and conceived a fear of them. They said, Fear not: for we are
sent unto the people of Lot, _that we may destroy them_. And his wife
_Sarah_ was standing _serving them_, and she laughed, _rejoicing at
the tidings of their destruction_. And we gave her good tidings of
Isaac [Isḥáḳ]; and after Isaac, Jacob [Yaạḳoob]. She said, Alas! shall
I bear a child when I am an old woman, _of nine and ninety years_, and
when this my husband is an old man, _of a hundred or a hundred and
twenty years_? Verily this [would be] a wonderful thing.—They said,
Dost thou wonder at the command of God? The mercy of God and His
blessings be on you, O people of the house (_of Abraham_)! for He is
praiseworthy, glorious.—And when the terror had departed from Abraham,
and the good tidings had come unto him, he disputed with Us (_that is,
with Our messengers_) respecting the people of Lot; for Abraham was
gentle, compassionate, repentant. _And he said unto them, Will ye
destroy a city wherein are three hundred believers? They answered, No.
He said, And will ye destroy a city wherein are two hundred believers?
They answered, No. He said, And will ye destroy a city wherein are
forty believers? They answered, No. He said, And will ye destroy a
city wherein are fourteen believers? They answered, No. He said, And
tell me, if there be in it one believer? They answered, No. He said,
Verily in it is Lot. They replied, We know best who is in it. And when
their dispute had become tedious, they said_, O Abraham, abstain from
this _disputation_; for the command of thy Lord hath come _for their
destruction_, and a punishment not [to be] averted is coming upon

   (xi. 72-78.)

And when Our decree for _the destruction of the people of Lot_ came
[to be executed], We turned them (_that is, their cities_)
upside-down; _for Gabriel raised them to heaven, and let them fall
upside-down to the earth_;[213] and We rained upon them stones of
baked clay, sent one after another, marked with thy Lord, _each with
the name of him upon whom it should be cast_: and they [are] not far
distant from the offenders; _that is, the stones are not, or the
cities of the people of Lot were not, far distant from the people of

   (xi. 84.)

And [Abraham] said [after his escape from Nimrod], Verily I am going
unto my Lord, who will direct me _unto the place whither He hath
commanded me to go, namely, Syria. And when he had arrived at the Holy
Land, he said_, O my Lord, give me _a son_ [who shall be one] of the
righteous. Whereupon We gave him the glad tidings of a mild youth. And
when he had attained to the age when he could work with him (_as some
say, seven years; and some, thirteen_), he said, O my child, verily I
have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice thee (_and the dreams of
prophets are true; and their actions, by the command of God_);
therefore consider what thou seest advisable _for me to do_. He
replied, O my father, do what thou art commanded: thou shalt find me,
if God please, [of the number] of the patient. And when they had
resigned themselves, and he had laid him down on his temple, _in_ [the
valley of] _Mind, and had drawn the knife across his throat_ (_but it
produced no effect, by reason of an obstacle interposed by the divine
power_), We called unto him, O Abraham, thou hast verified the vision.
Verily thus do We reward the well-doers. Verily this was the manifest
trial. And We ransomed him _whom he had been commanded to sacrifice_
(_and he was Ishmȧel_ [Ismá´eel] _or Isaac; for there are two
opinions_)[214] with an excellent victim, _a ram from Paradise, the
same that Abel had offered: Gabriel_ (_on whom be peace!_) _brought
it, and the lord Abraham sacrificed it, saying, God is most great!_
And We left _this salutation_ [to be bestowed] on him by the latter
generations, Peace [be] on Abraham! Thus do We reward the well-doers:
for he was of our believing servants.

   (xxxvii. 97-111.)

_Remember_ when Abraham said, O my Lord, show me how Thou will raise
to life the dead.[215]—He said, Hast thou not believed? He answered,
Yea: but _I have asked Thee_ that my heart may be at ease. He replied,
Then take four birds and draw them towards thee, _and cut them in
pieces and mingle together their flesh and their feathers_; then place
upon each mountain _of thy land_ a portion of them, then call them
_unto thee_: they shall come unto thee quickly: and know thou that God
is mighty [and] wise.—_And he took a peacock and a vulture and a raven
and a cock, and did with them as hath been described, and kept their
heads with him, and called them; whereupon the portions flew about,
one to another, until they became complete: then they came to their

   (ii. 262.)

_Remember_ when his Lord had tried Abraham by [certain] words,
_commands and prohibitions_, and he fulfilled them, _God_ said _unto
him_, I constitute thee a model of religion unto men.[216] He replied,
And of my offspring _constitute models of religion_. [God] said, My
covenant doth not apply to the offenders, _the unbelievers among
them_.—And when We appointed the house (_that is, the Kaạbeh_) to be a
place for the resort of men, and a place of security (_a man would
meet the slayer of his father there and he would not provoke him_ [to
revenge],) and [said], Take, _O men_, the station of Abraham (_the
stone upon which he stood at the time of building the House_) as a
place of prayer, _that ye may perform behind it the prayers of the two
rek´ahs_[217] [which are ordained to be performed after the ceremony]
_of the circuiting_ [of the Kaạbeh].—And We commanded Abraham and
Ishmael, [saying], Purify my House (_rid it of the idols_) for those
who shall compass [it], and those who shall abide _there_, and those
who shall bow down and prostrate themselves.—And when Abraham said, O
my Lord, make this _place_ a secure territory (_and God hath answered
his prayer, and made it a sacred place, wherein the blood of man is
not shed, nor is any one oppressed in it, nor is its game hunted_ [or
shot], _nor are its plants cut or pulled up_), and supply its
inhabitants with fruits _which hath been done by the transporting of
Eṭ-Ṭáïf from Syria thither, when it_ [that is, the territory of
Mekkeh] _was desert, without sown land or water_,[218] such of them as
shall believe in God and the last day.—_He mentioned them peculiarly
in the prayer agreeably with the saying of God, My covenant doth not
apply to the offenders._—_God_ replied, And _I will supply_ him who
disbelieveth: I will make him to enjoy _a supply of food in this
world_, a little _while_: then I will force him, _in the world to
come_, to the punishment of the fire; and evil shall be the transit.

   (ii. 118-120.)

And _remember_ when Abraham was raising the foundations of the
House[219] (_that is, building it_), together with Ishmael, _and they
said_, O our Lord, accept of us _our building_; for Thou art the
Hearer _of what is said_, the Knower _of what is done_. O our Lord,
also make us resigned[220] unto Thee, and _make_ from among our
offspring a people resigned unto Thee, and show us our rites (_the
ordinances of our worship, or our pilgrimage_), and be propitious
towards us; for Thou art the Very Propitious, the Merciful. (_They
begged Him to be propitious to them, notwithstanding their honesty,
from a motive of humility, and by way of instruction to their
offspring._) O our Lord, also send unto them (_that is, the people of
the House_) an apostle from among them (_and God hath answered their
prayer by sending Moḥammad_), who shall recite unto them Thy signs
(the Ḳur-án), and shall teach them the book (_the Ḳur-án_), and the
knowledge _that it containeth_, and shall purify them _from
polytheism_; for Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.—And who will be averse
from the religion of Abraham but he who maketh his soul foolish, _who
is ignorant that it is God’s creation, and that the worship of Him is
incumbent on it; or who lightly esteemeth it and applieth it to vile
purposes_; when We have chosen him in this world _as an apostle and a
friend_, and he shall be in the world to come one of the righteous
_for whom are high ranks?—And remember_ when his lord said unto
him, Resign thyself:—he replied, I resign myself unto the Lord of the
worlds.—And Abraham commanded his children to follow it (_namely, the
religion_); and Jacob,_ his children; saying_, O my children, verily
God hath chosen for you the religion _of El-Islám_;[221] therefore die
not without your being Muslims.—_It was a prohibition from abandoning
El-Islám and a command to persevere therein unto death._

   (ii. 121-126.)

_When the Jews said, Abraham was a Jew, and we are of his
religion,—and the Christians said the like_, [the following] _was
revealed_:—O people of the Scripture, wherefore do ye argue respecting
Abraham, _asserting that he was of your religion_, when the Pentateuch
and the Gospel were not sent down but after him _a long time_? Do ye
not then understand the _falsity of your saying_? So ye, O people,
have argued respecting that of which ye have knowledge, _concerning
Moses and Jesus, and have asserted that ye are of their religion_:
then wherefore do ye argue respecting that of which ye have no
knowledge, _concerning Abraham_? But God knoweth _his case_, and ye
know _it_ not. Abraham was not a Jew nor a Christian: but he was
orthodox, a Muslim [or one resigned], _a unitarian_, and he was not of
the polytheists.

   (iii. 58-60.)


_Remember_, when Joseph [Yoosuf] said unto his father, O my father,
verily I saw _in sleep_ eleven stars and the sun and the moon: I saw
them making obeisance unto me. He replied, O my child, relate not thy
vision to thy brethren, lest they contrive a plot against thee,
_knowing its interpretation to be that they are the stars and that the
sun is thy mother and the moon thy father_; for the devil is unto man
a manifest enemy. And thus, _as thou sawest_, thy Lord will choose
thee, and teach thee the interpretation of events, _or dreams_, and
will accomplish his favour upon thee _by the gift of prophecy_, and
upon the family of Jacob, as He accomplished it upon thy fathers
before, Abraham and Isaac; for thy Lord is knowing [and] wise.—Verily
in _the history of_ Joseph and his brethren are signs to the
inquirers.—When they (_the brethren of Joseph_) said, _one to
another_, Verily Joseph and his brother _Benjamin_ are dearer unto our
father than we, and we are a number of men; verily our father is in a
manifest error; slay ye Joseph, or drive him away into a _distant_
land; so the face of your father shall be directed alone unto you,
_regarding no other_, and ye shall be after it a just people:—a
speaker among them, _namely, Judah_, said, Slay not Joseph, but throw
him to the bottom of the well; then some of the travellers may light
upon him, if ye do _this_. _And they were satisfied therewith_. They
said, O our father, wherefore dost thou not intrust us with Joseph,
when verily we are faithful unto him? Send him with us tomorrow _into
the plain_, that he may divert himself and sport; and we will surely
take care of him.—He replied, Verily your taking him away will grieve
me, and I fear lest the wolf devour him while ye are heedless of him.
They said, Surely if the wolf devour him, when we are a number of men,
we shall in that case be indeed weak. _So he sent him with them._ And
when they went away with him, and agreed to put him at the bottom of
the well, _they did so_.[222] _They pulled off his shirt, after they
had beaten him and had treated him with contempt and had desired to
slay him; and they let him down; and when he had arrived half-way down
the well they let him fall, that he might die; and he fell into the
water. He then betook himself to a mass of rock; and they called to
him; so he answered them, imagining that they would have mercy upon
him. They however desired to crush him with a piece of rock; but Judah
prevented them._ And We said unto him by revelation, _while he was in
the well (and he was seventeen years of age, or less), to quiet his
heart_, Thou shalt assuredly declare unto them this their action, and
they shall not know _thee at the time_.[223] And they came to their
father at nightfall weeping. They said, O our father, we went to run
races,[224] and left Joseph with our clothes, and the wolf devoured
him; and thou wilt not believe us, though we speak truth. And they
brought false blood upon his shirt. _Jacob_ said _unto them_, Nay,
your minds have made a thing seem pleasant unto you, _and ye have done
it_;[225] but patience is seemly, and God’s assistance is implored
with respect to that which ye relate.

And travellers came _on their way from Midian (Medyen) to Egypt, and
alighted near the well_;[226] and they sent their drawer of
water,[227] and he let down his bucket _into the well: so Joseph
caught hold upon it, and the man drew him forth; and when he saw him_,
he said, O good news! This is a young man!—_And his brethren thereupon
knew his case; wherefore they came unto him_, and they[228] concealed
his case, _making him_ as a piece of merchandise; _for they said, He
is our slave who hath absconded. And Joseph was silent, fearing lest
they should slay him._ And God knew that which they did. And they sold
him for a mean price, [for] some dirhems counted down, _twenty, or
two-and-twenty_; and they were indifferent to him. _The travellers
then brought him to Egypt, and he who had bought him sold him for
twenty deenárs and a pair of shoes and two garments._ And the Egyptian
who bought him, _namely, Ḳiṭfeer_,[229] said unto his wife _Zeleekha_,
Treat him hospitably; peradventure he may be advantageous to us, or
we may adopt him as a son. _For he was childless._ And thus We
prepared an establishment for Joseph in the land _of Egypt_, to teach
him the interpretation of events, _or dreams_; for God is well able to
effect His purpose; but the greater number of men, _namely, the
unbelievers_, know not _this_. And when he had attained his age of
strength (_thirty years, or three-and-thirty_), We bestowed on him
wisdom and knowledge _in matters of religion, before he was sent as a
prophet_; for thus do We recompense the well-doers. (xii. 4-22.—_Then
follows an account of his temptation by his mistress, Zeleekha._)

Then it seemed good unto them,[230] after they had seen the signs of
_his innocence, to imprison him_. They will assuredly imprison him for
a time, _until the talk of the people respecting him cease_. _So they
imprisoned him._ And there entered with him into the prison two young
men, _servants of the king, one of whom was his cup-bearer and the
other was his victualler_. _And they found that he interpreted dreams;
wherefore_ one of them, _namely, the cup-bearer_, said, I dreamed that
I was pressing grapes: and the other said, I dreamed that I was
carrying upon my head some bread, whereof the birds did eat: acquaint
us with the interpretation thereof; for we see thee to be [one] of the
beneficent.—He replied, There shall not come unto you any food
wherewith ye shall be fed _in a dream_, but I will acquaint you with
the interpretation thereof _when ye are awake_, before _the
interpretation of_ it come unto you. This is _a part_ of that which my
Lord hath taught me. Verily I have abandoned the religion of a people
who believe not in God and who disbelieve in the world to come; and I
follow the religion of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. It is
not _fit_ for us to associate anything with God. This _knowledge of
the unity_ [hath been given us] of the bounty of God towards us and
towards mankind; but the greater number of men are not thankful. O ye
two companions (_or inmates_) of the prison, are sundry lords better,
or is God, the One, the Almighty? Ye worship not, beside Him, [aught]
save names which ye and your fathers have given _to idols_, concerning
which God hath not sent down any convincing proof. Judgment belongeth
not [unto any] save unto God _alone_. He hath commanded that ye
worship not [any] but Him. This is the right religion; but the greater
number of men know not. O ye two companions of the prison, as to one
of you, _namely, the cup-bearer_, he will serve wine unto his lord _as
formerly_; and as to the other, he will be crucified, and the birds
will eat from off his head.—_Upon this they said, We dreamed not
aught. He replied_, The thing is decreed concerning which ye [did]
ask a determination, _whether ye have spoken truth or have lied_. And
he said unto him whom he judged to be the person who should escape of
them two, _namely the cup-bearer_, Mention me unto thy Lord, _and say
unto him, In the prison is a young man imprisoned unjustly.—And he
went forth._ But the devil caused him to forget to mention _Joseph_
unto his lord:[231] so he remained in the prison some years: _it is
said, seven; and it is said, twelve._

And the king of _Egypt,[232] Er-Reiyán the son of El-Weleed_ said,
Verily I saw [in a dream] seven fat kine which seven lean _kine_
devoured, and seven green ears of corn and _seven_ other _ears_ dried
up. O ye nobles, explain unto me my dream, if ye interpret a
dream.—They replied, _These are_ confused dreams, and we know not the
interpretation of dreams. And he who had escaped, of the two _young
men, namely the cup-bearer_, said (for he remembered after a time _the
condition of Joseph_), I will acquaint you with the interpretation
thereof; wherefore send me. _So they sent him; and he came unto
Joseph, and said_, O Joseph, O thou of great veracity, give us an
explanation respecting seven fat kine which seven lean [kine]
devoured, and seven green ears of corn and other [seven] dried up,
that I may return unto the men (_the king and his companions_), that
they may know _the interpretation thereof_. He replied, Ye shall sow
seven years as usual: (_this is the interpretation of the seven fat
kine_:) and what ye reap do ye leave in its ear, _lest it spoil_;
except a little, whereof ye shall eat. Then there shall come, after
that, seven grievous [years]: (_this is the interpretation of the
seven lean kine_:) they shall consume what ye shall have provided for
them, _of the grain sown in the seven years of plenty_, except a
little which ye shall have kept. Then there shall come, after that, a
year wherein men shall be aided _with rain_, and wherein they shall
press _grapes and other fruits_.—And the king said, _when the
messenger came unto him and acquainted him with the interpretation of
the dream_, Bring unto me him _who hath interpreted it_.

   (xii. 35-50.)

And when he had spoken unto him,[233] he said _unto him_, Thou art
this day firmly established with us, and intrusted _with our affairs_.
_What then seest thou fit for us to do?—He answered, Collect
provision, and sow abundant seed in these plentiful years, and
store up the grain in its ear: then the people will come unto thee
that they may obtain provision from thee. The king said, And who
will act for me in this affair? Joseph_ said, Set me over the
granaries of the land; for I am careful [and] knowing.—Thus did We
prepare an establishment for Joseph in the land, that he might take
for himself a dwelling therein wherever he pleased.—_And it is related
that the king crowned him, and put a ring on his finger, and instated
him in the place of Ḳiṭfeer, whom he dismissed from his office; after
which, Ḳiṭfeer died, and thereupon the king married him to his wife
Zeleekha, and she bore him two sons._[234] We bestow Our mercy on whom
We please, and We cause not the reward of the well-doers to perish:
and certainly the reward of the world to come is better for those who
have believed and have feared.

_And the years of scarcity began, and afflicted the land of Canaan and
Syria_, and the brethren of Joseph came, _except Benjamin, to procure
provision, having heard that the governor of Egypt gave food for its
price_.[235] And they went in unto him, and he knew them; but they
knew him not; _and they spake unto him in the Hebrew language;
whereupon he said, as one who distrusted them, What hath brought you
to my country? So they answered, For corn. But he said, Perhaps ye are
spies. They replied, God preserve us_ [_from being spies_]! _He said,
Then whence are ye? They answered, From the land of Canaan, and our
father is Jacob, the prophet of God. He said, And hath he sons beside
you? They answered, Yea: we were twelve; but the youngest of us went
away, and perished in the desert, and he was the dearest of us unto
him; and his uterine brother remained, and he retained him that he
might console himself thereby for the loss of the other._[236] _And
Joseph gave orders to lodge them, and to treat them generously._ And
when he had furnished them with their provision, _and given them their
full measure_, he said, Bring me your brother from your father,
_namely, Benjamin, that I may know your veracity in that ye have
said_. Do ye not see that I give full measure, and that I am the most
hospitable of the receivers of guests? But if ye bring him not, there
shall be no measuring _of corn_ for you from me, nor shall ye approach
me.—They replied, We will solicit his father for him, and we will
surely perform _that_. And he said unto his young men, Put their
money,[237] _which they brought as the price of the corn_, in their
sacks, that they may know it when they have returned to their family:
peradventure they will return _to us; for they will not deem it lawful
to keep it_.—And when they returned to their father, they said, O our
father, the measuring [of corn] is denied us _if thou send not our
brother unto him_; therefore send with us our brother, that we may
obtain measure; and we will surely take care of him. He said, Shall I
intrust you with him otherwise than as I intrusted you with his
brother _Joseph_ before? But God is the best guardian, and He is the
most merciful of those who show mercy.—And when they opened their
goods, they found their money had been returned unto them. They said,
O our father, what desire we _of the, generosity of the king greater
than this?_ This our money hath been returned unto us; and we will
provide corn for our family, and will take care of our brother, and
shall receive a camel-load more, _for our brother_. This is a quantity
easy _unto the king, by reason of his munificence_.—He said, I will by
no means send him with you until ye give me a solemn promise by God
that ye will assuredly bring him back unto me unless _an inevitable
and insuperable impediment_ encompass you. _And they complied with
this his desire._ And when they had given him their solemn promise, he
said, God is witness of what we say. _And he sent him with them_; and
he said, O my sons, enter not _the city of Miṣr_ by one gate; but
enter by different gates; _lest the_ [evil] _eye fall upon you_.[238]
But I shall not avert from you, _by my saying this_, anything _decreed
to befall you_ from God: _I only say this from a feeling of
compassion._ Judgment belongeth not [unto any] save unto God _alone_.
On Him do I rely, and on Him let those rely who rely.

And when they entered as their father had commanded them,
_separately_, it did not avert from them anything _decreed to befall
them_ from God, but [only satisfied] a desire in the soul of Jacob,
which he accomplished; _that is, the desire of averting the_ [evil]
_eye, arising from a feeling of compassion:_ and he was endowed with
knowledge, because We had taught him: but the greater number of men,
_namely the unbelievers_, know not _God’s inspiration of His saints_.
And when they went in unto Joseph, he received unto him (_or pressed
unto him_) his brother. He said, Verily I am thy brother;[239]
therefore be not sorrowful for that which they did _from envy to us_.
_And he commanded him that he should not inform them, and agree with
him that he should employ a stratagem to retain him with him._ And
when he had furnished them with their provision, he put the cup,
_which was a measure made of gold set with jewels_,[240] in the sack
of his brother _Benjamin_. Then a crier cried, _after they had gone
forth from the chamber of Joseph_, O company of travellers, ye are
surely thieves. They said (and turned unto them), What is it that ye
miss? They answered, We miss the king’s measure; and to him who shall
bring it [shall be given] a camel-load _of corn_, and I am surety for
it, _namely the load_. They replied, By God! ye well know that we have
not come to act corruptly in the land, and we have not been thieves.
_The crier and his companions said_, Then what shall be the recompense
of him _who hath stolen it_, if ye be liars _in your saying, We have
not been thieves,—and it be found among you?_ They answered, His
recompense [shall be that] he in whose sack it shall be found _shall
be made a slave:_ he, _the thief_, shall be compensation for it;
_namely, for the thing stolen. Such was the usage of the family of
Jacob._ Thus do We recompense the offenders _who are guilty of
theft.—So they turned towards Joseph, that he might search their
sacks._ And he began with their sacks, _and searched them_ before the
sack of his brother [Benjamin], _lest he should be suspected_. Then he
took it forth (_namely, the measure_) from the sack of his brother.
Thus, _saith God_, did We contrive a stratagem for Joseph. It was not
[lawful] for him to take his brother _as a slave for theft_ by the law
of the king of _Egypt_ (_for his recompense by his law was beating,
and a fine of twice the value of the thing stolen; not the being made
a slave_), unless God had pleased, _by inspiring him to inquire of his
brethren and inspiring them to reply according to their usage_. We
exalt unto degrees [of knowledge and honour] whom We please, _as
Joseph_; and [there is who is] knowing above every one [else] endowed
with knowledge.—They said, If he steal, a brother of his hath stolen
before; _namely, Joseph;[241] for he stole an idol of gold belonging
to the father of his mother, and broke it, that he might not worship
it._ And Joseph concealed it in his mind, and did not discover it to
them. He said _within himself_, Ye are in a worse condition _than
Joseph and his brother, by reason of your having stolen your brother
from your father and your having treated him unjustly_; and God well
knoweth what ye state _concerning him_.—They said, O prince, verily he
hath a father, a very old man, _who loveth him more than us, and
consoleth himself by him for the loss of his son who hath perished,
and the separation of him grieveth him_; therefore take one of us _as
a slave_ in his stead; for we see thee [to be one] of the beneficent.
He replied, God preserve us from taking [any] save him in whose
possession we found our property; for then (_if we took another_), we
[should be] unjust.

And when they despaired of [obtaining] him, they retired to confer
privately together. The chief of them _in age_ (_namely, Reuben, or in
judgment, namely, Judah_), said, Do ye not know that your father hath
obtained of you a solemn promise in the name of God, _with respect of
your brother_, and how ye formerly failed of your duty with respect to
Joseph? Therefore I will by no means depart from the land _of Egypt_
until my father give me permission _to return to him_, or God decide
for me _by the delivery of my brother_; and He is the best, _the most
just_, of those who decide. Return ye to your father, and say, O our
father, verily thy son hath committed theft, and we bore not testimony
_against him_ save according to that which we knew _of a certainty, by
our seeing the cup in his sack_; and we were not acquainted with what
was unseen _by us when we gave the solemn promise: had we known that
he would commit theft, we had not taken him. And send thou_, and ask
_the people of_ the city in which we have been (_namely, Miṣr_)[242]
and the company of travellers with whom we have arrived (_who were a
people of Canaan_): and we are surely speakers of truth.—_So they
returned to him, and said unto him those words_. He replied, Nay, your
minds have made a thing seem pleasant unto you, _and ye have done it_
(_he suspected them, on account of their former conduct in the case of
Joseph_); but patience is seemly: peradventure God will bring them
back (_namely, Joseph and his brother_) unto me, together; for He is
the Knowing _with respect to my case_, the Wise _in His acts_. And
he turned from them, and said, O! my sorrow for Joseph! And his eyes
became white in consequence of mourning, and he was oppressed with
silent grief. They said, By God, thou wilt not cease to think upon
Joseph until thou be at the point of death, or be of [the number of]
the dead. He replied, I only complain of my great and unconcealable
grief and my sorrow unto God; _not unto any beside Him; for He it is
unto whom complaint is made with advantage_; and I know [by
revelation] from God what ye know not; _namely, that the dream of
Joseph was true, and that he is living_. _Then he said_, O my sons, go
and seek news of Joseph and his brother; and despair not of the mercy
of God; for none despaireth of the mercy of God except the unbelieving

_So they departed towards Egypt, unto Joseph_; and when they went in
unto him, they said, O Prince, distress (_that is, hunger_) hath
affected us and our family, and we have come with paltry money (_it
was base money, or some other sort_): yet give us full measure, and be
charitable to us, _by excusing the badness of our money_; for God
recompenseth those who act charitably. _And he had pity upon them, and
compassion affected him, and he lifted up the curtain that was between
him and them: then_ he said _unto them in reproach_, Do ye know what
ye did unto Joseph, _in beating and selling and other actions_, and
his brother, _by your injurious conduct to him after the separation of
his brother_, when ye were ignorant _of what would be the result of
the case of Joseph?_[243] They replied, _after they had recognised him
(desiring confirmation)_, Art thou indeed Joseph? He answered, I am
Joseph, and this is my brother. God hath been gracious unto us, _by
bringing us together_; for whosoever feareth _God_ and is patient
[will be rewarded]: God will not suffer the reward of the well-doers
to perish. They replied, By God, verily God hath preferred thee above
us, and we have been indeed sinners. He said, [There shall be] no
reproach [cast] on you this day: God forgive you; for He is the most
merciful of those that show mercy. _And he asked them respecting his
father: so they answered, His eyes are gone. And he said_, Go ye
with this my shirt (_it was the shirt of Abraham, which he wore when
he was cast into the fire: it was on his_ [that is, Joseph’s] _neck_
[appended as an amulet] _in the well; and it was from paradise:
Gabriel commanded him to send it, and said, In it is its odour_ [that
is, the odour of paradise], _and it shall not be cast upon any one
afflicted_ [with a disease] _but he shall be restored to health_), and
cast it [said Joseph] upon the face of my father: he shall recover his
sight; and bring unto me all your family.—And when the company of
travellers had gone forth _from El-´Areesh[244] of Egypt_, their
father said, _unto those who were present of his offspring_, Verily I
perceive the smell of Joseph (_for the zephyr had conveyed it to him,
by permission of Him whose name be exalted, from the distance of three
days’ journey, or eight, or more_): were it not that ye think I dote,
_ye would believe me._ They replied, By God, thou art surely in thine
old error. And when the messenger of good tidings (_namely, Judah_)
came _with the shirt_ (_and he had borne the bloody shirt; wherefore
he desired to rejoice him, as he had grieved him_), he cast it upon
his face, and he recovered his sight. [Thereupon Jacob] said, Did I
not say unto you, I know, from God, what ye know not? They said, O our
father, ask pardon of our crimes for us; for we have been sinners. He
replied, I will ask pardon for you of my Lord; for He is the Very
forgiving, the Merciful.—_He delayed doing so until the first
appearance of the dawn_, _that the prayer might be more likely to be
answered; or, as some say, until the night of_ [that is, preceding]

_They then repaired to Egypt, and Joseph and the great men came forth
to meet them_; and when they went in unto Joseph, _in his pavilion or
tent_, he received unto him (_or pressed unto him_) his parents (_his
father and his mother and his maternal aunt_), and said unto _them_,
Enter ye Miṣr, if God please, in safety.[245] _So they entered; and
Joseph seated himself upon his couch_, and he caused his parents to
ascend upon the seat of state, and they (_that is, his parents and his
brethren_) fell down, bowing themselves unto him[246] (_bending, but
not putting the forehead_) [upon the ground]: _such being their mode
of obeisance in that time_. And he said, O my father, this is the
interpretation of my dream of former times: my Lord hath made it true;
and He hath shown favour unto me, since He took me forth from the
prison (_he said not, from the well,—from a motive of generosity, that
his brethren might not be abashed_), and hath brought you from the
desert, after that the devil had excited discord between me and my
brethren; for my Lord is gracious unto whom He pleaseth; for He is the
Knowing, the Wise.—_And his father resided with him four and twenty
years, or seventeen; and the period of his separation was eighteen, or
forty, or eighty years. And death came unto him; and thereupon he
charged Joseph that he should carry him and bury him by his fathers.
So he went himself and buried him. Then he returned to Egypt and
remained after him three and twenty years; and when his case was
ended, and he knew that he should not last_ [upon earth], _and his
soul desired the lasting possession, he said_, O my Lord, Thou hast
given me dominion, and taught me the interpretation of events (_or
dreams_): Creator of the heavens and the earth, Thou art my guardian
in this world and in the world to come. Make me to die a Muslim, and
join me with the righteous _among my forefathers. And he lived after
that a week, or more, and died a hundred and twenty years old. And the
Egyptians disputed concerning his burial: so they put him in a chest
of marble, and buried him in the upper part of the Nile, that the
blessing_ [resulting from him] _might be general to the tracts on each
side of it.[247] Extolled be the perfection of Him to whose dominion
there is no end!_

   (xii. 54-102).


And remember Our servant Job [Eiyoob[248]] when he called unto his
Lord, Verily the devil hath afflicted me with calamity and pain. (_The
affliction is attributed to the devil, though all was from God._) _And
it was said unto him_, Strike _the earth_ with thy foot. _And he did
so; whereupon a fountain of water sprang forth.[249] And it was said_,
This _is_ cool _water for thee_ to wash with, and to drink. _So he
washed himself and drank; and every disease that he had, external and
internal, quitted him._ And We gave unto him his family, and as many
more with them (_that is, God raised to life for him those of his
children who had died, and blest him with as many more_),[250] in Our
mercy and as an admonition unto those who are endowed with faculties
of understanding. [And We said unto him,] Take in thy hand a handful
_of dry grass, or of twigs_,[251] and strike with it _thy wife_ (_for
he had sworn that he would inflict upon her a hundred blows, because
she had staid away from him too long one day_[252]) and break not
thine oath _by abstaining from striking her._—_So he took a hundred
stalks of schoemanthus, or some other plant, and gave her one blow
with them._ Verily We found him a patient person. How excellent a
servant _was he_! For he was one who earnestly turned himself unto

   (xxxviii. 40-44.)


And _we sent_ unto Midian [Medyen] their brother Sho´eyb.[253] He
said, O my people, worship God; _assert His unity_. Ye have no other
deity but Him. And give not short measure and weight. Verily I see you
[to be] in a state of prosperity _that placeth you above the need of
doing so_; and verily I fear for you, _if ye believe not_, the
punishment of a day that will encompass _you with destruction_. And, O
my people, give full measure and weight with equity; and diminish not
unto men _aught_ of their things nor commit injustice in the earth,
acting corruptly, _by murder or other offences_. The residue of God
(_His supply that remaineth to you after the completion of the
measure_) will be better for you _than diminution_, if ye be
believers. And I am not a guardian over you, _to recompense you for
your actions: I have only been sent as an admonisher_.—They replied,
_in mockery_, O Sho´eyb, do thy prayers command thee that we are to
leave what our fathers worshipped, or _cease_ to do with our riches
what we please? Verily thou art the mild, the right director. _This
they said in mockery._—He said, O my people, tell me, if I act
according to an evident proof from my Lord, and He hath supplied me
with a good _lawful_ provision, shall I mix it up with what is
forbidden, and shall I not desire to oppose you, _and shall I betake
myself_ to that which I forbid you? I desire not [aught] but _your_
reformation, as far as I am able [to effect it], and my help is not
[in any] but in God: on Him do I rely, and unto Him do I turn me. And,
O my people, let not the opposition of me procure for you the
befalling you of the like of that which befell the people of Noah or
the people of Hood or the people of Ṣáliḥ. And _the abodes of the_
people of Lot [are] not distant from you: (_or the time of their
destruction was not long ago:_) _therefore be admonished_. And ask ye
forgiveness of your Lord, and turn unto Him with repentance; for my
Lord is merciful _to the believers_, loving _to them_. They replied, O
Sho´eyb, we understand not much of what thou sayest, and verily we see
thee to be weak[254] among us; and were it not for thy family, we had
stoned thee; for thou art not, in our estimation, an honourable
person: _thy family only are the honourable_. He said, O my people,
are my family more honourable in your estimation than God, _and do ye
abstain from slaying me for their sake, and not preserve me for God_,
and have ye cast Him behind you as a thing neglected? Verily my Lord
comprehendeth that which ye do, _and He will recompense you_. And, O
my people, act ye according to your condition: verily I will act
_according to mine_. Ye shall know on whom shall come a punishment
that shall render him vile, and who is a liar: and await ye _the issue
of your case_: verily I await with you.—And when Our degree _for their
destruction_ came [to be executed], we delivered Sho´eyb and those who
believed with him, in our mercy, and the cry _of Gabriel_ assailed
those who had offended, so that in the morning they were in their
abodes prostrate _and dead_, as though they had not dwelt therein. Was
not Midian removed as Thamood had been removed?

   (xi. 85-98.)


We will rehearse unto thee, [O Moḥammad, somewhat] of the history of
Moses [Moosá] and Pharaoh [Fir´own or Far´oon],[255] with truth, for
_the sake of_ people who believe. Verily Pharaoh exalted himself in
the land _of Egypt_, and divided its inhabitants into parties _to
serve him_. He rendered weak one class of them, _namely the children
of Israel_, slaughtering their male children, and preserving alive
their females, _because one of the diviners said unto him, A child
will be born among the children of Israel, who will be the means of
the loss of thy kingdom;_—for he was [one] of the corrupt doers. And
We desired to be gracious unto those who had been deemed weak in the
land, and to make them models of religion, and to make them the heirs
_of the possessions of Pharaoh_, and to establish them in the land _of
Egypt, and in Syria_, and to show Pharaoh and Hámán[256] and their
forces what they feared from them. And We said, by revelation, unto
the mother of Moses, _the child above-mentioned, of whose birth none
knew save his sister_, Suckle him; and when thou fearest for him cast
him in the river _Nile_, and fear not _his being drowned_, nor mourn
_for his separation_; for We will restore him unto thee, and will make
him [one] of the apostles.[257] _So she suckled him three months,
during which he wept not; and then she feared for him, wherefore she
put him into an ark pitched within and furnished with a bed for him,
and she closed it and cast it in the river Nile by night._ And the
family (_or servants_) of Pharaoh lighted upon him _in the ark on the
morrow of that night_;[258] _so they put it before him, and it was
opened, and Moses was taken forth from it, sucking milk from his
thumb:_ [this happened] that he might be unto them _eventually_ an
enemy (_slaying their men_) and an affliction (_making slaves of their
women_); for Pharaoh and Hámán (_his Wezeer_) and their forces were
sinners; _wherefore they were punished by his hand_. And the wife of
Pharaoh said, _when he and his servants had proposed to kill him_, He
_is_ delight of the eye unto me and unto thee: do not ye kill him:
peradventure he may be serviceable unto us, or we may adopt him as a
son. _And they complied with her desire_; and they knew not _the

And the heart of the mother of Moses, _when she knew of his having
been lighted upon_, became disquieted; and she had almost made him
known _to be her son_, had We not fortified her heart with patience,
that she might be [one] of the believers _in Our promise_. And she
said unto his sister _Maryam_ [or Mary], Trace him, _that thou mayest
know his case_. And she watched him from a distance, while they knew
not _that she was his sister and that she was watching him_. And We
forbade him the breasts, _preventing him from taking the breast of any
nurse except his mother_, before _his restoration to her_: so _his
sister_ said, Shall I direct you unto the people of a house who will
nurse him for you, and who will be faithful unto him? _And her offer
was accepted; therefore she brought his mother, and he took her
breast: so she returned with him to her house, as God hath said_,—And
We restored him to his mother, that her eye might be cheerful and that
she might not grieve, and that she might know that the promise of God
_to restore him unto her_ was true: but the greater number of them
(_that is, of mankind_) know not _this_. _And it appeared not that
this was his sister and this his mother; and he remained with her
until she had weaned him; and her hire was paid her, for every day a
deenár, which she took_ [without scruple] _because it was the wealth
of a hostile person. She then brought him unto Pharaoh, and he was
brought up in his abode, as God hath related of him in the Chapter of
the Poets,_[259] [where Pharaoh said unto Moses,] _Have we not brought
thee up among us a child, and hast thou not dwelt among us_ [thirty]
_years of thy life?_

And when he had attained his age of strength (_thirty years or thirty
and three_), and had become of full age (_forty years_), We bestowed
on him wisdom and knowledge _in religion, before he was sent as a
prophet_; and thus do We reward the well-doers. And he entered the
city _of Pharaoh, which was Munf_ [or Memphis], _after he had been
absent from him a while_, at a time when its inhabitants were
inadvertent, _at the hour of the noon-sleep_, and he found therein two
men fighting; this [being] of his party (_namely an Israelite_), and
this of his enemies (_an Egyptian_), _who was compelling the Israelite
to carry firewood to the kitchen of Pharaoh without pay_: and he who
was of his party begged him to aid him against him who was of his
enemies. _So Moses said unto the latter, Let him go. And it is said
that he replied to Moses, I have a mind to put the burden upon thee._
And Moses struck him with his fist, and killed him. _But he intended
not to kill him; and he buried him in the sand._ He said, This is of
the work of the devil, _who hath excited my anger_; for he is an enemy
_unto the son of Adam_, a manifest misleader _of him_. He said, _in
repentance_, O my Lord, verily I have acted injuriously unto mine own
soul, _by killing him_; therefore forgive me. So He forgave him: for
He is the Very Forgiving, the Merciful.—He said, O my Lord, by the
favours with which Thou hast favoured me, _defend me_, and I will by
no means be an assistant to the sinners _after this_.—And the next
morning he was afraid in the city, watching _for what might happen
unto him on account of the slain man_; and lo, he who had begged his
assistance the day before was crying out to him for aid _against
another Egyptian_. Moses said unto him, Verily thou art a person
manifestly in error, _because of that which thou hast done yesterday
and to-day_. But when he was about to lay violent hands upon him who
was an enemy unto them both, (_namely unto Moses and him who begged
his aid_,) _the latter_ said, _imagining that he would lay violent
hands upon him, because of that which he had said unto him_, O Moses,
dost thou desire to kill me, as thou killedst a soul yesterday? Thou
desirest not [aught] but to be an oppressor in the land, and thou
desirest not to be [one] of the reconcilers.—_And the Egyptian heard
that: so he knew that the killer was Moses; wherefore he departed
unto Pharaoh and acquainted him therewith, and Pharaoh commanded the
executioners to slay Moses, and they betook themselves to seek him._
But a man _who was a believer of the family of Pharaoh_[260] came from
the furthest part of the city, running _by a way that was nearer than
the way by which they had come_: he said, O Moses, verily the chiefs
_of the people of Pharaoh_ are consulting respecting thee, to slay
thee; therefore go forth _from the city_: verily I am unto thee [one]
of the admonishers. So he went forth from it in fear, watching _in
fear of pursuer, or for the aid of God_. He said, O my Lord, deliver
me from the unjust people _of Pharaoh_![261]

And when he was journeying towards Medyen, _which was the city of
Sho´eyb, eight days’ journey from Miṣr (named after Medyen the son of
Abraham), and he knew not the way unto it_, he said, Peradventure my
Lord will direct me unto the right way, _or the middle way. And God
sent unto him an angel, having in his hand a short spear; and he went
with him thither._[262] And when he came unto the water (_or well_) of
Medyen, he found at it a company of men watering _their animals_; and
he found besides them two women keeping away _their sheep from the
water_. He said _unto them_ (_namely the two women_), What is the
matter with you _that ye water not_? They answered, We shall not water
until the pastors shall have driven away _their animals_; and our
father is a very old man, _who cannot water the sheep_. And he watered
for them _from another well near unto them, from which he lifted a
stone that none could lift but ten persons._ Then he retired to the
shade _of an Egyptian thorn-tree on account of the violence of the
heat of the sun; and he was hungry_, and he said, O my Lord, verily I
am in need of the good _provision_ which Thou shalt send down unto me.
_And the two women returned unto their father in less time than they
were accustomed to do: so he asked them the reason thereof; and they
informed him of the person who had watered for them; whereupon he said
unto one of them, Call him unto me._

And one of them[263] came unto him, walking bashfully, _with the
sleeve of her shift over her face, by reason of her abashment at him_:
she said, My father calleth thee, that he may recompense thee with the
reward of thy having watered for us. _And he assented to her call,
disliking in his mind the receiving of the reward: but it seemeth that
she intended the compensation if he were of such as desired it. And
she walked before him; and the wind blew her garment, and her legs
were discovered: so he said unto her, Walk behind me and direct me in
the way. And she did so, until she came unto her father, who was
Sho´eyb, on whom be peace! and with him was_ [prepared] _a supper. He
said unto him, Sit and sup. But he replied, I fear lest it be a
compensation for my having watered for them, and we are a family who
seek not a compensation for doing good. He said, Nay, it is my custom
and hath been the custom of my fathers to entertain the guest and to
give food. So he ate; and acquainted, him with his case._ And when he
had come unto him, and had related to him the story _of his having
killed the Egyptian and their intention to kill him and his fear of
Pharaoh_, he replied, Fear not: thou hast escaped from the unjust
people. (_For Pharaoh had no dominion over Medyen._) One of them
[namely of the women] said (_and she was the one who had been sent_),
O my father, hire him _to tend our sheep in our stead_; for the best
whom thou canst hire is the strong, the trustworthy. _So he asked her
respecting him, and she acquainted him with what hath been above
related, his lifting up the stone of the well, and his saying unto
her, Walk behind me;—and moreover, that when she had come unto him,
and he knew of her presence, he hung down his head and raised it not._
He _therefore_ said, Verily I desire to marry thee unto one of these
my two daughters, on the condition that thou shalt be a hired servant
to me, _to tend my sheep_, eight years; and if thou fulfil ten
_years_, it shall be of thine own will; and I desire not to lay a
difficulty upon thee _by imposing as a condition the ten years_: thou
shalt find me, if God please, [one] of the just, _who are faithful to
their covenants_. He replied, This [be the covenant] between me and
thee: whichever of the two terms I fulfil, there shall be no injustice
against me _by demanding an addition thereto_; and God is witness of
what we say. _And the marriage-contract was concluded according to
this; and Sho´eyb ordered his daughter to give unto Moses a rod
wherewith to drive away the wild beasts from his sheep: and the rods
of the prophets were in his possession; and the rod of Adam, of the
myrtle of paradise, fell into her hand; and Moses took it, with the
knowledge of Sho´eyb._

   (xxviii. 21-28.)

Hath the history of Moses been related to thee? when he saw fire,[264]
_during his journey from Medyen, on his way to Egypt_, and said unto
his family, _or his wife_, Tarry ye _here_; for I have seen fire:
perhaps I may bring you a brand from it, or find at the fire a guide
_to direct me in the way. For he had missed the way in consequence of
the darkness of the night._ And when he came unto it (_and it was a
bramble-bush_), he was called to [by a voice saying], O Moses, verily
I am thy Lord; therefore pull off thy shoes;[265] for thou art in the
holy valley of Ṭuwa. And I have chosen thee _from among thy people_;
wherefore hearken attentively unto that which is revealed _unto thee
by Me_. Verily I am God: there is no Deity except Me; therefore
worship Me, and perform prayer in remembrance of Me. Verily the hour
is coming: I will manifest it _unto mankind, and its nearness shall
appear unto them by its signs_, that every soul may be recompensed
_therein_ for its good and evil work: therefore let not him who
believeth not in it, and followeth his lust, hinder thee from
_believing in_ it, lest thou perish. And what is that in thy right
hand, O Moses?—He answered, It is my rod, whereon I lean and wherewith
I beat down leaves for my sheep _that they may eat them_; and I have
other uses for it, _as the carrying of provision and the water-skin,
and the driving away of reptiles_. He said, Cast it down, O Moses. So
he cast it down; and lo, it was a serpent,[266] running along. _God_
said, Take it, and fear _it_ not:[267] we will restore it to its
former state. _And he put his hand into its mouth; whereupon it became
again a rod._ [And God said,] And put thy _right_ hand to thy _left_
arm-pit, _and take it forth_: it shall come forth white, without evil,
(_that is, without leprosy; shining like the rays of the sun, dazzling
the sight,_) as another sign, that We may show thee the greatest of
our signs _of thine apostleship_. (_And when he desired to restore his
hand to its first state, he put it as before described, and drew it
forth._) Go _as an apostle_ unto Pharaoh _and those who are with
him_; for he hath acted with exceeding impiety _by arrogating to
himself divinity_.—_Moses_ said, O my Lord, dilate my bosom, _that it
may hear the message_, and make my affair easy unto me, and loose the
knot of my tongue (_this had arisen from his having been burned in his
mouth by a live coal when he was a child_),[268] that they may
understand my speech _when I deliver the message_. And appoint unto me
a Wezeer of my family, _namely_ Aaron [Hároon] my brother. Strengthen
my back by him, and make him a colleague in my affair, that we may
glorify Thee much, and remember Thee much; for Thou knowest us.

God replied, Thou hast obtained thy petition, O Moses, and We have
been gracious unto thee another time: forasmuch as We revealed unto
thy mother what was revealed, _when she gave birth to thee and feared
that Pharaoh would kill thee among the others that were born_,
[saying,] Cast him into the ark, and then cast him, _in the ark_, into
the river _Nile_, and the river shall throw him on the shore; then an
enemy unto Me and an enemy unto him (_namely Pharaoh_) shall take him.
And I bestowed on thee, _after he had taken thee_, love from Me, _that
thou mightest be loved by men, so that Pharaoh and all that saw thee
loved thee_; and that thou mightest be bred up in Mine eye. [Also]
forasmuch as thy sister _Maryam_ went _that she might learn what
became of thee, after they had brought nurses and thou hadst refused
to take the breast of any one of them_, and she said, Shall I direct
you unto one who will nurse him? (_whereupon her proposal was_
_accepted, and she brought his mother_): so We restored thee to thy
mother, that her eye might become cheerful and that she might not
grieve. And thou slewest a soul, _namely the Copt in Egypt, and wast
sorry for his slaughter, on account of Pharaoh_, and We delivered thee
from sorrow; and We tried thee with _other_ trial, _and delivered thee
from it_.[269] And thou stayedst _ten_ years among the people of
Medyen, _after thou hadst come thither from Egypt, at the abode of
Sho´eyb the prophet, and he married thee to his daughter._ Then thou
camest according to _My_ decree, _as to the time of thy mission, when
thou hadst attained the age of forty years_, O Moses; and I have
chosen thee for Myself. Go thou and thy brother[270] _unto the
people_, with My _nine_ signs, and cease ye not to remember Me. Go ye
unto Pharaoh; for he hath acted with exceeding impiety, _by arrogating
to himself divinity_, and speak unto him with gentle speech,
_exhorting him to relinquish that conduct_: peradventure he will
consider, or will fear _God, and repent_. (_The_ [mere] _hope with
respect to the two_ [results is expressed] _because of God’s knowledge
that he would not repent._)—They replied, O our Lord, verily we fear
that he may be precipitately violent against us, _hastening to punish
us_, or that he may act with exceeding injustice _towards us_. He
said, Fear ye not; for I am with you: I will hear and will see.
Therefore go ye unto him, and say, Verily we are the apostles of thy
Lord: therefore send with us the children of Israel _unto Syria_, and
do not afflict them, _but cease to employ them in thy difficult works,
such as digging and building and carrying the heavy burden_. We have
come unto thee with a sign from thy Lord, _attesting our veracity in
asserting ourselves apostles_: and peace be on him who followeth the
right direction:—_that is, he shall be secure from punishment_. Verily
it hath been revealed unto us that punishment [shall be inflicted]
upon him who chargeth with falsehood _that wherewith we have come_,
and turneth away _from it_.

   (xx. 8-50.)

Then We sent after them, _namely the apostles before mentioned_ [who
were Sho´eyb and his predecessors], Moses, with Our signs unto Pharaoh
and his nobles, and they acted unjustly with respect to them,
_disbelieving in the signs_: 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 _unto thee_. _But he charged him with falsehood: so he
said, I am_ right not to say of God aught but the truth. I have come
unto you with a proof from your Lord: therefore send with me _to
Syria_ the children of Israel.—_Pharaoh_ said _unto him_, If thou hast
come with a sign _confirmatory of thy pretension_, produce it, if thou
be of those who speak truth, So he cast down his rod; and lo, it was a
manifest serpent.[271] And he drew forth his hand _from his bosom_;
and lo, it was white _and radiant_ unto the beholders.[272] The nobles
of the people of Pharaoh said, Verily this is a knowing enchanter: he
desireth to expel you from your land. What then do ye command?—They
answered, Put off for a time him and his brother, and send unto the
cities collectors [of the inhabitants], that they may bring unto thee
every knowing enchanter. And the enchanters came unto Pharaoh. They
said, Shall we surely have a reward if we be the party who overcome?
He answered, Yea; and verily ye shall be of those who are admitted
near [unto my person]. They said, O Moses, either do thou cast down
_thy rod_, or we will cast down _what we have with us_. He replied,
Cast ye. And when they cast down _their cords and their rods_, they
enchanted the eyes of the men, _diverting them from the true
perception of them_; and they terrified them; _for they imagined them
to be serpents running_; and they performed a great enchantment.[273]
And We spake by revelation unto Moses, [saying,] Cast down thy rod.
And lo, it swallowed up what they had caused to appear changed.[274]
So the truth was confirmed, and that which they had wrought became
vain; and they were overcome there, and were rendered contemptible.
And the enchanters cast themselves down prostrate:[275] they said, We
believe in the Lord of the worlds, the Lord of Moses and Aaron.
Pharaoh said, Have ye believed in Him before I have given you
permission? Verily this is a plot that ye have contrived in the city,
that ye may cause its inhabitants to go forth from it. But ye shall
know _what shall happen unto you at my hand_. I will assuredly cut off
your hands and your feet on the opposite sides—_the right hand of each
and his left foot_: then I will crucify you all.—They replied. Verily
unto our Lord shall we return, _after our death, of whatever kind it
be_; and thou dost not take vengeance on us but because we believed in
the signs of our Lord when they came unto us. O our Lord, pour upon us
patience, and cause us to die Muslims![276]

   (vii. 101-123.)

And Pharaoh said, Let me alone, that I may kill Moses, (_for they had
diverted him from killing him_,) and let him call upon his Lord _to
defend him from me_. Verily I fear lest he change your religion, _and
prevent your worshipping me_, or that he may cause corruption to
appear in the earth (_that is, slaughter, and other offences_).—And
Moses said _unto his people, having heard this_, Verily I have
recourse for defence unto my Lord and your Lord from every proud
person who believeth not in the day of account. And a man [who was] a
believer, of the family of Pharaoh (_it is said that he was the son of
his paternal uncle_,)[277] who concealed his faith, said, Will ye kill
a man because he saith, My Lord is God,—when he hath come unto you
with evident proofs from your Lord? And if he be a liar, on him [will
be] _the evil consequence of_ his lie; but if he be a speaker of
truth, somewhat of that _punishment with_ which he threateneth you
will befall you _speedily_. Verily God directeth not him who is a
transgressor, _or polytheist_, [and] a liar. O my people, ye have the
dominion to-day, being overcomers in the land _of Egypt_; but who will
defend us from the punishment of God _if ye kill his favourite
servants_, if it come unto us?[278]—Pharaoh said, I will not advise
you to do [aught] save what I see to be advisable, _which is, to kill
Moses_; and I will not direct you save into the right way. And he who
had believed said, O my people, verily I fear for you the like of the
day of the confederates,[279] the like of the condition of the people
of Noah and ´Ád and Thamood and those who [have lived] after them: and
God willeth not injustice unto [His] servants. And, O my people,
verily I fear for you the day of calling (_that is, the day of
resurrection, when the people of Paradise and those of Hell shall
often call one to another_). On the day when ye shall turn back _from
the place of reckoning unto hell_, ye shall have no protector against
God. And he whom God shall cause to err shall have no director.
Moreover, Joseph (_who was Joseph the son of Jacob according to one
opinion, and who lived unto the time of Moses; and Joseph the son of
Abraham the son of Joseph the son of Jacob, according to another
opinion_) came unto you before _Moses_, with evident _miraculous_
proofs; but ye ceased not to be in doubt respecting that wherewith he
came unto you, until, when he died, ye said _without proof_ God will
by no means send an apostle after him. Thus God causeth to err him who
is a transgressor, _or polytheist_, [and] a sceptic. They who dispute
respecting the signs of God, without any convincing proof having come
unto them, _their disputing_ is very hateful with God and with those
who have believed. Thus God sealeth every heart (_or the whole heart_)
of a proud contumacious person.

And Pharaoh said, O Hámán, build for me a tower, that I may reach the
avenues, the avenues of the heavens, and ascend unto the God of
Moses;[280] but verily I think him, _namely Moses_, a liar _in his
assertion that he hath any god but myself_. And thus the wickedness of
his deed was made to seem comely unto Pharaoh, and he was turned away
from the path _of rectitude_; and the artifice of Pharaoh [ended] not
save in loss. And he who had believed said, O my people, follow me: I
will direct you into the right way. O my people, this present life is
only a temporary enjoyment; but the world to come is the mansion of
firm continuance. Whosoever doeth evil, he shall not be recompensed
save with the like of it; and whosoever doeth good, whether male or
female, and is a believer, these shall enter Paradise; they shall be
provided for therein without reckoning. And, O my people, how is it
that I invite you unto salvation, and ye invite me unto the Fire? Ye
invite me to deny God, and to associate with Him that of which I have
no knowledge; but I invite you unto the Mighty, the Very Forgiving.
[There is] no doubt but that the [false gods] _to the worship of_
which ye invite me are not to be invoked in this world, nor in the
world to come, and that our return [shall be] unto God, and that the
transgressors [shall be] the companions of the Fire. And ye shall
remember, _when ye see the punishment_, what I say unto you; and I
commit my case unto God; for God seeth [His] servants.—_This he said
when they threatened him for his opposing their religion._ Therefore
God preserved him from the evils which they had artfully devised
(_namely slaughter_), and a most evil punishment encompassed the
people of Pharaoh,[281] _with Pharaoh himself (namely the
drowning); then_ they shall be exposed to the Fire morning and
evening;[282] and on the day when the hour [of judgment] shall come,
_it shall be said unto the angels_, Introduce the people of Pharaoh
into the most severe punishment.

   (xl. 27-49.)

And the nobles of the people of Pharaoh said _unto him_, Wilt thou let
Moses and his people go that they may act corruptly in the earth, _by
inviting to disobey thee_, and leave thee and thy gods? (_For he had
made for them little idols for them to worship, and he said, I am your
Lord and their Lord;—and therefore he said, I am your Lord the Most
High._) He answered, We will slaughter their male children and will
suffer their females to live: and verily we shall prevail over them.
_And thus they did unto them; wherefore the children of Israel
complained, and_ Moses said unto his people, Seek aid of God, and be
patient; for the earth belongeth unto God: He causeth whomsoever He
will of His servants to inherit it; and the _prosperous_ end is for
those who fear _God_. They replied, We have been afflicted before thou
camest unto us and since thou hast come unto us. He said, Perhaps your
Lord will destroy your enemy and cause you to succeed [him] in the
earth, and He will see how ye will act _therein_.—And We had punished
the family of Pharaoh with dearth and with scarcity of fruits, that
they might be admonished _and might believe_. But when good betided
them, they said, This is ours:—_that is, we deserve it;—and they were
not grateful for it_; and if evil befell them, they ascribed it to
the ill luck of Moses and those _believers_ who were with him. Nay,
their ill luck was only with God: _He brought it upon them_: but the
greater number of them know not _this_. And they said _unto Moses_,
Whatsoever sign thou bring unto us, to enchant us therewith, we will
not believe in thee. _So he uttered an imprecation upon them_, and We
sent upon them the flood, _which entered their houses and reached to
the throats of the persons sitting, seven days_,[283] and the locusts,
_which ate their corn and their fruits_, and the ḳummal, _or grubs, or
a kind of tick, which sought after what the locusts had left_, and the
frogs, _which filled their houses and their food_, and the blood _in
their waters_; distinct signs: but they were proud, _refusing to
believe in them_, and were a wicked people. And when the punishment
fell upon them, they said, O Moses, supplicate for us thy Lord,
according to that which He hath covenanted with thee, _namely that He
will withdraw from us the punishment if we believe_: verily, if thou
remove from us the punishment, we will assuredly believe thee, and we
will assuredly send with thee the children of Israel. But when We
removed from them the punishment until a period at which they should
arrive, lo, they brake their promise. Wherefore We took vengeance on
them, and drowned them in the sea, because they charged our signs with
falsehood and were heedless of them. And We caused the people who had
been rendered weak, _by being enslaved_, to inherit the eastern parts
of the earth and its western parts,[284] which we blessed _with water
and trees, (namely Syria)_; and the gracious word of thy Lord was
fulfilled on the children of Israel, because they had been patient;
and We destroyed the _structures_ which Pharaoh and his people had
built and what they had erected.[285]

   (vii. 124-133.)

We brought the children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh and his
troops pursued them with violence and hostility, until, when drowning
overtook him, he said, I believe that there is no deity but He in whom
the children of Israel believe, and I am [one] of the Muslims. _But
Gabriel thrust into his mouth some of the mire of the sea, lest mercy
should be granted him, and said_, Now _thou believest_, and thou hast
been rebellious hitherto, and wast [one] of the corrupters. But to-day
we will raise thee with thy lifeless body _from the sea_, that thou
mayest be a sign unto those [who shall come] after thee. (_It is
related, on the authority of Ibn-´Abbás, that some of the children of
Israel doubted his death; wherefore he was brought forth to them that
they might see him._)[286] But verily many men are heedless of Our

   (x. 90-92.)

And We brought the children of Israel across the sea; and they came
unto a people who gave themselves up to _the worship of_ idols
belonging to them;[287] [whereupon] they said, O Moses, make for us a
god (_an idol for us to worship_), like as they have gods. He replied,
Verily ye are a people who are ignorant, _since ye have requited God’s
favour towards you with that which ye have said_; for that [religion]
in which these are [occupied shall be] destroyed, and vain is that
which they do. He said, Shall I seek for you any other deity than God,
when He hath preferred you above the peoples _of your time_?

   (vii. 134-136.)

And We caused the thin clouds to shade you _from the heat of the sun
in the desert_, and caused the manna and the quails[288] to descend
upon you, _and said_, Eat of the good things which We have given you
for food, _and store not up.—But they were ungrateful for the benefit,
and stored up; wherefore it was cut off from them_. And they injured
not Us _thereby_; but they did injure their own souls.

   (ii. 54.)

[Remember, O children of Israel,] when ye said, O Moses, we will not
bear patiently the having one _kind of_ food, _the manna and the
quails_; therefore supplicate for us thy Lord, that He may produce for
us _somewhat_ of that which the earth bringeth forth, of its herbs and
its cucumbers and its wheat and its lentils and its onions:—he said
_unto them_, Will ye take in exchange that which is worse for that
which is better?—_But they refused to recede; therefore he supplicated
God, and He said_, Get ye down into a great city;[289] for ye shall
have _therein_ what ye have asked.—And the _marks of_ abjection and
poverty were stamped upon them: _so these characteristics necessarily
belong to them, even if they are rich, as necessarily as the stamped
coin belongeth to its die_; and they returned with indignation from
God. This was because they did disbelieve in the signs of God, and
slay the prophets (_as Zechariah and John_) unjustly: this was because
they rebelled and did transgress.

   (ii. 58.)

And _remember_ when Moses asked drink for his people, _who had become
thirsty in the desert_, and We said, Strike with thy rod the stone.
(_It was the stone that fled away with his garment:[290] it was
light, square, like the head of a man, marble or kedhdhán._[291])
_Accordingly he struck it_; and there gushed out from it twelve
fountains, _according to the number of the tribes_, all men (_each
tribe of them_) knowing their drinking-place. _And We said unto them_,
Eat ye and drink of the supply of God, and commit not evil in the
earth, acting corruptly.

   (ii. 57.)

_Remember_ also when We obtained your bond _that ye would do according
to that which is contained in the Law_, and _had_ lifted up over you
the mountain [namely Mount Sinai], _pulled it up by the roots and
raised it over you when ye had refused to accept the Law, and We
said_, Receive that which We have given you, with resolution, and
remember that which is contained in it, _to do according thereto_:
peradventure ye will fear _the Fire, or acts of disobedience_.—Then ye
turned back after that; and had it not been for the grace of God
towards you and His mercy, ye had certainly been of those who perish.
And ye know those of you who transgressed on the Sabbath, _by catching
fish, when We had forbidden them to do so_ (_and they were the people
of Eyleh_[292],) and We said unto them, Be ye apes, driven away from
the society of men.—_Thereupon they became such, and they perished
after three days._—And We made it (_namely that punishment_) an
example unto those who were contemporary with them and those who came
after them, and a warning to the pious.

   (ii. 60-62.)

And We appointed unto Moses thirty nights, _at the expiration of which
We would speak to him, on the condition of his fasting during them;
and they were_ [the nights of the month of] _Dhu-l-Ḳaạdeh; and he
fasted during them: but, when they were ended, he disliked the smell
of his breath; so he used a tooth-stick; whereupon God commanded him
to fast ten other nights, that He might speak to Him with the odour of
his breath,[293] as He whose name be exalted hath said_,—and We
completed them by [adding] ten _nights of Dhu-l-Ḥijjeh_: so the stated
time of his Lord was completed, forty nights. And Moses said unto his
brother Aaron, _at his departure to the mountain for the private
collocution_, Be thou my deputy among my people, and act rightly, and
follow not the way of the corrupt doers _by agreeing with them in acts
of disobedience_. And when Moses came at Our appointed time, and his
Lord spake unto him _without an intermediary_, he said, O my Lord,
show me _Thyself_, that I may see Thee. He replied, Thou shalt not see
Me: but look at the mountain, _which is stronger than thou_; and if it
remain firm in its place, then shalt thou see Me. And when his Lord
displayed Himself to the mountain (_that is, when there appeared, of
His light, half of the tip of His little finger, as related in a
tradition which El-Ḥákim hath verified_), He reduced it to powder,
_levelling it even with the ground around it_; and Moses fell down in
a swoon. And when he recovered, he said, Extolled be Thy perfection! I
turn unto Thee repenting, and I am the first of the believers _in my
time_.—_God_ said _unto him_, O Moses, I have chosen thee above the
people _of thy time_ [by honouring thee] by My commissions and by My
speaking _unto thee_: therefore receive what I have given thee, and be
of those who are grateful. And We wrote for him upon the tables of
_the Law_[294] (_which were of the lote-tree of Paradise, or of
chrysolite, or of emerald; in number seven, or ten_) an admonition
concerning every _requisite_ matter _of religion_, and a distinct
explanation of everything; _and said_, Therefore receive it with
resolution, and command thy people to act according to the most
excellent [precepts] thereof.

   (vii. 138-142.)

And the people of Moses, after it (_that is, after his departure for
the private collocution_), made, of their ornaments (_which they had
borrowed of the people of Pharaoh_), a corporeal calf[295] _which
Es-Sámiree cast for them,_[296] _and_ which lowed; _for he had the
faculty of doing so in consequence of their having put into its mouth
some dust taken from_ [beneath] _the hoof of the horse of Gabriel; and
they took it as a god_. Did they not see that it spake not to them,
nor directed them in the way? They took it _as a god_, and were
offenders. But when they repented, and saw that they had erred, _which
was after the return of Moses_, they said, Verily if our Lord do not
have mercy upon us and forgive us, we shall assuredly be of those who

   (vii. 146-148.)

And Moses returned unto his people[297] enraged _against them_,
exceedingly sorrowful. He said, O my people, did not your Lord promise
you a good _true_ promise, _that He would give you the Law?_ But did
the time of _my absence_ seem tedious to you, or did ye desire that
indignation from your Lord should befall you, and therefore did ye
break your promise to me, _and abstain from coming after one?_—They
answered, We did not break our promise to thee of our own authority;
but we were made to carry loads of the ornaments of the people _of
Pharaoh_ (_which the children of Israel had borrowed of them under
pretence of_ [requiring them for] _a wedding, and which remained in
their possession_), and we cast them _into the fire, by order of
Es-Sámiree_. And in like manner also Es-Sámiree cast _their ornaments
which he had, and some of the dust which he had taken from the traces
of the hoofs of the horse of Gabriel;_ and he produced unto them a
corporeal calf, _of flesh and blood_, which lowed, _by reason of the
dust, the property of which is to give life to that into which it is
put; and he had put it, after he had moulded the calf, into its
mouth_. And they (_namely, Es-Sámiree and his followers_) said, This
is your god, and the god of Moses; but he hath forgotten _his lord
here, and gone to seek him. God saith_, But did they not see that it
returned them not an answer, nor was able to cause them hurt or
profit? And Aaron had said unto them, before _the return of Moses_, O
my people, ye are only tried by it; and verily your Lord is the
Compassionate; therefore follow me, _by worshipping Him_, and obey my
command. They replied, We will by no means cease to be devoted to _the
worship of_ it until Moses return unto us. _Moses_ said _after his
return_, O Aaron, what hindered thee, when thou sawest that they had
gone astray, from following me? Hast thou then been disobedient to my
command, _by remaining among them who worshipped another than God_?
—He answered, O son of my mother, seize me not by my beard (_for he
had taken hold of his beard with his left hand_), nor by [the hair of]
my head (_for he had taken hold of his hair with his right hand, in
anger_). Verily I feared lest _if I followed thee (for a company of
those who worshipped the calf would inevitably have followed me)_ thou
shouldst say, Thou hast made a division among the children of Israel,
and hast not waited for my sentence. _Moses_ said, And what was thy
motive _for doing as thou hast_, O Sámiree? He answered, I saw that
which they saw not;[298] therefore I took a handful _of dust_ from the
foot-marks _of the horse_ of the apostle _Gabriel_, and cast it _into
the molten calf_; and thus my soul allured me _to take a handful of
the dust above-mentioned, and to cast it upon that which had no life,
that it might have life; and I saw that thy people had demanded of
thee that thou wouldst make them a god; so my soul suggested to me
that this calf should be their god. Moses_ said _unto him_, Then get
thee gone _from among us_, and [the punishment] for thee during _the
period of thy_ life [shall be], that thou shalt say _unto whomsoever
thou shalt see_, Touch _me_ not:—(_so he used to wander about the
desert, and when he touched any one, or any one touched him, they both
became affected with a burning fever:_) and verily for thee is a
threat which thou shalt by no means find to be false. And look at thy
god, to _the worship of_ which thou hast continued devoted. We will
assuredly burn it: then we will assuredly reduce it to powder and
scatter it in the sea. (_And Moses, after he had slaughtered it, did
this._) Your deity is God only, except whom there is no deity. He
comprehendeth all things by _His_ knowledge.—Thus, _O Moḥammad_, do We
relate unto thee accounts of what hath happened heretofore; and We
have given thee, from Us, an admonition; _namely the Ḳur-án_.

   (xx. 88-99.)

And they were made to drink down the calf into their hearts,[299]
(_that is, the love of it mingled with their hearts as drink
mingleth_,) because of their unbelief.

   (ii. 87.)

[Remember, O children of Israel,] when Moses said unto his people _who
worshipped the calf_, O my people, verily ye have injured your own
souls by your taking to yourselves the calf _as a god_; therefore turn
with repentance unto your Creator _from the worship of it_, and slay
one another: (_that is, let the innocent among you slay the
criminal_:) this will be best for you in the estimation of your
Creator. _And He aided you to do that, sending upon you a black cloud,
lest one of you should see another and have compassion on him, until
there were slain of you about seventy thousand._ And _thereupon_ He
became propitious towards you, _accepting your repentance_; for He is
the Very Propitious, the Merciful.

   (ii. 51.)

[Remember also, O children of Israel,] when ye said, _having gone
forth with Moses to beg pardon of God for your worship of the calf,
and having heard his words_, O Moses, we will not believe thee until
we see God manifestly:—whereupon the vehement sound assailed you, _and
ye died_, while ye beheld _what happened to you_. Then We raised you
to life after ye had been dead, that peradventure ye might give

   (ii. 52, 53.)

And Moses chose _from_ his people seventy men, _of those who had not
worshipped the calf, by the command of God_, at the time appointed by
Us _for their coming to ask pardon for their companions’ worship of
the calf; and he went forth with them_; and when the convulsion (_the
violent earthquake_) took them away (_because, saith Ibn-´Abbás, they
did not separate themselves from their people when the latter
worshipped the calf_), _Moses_ said, O my Lord, if Thou hadst pleased,
Thou hadst destroyed them before _my going forth with them, that the
children of Israel might have beheld it and might not suspect me_; and
me [also]. Wilt Thou destroy us for that which the foolish among us
have done? It is naught but Thy trial: Thou wilt cause to err thereby
whom Thou pleasest, and Thou wilt rightly guide whom Thou pleasest.
Thou art our guardian; and do Thou forgive us and have mercy upon us;
for Thou art the best of those who forgive: and appoint for us in this
world what is good, and in the world to come; for unto Thee have we
turned with repentance.—_God_ replied, I will afflict with My
punishment whom I please, and My mercy extendeth over everything _in
the world_; and I will appoint it, _in the world to come_, for those
who fear and give the legal alms, and those who believe on Our signs,
who shall follow the apostle, the illiterate [or Gentile, _i.e._, Arab]
prophet, _Moḥammad_, whom they shall find written down with them in the
Pentateuch and the Gospel, _by his name and his description_. He will
command them that which is right, and forbid them that which is evil;
and will allow them as lawful the good things _among those forbidden in
their law_, and prohibit them the impure, _as carrion and other things_,
and will take off from them their burden and the yokes that were upon
them, _as the slaying of a soul_ [for an atonement] _in repentance, and
the cutting off of the mark left by impurity_. And those who shall
believe in him and honour him and assist him and follow the light which
shall be sent down with him, _namely the Ḳur-án_, these shall be the

   (vii. 154-156).

And _remember_ when Moses said unto his people, O my people, remember
the favour of God towards you, since He hath appointed prophets from
among you, and made you princes (_masters of servants and other
attendants_), and given you what He hath not given any [other] of the
peoples (_as the manna and the quails and other things_). O my people,
enter the Holy Land which God hath decreed for you (_namely Syria_),
and turn not back, lest ye turn losers.—They replied, O Moses, verily
there is in it a gigantic people, _of the remains of the tribe of
´Ad_, and we will not enter it until they go forth from it; but if
they go forth from it, then we will enter.—[Thereupon] two men, of
those who feared _to disobey God, namely Joshua and Caleb, of the
chiefs whom Moses sent to discover the circumstances of the giants,
and_ upon whom God had conferred favour, _and who had concealed what
they had seen of the state of the giants, excepting from Moses,
wherefore the other chiefs became cowardly_, said _unto them_, Enter
ye upon them through the gate _of the city, and fear them not; for
they are bodies without hearts_; and when ye enter it, ye overcome;
and upon God place your dependence, if ye be believers.—[But] they
said, O Moses, we will never enter it while they remain therein.
Therefore go thou and thy Lord, and fight: for we remain here.—_Then
Moses_ said, O my Lord, verily I am not master of any but myself and
my brother: therefore distinguish between us and the unrighteous
people.—_God_ replied, Verily it (_namely the Holy Land_) shall be
forbidden them forty years; they shall wander in perplexity in the
land: and be not thou solicitous for the unrighteous people.—_The
land_ [through which they wandered] _was_ [only] _nine leagues_ [in
extent]. _They used to journey during the night with diligence; but in
the morning they found themselves in the place whence they had set
forth; and they journeyed during the day in like manner. Thus they did
until all of them had become extinct, excepting those who had not
attained the age of twenty years; and it is said that they were six
hundred thousand. Aaron and Moses died in the desert; and mercy was
their lot: but punishment was the lot of those. And Moses begged his
Lord, when he was about to die, that He would bring him as near as a
stone’s throw to the Holy Land: wherefore He did so. And Joshua was
made a prophet after the forty [years], and he gave orders to fight
against the giants. So he went with those who were with him, and
fought against them: and it was Friday; and the sun stood still for
him awhile, until he had made an end of fighting against them._

   (v. 23-29).

Ḳároon[301] [or Korah] was of the people of Moses (_he was the son of
his paternal uncle, and the son of his maternal aunt, and he believed
in him_); but he behaved insolently towards them; for We had bestowed
upon him such treasures that their keys were heavy burdens for a
company of men endowed with strength, _in number, as some say,
seventy; and some, forty; and some, ten; and some, another number.
Remember when his people (the believers among the children of Israel)_
said unto him, Rejoice not _exultingly in the abundance of thy
wealth_; for God loveth not those who _so_ rejoice; but seek to
attain, by means of the _wealth_ which God hath given thee, the latter
abode [of Paradise], _by expending thy wealth in the service of God_;
and neglect not thy part in this world, _to work therein for the world
to come_; but be beneficent _unto mankind, by bestowing alms_, as God
hath been beneficent unto thee; and seek not to act corruptly in the
earth; for God loveth not the corrupt doers. He replied, I have only
been given it on account of the knowledge that I possess. _For he was
the most learned of the children of Israel in the Law, after Moses and
Aaron. God saith_, Did he not know that God had destroyed before him,
of the generations, those that were mightier than he in strength and
who had amassed more abundance _of wealth_? And the wicked shall not
be asked respecting their sins, _because God knoweth them: therefore
they shall be sent into the Fire without a reckoning_. And _Ḳároon_
went forth unto his people in his pomp, _with his many dependants
mounted, adorned with garments of gold and silk, upon decked horses
and mules_. Those who desired the present life said, O would that we
had the like of that which hath been bestowed on Ḳároon _in this
world_! Verily he is possessed of great good fortune!—But those unto
whom knowledge _of what God hath promised in the world to come_ had
been given, said _unto them_, Woe to you! The reward of God _in the
world to come_ (_which is Paradise_) is better for him who believeth
and worketh righteousness _than that which hath been bestowed on
Ḳároon in the present world_; and none shall receive it but the
patient _in the service of God_. And We caused the earth to cleave
asunder and swallow up him and his mansion,[302] and he had no forces
to defend him, in the place of God, nor was he of the [number of the]
saved. And the next morning, those who had wished for his place the
day before said, Aha! God enlargeth provision unto whom He pleaseth of
His servants, and is sparing _of it unto whom He pleaseth!_ Had not
God been gracious unto us, He had caused [the earth] to cleave asunder
and swallow up us! Aha! the ungrateful _for His benefits_ do not

   (xxviii. 76-82.)

_Remember_, [O children of Israel,] when Moses said unto his people
(_when one of them had been slain, whose murderer was not known, and
they asked him to beg God that He would discover him to them,
wherefore he supplicated Him_), Verily God commandeth you to sacrifice
a cow. They said, Dost thou make a jest of us? He said, I beg God to
preserve me from being _one_ of the foolish. _So when they knew that
he decidedly intended_ [what he had ordered], they said, Supplicate
for us thy Lord, that He may manifest to us what she is; _that is,
what is her age_. _Moses_ replied, He saith, She is a cow neither old
nor young; _but_ of a middle age, between those _two_: therefore do as
ye are commanded. They said, Supplicate for us thy Lord, that He may
manifest to us what is her colour. He replied, He saith, She is a
red[303] cow: her colour is very bright: she rejoiceth the beholders.
They said, Supplicate for us thy Lord, that He may manifest to us what
she is, _whether she be a pasturing or a working cow_; for cows _of
the description mentioned_ are to us like one another; and we, if God
please, shall indeed be rightly directed _to her_. (_In a tradition it
is said, Had they not said, ‘If God please,’—she had not ever been
manifested to them._) He replied, He saith, She is a cow not subdued
_by work_ that plougheth the ground, nor doth she water the field:
[she is] free _from defects and the marks of work_; there is no colour
in her different from the rest of her colour. They said, Now thou hast
brought the truth. _And they sought her, and found her in the
possession of the young man who acted piously towards his mother, and
they bought her for as much gold as her hide would contain._[304]
Then they sacrificed her; but they were near to leaving it undone, on
_account of the greatness of her price_. (_And in a tradition it is
said, Had they sacrificed any cow whatever, He had satisfied them: but
they acted hardly towards themselves; so God acted hardly towards
them._) And when ye slew a soul, and contended together respecting it,
(and God brought forth [to light] that which ye did conceal—_this is
the beginning of the story_ [and was the occasion of the order to
sacrifice this particular cow,]) We said, Strike him (_that is, the
slain person_) with part of her. _So he was struck with her tongue, or
the root of her tail, or, as some say, with her right thigh; whereupon
he came to life, and said, Such-a-one and such-a-one slew me,—to the
two sons of his uncle. And he died. They two_ [the murderers] _were
therefore deprived of the inheritance, and were slain._[305] Thus God
raiseth to life the dead, and showeth you His signs (_the proof of His
power_), that peradventure ye may understand, _and know that He who is
able to raise to life one soul is able to raise to life many souls._
Then your hearts became hard, _O ye Jews, so as not to accept the
truth_, after that, and they [were] as stones, or more hard: for of
stones there are indeed some from which rivers gush forth; and of them
there are indeed some that cleave asunder and water issueth from them;
and of them there are indeed some that fall down through fear of God;
_whereas your hearts are not impressed, nor do they grow soft, nor do
they become humble._ But God is not heedless of that which ye do: _He
only reserveth you unto your time._

   (ii. 63-69.)

_Remember_ when Moses said to his young man _Joshua the son of Nun,
who served him and acquired knowledge from him_, I will not cease _to
go forward_ until I reach the place where the two seas (_the Sea of
Greece and the Sea of Persia_) meet, or travel for a long space of
time. And when they reached the place where they (_the two seas_) met
they forgot their fish: _Joshua forgot to take it up, on their
departure; and Moses forgot to remind him_; and it made its way in the
sea by a hollow passage, _God withholding the water from it_. And when
they had passed beyond _that place, and proceeded until the time of
the morning-meal on the following day_, [Moses] said unto his young
man, Bring us our morning-meal: we have experienced fatigue from this
our journey. He replied, What thinkest thou? When we repaired to the
rock to rest _at that place_, I forgot the fish, and none made me
forget to mention it but the devil; and it made its way in the sea in
a wonderful manner.—_Moses_ said, That (_namely our loss of the fish_)
is what we were desiring; _for it is a sign unto us of our finding him
whom we seek_. And they returned by the way that they had come,
following the footsteps, _and came to the rock_. And they found one of
Our servants (_namely El-Khiḍr_[306]) unto whom We had granted mercy
from Us (_that is the gift of prophecy in the opinion of some, and the
rank of a saint according to another opinion which most of the learned
hold_), and whom We had taught knowledge from Us respecting things
unseen.—_El-Bukháree hath related a tradition stating that Moses
performed the office of a preacher among the children of Israel, and
was asked who was the most knowing of men; to which he answered,
I:—whereupon God blamed him for this, because he did not refer the
knowledge thereof to Him. And God said unto him by revelation,
Verily I have a servant at the place where the two seas meet, and he
is more knowing than thou. Moses said, O my Lord, and how shall I meet
with him? He answered, Thou shalt take with thee a fish, and put it
into a measuring-vessel, and where thou shalt lose the fish, there is
he. So he took a fish, and put it into a vessel. Then he departed, and
Joshua the son of Nun departed with him, until they came to the rock,
where they laid down their heads and slept. And the fish became
agitated in the vessel, and escaped from it, and fell into the sea,
and it made its way in the sea by a hollow passage, God withholding
the water from the fish so that it became like a vault over it: and
when Moses’ companion awoke, he forgot to inform him of the fish._

Moses said unto him [namely El-Khiḍr], Shall I follow thee, that thou
mayest teach me [part] of that which thou hast been taught, for a
direction _unto me_? He answered, Verily thou canst not have patience
with me. For how canst thou be patient with respect to that whereof
thou comprehendest not the knowledge?—He replied, Thou shalt find me,
if God please, patient; and I will not disobey any command of thine.
He said, Then if thou follow me, ask me not respecting anything: _but
be patient_ until I give thee an account thereof. _And Moses assented
to his condition._ And they departed, _walking along the shore of the
sea_, until, when they embarked in the ship _that passed by them_, he
(El-Khiḍr) made a hole in it, _by pulling out a plank or two planks
from it on the outside by means of an axe when it reached the middle
of the sea. Moses_ said _unto him_, Hast thou made a hole in it that
thou mayest drown its people? Thou hast done a grievous thing.—(_But
it is related that the water entered not the hole._) He replied, Did I
not say that thou couldst not have patience with me? [Moses] said,
Chastise me not for my forgetfulness, nor impose on me a difficulty in
my case.—And they departed, _after they had gone forth from the
vessel_, _walking on_, until, when they found a boy _who had not
attained the age of knowing right and wrong, playing with other
children, and he was the most beautiful of them in countenance_, and
he (_El-Khiḍr_) slew him, _Moses_ said _unto him_, Hast thou slain an
innocent soul, without _his having slain_ a soul? Thou hast done an
iniquitous thing.—He replied, Did I not say that thou couldst not have
patience with me? [Moses] said, If I ask thee concerning anything
after this _time_, suffer me not to accompany thee. Now hast thou
received from me an excuse _for thy separating thyself from me_.—And
they departed [and proceeded] until, when they came to the people of a
city (_which was Antioch[307]_), they asked food of its people; but
they refused to entertain them: and they found therein a wall, _the
height whereof was a hundred cubits_, which was about to fall down;
whereupon he (_El-Khiḍr_) set it upright _with his hand_. _Moses_ said
_unto him_, If thou wouldst, thou mightest have obtained pay for it,
_since they did not entertain us, notwithstanding our want of food_.
_El-Khiḍr_ said _unto him_, This shall be a separation between me and
thee; _but before my separation from thee_, I will declare unto thee
the interpretation of that which thou couldst not bear with patience.

As to the vessel, it belonged to _ten_ poor men,[308] who pursued
their business on the sea; and I desired to render it unsound; for
there was behind them a king, _an unbeliever_, who took every _sound_
vessel by force. And as to the boy, his parents were believers, and we
feared that he would transgress against them rebelliously and
impiously: _for, according to a tradition related by Muslim, he was
constituted by nature an unbeliever, and had he lived he had so
acted_; wherefore we desired that their Lord should create for them a
better than he in virtue, and [one] more disposed than he to filial
piety. _And God created for them a daughter, who married a prophet,
and gave birth to a prophet, by means of whom God directed a people
to the right way_. And as to the wall, it belonged to two orphan
youths in the city, and beneath it was a treasure _buried_, _of gold
and silver_, belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man;
and thy Lord desired that they should attain their age of strength and
take forth their treasure through the mercy of thy Lord. And I did it
not (_namely what hath been mentioned_) of mine own will, _but by
direction of God_. This is the interpretation of that which thou
couldst not bear with patience.

   (Chap. xviii. 59-81.)


Hast thou not considered the assembly of the children of Israel after
_the death of_ Moses, when they said unto a prophet of theirs, _namely
Samuel_, Set up for us a king, _under whom_ we will fight in the way
of God? He said _unto them_, If fighting be prescribed as incumbent on
you, will ye, peradventure, abstain from fighting? They replied, And
wherefore should we not fight in the way of God, since we have been
expelled from our habitations and our children _by their having been
taken prisoners and slain?_—_The people of Goliath_ [Jáloot] _had done
thus unto them_.—But when fighting was commanded them, they turned
back, excepting a few of them, _who crossed the river with Saul_
[Ṭáloot], _as will be related_. And God knoweth the offenders. _And
the prophet begged his Lord to send a king; whereupon he consented to
send Saul._ And their prophet said unto them, Verily God hath set up
Saul as your king. They said, How shall he have the dominion over us,
when we are more worthy of the dominion than he, (_for he was not of
the royal lineage, nor of the prophetic, and he was a tanner, or a
tender of flocks or herds,_) and he hath not been endowed with ample
wealth? He replied, Verily God hath chosen him _as king_ over you, and
increased him in largeness of knowledge and of body, (_for he was the
wisest of the children of Israel at that time, and the most comely of
them, and the most perfect of them in make,_) and God giveth his
kingdom unto whom He pleaseth; and God is ample _in His beneficence_,
knowing _with respect to him who is worthy of the kingdom_.—And their
prophet said unto them, _when they demanded of him a sign in proof of
his kingship_, Verily the sign of his kingship shall be that the ark
shall come unto you (_in it were the images of the prophets: God sent
it down unto Adam, and it passed into their possession; but the
Amalekites took it from them by force: and they used to seek victory
thereby over their enemy, and to advance it in the fight, and to trust
in it, as He—whose name be exalted!—hath said_); therein [shall be]
tranquillity from your Lord,[309] and relics of what the family of
Moses and the family of Aaron have left: _namely, the two shoes (or
sandals) of Moses, and his rod, and the turban of Aaron, and a measure
of the manna that used to descend upon them, and the fragments of the
tables_ [of the Law]: the angels shall bear it. Verily in this shall
be a sign unto you _of his kingship_, if ye be believers. _Accordingly
the angels bore it between heaven and earth, while they looked at it,
until they placed it by Saul; whereupon they acknowledged his
kingship, and hastened to the holy war; and he chose of their young
men seventy thousand._

And when Saul went forth with the troops _from Jerusalem, and it was
violently hot weather, and they demanded of him water_, he said,
Verily God will try you by a river, _that the obedient among you, and
the disobedient, may appear_, (_and it was between the Jordan and
Palestine_,) and whoso drinketh thereof, he is not of my party (but he
who tasteth not thereof, he is of my party), excepting him who taketh
forth a draught in his hand, _and is satisfied therewith, not adding
to it; for he is of my party_;—then they drank thereof abundantly,
excepting a few of them, _who were content only with the handful of
water. It is related that it sufficed them for their own drinking and
for their beasts, and they were three hundred, and somewhat more
than ten._ And when he had passed over it, he and those who believed
with him, they (_that is, those who had drunk_ [plentifully]) said, We
have no power to-day _to contend_ against Goliath and his troops. _And
they were cowardly, and passed not over it._ They [however] who held
it as certain that they should meet God _at the resurrection_ (_and
they were those who had passed over it_) said, How many a small body
of men hath overcome a great body by the permission (_or will_) of
God! And God is with the patient, _to defend and aid_.—And when they
went forth to battle against Goliath and his troops, they said, O our
Lord, pour upon us patience, and make firm our feet, _by strengthening
our hearts for the holy war_, and help us against the unbelieving
people!—And they routed them by the permission (_or will_) of God, and
David [Dáwood, vulg. Dáood], _who was in the army of Saul_, slew
Goliath. And God gave him (_David_) the kingship _over the children of
Israel_, and wisdom (_that is prophecy_), _after the death of Samuel
and Saul, and they_ [namely these two gifts] _had not been given
together to any one before him_; and He taught him what He
pleased,[310] _as the art of making coats of mail, and the language of
birds_. And were it not for God’s repelling men, one by another,
surely the earth had become corrupt _by the predominance of the
polytheists and the slaughter of the Muslims and the ruin of the
places of worship_: but God is beneficent to the peoples, _and hath
repelled some by others_.

   (ii. 247-252.)

Hath the story of the two opposing parties come unto thee, _O
Moḥammad_, when they ascended over the walls of the oratory of _David,
having been prevented going in unto him by the door, because of his
being engaged in devotion?_ When they went in unto David, and he was
frightened at them, they said, Fear not: _we are_ two opposing
parties. _It is said that they were two parties of more than one each;
and it is said that they were two individuals, angels, who came as two
litigants, to admonish David, who had ninety-nine wives, and had
desired the wife of a person who had none but her, and married her and
taken her as his wife._[311] [One of them said,] One of us hath
wronged the other; therefore judge between us with truth, and be not
unjust, but direct us into the right way. Verily this my brother _in
religion_ had nine-and-ninety ewes, and I had one ewe; and he said,
Make me her keeper. And he overcame me in the dispute.—_And the other
confessed him to have spoken truth._—[David] said, Verily he hath
wronged thee in demanding thy ewe _to add her_ to his ewes; and verily
many associates wrong one another, except those who believe and do
righteous deeds: and few indeed are they.—_And the two angels said,
ascending in their_ [proper or assumed] _forms to heaven, The man hath
passed sentence against himself. So David was admonished._ And David
perceived that We had tried him _by his love of that woman_; wherefore
he asked pardon of his Lord, and fell down bowing himself (_or
prostrating himself_), and repented. So We forgave him that; and
verily for him [was ordained] a high rank with Us (_that is, an
increase of good fortune in this world_), and [there shall be for
him] an excellent retreat _in the world to come_.

   (xxxviii. 20-24.)

We compelled the mountains to glorify Us, with David, and the birds
_also, on his commanding them to do so, when he experienced languor_;
and We did _this_. And We taught him the art of making coats of mail
(_for before his time plates of metal were used_) for you _among
mankind in general_, that they might defend you from your suffering
_in warring with your enemies_.—Will ye then, _O people of Mekkeh_, be
thankful _for My favours, believing the apostles_?—And _We subjected_
unto Solomon [Suleymán] the wind, blowing strongly, _and being light
at his desire_, which ran at his command[312] to the land that We
blessed (_namely Syria_);[313] and We knew all things (_knowing that
what We gave him would stimulate him to be submissive to his Lord_).
And _We subjected_, of the devils, those who should dive for him _in
the sea and bring forth from it jewels for him_, and do other work
besides that; _that is, building, and performing other services_; and
We watched over them, _that they might not spoil what they executed;
for they used, when they had finished a work before night, to spoil
it, if they were not employed in something else_.

   (xxi. 79-82.)

We gave unto David Solomon _his son_. How excellent a servant _was
he_! For he was one who earnestly turned himself unto God, _glorifying
and praising Him at all times_. [Remember] when, in the latter part of
the day, _after the commencement of the declining of the sun_, the
_mares_ standing on three feet and touching the ground with the edge
of the fourth foot, swift in the course, were displayed before him.
_They were a thousand mares, which were displayed before him after he
had performed the noon-prayers, on the occasion of his desiring to
make use of them in a holy war; and when nine hundred of them had been
displayed, the sun set, and he had not performed the
afternoon-prayers. So he was grieved_, and he said, Verily I have
preferred the love of [earthly] goods above the remembrance of my
Lord, (_that is, the performance of the afternoon-prayers_,) so that
_the sun_ is concealed by the veil. Bring them (_namely the horses_)
back unto me. _Therefore they brought them back._ And he began to
sever _with his sword_ the legs and the necks, _slaughtering them,
and_ [then] _cutting off their legs, as a sacrifice unto God, and gave
their flesh in alms; and God gave him in compensation what was better
than they were and swifter, namely the wind, which travelled by his
command whithersoever he desired._—And We tried Solomon _by depriving
him of his kingdom. This was because he married a woman of whom he
became enamoured, and she used to worship an idol in his palace
without his knowledge. His dominion was in his signet; and he pulled
it off once and deposited it with his wife, who was named El-Emeeneh;
and a jinnee came unto her in the form of Solomon, and took it from
her._ And We placed upon his throne a [counterfeit] body; _namely that
jinnee, who was Ṣakhr, or another. He sat upon the throne of
Solomon, and the birds and other creatures surrounded him; and Solomon
went forth, with a changed appearance, and saw him upon his throne,
and said unto the people, I am Solomon:—but they denied him._ Then he
returned _unto his kingdom, after some days, having obtained the
signet and put it on, and seated himself upon his throne._[314] He
said, O my Lord, forgive me, and give me a dominion that may not be
to any one after me (_or beside me_); for Thou art the Liberal Giver.
So We subjected unto him the wind, which ran gently at his command
whithersoever he desired; and the devils [also], every builder _of
wonderful structures_, and diver _that brought up pearls from the
sea_, and others bound in chains _which connected their hands to their
necks. And We said unto him_, This is Our gift, and bestow thou
_thereof upon whomsoever thou wilt_, or refrain _from bestowing_,
without _rendering_ an account. And verily for him [was ordained] a
high rank with Us, and an excellent retreat.

   (xxxviii. 29-39.)

We bestowed on David and Solomon knowledge _in judging men and in the
language of the birds and other matters_; and they said, Praise be to
God who hath made us to excel many of His believing servants, _by the
gift of prophecy and by the subjection of the jinn and mankind and the
devils_. And Solomon inherited from David _the gift of prophecy and
knowledge_; and he said, O men, we have been taught the language of
the birds,[315] and have had bestowed on us of everything _wherewith
prophets and kings are gifted_. Verily this is manifest
excellence.—And his armies of jinn and men and birds were gathered
together unto Solomon, and they were led on in order, until, when they
came unto the valley of ants, (_which_ [was] _at Eṭ-Ṭáïf or in Syria,
the ants whereof_ [were] _small or great_,) an ant (_the queen of the
ants_), _having seen the troops of Solomon_, said, O ants, enter your
habitations, lest Solomon and his troops crush you violently, while
they perceive not. And _Solomon_ smiled, _afterwards_ laughing at her
saying, _which he heard from the distance of three miles, the wind
conveying it to him: so he withheld his forces when he came in sight
of their valley, until the ants had entered their dwellings: and his
troops were on horses and on foot in this expedition_. And he said, O
my Lord, inspire me to be thankful for Thy favour which Thou hast
bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and to do righteousness which
Thou shalt approve, and admit me, in Thy mercy, among Thy servants,
the righteous, _the prophets and the saints_.

And he examined the birds,[316] _that he might see the lapwing, that
saw the water beneath the earth, and directed to it by pecking the
earth, whereupon the devils used to draw it forth when Solomon wanted
it_ [to perform the ablution] _for prayer; but he saw it not_: and he
said, Wherefore do I not see the lapwing? Is it [one] of the
absent?—_And when he was certain of the case he said_, I will
assuredly punish it with a severe punishment, _by plucking out its
feathers and its tail and casting it in the sun so that it shall not
be able to guard against excessive thirst_; or I will slaughter it; or
it shall bring me a manifest convincing proof _showing its
excuse_.—And it tarried not long _before it presented itself unto
Solomon submissively, and raised its head and relaxed its tail and its
wings: so he forgave it; and he asked it what it had met with during
its absence_; and it said, I have become acquainted with that
wherewith thou hast not become acquainted, and I have come unto thee
from Seba (_a tribe of El-Yemen_) with a sure piece of news. I found a
woman reigning over them, _named Bilḳees_, and she hath been gifted
with everything _that princes require_, and hath a magnificent throne.
_(Its length was eighty cubits; and its breadth, forty cubits; and its
height, thirty cubits: it was composed of gold and silver set with
fine pearls and with rubies and chrysolites, and its legs were of
rubies and chrysolites and emeralds: upon it_ [were closed] _seven
doors: to each chamber_ [through which one passed to it was] _a closed
door_.) I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of God,
and the devil hath made their works to seem comely unto them, so that
he hath hindered them from the _right_ way, wherefore they are not
rightly directed to the worship of God, who produceth what is hidden
(_namely the rain and vegetables_) in the heavens and the earth, and
knoweth what they [that is, mankind and others] conceal _in their
hearts_, and what they reveal _with their tongues_. God: there is no
deity but He, the Lord of the magnificent throne, _between which and
the throne of Bilḳees is a vast difference_.

_Solomon_ said _to the lapwing_, We will see whether thou hast spoken
truth or whether thou art of the liars. _Then the lapwing guided them
to the water, and it was drawn forth_ [by the devils]; _and they
quenched their thirst and performed the ablution and prayed. Then
Solomon wrote a letter, the form whereof was this:—From the servant of
God, Solomon the son of David, to Bilḳees the queen of Seba. In the
name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Peace be on whomsoever
followeth the right direction. After_ [this salutation, I say], _Act
ye not proudly towards me; but come unto me submitting.—He then sealed
it with musk, and stamped it with his signet, and said unto the
lapwing_, Go with this my letter and throw it down unto them (_namely
Bilḳees and her people_): then turn away from them, _but stay near
them_, and see what _reply_ they will return. _So the lapwing took it,
and came unto her, and around her were her forces; and he threw it
down into her lap; and when she saw it, she trembled with fear. Then
she considered what was in it, and_ she said _unto the nobles of her
people_, O nobles, an honourable (_sealed_) letter hath been thrown
down unto me. It is from Solomon; and it is _this_:—In the name of
God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Act ye not proudly towards me:
but come unto me submitting.—She said, O nobles, advise me in mine
affair. I will not decide upon a thing unless ye bear me
witness.—They replied, We are endowed with strength and endowed with
great valour; but the command [belongeth] to thee; therefore see what
thou wilt command _us to do, and we will obey thee_. She said, Verily
kings, when they enter a city, waste it, and render the mighty of its
inhabitants abject; and thus will they do _who have sent the letter_.
But I will send unto them with a gift, and I will see with what the
messengers will return, _whether the gift will be accepted, or whether
it will be rejected. If he be_ [merely] _a king, he will accept it;
and if he be a prophet, he will not accept it.—And she sent male and
female servants, a thousand in equal numbers_ [five hundred of each
sex], _and five hundred bricks of gold, and a crown set with jewels,
and musk and ambergris and other things, by a messenger with a
letter.[317] And the lapwing hastened unto Solomon, to tell him the
news; on hearing which, he commanded that bricks of gold and silver
should be cast, and that a horse-course should be extended to the
length of nine leagues from the place where he was, and that they
should build around it a wall with battlements, of gold and silver,
and that the handsomest of the beasts of the land and of the sea
should be brought with the sons of the jinn on the right side of the
horse-course and on its left._

And when _the messenger_ came _with the gift, and with him his
attendants_, unto Solomon, he [Solomon] said, Do ye aid me with
wealth? But what God hath given me (_namely the gift of prophecy and
the kingdom_) is better than what He hath given you, _of worldly
goods_; yet ye rejoice in your gift, _because ye glory in the showy
things of this world_. Return unto them _with the gift that thou hast
brought_; for we will surely come unto them with forces with which
they have not power [to contend], and we will surely drive them out
from it, (_that is, from their country, Seba, which was named after
the father of their tribe_,) abject and contemptible, _if they come
not unto us submitting. And when the messenger returned unto her with
the gift, she placed her throne within seven doors, within her palace,
and her palace was within seven palaces; and she closed the doors, and
set guards to them, and prepared to go unto Solomon, that she might
see what he would command her to do. She departed with twelve thousand
kings, each king having with him many thousands, and proceeded until
she came as near to him as a league’s distance; when he knew of her_
[approach,] he said, O nobles, which of you will bring unto me her
throne before they come unto me submitting? An ´efreet, of the jinn,
answered, I will bring it unto thee before thou shalt arise from thy
place _wherein thou sittest to judge from morning until mid-day_; for
I am able to do it, [and] trustworthy _with respect to the jewels that
it compriseth and other matters. Solomon said, I desire it more
speedily._ [And thereupon] he with whom was knowledge of the
_revealed_ scripture (_namely_ [his Wezeer] _Áṣaf the son of Barkhiya,
who was a just person, acquainted with the most great name of God,
which ensured an answer to him who invoked thereby_[318]) said, I will
bring it unto thee before thy glance can be withdrawn _from any
object. And he said unto him, Look at the sky. So he looked at it;
then he withdrew his glance, and found it placed before him: for
during his look towards the sky, Áṣaf prayed, by the most great name,
that God would bring it; and it so happened, the throne passing under
the ground until it came up before the throne of Solomon._ And when he
saw it firmly placed before him, he said, This is of the favour of my
Lord, that He may try me, whether I shall be thankful or whether I
shall be unthankful. And he who is thankful is thankful for _the sake
of_ his own soul, _which will have the reward of his thankfulness_;
and [as to] him who is ungrateful, my Lord is independent [and]

[Then Solomon] said, Alter ye her throne so that it may not be known
by her, that we may see whether she be rightly directed _to the
knowledge thereof_, or whether she be of those who are not rightly
directed _to the knowledge of that which is altered. He desired
thereby to try her intelligence. So they altered it, by adding to it,
or taking from it, or in some other manner._ And when she came, it was
said _unto her_, Is thy throne like this? She answered, As though it
were the same. (_She answered them ambiguously like as they had
questioned her ambiguously, not saying, Is this thy throne?—and had
they so said, she had answered, Yes._) _And when Solomon saw her
knowledge, he said_, And we have had knowledge bestowed on us before
her, and have been Muslims. But what she worshipped instead of God
hindered her _from worshipping Him_; for she was of an unbelieving
people.—It was said unto her _also_, Enter the palace. _It had a floor
of white, transparent glass, beneath which was running water, wherein
were fish. Solomon had made it on its being said unto him that her
legs and feet were_ [hairy] _like the legs of an ass._ And when she
saw it, she imagined it to be a great water, and she uncovered her
legs, _that she might wade through it; and Solomon was on his throne
at the upper end of the palace, and he saw that her legs and her feet
were handsome_. He said _unto her_, Verily it is a palace evenly
spread with glass. _And he invited her to embrace El-Islám_,
[whereupon] she said, O my Lord, verily I have acted unjustly towards
mine own soul, _by worshipping another than Thee_, and I resign
myself, with Solomon, unto God, the Lord of the worlds. _And he
desired to marry her; but he disliked the hair upon her legs; so the
devils made for him the depilatory of quick-lime, wherewith she
removed the hair, and he married her; and he loved her, and confirmed
her in her kingdom. He used to visit her every month once, and to
remain with her three days; and her reign expired on the expiration
of the reign of Solomon. It is related that he began to reign when he
was thirteen years of age, and died at the age of three and fifty
years. Extolled be the perfection of Him to the duration of whose
dominion there is no end!_

   (xxvii. 15-45.)

_We subjected_ unto Solomon the wind, which travelled in the morning
(_unto the period when the sun began to decline_) _the distance of_ a
month’s _journey_, and in the evening _from the commencement of the
declining of the sun into its setting_ a month’s _journey_. And We
made the fountain of molten brass to flow for him _three days with
their nights_ [in every month], _as water floweth;[319] and the people
worked until the day_ [of its flowing], _with that which had been
given into Solomon_. And of the jinn [were] those who worked in his
presence, by the will of his Lord; and such of them as swerved from
_obedience to_ Our command We will cause to taste of the punishment of
hell _in the world to come_ (_or, as it is said by some, We cause to
taste of its punishment in the present world, an angel beating them
with a scourge from hell, the stripe of which burneth them_). They
made for him whatever he pleased, of lofty halls (_with steps whereby
to ascend to them_), and images (_for they were not forbidden by his
law_[320]), and large dishes, like great tanks for watering camels,
_around each of which assembled a thousand men, eating from it_, and
cooking-pots standing firmly _on their legs, cut out from the
mountains in El-Yemen, and to which they ascended by ladders_. _And We
said_, Work, O family of David, _in the service of God_, with
thanksgiving _unto Him for what He hath given you_:—but few of My
servants are the thankful. And when We decreed that he (_namely,
Solomon_) should die, _and he died, and remained standing, and leaning
upon his staff for a year, dead, the jinn meanwhile performing those
difficult works as they were accustomed to do, not knowing of his
death, until the worm ate his staff, whereupon he fell down_, nothing
showed them his death but the eating reptile (_the worm_) that ate his
staff.[321] And when he fell down, the jinn plainly perceived that if
they had known things unseen (_of which things was the death of
Solomon_), they had not continued in the ignominious affliction (_that
is, in their difficult works_), _imagining that he was alive,
inconsistently with their opinion that they knew things unseen. And
that the period was a year was known by calculating what the worm had
eaten of his staff since his death in each day and night or other
space of time._ (xxxiv. 11-13.)


Verily Jonah [Yoonus] was one of the apostles. [Remember] when he fled
unto the laden ship, _being angry with his people, because the
punishment wherewith he had threatened them did not fall upon them;
wherefore he embarked in the ship; and it became stationary in the
midst of the sea: so the sailors said, Here is a slave who hath fled
from his master, and the lot will discover him_:—and he cast lots
_with those who were in the ship_, and he was [the] one upon whom the
lot fell. _They therefore cast him into the sea_, and the fish
swallowed him; and he was reprehensible, _for having gone to the sea,
and embarked in the ship, without the permission of his Lord_. And had
he not been of those who glorified God (_by his saying often in the
belly of the fish, There is no god but Thou! I extol Thy perfection!
Verily I have been of the offenders!_), he had remained in his belly
until the day of resurrection.[322] And We cast him on the plain land,
_the same day, or after three or seven days, or twenty or forty days_;
and he was sick; and We caused a gourd plant[323] to grow up over him,
_to shade him_. _It had a trunk, contrary to what is the case of
gourds in general, being miraculously produced for him._[324] _And a
wild she-goat came to him evening and morning, of whose milk he
drank until he became strong._ And We sent him _after that, as
before_, unto _his people in Nineveh, in the land of El-Moṣil_, a
hundred thousand, or they were a greater number by _twenty or thirty
or seventy thousand_; and they believed _on beholding the punishment
wherewith they had been threatened_;[325] wherefore We allowed them
enjoyment _of their goods_ for a time, _until the expiration of their
terms of life_.

   (xxxvii. 139-148.)


[Hast thou not considered] him who passed by a city (_which was
Jerusalem_), _riding upon an ass, and having with him a basket of figs
and a vessel of the juice of grapes_ (_and he was ´Ozeyr_ [Ezra]), and
it was falling down upon its roofs, _Nebuchadnezzar having ruined it_?
He said, _wondering at the power of God_, How will God quicken this
after its death?—And God caused him to die for a hundred years. Then
He raised him to life: [and] He said _unto him_, How long hast thou
tarried _here_?—He answered I have tarried a day, or part of a
day.—_For he slept in the first part of the day, and was deprived of
his life, and was reanimated at sunset._ He said Nay, thou hast
tarried a hundred years: but look at thy food and thy drink: they have
not become changed by time: and look at thine ass.—_And he beheld it
dead, and its bones white and shining.—We have done this that thou
mayest know_, and that We may make thee a sign _of the resurrection_
unto men. And look at the bones _of thine ass_, how We will raise
them; then We will clothe them with flesh.—_So he looked at them, and
they had become put together, and were clothed with flesh, and life
was breathed into it, and it brayed._ Therefore when it had been made
manifest to him he said, I know that God is able to accomplish
everything. (ii. 261.)


_Remember_ when the wife of ´Imrán[326] said, (_when she had become
aged, and desired offspring, wherefore she supplicated God, and became
sensible of pregnancy_,) O my Lord, verily I devote unto Thee what is
in my womb, to be dedicated _to the service of Thy holy house_: then
accept [it] from me; for Thou art the Hearer _of prayer_, the Knower
_of intentions_. _And ´Imrán perished while she was pregnant._ And
when she gave birth to it, (_namely her daughter; and she was hoping
that it might be a boy; since none but boys were dedicated_,) she
said, O my Lord, verily I have brought forth a female, (and God well
knew what she had brought forth,) and the male is not as the female,
_the latter not being fit for the service_ [of the temple]; and I have
named her Mary [Maryam]; and I beg thy protection for her and her
offspring from the accursed devil.[327] (_In the traditions_ [it is
said], _No child is born but the devil hath touched it at the time of
its birth, wherefore it first raiseth its voice by crying, excepting
Mary and her son._[328]) And her Lord accepted her (_that is, He
accepted Mary from her mother_) with a gracious acceptance, and caused
her to grow with an excellent growth, _as though she grew in a day as
a child_ [generally] _groweth in a month_. _Her mother took her to the
doctors, the keepers of the Holy House, and said, Receive ye this
devoted child. And they eagerly desired her, because she was the
daughter of their chief. But Zechariah said, I am more worthy of
having her; for her maternal aunt is with me. They however replied,
Nay, but we will cast lots.—So they departed (and they were nine and
twenty) to the river Jordan, and cast their divining arrows on the
understanding that he whose arrow should become steady in the water
and rise should be_ [acknowledged] _most worthy of her; and the arrow
of Zechariah became steady, and he took her, and built for her a
chamber in the temple, with stairs to which no one ascended but
himself. And he used to bring her her food and her drink and her
ointment; and used to find with her the fruits of winter in summer,
and the fruits of summer in winter, as He—whose name be exalted!—hath
said_, And Zechariah maintained her. Whenever Zechariah went in to her
in the chamber, he found with her provisions. He said, O Mary, whence
came to thee this? She answered, (_being then a little child_,) It is
from God: _He bringeth it to me from Paradise_: for God supplieth whom
He pleaseth without reckoning.

Then, _when he saw this, and knew that He who was able to produce a
thing out of its season was able to give a child in old age, (and the
people of his house had become extinct,)_ Zechariah supplicated his
Lord, _when he had entered the chamber to pray in the latter part of
the night_. He said, O my Lord, give me from Thee a good offspring (_a
righteous son_); for Thou art the Hearer of prayer.—And the angels
(_by which is meant Gabriel_) called to him as he stood praying in the
chamber (_that is, the temple_), saying, God promiseth thee John
[Yaḥyá], who shall be a verifier of [the] Word _which cometh_ from
God, (_that is, Jesus_ [´Eesa]; _for he is the Spirit of God, and was
named_ [the] _Word because he was created by the word Be_,) and a
chief, (_or one followed_,) and chaste, and a prophet, of the
righteous. (_It is related that he neither did any sin nor intended
any._)—He said, O my Lord, how shall I have a son, when old age hath
come upon me, _when I have attained the utmost age, a hundred and
twenty years_, and my wife is barren, _and hath attained the age of
eight and ninety_?—He answered, _It shall be_ thus. God will do what
He pleaseth.—He said, O my Lord, give me a sign.—He replied, Thy sign
[shall be] that thou shalt not speak unto men for three days, except
by signal; but remember thy Lord often, and glorify [Him] in the
evening and in the morning.

   (iii. 31-36.)

And he went forth unto his people from the chamber, and made a sign
unto them, [as though he would say] Glorify [God] in the morning and
in the evening _as usual_. _And he knew by his being prevented from
speaking unto them that his wife had conceived John. And after his
birth, by some years, God said unto him_, O John, receive the book
(_that is, the Law_) with resolution. And We bestowed on him wisdom
(_the gift of prophecy_) [when he was yet] a child, _three years of
age_, and compassion from Us _for mankind_, and [a disposition to
bestow] alms _upon them_. And he was pious, and dutiful to his
parents, and was not proud [nor] rebellious _toward his Lord_; and
peace _from Us_ [was] on him on the day when he was born, and on the
day of his death, and [shall be] on the day when he shall be raised to
life. (xix. 12-15.)

And _remember_ when the angels (_that is, Gabriel_) said, O Mary,
verily God hath chosen thee and hath purified thee and hath chosen
thee above the women of the peoples _of thy time_. O Mary, be devout
towards thy Lord and prostrate thyself and bow down with those who bow
down: _pray with those who pray_.—This is [one] of the announcements
of things unseen _by thee_: We reveal it unto thee, _O Moḥammad_; for
thou wast not with them when they cast their divining arrows _that it
might appear to them_ which of them should rear Mary, and thou wast
not with them when they disputed together _as to rearing
her_.—_Remember_ when the angels (_that is, Gabriel_) said, O Mary,
verily God promiseth thee [the] Word from Him, whose name [shall be]
the Messiah [El-Meseeḥ], Jesus the son of Mary, honourable in this
world _by his prophetic office_, and in the world to come _by his
intercession and high stations_, and of those admitted near _unto
God_; and he shall speak unto men in the cradle, and when of full
age,[329] and [he shall be] of the righteous.—She said, O my Lord, how
shall I have a son, when a man hath not touched me?—He answered, _It
shall be_ thus; God will create what He pleaseth: when He determineth
a thing, He only saith unto it, Be,—and it is. And He will teach him
writing and wisdom and the Law and the Gospel, and _constitute him_ an
apostle to the children of Israel, _in youth or after adolescence_.
_And Gabriel breathed into the bosom of her shift; whereupon she
conceived; and those events of her history which are related in the
Soorat Maryam_ [Ḳur. xix.] _happened_.

   (iii. 37-43.)

Relate in the book (_that is, the Ḳur-án_) _the history of_ Mary, when
she retired from her family to a place towards the east, _in the
house_, and she took a veil [to conceal herself] from them; and We
sent unto her our spirit _Gabriel_, and he appeared unto her as a
perfect man. She said, I beg the Compassionate to preserve me from
thee! If thou be a pious person, _thou wilt withdraw from me_.—He
replied, I am only the messenger of thy Lord [to inform thee] that He
will give thee a pure son, _endowed with the gift of prophecy_. She
said, How shall I have a son, when a man hath not touched me, and I am
not a harlot? He answered, Thus _shall it be: a son shall be created
unto thee without a father_. Thy Lord saith, This is easy unto Me; and
_thus shall it be_ that We may make him a sign unto men, _showing Our
power_, and a mercy from Us _unto him who shall believe in him_: for
it is a thing decreed.—And she conceived him; and she retired with
him [yet unborn] to a distant place _far from her family_; and the
pains of childbirth urged her to repair to the trunk of a palm-tree
_that she might lean against it_. _And she gave birth to the child,
which was conceived and formed and born in an hour._[330] She said,
Oh! would that I had died before this _event_, and had been a thing
forgotten [and] unnoticed!—But he who was below her (_namely Gabriel,
who was on a lower place than she_) called to her, Grieve not. God
hath made below thee a rivulet: and shake thou towards thee the trunk
of the palm-tree (_which was dried-up_); it shall let fall upon thee
ripe dates, fresh-gathered: therefore eat _of the dates_, and drink
_of the water of the rivulet_, and be of cheerful eye _on account of
the child_: and if thou see any one of mankind, _asking thee
concerning the child_, say, I have vowed unto the Compassionate an
abstinence _from speech with mankind respecting him and other
matters_; therefore I will not speak to-day unto a man _after this_.

And she brought him [namely the child] unto her people, carrying him.
They said, O Mary, thou hast done a strange thing. O sister of Aaron,
(_he was a righteous man; and the meaning is, O thou who art like him
in chastity_,[331]) thy father was not a man of wickedness, nor was
thy mother a harlot. _Then whence gottest thou this child?_—And she
made a sign _to them_, [pointing] towards him, [namely the child, as
though she would say,] _Speak ye unto him._ They said, How shall we
speak unto him who is in the cradle, an infant? He [however] said,
Verily I am the servant of God:[332] He hath given me the book _of the
Gospel_, and hath appointed me a prophet; and He hath made me blessed
wherever I shall be, and hath commanded me to observe prayer and give
alms as long as I shall live, and _hath made me_ dutiful to my mother,
and hath not made me proud [nor] wicked. And peace _from God_ [was] on
me on the day when I was born, and [will be] on the day when I shall
die, and on the day when I shall be raised to life.—This [was] Jesus
the son of Mary. _I have spoken_ the saying of truth, concerning which
they (_namely the Christians_) doubt, _saying that Jesus is the son of
God_. It is not [meet] for God to get a son. Extolled be His purity
_from that_ [imputation]! When He decreeth a thing _that He desireth
to bring into existence_, He only saith unto it, Be,—and it is: _and
thus He created Jesus the son of Mary without a father_.—And _say_,
Verily God is my Lord and your Lord: therefore worship ye Him: this is
a right way, _leading to Paradise_. But the sects have differed among
themselves; _that is, the Christians have differed concerning Jesus,
as to whether he be the son of God, or a deity with Him, or the third
of three_. And woe unto them who have disbelieved _in that which hath
been stated, or in other matters_, on account of the assembly of a
great day, _the day of resurrection, and its terrors_. How will they
hear, and how _will they_ see, on the day when they shall come unto Us
_in the world to come_! But the offenders to-day (_that is, in the
present world_) are in a manifest error: _they are deaf, so that they
hear not the truth; and blind, so that they see it not_. And do thou,
_O Moḥammad_, warn them (_namely the unbelievers of Mekkeh_) of the
day of sighing (_the day of resurrection, when the evil-doer shall
sigh for his having neglected to do good in the present world_),
when the command _for their punishment_ shall be fulfilled, while they
(_in the present world_) are in a state of heedlessness _with respect
to it_, and while they believe not _therein_. Verily We shall inherit
the earth and whomsoever are upon it (_the heedless and others; they
being destroyed_); and unto Us shall they be brought back _to be

   (xix. 16-41.)

_And when God sent him_ [Jesus] _to the children of Israel, he said
unto them, Verily I am the apostle of God unto you_; for I have come
unto you with a sign from your Lord; for I will make for you of earth
the similitude of a bird, and will breathe into it, and it shall be a
bird,[333] by the permission (_or will_) of God;[334] (_and he made
for them a bat; for it is the most perfect of birds in make; and it
flew, while they looked at it; but when it had gone out of their
sight, it fell down dead_;) and I will cure the blind from his birth,
and the leper; (_and he cured in one day fifty thousand, by prayer, on
the condition of faith_;) and I will raise to life the dead, by the
permission of God; (_this he repeated to deny his divinity: and he
raised to life ´Áriz_ [Lazarus] _a friend of his; and a son of the old
woman, and the daughter of the publican; and they lived, and children
were born to them; and Shem the son of Noah, who died immediately_;)
and I will tell you what ye eat and what ye store up in your houses.
Verily therein will be a sign unto you, if ye be believers. And _I
have come unto you_ as a verifier of that which was before me, of the
Law, and to make lawful unto you part of what was made unlawful to
you _therein_; (_and he made lawful to them, of fish and fowls,
whatsoever is without fin or spur; and it is said that he made lawful
all, and that ‘part’ is used in the sense of ‘the whole:’_) and I have
come unto you with a sign from your Lord; therefore fear ye God, and
obey me _in that which I command you, as to the confession of the
unity of God and the service of Him_. Verily God is my Lord and your
Lord; therefore worship Him. This is [the] right way. _But they
accused him of falsehood and believed not in him._ And when Jesus
perceived their unbelief, he said, Who [will be] my helpers for God?
The apostles[335] answered, We [will be] the helpers of God. We have
believed in God; and bear thou witness, _O Jesus_, that we are Muslims
[or resigned]. O our Lord, we have believed in that which Thou hast
sent down _of the Gospel_, and we have followed the Apostle, _Jesus_;
therefore write us down among those who bear witness _of Thy unity and
of the truth of Thine apostle_.—And they (_that is, the unbelievers
among the children of Israel_) devised a stratagem _against Jesus, to
slay him treacherously_; but God devised a stratagem _against them;
for He put the likeness of Jesus upon one who intended his slaughter,
and they slew him; and Jesus was taken up_ [into heaven],[336] and
God is the best of those who devise stratagems.... _It is related that
God sent a cloud to Jesus, and it took him up; but his mother clung
unto him and wept: whereupon he said unto her, Verily the resurrection
will unite us.—It is also related that he will descend shortly before
the resurrection and judge according to the law of our prophet_
[Moḥammad], _slay Antichrist and the swine, break the cross, and
impose the capitation-tax_ [on unbelievers].—_Also, that he will
remain, according to one tradition, seven years; according to another,
forty years; and die, and be prayed over: but it is probable that_ [by
the latter period] _is meant the whole time of his tarrying upon the
earth, before the ascension and after_.

   (iii. 43—47.)

_Remember_ when the apostle said, O Jesus, son of Mary, is thy Lord
able to cause a table to descend unto us from heaven?[337] He replied,
Fear God, _in demanding signs_, if ye be believers. They said, We
desire that we may eat therefrom, and that our hearts may be at ease
_in consequence of additional evidence_, and we may know, _with
increased knowledge_, that thou hast spoken truth unto us _in
asserting thyself to be a prophet_, and may be witnesses
thereof.—Jesus the son of Mary said, O God, our Lord, cause a table to
descend unto us from heaven, that it (_namely the day of its descent_)
may be unto us a festival,[338] unto the first of us and the last of
us (_or those who shall come after us_), and a sign from Thee _of Thy
power, and of my prophetic office_; and provide us with food
_thereby_; for Thou art the best of providers.—God said, _in reply to
him_, Verily I will cause it to descend unto you; but whosoever of you
shall disbelieve after _its descent_, I will surely punish him with a
punishment wherewith I will not punish any [other] of the
peoples.—_And the angels descended with it from heaven: upon it
were seven cakes of bread and seven fishes; and they ate of them until
they were satisfied. And in a tradition related by Ibn-´Abbás it is
said that the table brought down from heaven bread and flesh, and they
were commanded not to act deceitfully, nor to store up for the morrow;
but they_ [that is, some of the people] _did so, and were transformed
into apes and swine_.

   (v. 112-115.)

Propound unto them, as an example, the inhabitants of the city _of
Antioch_, when the apostles _of Jesus_ came unto it;[339] when We sent
unto them two,[340] and they charged them with falsehood; wherefore
We strengthened _them_ with a third;[341] and they said, Verily we are
sent unto you. They replied, Ye are not [aught] save men like us, and
the Compassionate hath not revealed anything: ye do nothing but lie.
They said, Our Lord knoweth that we are indeed sent unto you; and
naught is imposed on us but the delivering of a plain message, _shown
to be true by manifest proofs, namely the cure of him who hath been
born blind and of the leper and the sick, and the raising of the
dead_. [The people of Antioch] said, Verily we presage evil from you;
_for the rain is withheld from us on your account_: if ye desist not,
we will assuredly stone you, and a painful punishment shall surely
betide you from us. [The apostles] replied, Your evil luck is with you
_because of your unbelief_. If ye have been warned, _will ye presage
evil and disbelieve_? Nay, ye are an exorbitant people.—And there came
from the furthest part of the city a man (_namely Ḥabeeb the
carpenter, who had believed in the apostles_) running: he said, O my
people, follow the apostles: follow those who ask not of you a
recompense, and who are rightly directed. _And it was said unto him,
Art thou of their religion? He replied_, And why should I not worship
Him who hath created me, and unto whom ye shall be brought back _after
death_? Shall I take deities beside Him? If the Compassionate be
pleased to afflict me, their intercession will not avert from me
aught, nor will they deliver. Verily, in that case (_if I worshipped
aught but God_), I should be in a manifest error. Verily I believe in
your Lord; therefore hear ye me.—_But they stoned him, and he
died;[342] and_ it was said _unto him at his death_, Enter thou into
Paradise. _And it is said that he entered it alive._ He said, O would
that my people knew my Lord’s forgiveness of me and His having made me
[one] of those who are honoured?—And We sent not down against his
people after him (_that is, after his death_) an army _of angels_ from
heaven _to destroy them_, nor were We sending down _angels to destroy
any one_. It (_namely their punishment_) was naught but one cry _which
Gabriel uttered against them_; and lo, they were extinct.

   (xxxvi. 12-28.)

_We have cursed the Jews_ ... for their disbelief _in Jesus_ and their
uttering against Mary a great calumny and their saying, We have killed
the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, the apostle of God,—Yet they
killed him not nor crucified him; but one (_namely the person whom
they crucified_) was made to appear to them like _Jesus_; and verily
those who disagreed respecting him were in doubt concerning him, _or
his slaughter; for some of them said, when they saw the slain person,
The face is the face of Jesus; but the body is not his body:—and
others said, It is he_:[343]—they had no knowledge of him; but only
followed an opinion. And they did not really kill him; but God took
him up unto Himself; and God is mighty [and] wise. And there is not of
the people of the Scripture _one_ but he shall assuredly believe in
him (_namely Jesus_) before his death; _that is, before his own death,
or before the death of Jesus, when he descendeth shortly before the
resurrection_;[344] and on the day of resurrection he (_namely
Jesus_) shall be a witness against them.

   (iv. 155-157.)

When God shall say, _on the day of resurrection_, O Jesus, son of
Mary, hast thou said unto men, Take me and my mother as two deities,
beside God?—_Jesus_ shall answer, _after being agitated_ (_or after it
shall have thundered_), Extolled be Thy purity _from the imputation of
aught that is unsuitable to Thee, as the having a partner, and other
things_! It is not for me to say that which is not right for me. Had I
said it, Thou hadst known it. Thou knowest what is in me; but I know
not what is in Thee; for Thou well-knowest things unseen. I said not
unto them aught but that which Thou commandedst me; _namely_ Worship
ye God, my Lord and your Lord;—and I was a watcher over them,
_commanding them to abstain from what they said_, while I remained
among them: but since Thou hast taken me to Thyself,[345] Thou hast
been the watcher over them, and Thou art the witness of all things. If
Thou punish them, (_that is, such of them as have continued in
unbelief_,) they are Thy servants _and Thou mayest do with them as
Thou pleasest_; and if Thou forgive them, (_that is, such of them as
have believed_,) Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.

   (v. 116-118.)

When the son of Mary was proposed as an instance (_when the saying of
God was revealed, Verily ye and what ye worship beside God_ [shall be]
_fuel of hell_ [Kur. xxi. 98], _and the polytheists said, We are
content for our gods to be with Jesus, for he hath been worshipped
beside God_,[346]) lo, thy people, _the polytheists_, cried out _in
joy_ thereat, and they said, [Are] our gods better, or [is] he? _We
are content for our gods to be with him._—They proposed not it
(_namely the instance_) unto thee otherwise than as a cause of dispute
(_knowing that the word ‘what’ applieth to that which is not endowed
with reason; so that it doth not reflect upon Jesus, on whom be
peace!_): yea, they are a contentious people. He (_namely Jesus_) is
no other than a servant whom We favoured _with the gift of prophecy_;
and We proposed him, _by reason of his having come into existence
without a father_, as an instance _of the divine power_ unto the
children of Israel. And if We pleased, We would substitute for you
angels to succeed in the earth.[347] And verily he (_namely Jesus_)
_shall be_ a sign of the [last] hour:[348] _it shall be known by his
descending_: wherefore doubt not thereof.—And _say unto them_, Follow
ye me _in confessing the unity of God_: this, _which I command you to
follow_, is a right way. And let not the devil turn you away _from the
religion of God_; for he is unto you a manifest enemy.—And when Jesus
came with manifest proofs (_with miracles and ordinances_), he said, I
have come unto you with wisdom (_with prophecy and with the ordinances
of the Gospel_), and to explain unto you part of [the things]
concerning which ye disagree: therefore fear ye God, and obey me.
Verily God is my Lord and your Lord; wherefore worship ye Him: this is
a right way.—But the parties disagreed among themselves _respecting
Jesus, whether he were God, or the son of God, or the third of three_:
and woe unto them that transgressed _in that which they said
respecting Jesus_, because of the punishment of an afflicting day!

   (xliii. 57-65.)

Verily the similitude of Jesus in the sight of God is as the
similitude of Adam. He created him (_Adam_) of earth: then He said
unto him, Be,—and he was. _In like manner he said unto Jesus, Be,
without a father,—and he was. This is_ the truth from thy Lord:
therefore be not thou of those who doubt. And whosoever _of the
Christians_ argueth with thee respecting him, after the knowledge that
hath come unto thee _concerning him_, say, Come ye, let us call our
sons and your sons and our wives and your wives, and ourselves and
yourselves _will assemble_: then we will invoke, and will lay the
curse of God on those who lie, _saying, O God, curse the liar
respecting the nature of Jesus!—And the prophet invited a company from
Nejrán to do so, when they had argued with him respecting Jesus; and
they said_, [Wait] _until we consider our case: then we will come unto
thee. And their counsellor said, Ye know his prophetic office, and
that no people have execrated a prophet but they have perished. They
however quieted the man, and departed, and came unto the prophet. And
he had come forth, having with him El-Ḥasan and El-Ḥoseyn and Fáṭimeh
and ´Alee; and he said unto them, When I pray, say ye Amen. But they
refused to execrate, and made peace with him on the condition of their
paying tribute._—Verily this is indeed the true history, and there is
no deity but God, and verily God is indeed the Mighty, the Wise.

   (iii. 52-55.)

O people of the Scripture (_that is, of the Gospel_), exceed not the
just bounds in your religion,[349] nor say of God [aught] but the
truth. The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, [was] only the apostle of
God, and His Word, which he transmitted unto Mary, and a spirit (_that
is, a being possessing a spirit_) from Him. (_He is mentioned in
conjunction with God, in order to show him honour, and is not, as ye
assert, the son of God, or a God with Him, or the third of three; for
the being possessing a spirit is compound, and the Deity must be
confessed to be pure from the imputation of composition and the
relationship of a compound being to Him._) Therefore believe in God
and His apostles, and say not, _There are_ three _gods, God and Jesus
and his mother_.[350] Abstain _from this, and say what will be_ better
for you; _that is, assert the unity of God_. God is only one god.
Extolled be His purity from the imputation of His having a son! To Him
belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth:
and God is a sufficient witness _thereof_. The Messiah doth not
disdain to be a servant unto God, nor do the angels who are admitted
near _unto Him_. (iv. 169, 170.)


[1] See prefatory note, p. 2.

[2] _i.e._, the glory of the clan.

[3] Battles.

[4] This and the other verses quoted in this chapter are taken from
the translations of old Arab poetry contributed by Mr. C. J. Lyall to
the _Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal (Translations from
the Hamâseh and the Aghânî; The Mo`allaqah of Zuheyr)_. They imitate
the metres of the original Arabic verse, but are nevertheless as
literal as need be. The transliteration of proper names in the verses
(and in other quotations) has been assimilated to the system adopted
by Mr. Lane, from which in this work I only depart in the case of
names which by frequent use have become almost the property of the
English language.

[5] A tribe.

[6] The subject of the poem, mentioned in the second hemistich of the
third verse as ‘thou,’ whose death the supposed author (‘one valiant’)

[7] For these and other stories about Ḥátim, see Caussin de Perceval’s
_Essai sur l’Histoire des Arabes_, ii. 607-628: a book which is a
treasury of Arab life, and abounds in those anecdotes which reveal
more of the character of the people than whole volumes of ethnological

[8] The later Arabic poets were mostly incapable of the genius of the
old singers: the times had changed, and the ancient poetry appeared
almost as exotic to their ideas as it does to our own. No greater
mistake can be made than to judge of the old poets by such a writer as
Behá-ed-deen Zoheyr, of whom Professor E. H. Palmer has lately given
us so beautiful a version. There is nothing in common between El-Behá
and ´Antarah—scarcely even the language.

[9] Deutsch, _Lit. Remains_, 453, 454: cp. Nöldeke, _Beiträge zur
Kennt. d. Poesie d. alten Araber_, xxiii., xxiv.

[10] Ezekiel xxvii. 19-24. The identifications of the various names
with Arabian towns are partly conjectural, but the general reference
is clearly to Arabia. Cf. the ‘Speaker’s’ _Commentary_, vi. 122; and
the interpretations of Hitzig, Movers, Tuch, and Ménant.

[11] C. P. Tiele, _Outlines of the History of Religion_: tr. J. E.
Carpenter, p. 63.

[12] Deutsch. _Lit. Remains_, pp. 70-72.

[13] R. Bosworth Smith, _Mohammed and Mohammedanism_, 2d ed. p. 131.

[14] Or ‘read,’ ‘recite.’ These lines are the beginning of the 96th
Soorah of the Ḳur-án.

[15] Sir W. Muir,_ Life of Mahomet_, 402.

[16] The following is an abridgment: cp. Muir 485, and the
_Seeret-er-Rasool_, tr. Weil, ii. 316, 317.

[17] An attempt has been made to explain away Moḥammad’s fidelity to
Khadeejeh, by adducing the motive of pecuniary prudence. Moḥammad,
they say, was a poor man, Khadeejeh rich and powerfully connected; any
_affaire de cœur_ on the husband’s part would have been followed by
a divorce and the simultaneous loss of property and position. It is
hardly necessary to point out that the fear of poverty—a matter of
little consequence in Arabia and at that time—would not restrain a
really sensual man for five-and-twenty years; especially when it is by
no means certain that Khadeejeh, who loved him with all her heart in a
motherly sort of way, would have procured a divorce for any cause
soever. And this explanation leaves Moḥammad’s loving remembrance of
his old wife unaccounted for. If her money alone had curbed him for
twenty-five years, one would expect him at her death to throw off the
cloak, thank Heaven for the deliverance, and enter at once upon the
rake’s progress. He does none of those things. The story of Zeyneb,
the divorced wife of Zeyd, is a favourite weapon with Moḥammad’s
accusers. It is not one to enter upon here; but I may say that the
lady’s own share in the transaction has never been sufficiently
considered. In all probability Zeyd, the freed slave, was glad enough
to get rid of his too well-born wife, and certainly he bore no rancour
against Moḥammad. The real point of the story is the question of
forged revelations, which is discussed below.

[18] ‘The Prophet said: Whosoever shall bear witness that there is one
God; and that Moḥammad is His servant and messenger; and that Jesus
Christ is His servant and messenger, and that he is the son of the
hand-maid of God, and that he is the Word of God, the word which was
sent to Mary, and Spirit from God; and [shall bear witness] that there
is truth in Heaven and Hell, will enter into paradise, whatever sins
he may be chargeable with.’—_Mishkát-el-Masábeeh_, i. 11.

[19] R. Bosworth Smith: _Mohammed and Mohammedanism_, 2d ed., 255-257.

[20] _The People of Turkey_, by a Consul’s Daughter, preface, xxii.

[21] _Mishkát-el-Masábeeh_, i. 46, 51.

[22] Dr. E. Blyden. See his article on Mohammadanism in Western Africa
in _The People of Africa_. (New York, 1871.)

[23] It may be interesting to some readers to judge for themselves of
the different characteristics of these four groups of soorahs; and
though in a series of translated selections it will hardly be possible
to gain a thorough appreciation of the change of style or matter, some
notion may nevertheless be obtained by reading the First Part of these
Selections in the following order (the numbers referring to the
figures at the head of each extract):—

Mekka—First Period:—xvii., lxvi., lxv., xviii., xxxvii., xxxviii.,
xxxix., xl., xli., xlii., xliii., xxx., iii., i.

Second Period:—lx., xlvii., xxix., viii., xiv., lxiii., vi., li.,
lxii., xxxi., xliv., lxxxvi., lxxxi., xlv., xxxvi., xx.

Third Period:—lxxiii., lxiv., xxxv., liii., xlvi., xvi., lxxvi.,
xxxii., lix., xxi., vii., lv., xix., xii., x., lxxii., xxviii., xi.

Medina:—ii., lxxxiv., xxxiii., lxxvii., xxxiv., xxiv., xxvi., ix.,
lii., lxxix., lxvii., lxi., iv., lxxi., lxix., lxx., lxxv., lxxxiii.,
xlviii., v., lxxviii., xxii., lvi., lvii., xlix., xxvii., xxv., xiii.,
lviii., lxxiv., l., liv., xxiii., lxxx., xv., lxviii., lxxxv., lxxxii.

[24] This is generally believed to be the night of (that is,
preceding) the 27th day of the month.

[25] In the Introduction, the references are to the new one volume
edition, 1877. Since writing my chapter on the early Arabs, Sir W.
Muir has published an interesting essay on old Arabic poetry in the
_Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society_ (xi part i. 1879).

[26] The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ of the Muslims, recited several times in each
of the five daily prayers, and on many other occasions.

[27] _That is, of all creatures._

[28] [‘Do we beg assistance,’ in the original ed.]

[29] _God knoweth best what He meaneth by these letters._

[30] _That it is from God._

[31] _In the resurrection and paradise and hell._

[32] _The Ḳur-án._

[33] _The Pentateuch and the Gospel and other books._

[34] This chapter is held in particular veneration by the Moḥammadans,
and declared, by a tradition of their prophet, to be equal in value to
a third part of the whole Korân.—S.

[35] One of the most admired passages in the Ḳur-án, recited (though
not by all Muslims) at the close of each of the five daily prayers,
and often engraved on an ornament of gold or silver or a precious
stone to be worn as an amulet.

[36] ‘The seven heavens and earths in comparison with the Throne are
nought but as seven dirhems [silver coins] cast into a shield.’—Trad.

[37] [‘Able to do everything,’ orig. ed. Lit. ‘potent over

[38] Lit. ‘driven away with stones.’ This expression alludes to a
tradition, that Abraham, when the devil tempted him to disobey God, in
not sacrificing his son, drove the fiend away by throwing stones at
him; in memory of which, the Moḥammadans, at the pilgrimage of Mecca,
throw a certain number of stones at the devil, with certain
ceremonies, in the valley of Mina.—S. The devils, or evil jinn, it is
said, had liberty to enter any of the seven heavens till the birth of
Jesus, when they were excluded from three of them; on the birth of
Moḥammad they were forbidden the other four. They continue, however,
to ascend to the confines of the lowest heaven, and there, listening
to the conversation of the angels respecting things decreed by God,
obtain knowledge of futurity, which they sometimes impart to men, who
by means of talismans or certain invocations make them to serve the
purposes of magical performances. Shooting stars are often hurled at
the devils when they thus listen.

[39] _That it may not move with its inhabitants._

[40] _Or determined._

[41] _Slaves and beasts and cattle: for it is God only who sustaineth

[42] _Which cause the clouds to fill with water._

[43] _As the bird from the egg._

[44] _As the egg from the bird._

[45] _Or consider._

[46] _For you previously to birth._

[47] [‘Compacted,’ orig. ed. Strictly, words such as ‘come forth’
should be supplied before ‘clusters.’]

[48] _In leaf._

[49] _In fruit._

[50] [Genii.] _since they have obeyed them in worshipping idols_. See
p. 33.

[51] _Alone._

[52] _This was revealed with reference to a man unto whom the Prophet
sent one to invite him_ to the faith; _but he said, Who is the apostle
of God, and what is God? Is he of gold, or silver, or brass? Whereupon
a thunderbolt fell upon him, and struck off his skull_.

[53] _On the Preserved Tablet._

[54] _Restoring your souls in the daytime._

[55] _The term of life._

[56] [‘Predominant,’ orig. ed.]

[57] _Angels who register your deeds._

[58] _The creatures._

[59] _That He may recompense them._

[60] _O Moḥammad, to the people of Mekkeh._

[61] _Namely, the Jews and the Christians, and those_ [Arabs] _who
assert that the angels are daughters of God_.

[62] [‘Demolished,’ orig. ed.]

[63] _On the day of resurrection._

[64] _Without wealth or helper._

[65] _Of the perfume and saffron with which they are overdaubed._

[66] _Idols._

[67] _This they would not worship them._

[68] [‘Similitudes,’ orig. ed. It is the plural of the same word as
that translated ‘parable’ at the beginning of the preceding extract,
and ‘likeness’ twice in this extract.]

[69] [It is said that Moḥammad, when a revelation came down to him,
used to say, ‘Cover ye me with something whereby I may become warm.’
Lane: Lexicon, voce _dathara_.]

[70] [Idolatry.]

[71] [This rendering is Mr. Rodwell’s. I do not think it can be

[72] [Lit. ‘And by the night when it becometh still;’ or (but this is
less strongly supported) ‘when it darkeneth.’]

[73] [‘In my possession,’ orig. ed.]

[74] [‘Apostle,’ in the orig. ed.; but Christian associations have
somewhat restricted the original meaning of the word, and I have
therefore in this and other instances substituted ‘Messenger,’ which
exactly represents the Arabic _rasool_.]

[75] _To unbelief._

[76] _He will only injure himself._

[77] _The Jews said unto the Muslims, We are the people of the first
book_ (the Pentateuch), _and our Ḳibleh_ (the point to which we turn
our faces in praying) _is the more ancient, and the prophets have not
been of the Arabs, and if Moḥammad were a prophet, he had been of us_.
_Therefore_ the following _was revealed_.

[78] _So that He may choose of His servants whom He pleaseth._

[79] _That is, God is; and He hath acquitted Abraham of belonging to
them by His saying_ [Ḳur. iii. 60], _Abraham was not a Jew nor a
Christian; and the other persons above-mentioned with him were
followers of him_.

[80] _They are the Jews, who have concealed the testimony of God, in
the Pentateuch, of Abraham’s orthodoxy._

[81] [Moḥammad and Aḥmad are from the same root, _ḥamd_, meaning
‘praise;’ and both names were borne by the Prophet. The supposed
prediction of Moḥammad’s coming arose, perhaps, from a confusion
between Parakletos and Perikleitos or possibly Periklytos in Evang. S.
Jo. xvi. 7, where the coming of ‘the Paraclete’ is promised; in some
Arabic version of which the word may have been ignorantly rendered by
‘Aḥmad,’ and thus reported to Moḥammad.]

[82] _By the description of him in their books._

[83] _The description of him._

[84] _In the Law._

[85] _Or miracles._

[86] _As Zechariah and John, and ye slew them._

[87] _Their belief, if the signs come._ The copies of the original
differ in this verse, but not in an important manner.

[88] _From the truth, so that they shall not believe._

[89] _The Ḳur-án._

[90] Or art mad.

[91] _That is, with punishment._

[92] [The original copy kept by God.]

[93] [This line is often inscribed on the covers of copies of the Ḳur-án.]

[94] _In eloquence._

[95] [In orig. edition, and literally, ‘Although some of them assisted

[96] _That they may be admonished._

[97] _And not sent an angel?_

[98] _Instead of mankind._

[99] _For no apostle is sent unto a people but one of their own kind._

[100] Forgery.

[101] _Moḥammad._

[102] Chapter.

[103] _To assist you._

[104] _The result of the threat that it containeth._

[105] _As to its being from God._

[106] _In eloquence and beauty of composition and information
concerning what is unseen._

[107] _Your deities whom ye worship, that they may aid you._

[108] _When the unbelievers cavilled at abrogation, and said,
‘Moḥammad commandeth his companions to-day to do a thing and
forbiddeth it tomorrow,’_ the following _was revealed_.

[109] _Namely, a Christian slave whom the Prophet used to visit._ [The
Mekkans accounted for the production of the Ḳur-án by an unlearned man
like Moḥammad by ascribing it to the teaching of some Christian, whom
is doubtful. Moḥammad’s reply is that the Christian’s was a foreign
tongue, whilst the Ḳur-án was in Arabic.]

[110] [‘As a further supply,’ orig. ed.]

[111] [Lit. ‘Burdens:’ explained by El-Beyḍáwee and others _as buried
treasures_ and as _dead_.]

[112] _The most highly esteemed of property._

[113] [‘Be set on fire,’ orig. ed. Both these renderings, and also ‘be
dried up,’ are supported by various authorities. See Lane: Lex. voce

[114] Woman-child.

[115] _Of men’s actions._

[116] _As the skin is plucked off a_ slaughtered _sheep_.

[117] _A kind of thorn which no beast eateth, by reason of its

[118] _Or eight ranks of them._

[119] _Unto a company, by reason of his joy thereat._

[120] _And it shall be said unto such._

[121] _And it shall be said unto the keepers of hell._

[122] _As it hath denied it in the present world._

[123] _Those who shall receive their books in their right hands._

[124] _How honourable shall they be!_

[125] _How contemptible shall they be!_

[126] _In the way to good fortune (namely, the Prophets), how
honourable shall be!_

[127] [‘Destined to continue for ever _in boyhood_,’ orig. ed.]

[128] [Ḥooreeyehs.]

[129] Intensely black and white, large-eyed.

[130] From bottom to top.

[131] [The Ḥooreeyehs.]

[132] _Polytheism._

[133] Beneath the tents thereof.

[134] _The believers and the unbelievers._

[135] _One after another, barefooted, naked, unarmed._

[136] _Of the resurrection._

[137] _Written in their books._

[138] _I will surely fill Hell_, &c. [Ḳur. vii. 17, given below, p.

[139] Of righteousness.

[140] _Between all creatures._

[141] [Or ‘marked’ or ‘goodly.’]

[142] [Fighting for the faith.]

[143] [Or ‘end,’ ‘result.’]

[144] “Arms on armour clashing bray’d Horrible discord.”—_Par. Lost_,
vi. 209.

[145] _O Moḥammad._ The copies of the original differ here, but the
differences are unimportant.

[146] _By taking to themselves idols._

[147] _Thou wouldst see a great thing!_

[148] _Denying their having led them into error._

[149] _Iblees._

[150] _And the people of paradise are introduced into paradise, and
the people of the fire into the fire, and when the latter have
assembled around him._

[151] _Respecting the resurrection and retribution._

[152] _The contrary._

[153] _The people of Mekkeh._

[154] _Of the resurrection._

[155] _If the choice had been given us we had not gone forth and had
not been slain._

[156] _Namely, the Jews._

[157] [See _Modern Egyptians_, 5th ed., p 284.]

[158] [On the various orders of the Jinn, see Lane’s _Thousand and One
Nights_, Introduction, note 21. And see above, pp. 7, 9.]

[159] _Consisting of the angels._

[160] _They speak not until after He hath spoken._

[161] _Iblees_ [the devil].

[162] [In the Arabic, ‘Ḳur-án.’]

[163] _This is said to be the most comprehensive verse in the Ḳur-án
with respect to good and evil._ [The commentators say it contains the
whole duty of man, both in respect of doing and of shunning. It is
needless to enumerate the various virtues and sins which they consider
are implied in each of the simple words of the text.]

[164] [Mr. Rodwell’s rendering.]

[165] The traveller.

[166] _Of being rewarded for so doing._

[167] _Or reproach._

[168] _Their idols._

[169] _Disposition._

[170] [Lit., and in orig. ed., ‘hath great good fortune.’]

[171] [_Mod. Egypt._, 104.]

[172] [The Christians and Jews.]

[173] [Or ‘best:’ so in _Mod. Egypt._, 280.]

[174] [This is Mr. Rodwell’s word, and is, I think, more expressive of
the original (_muslimoona_) than ‘resigned.’]

[175] _In the prophets._

[176] [Some suppose this verse to be abrogated by the next extract:
others try to explain it away.]

[177] _And of him who inviteth them to the true religion._

[178] Mirage (_saráb_).

[179] _In like manner the unbeliever reckoneth that his works will
profit him, until, when he dieth and is brought before his Lord, he
findeth not his works._

[180] _The unbeliever._

[181] _By his unbelief._

[182] _In the tradition it is said, ‘Whosoever hath any good thing
given unto him, whether of family or wealth, and saith on the occasion
thereof, ‘What God willeth (`má-sháä-lláh)! There is no power but in
God!’ he will not see in it aught displeasing.’_

[183] _On the day of resurrection._

[184] _O Moḥammad._

[185] _Of the people of Mekkeh._

[186] _So as to disdain receiving the truth._ (_This was revealed as
respecting the envoys who came from the King of Abyssinia: the Prophet
recited the Soorat Yá-Seen_ [xxxvi.], _whereupon they wept and became
Muslims, and said, ‘How like is this to that which was revealed to

[187] _Not believing in Moḥammad._

[188] _With respect to the hypocrites_ the following _was revealed_.

[189] _Their chiefs._

[190] The number of the prophets which have been from time to time
sent by God into the world amounts to no less than 224,000, according
to one Moḥammadan tradition, or to 124,000 according to another; among
whom 313 were apostles, sent with special commissions to reclaim
mankind from infidelity and superstition; and six of them brought new
laws or dispensations, which successively abrogated the preceding:
these were Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Moḥammad. All the
prophets in general the Moḥammadans believe to have been free from
great sins and errors of consequence, and professors of one and the
same religion, that is, El-Islám, notwithstanding the different laws
and institutions which they observed. In this great number of
prophets, they not only reckon divers patriarchs and persons named in
Scripture but not recorded to have been prophets (wherein the Jewish
and Christian writers have sometimes led the way), as Adam, Seth, Lot,
Ishmael, Nun, Joshua, &c., and introduce some of them under different
names, as Enoch, Heber, and Jethro, who are called in the Ḳur-án,
Idrees, Hood, and Sho´eyb; but several others whose very names do not
appear in Scripture (though they endeavour to find some persons there
to fix them on), as Ṣáliḥ, El-Khiḍr, Dhu-l-Kifl.

As to the Scriptures, the Moḥammadans are taught by the Ḳur-án that
God, in divers ages of the world, gave revelations of His will in
writing to several prophets, the whole and every word of which it is
absolutely necessary for a good Muslim to believe. The number of these
sacred books was, according to them, 104; of which ten were given to
Adam, fifty to Seth, thirty to Idrees or Enoch, ten to Abraham; and
the other four, being the Pentateuch, the Psalms, the Gospel, and the
Ḳur-án, were successively delivered to Moses, David, Jesus, and
Moḥammad; which last being the _seal_ of the prophets, those
revelations are now closed and no more are to be expected. All these
divine books, except the four last, they agree to be now entirely lost
and their contents unknown; though the Sabians have several books
which they attribute to some of the antediluvian prophets. And of
those four, the Pentateuch, Psalms, and Gospel, they say, have
undergone so many alterations and corruptions, that though there may
possibly be some part of the true word of God therein, yet no credit
is to be given to the present copies in the hands of the Jews and

[191] ‘El-Jánn’ is here used as a name of Iblees, the father of the
jinn. It also signifies the jinn themselves.

[192] According to a tradition of the Prophet, the height of Adam was
equal to that of a tall palm-tree.

[193] The Moḥammadans say, that when they were cast down from Paradise
[which is in the seventh heaven], Adam fell on the isle of Ceylon, or
Sarandeeb, and Eve near Juddah (the port of Mekkeh) in Arabia; and
that, after a separation of two hundred years, Adam was, on his
repentance, conducted by the angel Gabriel to a mountain near Mekkeh,
where he found and knew his wife, the mountain being thence named
´Arafát; and that he afterwards retired with her to Ceylon.—S.

[194] The prayer is inserted by the commentary from Ḳur. vii. 22.

[195] This word has various significations in the Ḳur-án; sometimes,
as in this passage, it signifies _divine revelation_, or _scripture_
in general; sometimes the _verses_ of the _Ḳur-án_ in particular; and
at other times, _visible miracles_. But the sense is easily
distinguished by the context.—S.

[196] Called in Arabic Hábeel and Ḳábeel.

[197] The occasion of their making this offering is thus related,
according to the common tradition in the East. Each of them being born
with a twin-sister, when they were grown up, Adam by God’s direction
ordered Cain to marry Abel’s twin-sister, and Abel to marry Cain’s;
(for it being the common opinion that marriages ought not to be had in
the nearest degrees of consanguinity, since they must necessarily
marry their sisters, it seemed reasonable to suppose they ought to
take those of the remoter degree;) but this Cain refusing to agree to,
because his own sister was the handsomest, Adam ordered them to make
their offerings to God, thereby referring the dispute to His
determination. The commentators say Cain’s offering was a sheaf of the
very worst of his corn; but Abel’s a fat lamb of the best of his

[198] Or, as the original literally signifies, boiled over [or
boiled], which is consonant to what the Rabbins say, that the waters
of the deluge were boiling hot.—This oven was, as some say, at
El-Koofeh, in a spot whereon a mosque now stands; or, as others rather
think, in a certain place in India, or else at ´Eyn-el-Wardeh in
Mesopotamia. Some pretend that it was the same oven which Eve made use
of to bake her bread in, being of a form different from those we use,
having the mouth in the upper part, and that it descended from
patriarch to patriarch till it came to Noah. It is remarkable that
Moḥammad, in all probability, borrowed this circumstance from the
Persian Magi, who also fancied that the first waters of the deluge
gushed out of the oven of a certain old woman named Zala Cûfa.—But the
word “tennoor,” which is here translated “oven,” also signifying “the
superficies of the earth,” or “a place whence waters spring forth,” or
“where they are collected,” some suppose it means no more in this
passage than the spot or fissure whence the first eruption of waters
broke forth.—S.

[199] It is a custom of many Muslims to pronounce these words, ‘In the
name of God be its course and its mooring,’ on embarking for any
voyage.—L. The commentators tell us that Noah was two years in
building the ark, which was framed of Indian plane-tree; that it was
divided into three stories, of which the lower was designed for the
beasts, the middle one for the men and women, and the upper for the
birds; and the men were separated from the women by the body of Adam,
which Noah had taken into the ark. This last is a tradition of the
Eastern Christians.—S.

[200] The original of this passage is considered the most sublime in
the Ḳur-án.

[201] The Moḥammadans say that Noah went into the ark on the tenth of
Rejeb, and came out of it on the tenth of Moḥarram; which therefore
became a fast: so that the whole time of Noah’s being in the ark
according to them was six months.—S. (B.)

[202] ´Ád was an ancient and potent tribe of Arabs, and zealous
idolaters. They chiefly worshipped four deities, Sákiyeh, Ḥáfiḍhah,
Ráziḳah, and Sálimeh; the first, as they imagined, supplying them with
rain, the second preserving them from all dangers abroad, the third
providing food for their sustenance, and the fourth restoring them to
health when afflicted with sickness; according to the signification of
the several names.—S.

[203] Generally supposed to be the same person as Heber.—S.

[204] Thamood was another tribe of the ancient Arabs who fell into
idolatry. They dwelt first in the country of the ´Ádites, but their
numbers increasing, they removed to the territory of Ḥejr.—S.

[205] This extraordinary camel frighting the other cattle from their
pasture, a certain rich woman, named ´Oneyzeh Umm-Ghánim, having four
daughters, dressed them out, and offered one Ḳudár his choice of them,
if he would kill the camel. Whereupon he chose one, and with the
assistance of eight other men hamstrung and killed the dam, and
pursuing the young one which fled to the mountain, killed that also,
and divided his flesh among them. Others tell the story somewhat
differently, adding Ṣadaḳah Bint-El-Mukhtár as a
joint-conspiratress with ´Oneyzeh, and pretending that the young one
was not killed.’—S. (A.F., B.)

[206] Defying the vengeance with which they were threatened; because
they trusted in their strong dwellings hewn in the rocks, saying that
the tribe of ´Ád perished only because their houses were not built
with sufficient strength.—S.

[207] Like violent and repeated claps of thunder; which some say was
no other than the voice of the angel Gabriel, which rent their hearts.
It is said that after they had killed the camel, Ṣáliḥ told them
that on the morrow their faces should become yellow, the next day red,
and the third day black; and that on the fourth God’s vengeance should
light on them: and that, the first three signs happening accordingly,
they sought to put him to death; but God delivered him by sending him
into Palestine.—S. (A.F., B.)

[208] In the Mir-át-ez-Zemán it is stated that there are various
opinions respecting the age in which this person lived: 1. That he
lived in the first century after the Deluge, and was of the sons of
Japheth, and was born in the land of the Greeks: so said ´Alee; 2.
That he was after Thamood: so said El-Ḥasan; 3. That he was of the
lineage of Esau, the son of Isaac: so said Muḳátil; 4. That he lived
between the times of Moses and Jesus; 5. That he lived between Jesus
and Moḥammad; and 6. That he was of the lineage of Yoonán, son [as
some say] of Noah, in the days of Abraham; and this, adds the author,
is the most correct.—But some suppose him to be the same with
Alexander the Great.—Respecting his surname of ‘Dhu-l-Ḳarneyn,’ the
most obvious signification of which is ‘the two-horned,’ the more
judicious in general are of opinion that he received it because he
made expeditions to the extreme parts of the east and west, and
therefore that it signifies ‘Lord of the two extreme parts of the

[209] Who were clothed in the skins of wild beasts, and lived upon
what the sea cast on shore.—S. (B.)

[210] The Arabs call them Yájooj and Májooj, and say they are two
nations or tribes descended from Japheth the son of Noah; or, as
others write, Gog are a tribe of the Turks, and Magog of those of
Geelán, the Geli and Gelæ of Ptolemy and Strabo.—It is said these
barbarous people made their irruptions into the neighbouring countries
in the spring, and destroyed and carried off all the fruits of the
earth; and some pretend they were man-eaters.—S. (B.)

[211] The Eastern authors unanimously agree that he (Ázar) was a
statuary, or carver of idols; and he is represented as the first who
made images of clay, pictures only having been in use before, and
taught that they were to be adored as gods. However, we are told his
employment was a very honourable one, and that he was a great lord and
in high favour with Nimrod, whose son-in-law he was, because he made
his idols for him and was excellent in his art. Some of the Rabbins
say Terah was a priest and chief of the order.—S.

[212] Some tell us that Nimrod, on seeing this miraculous deliverance
from his palace, cried out that he would make an offering to the God
of Abraham; and that he accordingly sacrificed four thousand kine.
[B.] But, if he ever relented, he soon relapsed into his former
infidelity: for he built a tower that he might ascend to heaven to see
Abraham’s God; which being overthrown [Ḳur. xvi. 28], still
persisting in his design, he would be carried to heaven in a chest
borne by four monstrous birds; but after wandering for some time
through the air, he fell down on a mountain with such force that he
made it shake, whereto (as some fancy) a passage in the Ḳur-án [xiv.
47] alludes, which may be translated, ‘although their contrivances be
such as to make the mountains tremble.’—Nimrod, disappointed in his
design of making war with God, turned his arms against Abraham, who,
being a great prince, raised forces to defend himself; but God,
dividing Nimrod’s subjects, and confounding their language, deprived
him of the greater part of his people, and plagued those who adhered
to him by swarms of gnats, which destroyed almost all of them; and one
of those gnats having entered into the nostril, or ear, of Nimrod,
penetrated to one of the membranes of his brain, where, growing bigger
every day, it gave him such intolerable pain, that he was obliged to
cause his head to be beaten with a mallet, in order to procure some
ease, which torture he suffered four hundred years; God being willing
to punish, by one of the smallest of His creatures, him who insolently
boasted himself to be lord of all. A Syrian calendar places the death
of Nimrod, as if the time were well known, on the eighth of Tamooz, or

[213] They tell us that Gabriel thrust his wing under them and lifted
them up so high that the inhabitants of the lower heaven heard the
barking of the dogs and the crowing of the cocks; and then, inverting
them, threw them down to the earth.—S. (B.)

[214] It is the most received opinion among the Moḥammadans that the
son whom Abraham offered was Ishmael and not Isaac; Ishmael being his
only son at that time: for the promise of Isaac’s birth is mentioned
lower, as subsequent in time to this transaction. They also allege the
testimony of their prophet, who is reported to have said, ‘I am the
son of the two who were offered in sacrifice;’ meaning his great
ancestor, Ishmael, and his own father ´Abd-Allah: for
´Abd-el-Muṭṭalib had made a vow that if God would permit him to
find out and open the well Zemzem and should give him ten sons he
would sacrifice one of them; accordingly, when he had obtained his
desire in both respects, he cast lots on his sons, and the lot falling
on ´Abd-Allah, he redeemed him by offering a hundred camels, which was
therefore ordered to be the price of a man’s blood in the Sunneh.—S.
(B., Z.)

[215] The occasion of this request of Abraham is said to have been a
doubt proposed to him by the devil in human form, how it was possible
for the several parts of a corpse of a man which lay on the sea-shore
and had been partly devoured by the wild beasts, the birds, and the
fish, to be brought together at the resurrection.—S.

[216] In the original, ‘Imám,’ which answers to the Latin _Antistes_.
This title the Moḥammadans give to their priests [if such a title may
be used, for want of one more correct] who begin the prayers in their
mosques, and whom all the congregation follow.—S.

[217] The term ‘rek´ah’ signifies the repetition of a set form of
words, chiefly from the Ḳur-án, and ejaculations of ‘God is most
Great!’ etc., accompanied by particular postures; part of the words
being repeated in an erect posture, part sitting, and part in other
postures: an inclination of the head and body, followed by two
prostrations, distinguishing each rek´ah. Each of the five daily
prayers of the Muslims consist of a certain number of rek´ahs.

[218] The city of Eṭ-Ṭáïf was so called, according to Abu-l-Fida and
several other Arab authors, because it, with the adjacent fields,
was separated from Syria during the Deluge, and after floating round
about upon the water at length rested in its present situation, where
its soil has continued to produce the fruits of Syria.

[219] Namely, the Kaạbeh.

[220] In the original, ‘Muslims,’ which is the peculiar and very
appropriate title of the believers in the religion taught by Moḥammad;
and as he professed not to teach a religion essentially _new_, this
title is given to all true believers before him.

[221] ‘El-Islam’ signifies the _resigning_ oneself to God and to His
service, and is the name given by Moḥammad to that religion which, he
asserted, all the prophets before him had taught, and he restored; the
foundation of which was the unity of God.

[222] This well, say some, was a certain well near Jerusalem, or not
far from the river Jordan; but others call it the well of Egypt, or
Midian. The commentators tell us that when the sons of Jacob had
gotten Joseph with them in the field, they began to abuse and to beat
him so unmercifully that they had killed him had not Judah on his
crying out for help insisted on the promise they had made not to kill
him but to cast him into the well. Whereupon they let him down a
little way; but as he held by the sides of the well, they bound him,
and took off his inner garment, designing to stain it with blood to
deceive their father. Joseph begged hard to have his garment returned
to him, but to no purpose, his brothers telling him, with a sneer,
that the eleven stars and the sun and the moon might clothe him and
keep him company.—S. (B., Z.)

[223] The commentators pretend that Gabriel also clothed him in the
well with a garment of silk of Paradise. For they say that when
Abraham was thrown into the fire by Nimrod, he was stripped; and that
Gabriel brought him this garment and put it on him; and that from
Abraham it descended to Jacob, who folded it up and put it into an
amulet, which he hung about Joseph’s neck, whence Gabriel drew it
out.—S. (B., Z.)

[224] These races they used by way of exercise; and the commentators
generally understand here that kind of race wherein they also showed
their dexterity in throwing darts, which is still used in the East.—S.

[225] This Jacob had reason to suspect, because when the garment was
brought to him, he observed that, though it was bloody, yet it was not
torn.—S. (B.)

[226] Three days after Joseph had been thrown into it.—S.

[227] The commentators are so exact as to give us the name of this
man, who as they pretend, was Málik Ibn-Doạr, of the tribe of
Khuzá´ah.—S. (B.)

[228] The expositors are not agreed whether the pronoun _they_ relates
to Málik and his companions, or to Joseph’s brethren. They who espouse
the former opinion say that those who came to draw water concealed the
manner of their coming by him from the rest of the caravan, that they
might keep him to themselves; pretending that some people of the place
had given him to them to sell for them in Egypt. And they who prefer
the latter opinion tell us that Judah carried victuals to Joseph every
day while he was in the well; but not finding him there on the fourth
day, he acquainted his brothers with it: whereupon they all went to
the caravan and claimed Joseph as their slave, he not daring to
discover that he was their brother, lest something worse should befall
him; and at length they agreed to sell him to them.—S. (B.)

[229] A corruption of Potiphar. He was a man of great consideration,
being superintendent of the royal treasury.—S. (B.)

[230] That is, to Ḳiṭfeer and his friends. The occasion of Joseph’s
imprisonment is said to be either that they suspected him to be guilty
notwithstanding the proofs which had been given of his innocence, or
else that Zeleekha desired it, feigning, to deceive her husband, that
she wanted to have Joseph removed from her sight till she could
conquer her passion by time; though her real design was to force him
to compliance.—S.

[231] According to the explication of some who take the pronoun _him_
to relate to Joseph, this passage may be rendered, ‘But the devil
caused him (_i.e._, Joseph) to forget to make his application unto his
lord;’ and to beg the good offices of his fellow-prisoner for his
deliverance, instead of relying on God alone, as it became a prophet,
especially, to have done.—S. (B.)

[232] This prince, as the Oriental writers generally agree, was
Er-Reiyán the son of El-Weleed the Amalekite, who was converted by
Joseph to the worship of the true God, and died in the lifetime of
that prophet. But some pretend that the Pharaoh of Joseph and of Moses
were one and the same person, and that he lived (or rather reigned)
four hundred years.—S. (B.)

[233] The commentators say that Joseph, being taken out of prison,
after he had washed and changed his clothes, was introduced to the
king, whom he saluted in the Hebrew tongue, and on the king’s asking
what language that was, he answered that it was the language of his
fathers. This prince, they say, understood no less than seventy
languages, in every one of which he discoursed with Joseph, who
answered him in the same; at which the king, greatly marvelling,
desired him to relate his dream, which he did, describing the most
minute circumstances: whereupon the king placed Joseph by him on his
throne, and made him his Wezeer, or chief minister.—S. (B.)

[234] Namely, Ephraim and Manasses: so that according to this
tradition, she was the same woman who is called Asenath by ‘Moses.’
This supposed marriage, which authorized their amours, probably
encouraged the Moḥammadan divines to make use of the loves of Joseph
and Zeleekha as an allegorical emblem of the spiritual love between
the Creator and the creature, God and the soul; just as the Christians
apply the Song of Solomon to the same mystical purpose.—S.

[235] Joseph, being made Wezeer, governed with great wisdom; for he
not only caused justice to be impartially administered and encouraged
the people to industry and the improvement of agriculture during the
seven years of plenty, but began and perfected several works of great
benefit; the natives at this day ascribing to the patriarch Joseph
almost all the ancient works of public utility throughout the kingdom;
as particularly the rendering the province of El-Feiyoom, from a
standing pool or marsh, the most fertile and best-cultivated land in
all Egypt. When the years of famine came, the effects of which were
felt not only in Egypt but in Syria and the neighbouring countries,
the inhabitants were obliged to apply to Joseph for corn, which he
sold to them, first for their money, jewels, and ornaments, then for
their cattle and lands, and at length for their persons; so that all
the Egyptians in general became slaves to the king, though Joseph by
his consent soon released them and returned them their substance.—S.

[236] At length Joseph asked them whom they had to vouch for their
veracity; but they told him they knew no man who could vouch for them
in Egypt. Then, replied he, one of you shall stay behind with me as a
pledge, and the others may return home with their provision; and when
ye come again, ye shall bring your younger brother with you, that I
may know ye have told me the truth. Whereupon, it being in vain to
dispute the matter, they cast lots who should stay behind, and the lot
fell upon Simeon. When they departed, Joseph gave each of them a
camel, and another for their brother.—S. (B.)

[237] The original word signifying not only money but also goods
bartered or given in exchange for other merchandise, some commentators
tell us that they paid for their corn, not in money, but in shoes and
dressed skins.—S. (B.)

[238] The belief in the influence of the evil eye prevails among all
the Muslims, even the most religious and learned; for their prophet
said, ‘The eye hath a complete influence; because verily, if there
were a thing to overcome fate, it most certainly would be a malignant
eye.’ Hence he permitted charms (which he disallowed in almost every
other case) to be employed for the purpose of counteracting its

[239] It is related that Joseph, having invited his brethren to an
entertainment, ordered them to be placed two and two together; by
which means, Benjamin, the eleventh, was obliged to sit alone, and,
bursting into tears, said, If my brother Joseph were alive, he would
have sat with me. Whereupon Joseph ordered him to be seated at the
same table with himself, and when the entertainment was over,
dismissed the rest, ordering that they should be lodged two and two in
a house, but kept Benjamin in his own apartment, where he passed the
night. The next day, Joseph asked him whether he would accept of
himself for his brother, in the room of him whom he had lost; to which
Benjamin replied, ‘Who can find a brother comparable unto thee? Yet
thou art not the son of Jacob and Rachel.’ And upon this, Joseph
discovered himself to him.—S. (B.).

[240] Some, however, are of opinion that it was a drinking-cup.

[241] The occasion of this suspicion, it is said, was that Joseph
having been brought up by his father’s sister, she became so fond of
him, that when he grew up and Jacob designed to take him from her she
contrived the following stratagem to keep him. Having a girdle which
had once belonged to Abraham, she girt it about the child, and then
pretending she had lost it, caused strict search to be made for it;
and it being at length found on Joseph, he was adjudged, according to
the above-mentioned law of the family, to be delivered to her as her
property. Some, however, say that Joseph actually stole an idol of
gold, which belonged to his mother’s father, and destroyed it; a story
probably taken from Rachel’s stealing the images of Laban: and others
tell us that he once stole a goat or a hen, to give to a poor man.—S.

[242] Miṣr is the name both of Egypt and its capital.

[243] The injury they did Benjamin was the separating him from his
brother, after which they kept him in so great subjection that he
durst not speak to them but with the utmost submission. Some say that
these words were occasioned by a letter which Joseph’s brethren
delivered to him from their father, requesting the releasement of
Benjamin, and by their representing his extreme affliction at the loss
of him and his brother. The commentators observe that Joseph, to
excuse his brethren’s behaviour towards him, attributes it to their
ignorance and the heat of youth.—S. (B.)

[244] The frontier town of Egypt towards Syria.

[245] El-Beyḍáwee tell us that Joseph sent carriages and provisions
for his father and his family; and that he and the king of Egypt went
forth to meet them. He adds that the number of the children of Israel
who entered Egypt with him was seventy-two; and that when they were
led out thence by Moses, they were increased to six hundred thousand
five hundred and seventy men, and upwards, besides the old people and

[246] A transposition is supposed to be in these words:—he seated his
father and mother after they had bowed down to him, and not before.—S.

[247] But when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, he took up the
coffin, and carried Joseph’s bones with him into Canaan, where he
buried them by his ancestors.—S. (B.)

[248] The Moḥammadan writers tell us that Job was of the race of Esau,
and was blessed with a numerous family and abundant riches; but that
God proved him by taking away all that he had, even his children, who
were killed by the fall of a house; notwithstanding which he continued
to serve God and to return Him thanks as usual; that he was then
struck with a filthy disease, his body being full of worms and so
offensive that as he lay on the dunghill none could bear to come near
him: that his wife, however (whom some call Raḥmeh the daughter of
Ephraim the son of Joseph, and others Makhir the daughter of
Manasses), attended him with great patience, supporting him with what
she earned by her labour; but that the devil appearing to her one day,
after having reminded her of her past prosperity, promised her that if
she would worship him, he would restore all they had lost; whereupon
she asked her husband’s consent, who was so angry at the proposal,
that he swore, if he recovered, to give his wife a hundred stripes.—S.
(B., J., A.F.)

[249] Some say there were two springs, one of hot water wherein he
bathed, and the other of cold of which he drank.—S. (B.)

[250] His wife also becoming young and handsome again, and bearing him
twenty-six sons. Some, to express the great riches which were bestowed
on Job after his sufferings, say he had two threshing-floors, one for
wheat and the other for barley, and that God sent two clouds, which
rained gold on the one and silver on the other till they ran
over.—(J.) The traditions differ as to the continuance of Job’s
calamities: one will have it to be eighteen years; another, thirteen;
another, three; and another, exactly seven years seven months and
seven hours.—S.

[251] Or ‘a palm-branch having a hundred leaves.’—S.

[252] But see note 1 (248).

[253] The commentators generally suppose him to be the same person
with the father-in-law of Moses, who is named in Scripture Reuel or
Raguel, and Jethro. But Aḥmad Ibn-´Abd-El-Ḥaleem charges those who
entertain this opinion with ignorance. They say (after the Jews) that
he gave his son-in-law [Moses] that wonder-working rod with which he
performed all those miracles in Egypt and the Desert, and also
excellent advice and instructions; whence he had the surname of
‘Khaṭeeb-el-Ambiya,’ or ‘the Preacher to the Prophets.’—S.

[254] The Arabic word ‘ḍa´eef’ (weak) signifying also in the
Ḥimyaritic dialect ‘blind,’ some suppose that Sho´eyb was so, and that
the Midianites objected that to him as a defect which disqualified him
for the prophetic office.—S.

[255] Which of the kings of Egypt this Pharaoh of Moses was is
uncertain. Not to mention the opinions of the European writers, those
of the East generally suppose him to have been El-Weleed, who
according to some was an Arab of the tribe of ´Ád, or according to
others the son of Muṣ´ab the son of Er-Reiyán the son of El-Weleed the
Amalekite. There are historians, however, who suppose Ḳáboos the
brother and predecessor of El-Weleed was the prince we are speaking
of, and pretend he lived six hundred and twenty years and reigned four
hundred. Which is more reasonable, at least, than the opinion of those
who imagine it was his father Muṣ´ab or grandfather Er-Reiyán.
Abu-l-Fida says the Muṣ´ab, being one hundred and seventy years old
and having no child, while he kept the herds saw a cow calve, and
heard her say at the same time, ‘O Muṣ´ab, be not grieved, for thou
shalt have a wicked son, who will be at length cast into hell.’ And he
accordingly had this Weleed, who afterwards coming to be king of Egypt
proved an impious tyrant.—S. (A.F., Z.)

[256] This name is given to Pharaoh’s chief minister; from whence it
is generally inferred that Moḥammad had been made Haman the favorite
of Ahasuerus king of Persia, and who indisputably lived many years
after Moses, to be that prophet’s contemporary.—S.

[257] It is related that the midwife appointed to attend the Hebrew
women, terrified by a light which appeared between the eyes of Moses
at his birth, and touched with an extraordinary affection for the
child, did not discover him to the officers, so that his mother kept
him in her house, and nursed him three months; after which it was
impossible for her to conceal him any longer, the king then giving
orders to make the searches more strictly.—S. (B.)

[258] The commentators say that his mother made an ark of the papyrus,
and pitched it, and put in some cotton; and having laid the child
therein, committed it to the river, a branch of which went into
Pharaoh’s garden: that the stream carried the ark thither into a
fishpond, at the head of which Pharaoh was then sitting with his wife
Ásiyeh the daughter of Muzáḥem; and that the king, having commanded it
to be taken up and opened, and finding in it a beautiful child, took a
fancy to it, and ordered it to be brought up.—Some writers mention a
miraculous preservation of Moses before he was put into the ark; and
tell us, that his mother having hid him from Pharaoh’s officers in an
oven, his sister, in her mother’s absence, kindled a large fire in the
oven to heat it, not knowing the child was there; but that he was
afterwards taken out unhurt.—S. (B., A.F.)

[259] Ḳur. xxvi. 17.

[260] This person, says the tradition, was an Egyptian and Pharaoh’s
uncle’s son.—S.

[261] The Jews pretend he was actually imprisoned for the fact, and
condemned to be beheaded; but that when he should have suffered his
neck became as hard as ivory, and the sword rebounded on the

[262] According to El-Beyḍáwee, Moses knew not the way, and, coming to
a place where three roads met, committed himself to the guidance of
God, and took the middle road, which was the right; Providence
likewise so ordering it that his pursuers took the other two roads,
and missed him.—S.

[263] This was Ṣafoora [also called Ṣafoorah and Ṣafooriya,
or Zipporah, the elder, or as others suppose the younger, daughter of
Sho´eyb, whom Moses afterwards married.—S.]

[264] The commentators say, that Moses, having obtained leave of
Sho´eyb or Jethro, his father-in-law, to visit his mother, departed
with his family from Midian towards Egypt; but coming to the valley of
Ṭuwa, wherein Mount Sinai stands, his wife fell in labour and was
delivered of a son in a very dark and snowy night: he had also lost
his way, and his cattle were scattered from him, when on a sudden he
saw a fire by the side of a mountain, which on his nearer approach he
found burning in a green bush.—S. (B.)

[265] This was a mark of humility and respect: though some fancy there
was some uncleanness in the shoes themselves, because they were made
of the skin of an ass not dressed.—S. (B.)

[266] Which was at first no bigger than the rod, but afterwards
swelled to a prodigious size.—S. (B.)

[267] When Moses saw the serpent move about with great nimbleness and
swallow stones and trees, he was greatly terrified, and fled from it;
but recovering his courage at these words of God, he had the boldness
to take the serpent by the jaws.—S. (B.)

[268] Moses had an impediment in his speech, which was occasioned by
the following accident. Pharaoh one day carrying him in his arms when
a child, he suddenly laid hold of his beard and plucked it in a very
rough manner, which put Pharaoh into such a passion that he ordered
him to be put to death: but Ásiyeh his wife representing to him that
he was but a child, who could not distinguish between a burning coal
and a ruby, he ordered the experiment to be made; and a live coal and
a ruby being set before Moses, he took the coal and put it into his
mouth, and burnt his tongue: and thereupon he was pardoned.—This is a
Jewish story a little altered.—S.

[269] For he was obliged to abandon his country and his friends, and
to travel several days in great terror and want of necessary
provisions to seek a refuge among strangers; and was afterwards forced
to serve for hire to gain a livelihood.—S.

[270] Aaron being by this time come out to meet his brother, either by
divine inspiration, or having notice of his design to return to
Egypt.—S. (B.)

[271] The Arab writers tell enormous fables of this serpent or dragon.
For they say that he was hairy and of so prodigious a size that when
he opened his mouth his jaws were fourscore cubits asunder and when he
laid his lower jaw on the ground his upper reached to the top of the
palace [or rather, I believe, the _throne_ of Pharaoh]: that Pharaoh,
seeing this monster make towards him, fled from it; and that the whole
assembly also betaking themselves to their heels, no less than
twenty-five thousand of them lost their lives in the press. They add
that Pharaoh, upon this abjured Moses by God who had sent him to take
away the serpent, and promised he would believe on Him and let the
Israelites go; but when Moses had done what he requested, he relapsed
and grew as hardened as before.—S. (B.)

[272] There is a tradition that Moses was a very swarthy man; and that
when he put his hand into his bosom, and drew it out again, it became
extremely white and splendid, surpassing the brightness of the sun.—S.

[273] They provided themselves with a great number of thick ropes and
long pieces of wood, which they contrived by some means to move and
make them twist themselves one over the other; and so imposed on the
beholders, who at a distance took them to be true serpents. It is also
said that they rubbed them over with quicksilver, which being wrought
upon by the heat of the sun caused them to move.—S. (B.)

[274] The expositors add that when this serpent had swallowed up all
the rods and cords he made directly towards the assembly and put them
into so great a terror that they fled and a considerable number were
killed in the crowd: then Moses took it up and it became a rod in his
hand as before. Whereupon the magicians declared that it could be no
enchantment, because in such case their rods and cords would not have
disappeared.—S. (B.)

[275] Sale observes that some writers introduce only two of the
enchanters as acknowledging Moses’ miracle to be wrought by the power
of God. These two, they say, were brothers, and the sons of a famous
magician then dead; but on their being sent for to court on this
occasion, their mother persuaded them to go to their father’s tomb and
ask his advice. Being come to the tomb, the father answered their
call, and when they had acquainted him with the affair, he told them
that they should inform themselves whether the rod of which they spoke
became a serpent while its masters slept, or only when they were
awake; for, said he, enchantments have no effect while the enchanter
is asleep, and therefore if it be otherwise in this case, you may be
assured that they act by a divine power. These two magicians then,
arriving at the capital of Egypt, on inquiry found to their great
astonishment that when Moses and Aaron went to rest their rod became a
serpent and guarded them while they slept. And this was the first step
towards their conversion.—S.

[276] Some think these converted magicians were executed accordingly:
but others deny it, and say that the king was not able to put them to
death; insisting on these words of the Ḳur-án [xxviii. 35], ‘Ye two,
and they who follow you, shall overcome.’—S.

[277] See p. 101, l. 5, n. 1 (260).

[278] Cp. Act. Apost. v. 38, 39.

[279] ‘The people of Noah and of ´Ád and of Thamood, and those whom
God destroyed after them.’ So explained in the Ḳámoos.

[280] It is said that Hámán having prepared bricks and other materials
employed no less than fifty thousand men besides labourers in the
building, which they carried to so immense a height that the workmen
could no longer stand on it: that Pharaoh ascending this tower threw a
javelin towards heaven, which fell back again stained with blood,
whereupon he impiously boasted that he had killed the god of Moses;
but at sunset God sent the angel Gabriel, who with one stroke of his
wing demolished the tower, a part whereof falling on the king’s army
destroyed a million of men.—S. (Z.)

[281] Some are of opinion that those who were sent by Pharaoh to seize
the true believer, his kinsman, are the persons more particularly
meant in this place: for they tell us that the said believer fled to a
mountain, where they found him at prayers, guarded by the wild beasts,
which ranged themselves in order about him; and that his pursuers
thereupon returned in a great fright to their master, who put them to
death for not performing his command.—S. (B.)

[282] Some expound these words of the previous punishment they are
doomed to suffer, according to a tradition of Ibn-Mes´ood, which
informs us that their souls are in the crops of black birds which are
exposed to hell-fire every morning and evening until the Day of
Judgment.—S. (B.)

[283] As there is no mention of any such miraculous inundation in the
[so-called] Mosaic writings, some have imagined this plague to have
been either a pestilence, or the smallpox, or some other epidemical
distemper. (B.) For the word ‘ṭoofán,’ which is used in this place,
and is generally rendered a ‘deluge,’ may also signify any other
universal destruction or mortality.—S.

[284] That is, the land of Syria, of which the Eastern geographers
reckon Palestine a part, and wherein the commentators say the children
of Israel succeeded the kings of Egypt and the Amalekites.—S. (B.)

[285] Particularly the lofty tower [before mentioned] which Pharaoh
caused to be built, that he might attack the God of Moses.—S.

[286] The word here translated ‘body’ signifying also a ‘coat of
mail,’ some imagine the meaning to be that his corpse floated armed
with his coat of mail, which they tell us was of gold, by which they
knew it was he.—S.

[287] These people some will have to be of the tribe of Amalek, whom
Moses was commanded to destroy, and others of the tribe of Lakhm.
Their idols, it is said, were images of oxen, which gave the first
hint to the making of the golden calf.—S. (B.)

[288] The Eastern writers say these quails were of a peculiar kind of
be found nowhere else but in El-Yemen, from whence they were brought
by a south wind in great numbers to the Israelites’ camp in the
desert. The Arabs called these birds ‘selwa,’ which is plainly the
same with the Hebrew ‘salwim,’ and say they have no bones, but are
eaten whole.—S.

[289] The word here rendered ‘a great city,’ namely ‘miṣran,’ is
rendered by Marracci and Sale ‘Egypt,’ and is so understood by many
learned Arabs; but according to a general rule, to have this
signification it should be ‘miṣra:’ in some copies of the Ḳur-án,
however, it is thus written.

[290] See Sale’s note _in loc._

[291] A kind of soft stone, like dry mud.

[292] The story here alluded to, though it occurs among passages
respecting Moses and his people, is said to relate to a different age
and to be as follows:—In the days of David, some Israelites dwelt at
Eyleh, or Elath, on the Red Sea, where, on the night of the Sabbath,
the fish used to come in great numbers to the shore, and stay there
all the Sabbath, to tempt them; but the night following they returned
into the sea again. At length, some of the inhabitants, neglecting
God’s commandment, catched fish on the Sabbath, and dressed and ate
them; and afterwards cut canals from the sea, for the fish to enter,
with sluices, which they shut on the Sabbath, to prevent their return
to the sea. The other part of the inhabitants, who strictly observed
the Sabbath, used both persuasion and force to stop this impiety, but
to no purpose, the offenders growing only more and more obstinate;
whereupon David cursed the Sabbath-breakers, and God transformed them
into apes. It is said, that one going to see a friend of his that was
among them found him in the shape of an ape moving his eyes about
wildly; and asking him whether he was not such a one, the ape made a
sign with his head that it was he; whereupon the friend said to him,
Did not I advise you to desist? at which the ape wept. They add, that
these unhappy people remained three days in this condition, and were
afterwards destroyed by a wind which swept them all into the sea.—S.
(A. F.)

[293] His breath before [he used the tooth-stick] had the odour of
musk.—S. (B.)

[294] It is said that not only the ten commandments, but the whole law
was written thereon.—S.

[295] That is, as some understand it, consisting of flesh and blood;
or, as others, being a mere body or mass of metal, without a soul.—S.

[296] The person who cast this calf, the Moḥammadans say, was not
Aaron but Es-Sámiree, one of the principal men among the children of
Israel, some of whose descendants, it is pretended, still inhabit an
island of that name in the Arabian Gulf. It was made of the rings and
bracelets of gold, silver, and other materials, which the Israelites
had borrowed of the Egyptians; for Aaron, who commanded in his
brother’s absence, having ordered Es-Sámiree to collect those
ornaments from the people, who carried on a wicked commerce with them,
and to keep them together till the return of Moses, Es-Sámiree,
understanding the founder’s art, put them altogether into a furnace,
to melt them down into one mass, which came out in the form of a calf.
One writer says, that all the Israelites adored this calf, except only
twelve thousand.—S. (A. F.)

[297] After he had completed his forty days’ stay in the mount, and
had received the Law.—S. (B.)

[298] Or, I knew that which they knew not—that the messenger sent to
thee from God was a pure spirit, and that his footsteps gave life to
whatever they touched; being no other than the angel Gabriel, mounted
on the horse of life: and therefore I made use of the dust of his feet
to animate the molten calf. It is said, Es-Sámiree knew the angel
because he had saved and taken care of him when a child and exposed by
his mother for fear of Pharaoh.—S. (B., Jelál.)

[299] The word here rendered ‘hearts’ often signifies stomachs; and if
this be its meaning here, the narrative agrees with the [so-called]
Mosaic account: for Moses ‘took the calf which they had made, and
burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the
water, and made the children of Israel to drink of it.’—Exod. xxxii.

[300] The persons here meant are said to have been seventy men, who
were made choice of by Moses, and heard the voice of God talking with
him. But not being satisfied with that, they demanded to see God;
whereupon they were all struck dead by lightning, and on Moses’
intercession restored to life.—S.

[301] This person is represented by the commentators as the most
beautiful of the Israelites, and so far surpassing them all in
opulence that the riches of Ḳároon have become a proverb.—S.

[302] Moses, as some say, having complained to God of a false
accusation brought against him by Ḳároon, He directed him to command
the earth what he pleased, and it should obey him; whereupon he said,
‘O earth, swallow them up;’ and immediately the earth opened under
Ḳároon and his confederates, and swallowed them up, with his palace
and all his riches.—There goes a tradition that as Ḳároon sank
gradually into the ground, first to his knees, then to his waist, then
to his neck, he cried out four several times, ‘O Moses, have mercy on
me!’ but that Moses continued to say, ‘O earth, swallow them up!’ till
at last he wholly disappeared: upon which God said to Moses, ‘Thou
hadst no mercy on Ḳároon, though he asked pardon of thee four times;
but I would have had compassion on him if he had asked pardon of me
but once.’—S. (B.)

[303] Or rather, fawn-coloured; as are most of the cows of Arabia. The
word in the original properly signifies yellow.

[304] The story of this young man is thus related:—A certain man at
his death left his son, then a child, a cow-calf, which wandered in
the desert till he came to age; at which time his mother told him the
heifer was his, and bid him fetch her and sell her for three pieces of
gold. When the young man came to the market with his heifer, an angel
in the shape of a man accosted him and bid him six pieces of gold for
her; but he would not take the money till he had asked his mother’s
consent; which when he had obtained, he returned to the market-place,
and met the angel, who now offered him twice as much for the heifer,
provided he would say nothing of it to his mother; but the young man,
refusing, went and acquainted her with the additional offer. The
woman, perceiving it was an angel, bid her son go back and ask him
what must be done with the heifer; whereupon the angel told the young
man that in a little time the children of Israel would buy that heifer
of him at any price.—S. (A.F.)

[305] The more common tradition seems to be that the man was murdered
by _one_ person, the son of his brother, who desired to obtain his
property (as his inheritance), or his daughter, or both.

[306] Also called El-Khaḍir. This mysterious person, whom the vulgar
and some others regard as a prophet, and identify with Ilyás (Elias or
Elijah), and whom some confound with St. George, was, according to the
more approved opinion of the learned, a just man or saint, the Wezeer
and counsellor of that equally doubtful personage Dhu-l-Ḳarneyn, whose
story has already been related in this volume. El-Khiḍr is 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
frequently to Muslims in perplexity, and to be generally clad in green
garments; whence, according to some, his name.—Sale states, in a note
on this passage, that the Muslims usually confound El-Khiḍr with
Phineas, as well as Elias and St. George, saying that his soul passed
by a metempsychosis successively through all three; and he adds, that
part of these fictions they took from the Jews, some of whom also
fancy Phineas was Elias.

[307] Or, as some rather think, El-Ubulleh, near El-Basrah, or else
Bájarwán in Armenia.—S. (B.)

[308] They were ten brothers, five of whom were past their labour by
reason of their age.—S. (B.)

[309] That is, because of the great confidence the Israelites placed
in it, having won several battles by its miraculous assistance. I
imagine, however, that the Arabic word ‘sekeeneh,’ which signifies
‘tranquillity’ or ‘security of mind,’ and is so understood by the
commentators, may not improbably mean the ‘divine presence’ or
‘glory,’ which used to appear on the Ark, and which the Jews express
by the same word ‘Shekinah.’—S.

[310] Sale observes that Yaḥyá most rationally understands hereby the
divine revelations which David received from God, and not the art of
making coats of mail.—The cause of his applying himself to this art is
thus related in the Mir-át-ez-Zemán:—He used to go forth in disguise;
and when he found any people who knew him not, he approached them and
asked them respecting the conduct of David, and they praised him and
prayed for him; but one day, as he was asking questions respecting
himself as usual, God sent to him an angel in the form of a human
being, who said, ‘An excellent man were David if he did not take from
the public treasury:’—whereupon the heart of David was contracted, and
he begged of God to render him independent: so He made iron soft to
him, and it became in his hands as thread; and he used to sell a coat
of mail for four thousand [pieces of money—whether gold or silver is
not said], and with part of this he obtained food for himself, and part he
gave in alms, and with part he fed his family.—Hence an excellent coat
of mail is often called by the Arabs ‘Dáwoodee,’ _i.e._, ‘Davidean.’
See my translation of ‘The Thousand and One Nights,’ chap. viii. note

[311] For David, they say, divided his time regularly, setting apart
one day for the service of God, another day for rendering justice to
his people, another day for preaching to them, and another day for his
own affairs.—S. (B.)

[312] They say that he had a carpet of green silk, on which his throne
was placed, being of a prodigious length and breadth, and sufficient
for all his forces to stand on, the men placing themselves on his
right hand, and the spirits [or jinn] on his left; and that when all
were in order the wind at his command took up the carpet and
transported it with all that were upon it wherever he pleased; the
army of birds at the same time flying over their heads and forming a
kind of canopy to shade them from the sun.—S.

[313] Whither the wind brought back Solomon’s throne in the evening,
after having carried it to a distant country in the morning.—S.

[314] After the space of forty days, which was the time the image had
been worshipped in his house, the devil [or jinnee] flew away, and
threw the signet into the sea: the signet was immediately swallowed by
a fish, which being taken and given to Solomon, he found the ring in
its belly, and, having by this means recovered the kingdom, took
Ṣakhr, and, tying a great stone to his neck, threw him into the
Lake of Tiberias.—S. (B., A.F.)

[315] See note 30 to the Introduction of my translation of the
‘Thousand and One Nights.’

[316] The Arab historians tell us that Solomon, having finished the
Temple of Jerusalem, went in pilgrimage to Mekkeh, where having stayed
as long as he pleased, he proceeded towards El-Yemen; and leaving
Mekkeh in the morning he arrived by noon at Ṣan´a, and being
extremely delighted with the country rested there; but wanting water
to make the ablution, he looked among the birds for the lapwing which
found it for him.—S. (B.)

[317] Some add that Bilḳees, to try whether Solomon was a prophet or
not, drest the boys like girls and the girls like boys, and sent him
in a casket a pearl not drilled and an onyx drilled with a crooked
hole; and that Solomon distinguished the boys from the girls by the
different manner of their taking water, and ordered one worm to bore
the pearl, and another to pass a thread through the onyx.—S. (B.)

[318] Others, however, suppose it was El-Khiḍr, or else Gabriel, or
some other angel; and some imagine it to have been Solomon himself.—S.

[319] This fountain they say was in El-Yemen.—S. (B.)

[320] Some say these spirits made him two lions, which were placed at
the foot of his throne; and two eagles, which were set above it; and
that when he mounted it, the lions stretched out their paws; and when
he sat down, the eagles shaded him with their wings.—S. (B.)

[321] The commentators to explain this passage tell us that David,
having laid the foundations of the Temple of Jerusalem, which was to
be in lieu of the tabernacle of Moses, when he died, left it to be
finished by his son Solomon, who employed the genii in the work; that
Solomon, before the edifice was quite completed, perceiving his end
drew nigh, begged of God that his death might be concealed from the
genii till they had entirely finished it; that God therefore so
ordered it that Solomon died as he stood at his prayers, leaning on
his staff, which supported the body in that posture a full year; and
the genii, supposing him to be alive, continued their work during that
term, at the expiration whereof, the temple being perfectly completed,
a worm, which had gotten into the staff, ate it through, and the
corpse fell to the ground and discovered the king’s death.—S. (B.,

[322] It is said that the fish, after it had swallowed Jonah, swam
after the ship with its head above water, that the prophet might
breathe; who continued to praise God till the fish came to land and
vomited him out.—S.

[323] Sale states that some imagine Jonah’s plant to have been a fig;
and others, the móz (or banana), which bears very large leaves and
excellent fruit.

[324] The commentators add that this plant withered the next morning,
and that Jonah being much concerned at it God made a remonstrance to
him in behalf of the Ninevites, agreeably to what is recorded in

[325] When he first began to exhort them to repentance, instead of
hearkening to him, they used him very ill, so that he was obliged to
leave the city, threatening them at his departure that they should be
destroyed within three days, or, as others say, within forty. But when
the time drew near, and they saw the heavens overcast with a black
cloud which shot forth fire and filled the air with smoke and hung
directly over the city, they were in a terrible consternation, and
getting into the fields, with their families and cattle, they put on
sackcloth and humbled themselves before God, calling aloud for pardon
and sincerely repenting of their past wickedness. Whereupon God was
pleased to forgive them, and the storm blew over.—S. (B., Jelál, A.F.)

[326] ´Imrán, as observed by Sale, is the name of two several persons
according to the Muslims: one was the father of Moses and Aaron, and
the other was the father of the Virgin Mary. The latter is here meant,
and his wife’s name was Hannah.

[327] Or the devil driven away with stones.—See note 1. (38), p. 7.

[328] And for this reason, they say, neither of them was guilty of any
sin, like the rest of the children of Adam.—S. (Ḳatádeh.)

[329] That is, between thirty, or thirty-four, and fifty-one: and the
passage may relate to Christ’s preaching here on earth. But as he had
scarce attained this age when he was taken up into heaven, the
commentators choose to understand it of his second coming.—S.

[330] The age of the Virgin Mary at the time of her conception was
thirteen, or, as others say, ten; and she went six, seven, eight, or
nine months with him, according to different traditions; though some
say the child was conceived at its full growth of nine months, and
that she was delivered of him within an hour after.—S. (B., Yahya.)

[331] Some say the Virgin Mary had really a brother named Aaron, who
had the same father but a different mother: others suppose Aaron the
brother of Moses is here meant, but say Mary is called his sister
either because she was of the Levitical race, (as, by her having been
related to Elizabeth, it should seem she was,) or by way of
comparison: others say that it was a different person of that name who
was contemporary with her and conspicuous for his good or bad
qualities, and that they likened her to him either by way of
commendation or of reproach.—S. (B., Z., &c.)

[332] These were the first words which were put into the mouth of
Jesus, to obviate the imagination of his partaking of the divine
nature or having a right to the worship of mankind on account of his
miraculous speaking so soon after his birth.—S. (B.)

[333] It is related in the spurious Gospel of the Infancy of Christ
that Jesus being seven years old and at play with several children of
his age, they made several figures of birds and beasts of clay for
their diversion; and each preferring his own workmanship, Jesus told
them that he would make his walk and leap; which accordingly at his
command they did. He made also several figures of sparrows and other
birds, which flew about or stood on his hands as he ordered them, and
also ate and drank when he offered them meat and drink. The children,
telling this to their parents, were forbidden to play any more with
Jesus, whom they held to be a sorcerer.—S.

[334] The commentators observe that these words are added lest it
should be thought Jesus did these miracles by his own power, or was
God.—S. (B.)

[335] In Arabic, ‘el-Ḥawáreeyoon;’ which word they derive from ‘ḥára,’
‘to be white’ [or rather, ‘to whiten’ clothes], and suppose the
apostles were so called either from the _candour_ and _sincerity_ of
their minds, or because they were princes and wore white garments, or
else because they were by trade fullers.—(B., Jelál.) According to
which last opinion, their vocation is thus related: That as Jesus
passed by the sea-side, he saw some fullers at work, and, accosting
them, said, ‘Ye cleanse these clothes, but cleanse not your hearts;’
upon which they believed on him. But the true etymology seems to be
from the Ethiopic verb ‘hawyra,’ ‘to go;’ whence ‘hawârya’ signifies
‘one that is sent,’ a ‘messenger,’ or ‘apostle.’—S.

[336] The person crucified some will have to be a spy that was sent to
entrap him; others that it was one Titian, who by the direction of
Judas entered in at a window of the house where Jesus was; to kill
him; and others that it was Judas himself, who agreed with the rulers
of the Jews to betray him for thirty pieces of silver, and led those
who were sent to take him.—They add, that Jesus, after his crucifixion
in _effigy_, was sent down again to the earth to comfort his mother
and disciples and acquaint them how the Jews were deceived, and was
then taken up a second time into heaven.

It is supposed by several that this story was an original invention of
Moḥammad’s; but they are certainly mistaken: for several sectaries
held the same opinion long before his time. The Basilidians, in the
very beginning of Christianity, denied that Christ himself suffered,
but [asserted] that Simon the Cirenean was crucified in his place. The
Corinthians before them, and the Carpocratians next (to name no more
of those who affirmed Jesus to have been a mere man), did believe the
same thing, that it was not himself, but one of his followers, very
like him, that was crucified. Photius tells us that he read a book
entitled ‘The Journeys of the Apostles,’ relating the acts of Peter,
John, Andrew, Thomas, and Paul; and among other things contained
therein this was one, that Christ was not crucified, but another in
his stead, and that therefore he laughed at his crucifiers, or those
who thought they had crucified him.—S.

[337] This miracle is thus related by the commentators. Jesus having
at the request of his followers asked it of God, a red table
immediately descended in their sight between two clouds and was set
before them; whereupon he rose up, and, having made the ablution,
prayed, and then took off the cloth which covered the table, saying,
‘In the name of God, the best provider of food.’ What the provisions
were with which the table was furnished is a matter wherein the
expositors are not agreed. One will have them to be nine cakes of
bread and nine fishes; another, bread and flesh; another, all sorts of
food except flesh; another, all sorts of food except bread and flesh;
another, all except bread and fish; another, one fish which had the
taste of all manner of food; another, fruits of Paradise: but the most
received tradition is that when the table was uncovered there appeared
a fish ready dressed, without scales or prickly fins, dropping with
fat, having salt placed at its head, and vinegar at its tail, and
round it all sorts of herbs except leeks, and five loaves of bread, on
one of which there were olives, on the second honey, on the third
butter, on the fourth cheese, and on the fifth dried flesh. They add
that Jesus at the request of the apostles showed them another miracle
by restoring the fish to life and causing its scales and fins to
return to it; at which the standers-by being affrighted, he caused it
to become as it was before: that one thousand three hundred men and
women, all afflicted with bodily infirmities or poverty, ate of these
provisions and were satisfied, the fish remaining whole as it was at
the first: that then the table flew up to heaven in the sight of all;
and every one who had partaken of this food were delivered from their
infirmities and misfortunes: and that it continued to descend for
forty days together, at dinner-time, and stood on the ground till the
sun declined, and was then taken up into the clouds. Some of the
Moḥammadan writers are of opinion that this table did not really
descend, but it was only a parable; but most think that the words of
the Ḳur-án are plain to the contrary. A further tradition is that
several men were changed into swine [and apes] for disbelieving this
miracle and attributing it to magic art; or, as others pretend, for
stealing some of the victuals from off it. Several other fabulous
circumstances are also told, which are scarce worth transcribing.—S.

[338] Some say the table descended on a Sunday, which was the reason
of the Christians’ observing that day as sacred. Others pretend this
day is still kept among them as a very great festival; and it seems as
if the story had its rise from an imperfect notion of Christ’s last
supper and the institution of the Eucharist.—S.

[339] To explain this passage, the commentators tell the following
story:—The people of Antioch being idolaters, Jesus sent two of his
disciples thither to preach to them; and when they drew near the city,
they found Ḥabeeb, surnamed En-Nejjár, or The Carpenter, feeding
sheep, and acquainted him with their errand; whereupon he asked them
what proof they had of their veracity, and they told him they could
cure the sick and the blind and the lepers; and to demonstrate the
truth of what they said they laid their hands on a child of his who
was sick and immediately restored him to health. Ḥabeeb was convinced
by this miracle and believed; after which they went into the city and
preached the worship of one true God, curing a great number of people
of several infirmities; but at length, the affair coming to the
prince’s ear, he ordered them to be imprisoned for endeavouring to
seduce the people. When Jesus heard of this, he sent another of his
disciples, generally supposed to have been Simon Peter; who, coming to
Antioch, and appearing as a zealous idolater, soon insinuated himself
into the favour of the inhabitants and of their prince, and at length
took an opportunity to desire the prince would order the two persons
who, as he was informed, had been put in prison for broaching new
opinions to be brought before him to be examined; and accordingly they
were brought: when Peter, having previously warned them to take no
notice that they knew him, asked them who sent them; to which they
answered, God, who had created all things and had no companion. He
then required some convincing proof of their mission, upon which they
restored a blind person to his sight and performed some other
miracles, with which Peter seemed not to be satisfied, for that
according to some he did the very same miracles himself, but declared
that if their God could enable them to raise the dead he would believe
them; which condition the two apostles accepting, a lad was brought
who had been dead seven days, and at their prayers he was raised to
life; and thereupon Peter acknowledged himself convinced, and ran and
demolished the idols, a great many of the people following him and
embracing the true faith; but those who believed not were destroyed by
the cry of the angel Gabriel.—S. (B., Z., &c.)

[340] Some say these two were John and Paul; but others name different

[341] Simon Peter.

[342] His tomb is still shown near Antioch, and is much visited by the

[343] Also some said he was taken up into heaven; and others, that his
manhood only suffered, and that his godhead ascended into heaven.—S.

[344] Some, referring the relative _his_ to the first antecedent, take
the meaning to be that no Jew or Christian shall die before he
believes in Jesus; for they say that when one of either of those
religions is ready to breathe his last, and sees the angel of death
before him, he shall then believe in that prophet as he ought, though
his faith will not then be of any avail. According to a tradition of
El-Hajjáj, when a Jew is expiring the angels will strike him on the
back and face, and say to him, ‘O thou enemy of God, Jesus was sent as
a prophet unto thee, and thou didst not believe on him;’ to which he
will answer, ‘I now believe him to be the servant of God:’ and to a
dying Christian they will say, ‘Jesus was sent as a prophet unto thee,
and thou hast imagined him to be God, or the son of God;’ whereupon he
will believe him to be the servant of God only and His
apostle.—Others, taking the above-mentioned relative to refer to
Jesus, suppose the intent of the passage to be that all Jews and
Christians in general [the dead being raised to life in their graves]
shall have a right faith in that prophet before his death, that is,
when he descends from heaven and returns into the world, where he is
to kill Antichrist and to establish the Moḥammadan religion and a most
perfect tranquillity and security on earth [where he will remain forty
years, and then die.—Others again suppose that the words ‘believe in
him’ signify ‘believe in God.’]—S. (B., Z., Jelál, &c.)

[345] It is a dispute among the Moḥammadans whether Christ actually
died or not before his assumption.—S. (B.)

[346] Some, however, are of opinion it [this passage] might have been
revealed in answer to certain idolaters, who said that the Christians,
who received the Scriptures, worshipped Jesus, supposing him to be the
son of God; whereas the angels were more worthy of that honour than
he.—S. (B.)

[347] As easily as We produced Jesus without a father [B.]. The intent
of the words is to show how just and reasonable it is to think that
the angels should bear the relation of children to men rather than to
God, they being His creatures as well as men, and equally in His

[348] For some time before the resurrection Jesus is to descend on
earth according to the Moḥammadans near Damascus, or as some say near
a rock [or rather a mountain-road] named [´Aḳabet] Afeek, with a lance
in his hand, wherewith he is to kill Antichrist, whom he will
encounter at Ludd, or Lydda, a small town not far from Joppa. They add
that he will arrive at Jerusalem at the time of morning-prayer, that
he shall perform his devotions after the Moḥammadan institution, and
officiate instead of the Imám, who shall give place to him; that he
will break down the cross, and destroy the churches of the Christians,
of whom he will also make a general slaughter, excepting only such as
shall profess El-Islám.—S. (B.)

[349] Either by rejecting and contemning Jesus, as the Jews do; or
raising him to an equality with God, as do the Christians.—S. (B.)

[350] For the Eastern writers mention a sect of Christians which held
the Trinity to be composed of those three; but it is allowed that this
heresy has been long since extinct.—S.


   CHAP.                 PAGE

   I. (entire)              3

   II.           1-6        4
   ”            7-19     41-2
   ”            21-2       19
   ”           28-31    49-50
   ”            33-7     51-2
   ”              51      121
   ”            52-3      121
   ”              54      115
   ”              57    115-6
   ”              58      115
   ”              59       38
   ”            60-2    116-7
   ”            63-9    125-7
   ”              87      121
   ”           100-1       19
   ”          118-20     73-5
   ”             130     47-8
   ”           133-4       15
   ”             141       16
   ”          158-60        8
   ”           160-2     30-1
   ”             166       38
   ”             172       35
   ”             191       32
   ”          247-52    132-4
   ”             256        5
   ”             260     70-1
   ”             261      148
   ”             262       73
   ”             265       36
   ”           266-7       36
   ”             273       36
   ”             280       37

   III.        12-15       29
    ”           25-6        6
    ”           31-6   149-51
    ”          37-43    151-2
    ”           43-7    155-7
    ”           52-5      164
    ”          58-60     75-6
    ”             79       38
    ”            138       14
    ”            139       32
    ”            148       32
    ”          163-5       30
    ”         179-80       16

   IV.            51    10-11
   ”            80-1       32
   ”              88       37
   ”             123       30
   ”             144       31
   ”           155-7    161-2
   ”             161       14
   ”          169-70    164-5

   V.           23-9    122-4
   ”            30-5     53-4
   ”        56, 62-3       42
   ”            85-6     40-1
   ”           112-5    157-9
   ”           116-8      162

   VI.            50       14
   ”           59-64       10
   ”           74-82     66-7
   ”          95-103      8-9
   ”             108       36
   ”          109-11     16-7

   VII.        10-17     50-1
    ”             22       51
    ”             52        6
    ”          63-70     60-1
    ”           71-7     61-2
    ”         101-23    107-9
    ”         124-33    112-4
    ”          134-6      114
    ”         138-42    117-8
    ”          146-8      118
    ”          154-6    121-2
    ”          186-8       31

   IX.            18       36

   X.          38-40       19
   ”            90-2      114
   ”             100       32

   XI.         27-36     55-6
   ”              38       56
   ”           38-46     56-8
   ”           47-50     58-9
   ”            72-8       71
   ”              84       72
   ”           85-98     95-6

   XII.         4-22    77-80
    ”          35-50     80-2
    ”         54-102    82-92

   XIII.        13-4        9

   XIV.         26-7       31

   XV.          6-15       17
   ”           16-25        7

   XVI.           92       34
    ”          103-5       20

   XVII.        90-8       18

   XVIII.      28-30       27
     ”         31-42    39-40
     ”          45-7       27
     ”         59-81   127-31
     ”        82-101     63-5
     ”           109       20
     ”           110       14

   XIX.        12-15      151
    ”          16-41    152-5
    ”          42-51     67-8
    ”           91-6       11

   XX.          8-50    103-7
    ”          88-99   119-21

   XXI.        26-30       33
    ”          52-75    68-70
    ”          79-82      136

   XXII.          72       11

   XXIV.       39-40       39

   XXV.        64-75       43

   XXVII.      15-45   138-44

   XXVIII.      21-8   97-103
     ”         76-82    124-5

   XXIX.        40-3       12
     ”            45       38

   XXXIV.      11-13    144-5
     ”            49       14

   XXXVI.      12-28   159-61

   XXXVII.    97-111     72-3
     ”        139-48    146-7

   XXXVIII.     20-4    135-6
      ”        29-39    136-8
      ”         40-4     93-4

   XXXIX.      67-75     28-9

   XL.         27-49   109-12

   XLI.         34-5       37

   XLIII.      57-65    162-4

   L.           30-3       29

   LVI.         1-56     24-6
    ”           76-9       17

   LXI.          6-9    15-16

   LXII.           5       41

   LXVII.        1-4        6
     ”           6-8       30

   LXIX.       13-37     23-4

   LXXI.        27-9       56

   LXXII. 1, 2, 8-11       33

   LXXIV.        1-7       13

   LXXVI.      29-30       32

   LXXXI.       1-14     22-3

   LXXXII.  (entire)       22

   LXXXVIII.     1-7       23

   XCII.    (entire)     34-5

   XCIII.   (entire)       13

   XCVI.         1-6    xliii

   XCIX.    (entire)       21

   CI.      (entire)       21

   CVII.    (entire)       35

   CXII.    (entire)        5


   AARON, 105 ff.

   ´Abbás, Ibn-, 50.

   ´Abdallah ibn Ubayy, lx.

   ´Abd-el-Muṭṭalib, xxxvii, 73.

   Abel, 53.

   Aboo-Bekr, xlv, xlvii, lvi, lxxvii.

   Aboo-Firás, xxix.

   Aboo-Lahab, li, lii.

   Aboo-Ṭálib, xxxviii, xlv, xlvii, xlix, l, lii.

   Abraham, xxxii, 15, 47, 66-76.

   Abrogation of revelations, 19, 20, 38.

   Abyssinia, flight to, xlvii.

   Ád, 60, 61.

   Adam, 47, 49-52, 164.

   Advent of Christ, second, 163.

   African converts, xcvii.

   Aḥmad, prophecy of, 15.

   ´Aïsheh, liii, lxix, lxxiii.

   ´Aḳabeh, pledges of the, lv, lvi.

   ´Alee, xxxix, lvi.

   Alláh Ta´ála, xxxiii.

   Alms, lxxxiv, 36.

   Amnesty to Mekka, lxvii.

   Anas, xli.

   Ancestry, pride of, xviii.

   Angels, 33, 49.

   Anṣár, lix, lx.

   ´Anṭarah, xxviii.

   Antichrist, 157, 163.

   Antioch, 159-161.

   Apostles, 14, 47, 156.

   Appearance of Moḥammad, xl.

   Arab poetry, examples, xiv, xv, xvi, xvii, xviii, xix, xxix.

   Arabia, xi-xiii.

   Arabia, submission of, lxvii.

   Arabs at Yethrib, liv.

   Arabs before Islám, the, xi-xxxv;
     their country, xi;
     influence on their character, xii;
     the Bedawee nature, xiii;
     devotion to the clan, xiv;
     honour, xv;
     war and plunder, xvi;
     ferocity, xvi, xvii;
     family pride, xviii;
     pledge of protection, xviii;
     hospitality, xix;
     Ḥátim the ideal Arab, xix-xxii;
     Arab poetry, xxii-xxiv;
     the fair of ´Okáḍh, xxiv-xxvi;
     women of Arabia, xxvi;
     chivalry, xxvii, xxviii;
     fathers and daughters, xxix;
     town life, xxx;
     Mekka, xxx;
     music and poetry at Mekka, xxxi;
     dice and drink, xxxi;
     the Kaạbeh, xxxii;
     religion of the early Arabs, xxxii;
     Christianity and Judaism in Arabia, xxxiv;
     the Ḥaneefs, xxxiv;
     Zeyd ibn ´Amr, xxxv;
     the change in the Arabs effected by Moḥammad, xxxv.

   Aristocracy, hostility of, xlvii.

   Ark, 56, 57, 133.

   Áṣaf Solomon’s wezeer, 142.

   Aws, Benee-, liv.

   Azar or Terah, 66.

   BABEL, Tower of, 69.

   Bathsheba, 135.

   Bayard of Islám, l.

   Bedr, lxv.

   Behá-ed-deen Zoheyr, xxiv.

   Believers and unbelievers, 38-43.

   Benjamin, 77, 84, 86-89.

   Bilál, the first Muëddin, xlv, xlvii.

   Bilḳees, Queen of Sheba, 139-143.

   Birds and Solomon, 138-139.

   Book, the preserved, 17.

   Books, divine, 47-48.

   Byzantium, Emperor of, lxviii.

   CAIN, 53, 54.

   Caleb, 123.

   Calf, the golden, 118 ff.

   Camel of Moḥammad, lxvi.

   Camel of Thamood, 61, 62.

   Camel-driver, Moḥammad a, xxxix.

   Caussin de Perceval, M., xxii.

   Chivalry of ancient Arabs, xxvii, xxviii.

   Christ, 47, 149-165.

   —— divinity of, 154, 162-165.

   —— the Messiah, lxi.

   —— the Word of God, lxxxii, 165.

   —— supposed crucifixion of, 156, 161.

   —— second advent of, 163.

   Christians, xxxiv, 38, 40, 42, 48, 164.

   Clan feeling, xiv.

   Corruption of Christian and Jewish scriptures, 48.

   Cow, sacrifice of, 125-127.

   DAUGHTERS of God, xxxiii, 9, 11, 33.

   Daughters, love of, xxix.

   David, 47, 134-36, 138.

   Davidean coats of mail, 135.

   Day of judgment, 21-31.

   Debtors, 37.

   Destiny, 32.

   Deutsch, Dr. Emanuel, xxiv, xl.

   Devils, 7, 31, 136, 137, 138.

   Dhafár, Christians of, xxxiv.

   Dhu-l-Ḳarneyn, 63-65, 128.

   Dhu-l-Kifl, 47.

   Dice, xxxi.

   Disaffected party, lx, lxv.

   Divine books, 47-48.

   Divinity of Christ, 154, 162-165.

   Divinity of the Virgin, 162, 165.

   Drink, love of, xxxi.

   EDEN, 51.

   Egypt, 79 ff.

   Egypt, plagues of, 112-114.

   Elias, 128.

   Embarcation formula, 57.

   Emeen, El-, xl, xlv.

   Emeeneh, El-, 137.

   Enoch, 47.

   Eve, 51.

   Evil eye, 85.

   Exodus, the, 114 ff.

   Ezekiel, lines from, xxx.

   Ezra, 148.

   FAIR, _see_ ´Okáḍh.

   Family pride of Arabs, xviii.

   Famine of Egypt, 83 ff.

   Fanes, xxxiii.

   Fast, lxxxiv, 117.

   Fate, lxxxi, 32.

   Fathers and daughters, xxix.

   Fátiḥah, 3.

   Fetishism, xxxiii.

   Fijár, war of the, xxxviii.

   Firás, Aboo-, xxix.

   Flight of Moḥammad, lvi, lvii.

   Flight to Abyssinia, xlvii.

   Flood, 55-59.

   Forgery, lxvii ff., 19.

   GABRIEL, xliv, 72, 73, 78, 111, 152, 161

   God, 5-12.

   —-- unity, profession of, 5.

   —-- has no partners, 9, 11, 33, 154, 162-165.

   —-- the supreme, xxxiii.

   —-- Moḥammad doctrine of, lxxx.

   Goddesses, moon, xxxiii, xlviii.

   Gog and Magog, 64, 65.

   Golden calf, 118 ff.

   Goliath, 133, 134.

   Good for evil, 37.

   Gospel, 15, 47, 48, 149 ff.

   Greeting, 37.

   HABEEB, 159 ff.

   Haggadah, xliii, lxi, lxii.

   Hámán, 97, 110.

   Haneefs, xxxiv.

   Háshimees, xxxviii, li, lii.

   Ḥátim, xix-xxii.

   Ḥawáreeyoon, El-, 156.

   Heber, 47, 160, 161.

   Hell, 21-31.

   Helpers, the, lix, lx.

   Ḥijáz;, xii.

   Hijreh, the, lvii.

   Ḥirá, Mount, xliii.

   Honour, Arab, xv.

   Hood, 47, 60, 61.

   Ḥooreeyehs, Footnotes 128, 131.

   Hospitality, Arab, xix.

   Howwá, 51.

   Hubal, xxxii.

   Humanity, lxxxvi.

   Hypocrites, 31, 41.

   ‘Hypocrites, the,’ lx.

   IBLEES, 31, 49, 50.

   Idols, xxxii, xlvi, lxvi, 8, 11, 12, 30.

   Idrees, 47.

   Ilyás, 128.

   Imám, 74, 163.

   ´Imrán, 149.

   Infanticide, xxxii, 23.

   Inspiration, lxxiv.

   Isaac, 47, 70-73.

   Ishmael, xxxii, 47, 72-73.

   Iskender, 63.

   Islám, lxxvii-xcix, 76.

   JACOB, 47, 70, 71, 77-92.

   Jann, El-, or Iblees, 49.

   Jerusalem, Temple of, 145.

   Jesus of Nazareth, _see_ Christ.

   Jethro, 47, 95 ff.

   Jewish corruption of Scripture, 48.

   Jews, liv, lxii-lxv, 38, 40, 41, 42, 48.

   Jinn, liii, 7, 9, 33, 136-138, 144, 145.

   Jinnee, Moḥammad possessed by a, 17.

   Ji´ráneh, El-, scene at, lix.

   Job, 93, 94.

   Jonah, 146, 147.

   Joodee, mountain of El-, 58.

   Joseph, 77-92.

   Joseph and Zeleekha, 83.

   Joshua, 47, 123, 124, 127-129.

   Judah, 77-79.

   Judaism in Arabia, xxxiv.

   KAẠBEH, xxxii, lxxxiv, 74-75.

   Ḳaṣwá, El-, lxvi.

   Khadeejeh, xxxix, lii, liii, lxxi, lxxii.

   Khaṭeeb-el-Ambiya, 95.

   Khazraj, Benee-, liv.

   Khiḍr, El-, 47, 128-130.

   Khusru, the, lxvii.

   Ḳiṭfeer, 79.

   Korah, 124, 125.

   Kudar ibn Sálif, 62.

   Ḳureysh, xxxvii f, xlv-lviii, lxv-lxvii.

   Ḳur-án, 4, 13-20, 47;
     state in which it was left by Moḥammad, ci;
     first revision, ci;
     second revision, ci;
     chaotic order, cii;
     scientific arrangement of Nöldeke, ciii;
     characteristics of different groups, civ;
     statistics, cvi.

   LAHAB, Aboo-, li, lii.

   Lapwing and Solomon, 139.

   Lát, El-, xxxiii.

   Lazarus, 155.

   Lion of God, l.

   Lot, 47, 69, 70.

   Lyall, Mr. C. J., xv.

   MARRIAGES of Moḥammad, xxxix, lxx ff.

   Martyrs for the faith, 30.

   Mary the Virgin, 149 ff.

   Mary, divinity of, 162, 165.

   Medina, lvii, lix ff., lxv, _and see_ Yethrib.

   Mekka, xxx ff., lxvii.

   Menáh, xxxiii.

   Messenger or apostle, 14.

   Messiah, _see_ Christ.

   Metempsychosis, xxxiii.

   Midian, 95, 96, 101.

   Migrations of Muslims, xlvii, lvii.

   Mi´ráj, lv.

   Misr, 88.

   Miracles or signs, 16, 17, 18, 52.

   Miriam (Maryam), 99, 105.

   Moḥammad, 13-20, 47;
     his family, xxxvii;
     childhood, xxxvii;
     youth, xxxviii;
     shepherding, xxxviii;
     camel-driving, xxxix;
     personal appearance, xl;
     habits, xli, xlii;
     solitary wanderings, xlii;
     the call, xliii;
     public appearance, xliv;
     first conversions, xlv;
     address on Mount Eṣ-Ṣafá, xlvi;
     preaching, xlvi;
     hostility of the aristocracy, xlvii;
     torturing of slaves, xlvii;
     emigration to Abyssinia, xlvii;
     speech to the Negus, xlviii;
     persecution by Ḳureysh, xlviii;
     compromise, xlviii;
     interview with Aboo-Ṭálib, xlix;
     conversion of ´Omar and Ḥamzeh, l;
     the ban of the Háshimees, li;
     its end, lii;
     death of Aboo-Ṭálib and Khadeejeh, lii;
     visit to Eṭ-Ṭáïf, liii;
     pilgrims from Yethrib, liv;
     state of parties at Yethrib, liv;
     first pledge of the ´Aḳabeh, lv;
     Yethrib and Mekka, lv;
     the night journey, lv;
     second pledge of the ´Aḳabeh, lvi;
     emigration of Muslims to Yethrib, lvii;
     Moḥammad’s flight or Hijreh, lvii, lviii;
     retrospect, lviii;
     parties at Medina, lix;
     the Refugees, Helpers, Hypocrites, lix, lx;
     the Jews, lxi;
     are conciliated, lxii;
     but become hostile, lxii;
     their punishment, lxiii-lxv;
     war with the Ḳureysh, lxv;
     Bedr, Oḥud, siege of Medina, truce, lxv;
     the Muslims perform the Lesser Pilgrimage, lxvi;
     conquest of Mekka, lxvii;
     complete amnesty, lxvii;
     submission of Arabia, lxvii;
     farewell pilgrimage and oration, lxviii;
     death, lxix;
     character, lxix;
     charges of cruelty, sensuality, insincerity, discussed, lxx-lxxvi.

   Moḥammad, the illiterate or Gentile apostle, 122.

   Moon-goddesses, xxxiii, xlvii,

   Moses, 92, 97-131.

   Mosques or temples, 36.

   Mountain-worship, xxxiii.

   Muëddin, the first, xlv, xlvii.

   Muḥájiroon, lx, lxv.

   Munáfiḳoon, lix.

   Muṣ´ab, lv.

   Muṣ´ab ibn Er-Reiyán, 97.

   Muslim, meaning of, 75.

   Muslim, the true, 43.

   NEGRO slaves, xlv, xlvii.

   Negus or Nejáshee, xli, xlvii, xlviii.

   Nejd, xii.

   Nejrán, xxxiv, 164.

   Night journey, lv.

   Nimrod, 66, 69, 70.

   Nineveh, 147.

   Noah, 47, 55-59.

   Nöldeke, ciii.

   Nun, 47.

   OḤUD, battle of, lxv, 32.

   ´Okaḍh, fair of, xxiv-xxvi, xxxviii.

   ´Omar, l.

   ´Oneyzeh, 62.

   Oration, farewell, lxviii.

   Oratory among the Arabs, xxiv.

   ´Othmán, xlv.

   Oven of El-Koofeh, 37.

   ´Ozeyr or Ezra, 148.

   PALMER, Prof. E. H., xxiv.

   Parables, 38-40.

   Paraclete, 15.

   Paradise, 21-31.

   Partners with God, 9, 11, 33.

   Parties at Medina, lix.

   Penates, xxxiii.

   Pentateuch, 47, 48.

   People of the Scripture, 38.

   Perceval, M. Caussin de, xxii.

   Person of Moḥammad, xl.

   Pharaoh of Joseph, 81, 83.

   Pharaoh of Moses, 97 ff.

   Pilgrimage, lxxxiv;
     lesser, lxvi;
     last, lxviii.

   Pilgrims, xxxvii, liv.

   Pledges of the ´Aḳabeh, lv, lvi.

   Poetry, Arab, xxii-xxiv.

   Polygamy, lxxxix-xcii.

   Potiphar, 79.

   Potiphar’s wife, 79, 83.

   Prayer, lxxxiii;
     opening, cvi, 3

   Preaching of Moḥammad, xlvi.

   Preceders, the, 25.

   Predestination, 32.

   Premonition, 4.

   Preserved book, the, 17.

   Pride of ancestry, xviii.

   Priests, xxxiii.

   Prophets, 47, 48.

   Protection, xviii.

   Psalms, 47, 48.

   QUEEN of Sheba, 139 ff.

   REFUGEES, the, lix, lx.

   Reiyán, Er-, 81, 97.

   Rek´ah, 74.

   Religion of early Arabs, xxxii.

   Religion, true and false, 34-37.

   Resurrection, 21-31.

   Reuel, _see_ Sho´eyb.

   Revelations, series of, 14, 47-48.

   Revelations, Moḥammad’s, c, 13.

   SABIANS, 38, 48.

   Sabbath-breaking, 116.

   Ṣadaḳah, 62.

   Eṣ-Ṣafá, xlvi, lxvi.

   Ṣafoora, 102.

   Sáliḥ, 47, 61, 62.

   Sámiree Es-, 118 ff.

   Samuel, 133.

   Sarah, 71.

   Saul, 132.

   Seers, xxxiii.

   Sensuality of Moḥammad, lxx ff.

   Seth, 47.

   Sheba, Queen of, 139 ff.

   Shi-b or quarter, li.

   Shepherding, xxxviii.

   Sho´eyb, or Jethro, or Reuel, 47, 95 ff.

   Ṣiḍḍeek, Es-, xlv.

   Siege of Medina, lxv.

   Sierra Leone, xcviii.

   Signs, _see_ Miracles.

   Sincerity of Moḥammad, lxxii ff.

   Slaves, xlv, xlvii, lxviii.

   Smith, Mr. R. Bosworth, xliii, lxxxvii.

   Sodom, 70 ff.

   Solomon, 136-145.

   Sons of God, 9, 11, 33, 154, 162-165.

   Soorah, the first, xliii.

   Soorah, the second, xliv.

   Soorahs, “forged,” lxxii.

   TABLE from heaven, the, 157-159.

   Tablet, the preserved, 17.

   Ṭaïf, Eṭ-, liii, 74, 138.

   Talḥah, xlv.

   Ṭálib, _see_ Aboo-Ṭálib.

   Terah, 66.

   Temples, xxxiii, 36, 145.

   Thamood, 61, 62.

   Throne-verse, 5.

   Thór, Mount, lvii.

   Torturing slaves, xlvii.

   Town-life in Arabia, xxx.

   Treating with Jews, lxii.

   Tree-worship, xxxiii.

   Truce with Ḳureysh, lxv.

   UBAYY, Ibn-, lx.

   Umm-Ghánim, 62.

   Umeyyeh, branch of, xxxviii.

   Unity, profession of the, 5.

   Uzzá, El-, xxxiii.

   WARAḲAH, xxxv.

   Wars of Moḥammad, xxxviii, lxv.

   Weleed, El-, 81, 97.

   Wives of Moḥammad, lxx ff.

   Wives, command as to, lxviii.

   Women of Arabia, xxvii ff.

   Women in Paradise, 30.

   YETHRIB, xxxvii, liv, lv, lvi, _and_ see Medina.

   ZELEEKHA, 79, 83.

   Zemzem, xxxii, 73.

   Zeyd, xxxix.

   Zeyd ibn ´Amr, xxxv.

   Zeyd ibn Thábit, ci.

   Zeyneb, lxxii.

   Zipporah, 102.

ERRATUM.—P. 36, line 1, _for_ should _read_ shall.

P. 122, line 21, _after_ illiterate _add_ [or Gentile, _i.e._, Arab].


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Selections From The Kur-an" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.