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Title: The Koran (Al-Qur'an)
Author: - To be updated
Language: English
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The Koran


Introduction Preface Index

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

G. Margoliouth.

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


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

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










It is necessary that some brief explanation should be given with reference to
the arrangement of the Suras, or chapters, adopted in this translation of the
Koran. It should be premised that their order as it stands in all Arabic
manuscripts, and in all hitherto printed editions, whether Arabic or
European, is not chronological, neither is there any authentic tradition to
shew that it rests upon the authority of Muhammad himself. The scattered
fragments of the Koran were in the first instance collected by his immediate
successor Abu Bekr, about a year after the Prophet's death, at the suggestion
of Omar, who foresaw that, as the Muslim warriors, whose memories were the
sole depositaries of large portions of the revelations, died off or were
slain, as had been the case with many in the battle of Yemâma, A.H. 12, the
loss of the greater part, or even of the whole, was imminent. Zaid Ibn
Thâbit, a native of Medina, and one of the Ansars, or helpers, who had been
Muhammad's amanuensis, was the person fixed upon to carry out the task, and
we are told that he "gathered together" the fragments of the Koran from every
quarter, "from date leaves and tablets of white stone, and from the breasts
of men."1 The copy thus formed by Zaid probably remained in the possession of
Abu Bekr during the remainder of his brief caliphate, who committed it to the
custody of Haphsa, one of Muhammad's widows, and this text continued during
the ten years of Omar's caliphate to be the standard. In the copies made from
it, various readings naturally and necessarily sprung up; and these, under
the caliphate of Othman, led to such serious disputes between the faithful,
that it became necessary to interpose, and in accordance with the warning of
Hodzeifa, "to stop the people, before they should differ regarding their
scriptures, as did the Jews and Christians."2 In accordance with this advice,
Othman determined to establish a text which should be the sole standard, and
entrusted the redaction to the Zaid already mentioned, with whom he
associated as colleagues, three, according to others, twelve3 of the
Koreisch, in order to secure the purity of that Meccan idiom in which
Muhammad had spoken, should any occasions arise in which the collators might
have to decide upon various readings. Copies of the text formed were thus
forwarded to several of the chief military stations in the new empire, and
all previously existing copies were committed to the flames.

Zaid and his coadjutors, however, do not appear to have arranged the
materials which came into their hands upon any system more definite than that
of placing the longest and best known Suras first, immediately after the
Fatthah, or opening chapter (the eighth in this edition); although even this
rule, artless and unscientific as it is, has not been adhered to with
strictness. Anything approaching to a chronological arrangement was entirely
lost sight of. Late Medina Suras are often placed before early Meccan Suras;
the short Suras at the end of the Koran are its earliest portions; while, as
will be seen from the notes, verses of Meccan origin are to be found embedded
in Medina Suras, and verses promulged at Medina scattered up and down in the
Meccan Suras. It would seem as if Zaid had to a great extent put his
materials together just as they came to hand, and often with entire disregard
to continuity of subject and uniformity of style. The text, therefore, as
hitherto arranged, necessarily assumes the form of a most unreadable and
incongruous patchwork; "une assemblage," says M. Kasimirski in his Preface,
"informe et incohérent de préceptes moraux, religieux, civils et politiques,
mêlés d'exhortations, de promesses, et de menaces"–and conveys no idea
whatever of the development and growth of any plan in the mind of the founder
of Islam, or of the circumstances by which he was surrounded and influenced.
It is true that the manner in which Zaid contented himself with simply
bringing together his materials and transcribing them, without any attempt to
mould them into shape or sequence, and without any effort to supply
connecting links between adjacent verses, to fill up obvious chasms, or to
suppress details of a nature discreditable to the founder of Islam, proves
his scrupulous honesty as a compiler, as well as his reverence for the sacred
text, and to a certain extent guarantees the genuineness and authenticity of
the entire volume. But it is deeply to be regretted that he did not combine
some measure of historical criticism with that simplicity and honesty of
purpose which forbade him, as it certainly did, in any way to tamper with the
sacred text, to suppress contradictory, and exclude or soften down
inaccurate, statements.

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

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

The Suras, viewed as a whole, strike me as being the work of one who began
his career as a thoughtful enquirer after truth, and an earnest asserter of
it in such rhetorical and poetical forms as he deemed most likely to win and
attract his countrymen, and who gradually proceeded from the dogmatic teacher
to the politic founder of a system for which laws and regulations had to be
provided as occasions arose. And of all the Suras it must be remarked that
they were intended not for readers but for hearers–that they were all
promulgated by public recital–and that much was left, as the imperfect
sentences shew, to the manner and suggestive action of the reciter. It would
be impossible, and indeed it is unnecessary, to attempt a detailed life of
Muhammad within the narrow limits of a Preface. The main events thereof with
which the Suras of the Koran stand in connection, are–The visions of Gabriel,
seen, or said to have been seen, at the outset of his career in his 40th
year, during one of his seasons of annual monthly retirement, for devotion
and meditation to Mount Hirâ, near Mecca,–the period of mental depression and
re-assurance previous to the assumption of the office of public teacher–the
Fatrah or pause (see n. p. 20) during which he probably waited for a
repetition of the angelic vision–his labours in comparative privacy for three
years, issuing in about 40 converts, of whom his wife Chadijah was the first,
and Abu Bekr the most important: (for it is to him and to Abu Jahl the Sura
xcii. p. 32, refers)–struggles with Meccan unbelief and idolatry followed by
a period during which probably he had the second vision, Sura liii. p. 69,
and was listened to and respected as a person "possessed" (Sura lxix. 42, p.
60, lii. 29, p. 64)–the first emigration to Abyssinia in A.D. 616, in
consequence of the Meccan persecutions brought on by his now open attacks
upon idolatry (Taghout)–increasing reference to Jewish and Christian
histories, shewing that much time had been devoted to their study the
conversion of Omar in 617–the journey to the Thaquifites at Taief in A.D.
620–the intercourse with pilgrims from Medina, who believed in Islam, and
spread the knowledge thereof in their native town, in the same year–the
vision of the midnight journey to Jerusalem and the Heavens–the meetings by
night at Acaba, a mountain near Mecca, in the 11th year of his mission, and
the pledges of fealty there given to him–the command given to the believers
to emigrate to Yathrib, henceforth Medinat-en-nabi (the city of the Prophet)
or El-Medina (the city), in April of A.D. 622–the escape of Muhammad and Abu
Bekr from Mecca to the cave of Thaur–the FLIGHT to Medina in June 20, A.D.
622–treaties made with Christian tribes–increasing, but still very imperfect
acquaintance with Christian doctrines–the Battle of Bedr in Hej. 2, and of
Ohod–the coalition formed against Muhammad by the Jews and idolatrous
Arabians, issuing in the siege of Medina, Hej. 5 (A.D. 627)–the convention,
with reference to the liberty of making the pilgrimage, of Hudaibiya, Hej. 6–
the embassy to Chosroes King of Persia in the same year, to the Governor of
Egypt and to the King of Abyssinia, desiring them to embrace Islam–the
conquest of several Jewish tribes, the most important of which was that of
Chaibar in Hej. 7, a year marked by the embassy sent to Heraclius, then in
Syria, on his return from the Persian campaign, and by a solemn and peaceful
pilgrimage to Mecca–the triumphant entry into Mecca in Hej. 8 (A.D. 630), and
the demolition of the idols of the Caaba–the submission of the Christians of
Nedjran, of Aila on the Red Sea, and of Taief, etc., in Hej. 9, called "the
year of embassies or deputations," from the numerous deputations which
flocked to Mecca proffering submission–and lastly in Hej. 10, the submission
of Hadramont, Yemen, the greater part of the southern and eastern provinces
of Arabia–and the final solemn pilgrimage to Mecca.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The sources whence Muhammad derived the materials of his Koran are, over and
above the more poetical parts, which are his own creation, the legends of his
time and country, Jewish traditions based upon the Talmud, or perverted to
suit his own purposes, and the floating Christian traditions of Arabia and of
S. Syria. At a later period of his career no one would venture to doubt the
divine origin of the entire book. But at its commencement the case was
different. The people of Mecca spoke openly and tauntingly of it as the work
of a poet, as a collection of antiquated or fabulous legends, or as palpable
sorcery.4 They accused him of having confederates, and even specified
foreigners who had been his coadjutors. Such were Salman the Persian, to whom
he may have owed the descriptions of Heaven and Hell, which are analogous to
those of the Zendavesta; and the Christian monk Sergius, or as the
Muhammadans term him, Boheira. From the latter, and perhaps from other
Christians, especially slaves naturalised at Mecca, Muhammad obtained access
to the teaching of the Apocryphal Gospels, and to many popular traditions of
which those Gospels are the concrete expression. His wife Chadijah, as well
as her cousin Waraka, a reputed convert to Christianity, and Muhammad's
intimate friend, are said to have been well acquainted with the doctrines and
sacred books both of Jews and Christians. And not only were several Arab
tribes in the neighbourhood of Mecca converts to the Christian faith, but on
two occasions Muhammad had travelled with his uncle, Abu Talib, as far as
Bostra, where he must have had opportunities of learning the general outlines
of Oriental Christian doctrine, and perhaps of witnessing the ceremonial of
their worship. And it appears tolerably certain that previous to and at the
period of his entering into public life, there was a large number of
enquirers at Mecca, who like Zaid, Omayah of Taief, Waraka, etc., were
dissatisfied equally with the religion of their fathers, the Judaism and the
Christianity which they saw around them, and were anxiously enquiring for
some better way. The names and details of the lives of twelve of the
"companions" of Muhammad who lived in Mecca, Medina, and Taief, are recorded,
who previous to his assumption of the Prophetic office, called themselves
Hanyfs, i.e., converts, puritans, and were believers in one God, and regarded
Abraham as the founder of their religion. Muhammad publicly acknowledged that
he was a Hanyf–and this sect of the Hanyfites (who are in no way to be
confounded with the later sect of the same name) were among his Meccan
precursors. See n. pp. 209, 387. Their history is to be found in the Fihrist–
MS. Paris, anc. fonds, nr. 874 (and in other treatises)–which Dr. Sprenger
believes to have been in the library of the Caliph El-Mâmûn. In this
treatise, the Hanyfs are termed Sabeites, and said to have received the
Volumes (Sohof) or Books of Abraham, mentioned in Sura lxxxvii. 19, p. 40,
41, which most commentators affirm to have been borrowed from them, as is
also the case with the latter part of Sura liii. 37, ad f. p. 71; so that
from these "Books" Muhammad derived the legends of Ad and Themoud, whose
downfall, recent as it was (see note p. 300), he throws back to a period
previous to that of Moses, who is made to ask (Sura xiv. 9, p. 226) "whether
their history had reached his hearers." Muhammad is said to have discovered
these "Books" to be a recent forgery, and that this is the reason why no
mention of them occurs after the fourth year of his Prophetic function, A.D.
616. Hence too, possibly, the title Hanyf was so soon dropped and exchanged
for that of Muslim, one who surrenders or resigns himself to God. The Waraka
above mentioned, and cousin of Chadijah, is said to have believed on Muhammad
as long as he continued true to the principles of the Hanyfs, but to have
quitted him in disgust at his subsequent proceedings, and to have died an
orthodox Christian.

It has been supposed that Muhammad derived many of his notions concerning
Christianity from Gnosticism, and that it is to the numerous gnostic sects
the Koran alludes when it reproaches the Christians with having "split up
their religion into parties." But for Muhammad thus to have confounded
Gnosticism with Christianity itself, its prevalence in Arabia must have been
far more universal than we have any reason to believe it really was. In fact,
we have no historical authority for supposing that the doctrines of these
heretics were taught or professed in Arabia at all. It is certain, on the
other hand, that the Basilidans, Valentinians, and other gnostic sects had
either died out, or been reabsorbed into the orthodox Church, towards the
middle of the fifth century, and had disappeared from Egypt before the sixth.
It is nevertheless possible that the gnostic doctrine concerning the
Crucifixion was adopted by Muhammad as likely to reconcile the Jews to Islam,
as a religion embracing both Judaism and Christianity, if they might believe
that Jesus had not been put to death, and thus find the stumbling-block of
the atonement removed out of their path. The Jews would in this case have
simply been called upon to believe in Jesus as being what the Koran
represents him, a holy teacher, who, like the patriarch Enoch or the prophet
Elijah, had been miraculously taken from the earth. But, in all other
respects, the sober and matter-of-fact statements of the Koran relative to
the family and history of Jesus, are altogether opposed to the wild and
fantastic doctrines of Gnostic emanations, and especially to the manner in
which they supposed Jesus, at his Baptism, to have been brought into union
with a higher nature. It is quite clear that Muhammad borrowed in several
points from the doctrines of the Ebionites, Essenes, and Sabeites. Epiphanius
(H‘r. x.) describes the notions of the Ebionites of Nabath‘a, Moabitis, and
Basanitis with regard to Adam and Jesus, almost in the very words of Sura
iii. 52. He tells us that they observed circumcision, were opposed to
celibacy, forbad turning to the sunrise, but enjoined Jerusalem as their
Kebla (as did Muhammad during twelve years), that they prescribed (as did the
Sabeites), washings, very similar to those enjoined in the Koran, and allowed
oaths (by certain natural objects, as clouds, signs of the Zodiac, oil, the
winds, etc.), which we find adopted in the Koran. These points of contact
with Islam, knowing as we do Muhammad's eclecticism, can hardly be

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

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

From the Arab Jews, Muhammad would be enabled to derive an abundant, though
most distorted, knowledge of the Scripture histories. The secrecy in which he
received his instructions from them, and from his Christian informants,
enabled him boldly to declare to the ignorant pagan Meccans that God had
revealed those Biblical histories to him. But there can be no doubt, from the
constant identity between the Talmudic perversions of Scripture histories and
Rabbinic moral precepts, that the Rabbins of the Hejaz communicated their
legends to Muhammad. And it should be remembered that the Talmud was
completed a century previous to the era of Muhammad,7 and cannot fail to have
extensively influenced the religious creed of all the Jews of the Arabian
peninsula. In one passage,8 Muhammad speaks of an individual Jew–perhaps some
one of note among his professed followers, as a witness to his mission; and
there can be no doubt that his relations with the Jews were, at one time,
those of friendship and intimacy, when we find him speak of their recognising
him as they do their own children, and hear him blaming their most colloquial
expressions.9 It is impossible, however, for us at this distance of time to
penetrate the mystery in which this subject is involved. Yet certain it is,
that, although their testimony against Muhammad was speedily silenced, the
Koreisch knew enough of his private history to disbelieve and to disprove his
pretensions of being the recipient of a divine revelation, and that they
accused him of writing from the dictation of teachers morning and evening.10
And it is equally certain, that all the information received by Muhammad was
embellished and recast in his own mind and with his own words. There is a
unity of thought, a directness and simplicity of purpose, a peculiar and
laboured style, a uniformity of diction, coupled with a certain deficiency of
imaginative power, which proves the ayats (signs or verses) of the Koran at
least to be the product of a single pen. The longer narratives were,
probably, elaborated in his leisure hours, while the shorter verses, each
claiming to be a sign or miracle, were promulgated as occasion required them.
And, whatever Muhammad may himself profess in the Koran11 as to his
ignorance, even of reading and writing, and however strongly modern
Muhammadans may insist upon the same point an assertion by the way
contradicted by many good authors12–there can be no doubt that to assimilate
and work up his materials, to fashion them into elaborate Suras, to fit them
for public recital, must have been a work requiring much time, study, and
meditation, and presumes a far greater degree of general culture than any
orthodox Muslim will be disposed to admit.

In close connection with the above remarks, stands the question of Muhammad's
sincerity and honesty of purpose in coming forward as a messenger from God.
For if he was indeed the illiterate person the Muslims represent him to have
been, then it will be hard to escape their inference that the Koran is, as
they assert it to be, a standing miracle. But if, on the other hand, it was a
Book carefully concocted from various sources, and with much extraneous aid,
and published as a divine oracle, then it would seem that the author is at
once open to the charge of the grossest imposture, and even of impious
blasphemy. The evidence rather shews, that in all he did and wrote, Muhammad
was actuated by a sincere desire to deliver his countrymen from the grossness
of its debasing idolatries–that he was urged on by an intense desire to
proclaim that great truth of the Unity of the Godhead which had taken full
possession of his own soul–that the end to be attained justified to his mind
the means he adopted in the production of his Suras–that he worked himself up
into a belief that he had received a divine call–and that he was carried on
by the force of circumstances, and by gradually increasing successes, to
believe himself the accredited messenger of Heaven. The earnestness of those
convictions which at Mecca sustained him under persecution, and which perhaps
led him, at any price as it were, and by any means, not even excluding deceit
and falsehood, to endeavour to rescue his countrymen from idolatry,–naturally
stiffened at Medina into tyranny and unscrupulous violence. At the same time,
he was probably, more or less, throughout his whole career, the victim of a
certain amount of self-deception. A cataleptic13 subject from his early
youth, born–according to the traditions–of a highly nervous and excitable
mother, he would be peculiarly liable to morbid and fantastic hallucinations,
and alternations of excitement and depression, which would win for him, in
the eyes of his ignorant countrymen, the credit of being inspired. It would
be easy for him to persuade himself that he was "the seal of the Prophets,"
the proclaimer of a doctrine of the Divine Unity, held and taught by the
Patriarchs, especially by Abraham–a doctrine that should present to mankind
Judaism divested of its Mosaic ceremonial, and Christianity divested of the
Atonement and the Trinity14–doctrine, as he might have believed, fitted and
destined to absorb Judaism, Christianity, and Idolatry; and this persuasion,
once admitted into his mind as a conviction, retained possession of it, and
carried him on, though often in the use of means, towards the end of his
career, far different from those with which he commenced it, to a victorious
consummation. It is true that the state of Arabia previous to the time of
Muhammad was one of preparedness for a new religion that the scattered
elements were there, and wanted only the mind of a master to harmonise and
enforce them and that Islam was, so to speak, a necessity of the time.15
Still Muhammad's career is a wonderful instance of the force and life that
resides in him who possesses an intense Faith in God and in the unseen world;
and whatever deductions may be made–and they are many and serious–from the
noble and truthful in his character, he will always be regarded as one of
those who have had that influence over the faith, morals, and whole earthly
life of their fellow-men, which none but a really great man ever did, or can,
exercise; and as one of those, whose efforts to propagate some great verity
will prosper, in spite of manifold personal errors and defects, both of
principle and character.

The more insight we obtain, from undoubted historical sources, into the
actual character of Muhammad, the less reason do we find to justify the
strong vituperative language poured out upon his head by Maracci, Prideaux,
and others, in recent days, one of whom has found, in the Byzantine
"Maometis," the number of the Beast (Rev. xii)! It is nearer to the truth to
say that he was a great though imperfect character, an earnest though
mistaken teacher, and that many of his mistakes and imperfections were the
result of circumstances, of temperament, and constitution; and that there
must be elements both of truth and goodness in the system of which he was the
main author, to account for the world-wide phenomenon, that whatever may be
the intellectual inferiority (if such is, indeed, the fact) of the Muslim
races, the influence of his teaching, aided, it is true, by the vast impulse
given to it by the victorious arms of his followers, has now lasted for
nearly thirteen centuries, and embraces more than one hundred millions of our
race–more than one-tenth part of the inhabitants of the globe.

It must be acknowledged, too, that the Koran deserves the highest praise for
its conceptions of the Divine nature, in reference to the attributes of
Power, Knowledge, and universal Providence and Unity–that its belief and
trust in the One God of Heaven and Earth is deep and fervent–and that, though
it contains fantastic visions and legends, teaches a childish ceremonial, and
justifies bloodshedding, persecution, slavery, and polygamy, yet that at the
same time it embodies much of a noble and deep moral earnestness, and
sententious oracular wisdom, and has proved that there are elements in it on
which mighty nations, and conquering though not, perhaps, durable–empires can
be built up. It is due to the Koran, that the occupants in the sixth century
of an arid peninsula, whose poverty was only equalled by their ignorance,
become not only the fervent and sincere votaries of a new creed, but, like
Amru and many more, its warlike propagators. Impelled possibly by drought and
famine, actuated partly by desire of conquest, partly by religious
convictions, they had conquered Persia in the seventh century, the northern
coasts of Africa, and a large portion of Spain in the eighth, the Punjaub and
nearly the whole of India in the ninth. The simple shepherds and wandering
Bedouins of Arabia, are transformed, as if by a magician's wand, into the
founders of empires, the builders of cities, the collectors of more libraries
than they at first destroyed, while cities like Fostât, Baghdad, Cordova, and
Delhi, attest the power at which Christian Europe trembled. And thus, while
the Koran, which underlays this vast energy and contains the principles which
are its springs of action, reflects to a great extent the mixed character of
its author, its merits as a code of laws, and as a system of religious
teaching, must always be estimated by the changes which it introduced into
the customs and beliefs of those who willingly or by compulsion embraced it.
In the suppression of their idolatries, in the substitution of the worship of
Allah for that of the powers of nature and genii with Him, in the abolition
of child murder, in the extinction of manifold superstitious usages, in the
reduction of the number of wives to a fixed standard, it was to the Arabians
an unquestionable blessing, and an accession, though not in the Christian
sense a Revelation, of Truth; and while every Christian must deplore the
overthrow of so many flourishing Eastern churches by the arms of the
victorious Muslims, it must not be forgotten that Europe, in the middle ages,
owed much of her knowledge of dialectic philosophy, of medicine, and
architecture, to Arabian writers, and that Muslims formed the connecting link
between the West and the East for the importation of numerous articles of
luxury and use. That an immense mass of fable and silly legend has been built
up upon the basis of the Koran is beyond a doubt, but for this Muhammad is
not answerable, any more than he is for the wild and bloodthirsty excesses of
his followers in after ages. I agree with Sale in thinking that, "how
criminal soever Muhammad may have been in imposing a false religion on
mankind, the praises due to his real virtues ought not to be denied him"
(Preface), and venture to think that no one can rise from the perusal of his
Koran without argeeing with that motto from St. Augustin, which Sale has
prefixed to his title page, "Nulla falsa doctrina est, quæ non aliquid veri
permisceat." Qu‘st. Evang. ii. 40.

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

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

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

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

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

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

3  Kitâb al Waquidi, p. 278

4  See Suras xxxvi. xxv. xvii.

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

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

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

8  Sura xlvi. 10, p. 314.

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

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

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

12  See Dr. Sprenger’s “Life,” p. 101.

13  Or, epileptic.

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

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


MECCA.–19 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful2

RECITE3 thou, in the name of thy Lord who created;–

Created man from CLOTS OF BLOOD:–

Recite thou! For thy Lord is the most Beneficent,

Who hath taught the use of the pen;–

Hath taught Man that which he knoweth not.

Nay, verily,4 Man is insolent,

Because he seeth himself possessed of riches.

Verily, to thy Lord is the return of all.

What thinkest thou of him that holdeth back

A servant5 of God when he prayeth?

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

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

What! doth he not know how that God seeth?

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

The lying sinful forelock!

Then let him summon his associates;7

We too will summon the guards of Hell:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 During a period variously estimated from six months to three years from the
revelation of this Sura, or of its earliest verses, the prophetic inspiration
and the revelation of fresh Suras is said to have been suspended. This
interval is called the Fatrah or intermission; and the Meccan Suras delivered
at its close show that at or during this period Muhammad had gained an
increasing and more intimate acquaintance with the Jewish and Christian
Scriptures. "The accounts, however," says Mr. Muir (vol. ii. 86) "are
throughout confused, if not contradictory; and we can only gather with
certainty that there was a time during which his mind hung in suspense, and
doubted the divine mission." The idea of any supernatural influence is of
course to be entirely excluded; although there is no doubt that Muhammad
himself had a full belief in the personality and influence of Satans and
Djinn. Profound meditation, the struggles of an earnest mind anxious to
attain to truth, the morbid excitability of an epileptic subject, visions
seen in epileptic swoons, disgust at Meccan idolatry, and a desire to teach
his countrymen the divine Unity will sufficiently account for the period of
indecision termed the Fatrah, and for the determination which led Muhammad,
in all sincerity, but still self-deceived, to take upon himself the office
and work of a Messenger from God. We may perhaps infer from such passages as
Sura ii. 123, what had ever been the leading idea in Muhammad's mind.


MECCA.–55 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

O THOU, ENWRAPPED in thy mantle!

Arise and warn!

Thy Lord–magnify Him!

Thy raiment–purify it!

The abomination–flee it!

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

And for thy Lord wait thou patiently.

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

That shall be a distressful day,

A day, to the Infidels, devoid of ease.

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

And on whom I have bestowed vast riches,

And sons dwelling before him,

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

Yet desireth he that I should add more!

But no!  because to our signs he is a foe

I will lay grievous woes upon him.

For he plotted and he planned!

May he be cursed!  How he planned!

Again, may he be cursed!  How he planned!

Then looked he around him,

Then frowned and scowled,

Then turned his back and swelled with disdain,

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

It is merely the word of a mortal.”

We will surely cast him into Hell-fire.

And who shall teach thee what Hell-fire is?

It leaveth nought, it spareth nought,

Blackening the skin.

Over it are nineteen angels.

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

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

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

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

Nay, by the Moon!

By the Night when it retreateth!

By the Morn when it brighteneth!

Hell is one of the most grievous woes,

Fraught with warning to man,

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

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

In their gardens shall ask of the wicked;–

“What hath cast you into Hell-fire?”6

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

And we were not of those who fed the poor,

And we plunged into vain disputes with vain disputers,

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

Till the certainty7 came upon us”–

And intercession of the interceders shall not avail them.

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

As if they were affrighted asses fleeing from a lion?

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

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

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

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


1 This Sura is placed by Muir in the “second stage” of Meccan Suras, and
twenty-first in chronological order, in the third or fourth year of the
Prophet’s career.  According, however, to the chronological list of Suras
given by Weil (Leben M. p. 364) from ancient tradition, as well as from the
consentient voice of tradionists and commentaries (v. Nöld. Geschichte, p.
69; Sprenger’s Life of Mohammad, p. 111) it was the next revealed after the
Fatrah, and the designation to the prophetic office.  The main features of
the tradition are, that Muhammad while wandering about in the hills near
Mecca, distracted by doubts and by anxiety after truth, had a vision of the
Angel Gabriel seated on a throne between heaven and earth, that he ran to his
wife, Chadijah, in the greatest alarm, and desired her, perhaps from
superstitious motives (and believing that if covered with clothes he should
be shielded from the glances of evil spirits–comp. Stanley on I Cor. xi. 10),
to envelope him in his mantle; that then Gabriel came down and addressed him
as in v. I.  This vision, like that which preceded Sura xcvi., may actually
have occurred during the hallucinations of one of the epileptic fits from
which Muhammad from early youth appears to have suffered.  Hence Muhammad in
Sura lxxxi. appeals to it as a matter of fact, and such he doubtless believe
it to be.  It may here be observed, that however absurd the Muslim traditions
may be in many of their details, it will generally be found that where there
is an ancient and tolerably universal consent, there will be found at the
bottom a residuum of fact and historical truth.  At the same time there can
be no doubt but that the details of the traditions are too commonly founded
upon the attempt to explain or to throw light upon a dark passage of the
Koran, and are pure inventions of a later age.

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

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

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

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

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

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


MECCA. 20 Verses.

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

O THOU ENFOLDED in thy mantle,

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

Half; or curtail the half a little,–

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

For we shall devolve on thee weighty words.

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

But in the day time thou hast continual employ–

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

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

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

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

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

And food that choketh, and a sore torment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

3 Lit. most firm, perhaps, distinct.

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

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


MECCA.–11 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BY the noon-day BRIGHTNESS,

And by the night when it darkeneth!

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

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

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

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

And found thee erring and guided thee,3

And found thee needy and enriched thee.

As to the orphan therefore wrong him not;

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

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


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

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

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


MECCA.–8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HAVE we not OPENED thine heart for thee?

And taken off from thee thy burden,

Which galled thy back?

And have we not raised thy name for thee?

Then verily along with trouble cometh ease.

Verily along with trouble cometh ease.

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

And seek thy Lord with fervour.



In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

SAY: I betake me for refuge to the Lord of the DAY BREAK

Against the mischiefs of his creation;

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

And against the mischief of weird women;1

And against the mischief of the envier when he envieth.


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



In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

SAY: I betake me for refuge to the Lord of MEN,

The King of men,

The God of men,

Against the mischief of the stealthily withdrawing whisperer,1

Who whispereth in man's breast–

Against djinn and men.


1 Satan.


MECCA.–7 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

PRAISE be to God, Lord of the worlds!

The compassionate, the merciful!

King on the day of reckoning!

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

Guide Thou us on the straight path,2

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


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

2 Islam

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

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


MECCA.–6 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


I worship not that which ye worship,

And ye do not worship that which I worship;

I shall never worship that which ye worship,

Neither will ye worship that which I worship.

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


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


MECCA.–4 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

SAY: He is God alone:

God the eternal!

He begetteth not, and He is not begotten;

And there is none like unto Him.


MECCA. 5 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

LET the hands of ABU LAHAB1 perish,and let himself perish!

His wealth and his gains shall avail him not.

Burned shall he be at the fiery flame,2

And his wife laden with fire wood,–

On her neck a rope of palm fibre.


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

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


MECCA.–3 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

TRULY we have given thee an ABUNDANCE;

Pray therefore to the Lord, and slay the victims.

Verily whoso hateth thee shall be childless.1


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


MECCA.–9 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Woe to every BACKBITER, Defamer!

Who amasseth wealth and storeth it against the future!

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

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

And who shall teach thee what the Crushing Fire is?

It is God's kindled fire,

Which shall mount above the hearts of the damned;

It shall verily rise over them like a vault,

On outstretched columns.


MECCA.–7 Verses

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHAT thinkest thou of him who treateth our RELIGION as a lie?

He it is who trusteth away the orphan,

And stirreth not others up to feed the poor.

Woe to those who pray,

But in their prayer are careless;

Who make a shew of devotion,

But refuse help to the needy.


MECCA.–8 Verses

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

THE DESIRE of increasing riches occupieth you,

Till ye come to the grave.

Nay! but in the end ye shall know

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

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

Surely ye shall see hell-fire.

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

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


MECCA.–21 Verses

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BY the NIGHT when she spreads her veil;

By the Day when it brightly shineth;

By Him who made male and female;

At different ends truly do ye aim!1

But as to him who giveth alms and feareth God,

And yieldeth assent to the Good;

To him will we make easy the path to happiness.

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

And calleth the Good a lie,

To him will we make easy the path to misery:

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

Truly man’s guidance is with Us

And Our’s, the Future and the Past.

I warn you therefore of the flaming fire;

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

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

But the God-fearing shall escape it,–

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

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

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

And surely in the end he shall be well content.


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


Mecca.–52 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Nun.1 By the PEN2 and by what they write,

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

And truly a boundless recompense doth await thee,

For thou art of a noble nature.4

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

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

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

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

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

Defamer, going about with slander,

Hinderer of the good, transgressor, criminal,

Harsh–beside this, impure by birth,

Though a man of riches and blessed with sons.

Who when our wondrous verses are recited to him saith–"Fables of the

We will brand him on the nostrils.

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

But added no reserve.5

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

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

Then at dawn they called to each other,

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

So on they went whispering to each other,

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

And they went out at daybreak with this settled purpose.

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

Yes! we are forbidden our fruits."

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

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

And they fell to blaming one another:

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

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

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

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

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

What hath befallen you that ye thus judge?

Have ye a Scripture wherein ye can search out

That ye shall have the things ye choose?

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

Ask them which of them will guarantee this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

3 By djinn. Comp. Sur. xxxiv. 45.

4 In bearing the taunts of the unbelievers with patience.

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

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

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


MECCA.–20 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I NEED not to swear by this SOIL,

This soil on which thou dost dwell,

Or by sire and offspring!1

Surely in trouble have we created man.

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

"I have wasted," saith he, "enormous riches!"

What! thinketh he that no one regardeth him?

What! have we not made him eyes,

And tongue, and lips,

And guided him to the two highways?2

Yet he attempted not the steep.

And who shall teach thee what the steep is?

It is to ransom the captive,3

Or to feed in the day of famine,

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

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

These shall be the people of the right hand:

While they who disbelieve our signs,

Shall be the people of the left.

Around them the fire shall close.


1 Lit. and begetter and what he hath begotten

2 Of good and evil.

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


MECCA.–5 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HAST thou not seen1 how thy Lord dealt with the army of the ELEPHANT?

Did he not cause their stratagem to miscarry?

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

Claystones did they hurl down upon them,

And he made them like stubble eaten down!


1 This Sura is probably Muhammad's appeal to the Meccans, intended at the
same time for his own encouragement, on the ground of their deliverance from
the army of Abraha, the Christian King of Abyssinia and Arabia Felix, said to
have been lost in the year of Muhammad's birth in an expedition against Mecca
for the purpose of destroying the Caaba. This army was cut off by small-pox
(Wakidi; Hishami), and there is no doubt, as the Arabic word for small-pox
also means "small stones," in reference to the hard gravelly feeling of the
pustules, what is the true interpretation of the fourth line of this Sura,
which, like many other poetical passages in the Koran, has formed the
starting point for the most puerile and extravagant legends. Vide Gibbon's
Decline and Fall, c. 1. The small-pox first shewed itself in Arabia at the
time of the invasion by Abraha. M. de Hammer Gemaldesaal, i. 24. Reiske
opusc. Med. Arabum. Hal‘, 1776, p. 8.


MECCA.–4 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

For the union of the KOREISCH:–

Their union in equipping caravans winter and summer.

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

And secured them against alarm.1


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


MECCA.–5 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

VERILY, we have caused It1 to descend on the night of POWER.

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

The night of power excelleth a thousand months:

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

And all is peace till the breaking of the morn.


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

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


MECCA. 17 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BY the heaven, and by the NIGHT-COMER!

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

'Tis the star of piercing radiance.

Over every soul is set a guardian.

Let man then reflect out of what he was created.

He was created of the poured-forth germs,

Which issue from the loins and breastbones:

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

On the day when all secrets shall be searched out,

And he shall have no other might or helper.

I swear by the heaven which accomplisheth its cycle,

And by the earth which openeth her bosom,

That this Koran is a discriminating discourse,

And that it is not frivolous.

They plot a plot against thee,

And I will plot a plot against them.

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


MECCA.–15 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BY the SUN and his noonday brightness!

By the Moon when she followeth him!

By the Day when it revealeth his glory!

By the Night when it enshroudeth him!

By the Heaven and Him who built it!

By the Earth and Him who spread it forth!

By a Soul and Him who balanced it,

And breathed into it its wickedness and its piety,

Blessed now is he who hath kept it pure,

And undone is he who hath corrupted it!

Themoud1 in his impiety rejected the message of the Lord,

When the greatest wretch among them rushed up:–

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

But they treated him as an impostor and hamstrung her.

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

Nor feared he the issue.


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


MECCA.–42 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HE FROWNED, and he turned his back,1

Because the blind man came to him!

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

Or be warned, and the warning profit him?

As to him who is wealthy–

To him thou wast all attention:

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

But as to him who cometh to thee in earnest,

And full of fears–

Him dost thou neglect.

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

(And whoso is willing beareth it in mind)

Written on honoured pages,

Exalted, purified,

By the hands of Scribes, honoured, righteous.

Cursed be man! What hath made him unbelieving?

Of what thing did God create him?

Out of moist germs.3

He created him and fashioned him,

Then made him an easy passage from the womb,

Then causeth him to die and burieth him;

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

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

Let man look at his food:

It was We who rained down the copious rains,

Then cleft the earth with clefts,

And caused the upgrowth of the grain,

And grapes and healing herbs,

And the olive and the palm,

And enclosed gardens thick with trees,

And fruits and herbage,

For the service of yourselves and of your cattle.

But when the stunning trumpet-blast shall arrive,4

On that day shall a man fly from his brother,

And his mother and his father,

And his wife and his children;

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

There shall be faces on that day radiant,

Laughing and joyous:

And faces on that day with dust upon them:

Blackness shall cover them!

These are the Infidels, the Impure.


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

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

3 Ex spermate.

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


MECCA.–19 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

PRAISE the name of thy Lord THE MOST HIGH,

Who hath created and balanced all things,

Who hath fixed their destinies and guideth them,

Who bringeth forth the pasture,

And reduceth it to dusky stubble.

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

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

And we will make easy to thee our easy ways.

Warn, therefore, for the warning is profitable:

He that feareth God will receive the warning,–

And the most reprobate only will turn aside from it,

Who shall be exposed to the terrible fire,

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

Happy he who is purified by Islam,

And who remembereth the name of his Lord and prayeth.

But ye prefer this present life,

Though the life to come is better and more enduring.

This truly is in the Books of old,

The Books of Abraham1 and Moses.


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


MECCA.–8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I SWEAR by the FIG and by the olive,

By Mount Sinai,

And by this inviolate soil!1

That of goodliest fabric we created man,

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

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

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

What! is not God the most just of judges?


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


MECCA.–3 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

I SWEAR by the declining day!

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

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


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


MECCA.–22 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BY the star-bespangled Heaven!1

By the promised Day!

By the witness and the witnessed!2

Cursed the masters of the trench3

Of the fuel-fed fire,

When they sat around it

Witnesses of what they inflicted on the believers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

And is He the Indulgent, the Loving;

Possessor of the Glorious throne;

Worker of that he willeth.

Hath not the story reached thee of the hosts

Of Pharaoh and Themoud?

Nay! the infields are all for denial:

But God surroundeth them from behind.

Yet it is a glorious Koran,

Written on the preserved Table.


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

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

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

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


MECCA.–8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

THE BLOW! what is the Blow?

Who shall teach thee what the Blow is?

The Day when men shall be like scattered moths,

And the mountains shall be like flocks of carded wool,

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

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

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

A raging fire!


1 Lit. Mother.


MECCA.–8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the Earth with her quaking shall quake

And the Earth shall cast forth her burdens,

And man shall say, What aileth her?

On that day shall she tell out her tidings,

Because thy Lord shall have inspired her.

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

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

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


MECCA.–19 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the Heaven shall CLEAVE asunder,

And when the stars shall disperse,

And when the seas1 shall be commingled,

And when the graves shall be turned upside down,

Each soul shall recognise its earliest and its latest actions.

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

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

In the form which pleased Him hath He fashioned thee.

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

Yet truly there are guardians over you–

Illustrious recorders–

Cognisant of your actions.

Surely amid delights shall the righteous dwell,

But verily the impure in Hell-fire:

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

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

Who shall teach thee what the day of doom is?

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

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


1 Salt water and fresh water.


MECCA.–29 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the sun shall be FOLDED UP,1

And when the stars shall fall,

And when the mountains shall be set in motion,

And when the she-camels shall be abandoned,

And when the wild beasts shall be gathered together,2

And when the seas shall boil,

And when souls shall be paired with their bodies,

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

For what crime she was put to death,3

And when the leaves of the Book shall be unrolled,

And when the Heaven shall be stripped away,4

And when Hell shall be made to blaze,

And when Paradise shall be brought near,

Every soul shall know what it hath produced.

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

Which move swiftly and hide themselves away,

And by the night when it cometh darkening on,

And by the dawn when it brighteneth,

That this is the word of an illustrious Messenger,6

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

Obeyed there by Angels, faithful to his trust,

And your compatriot is not one possessed by djinn;

For he saw him in the clear horizon:7

Nor doth he grapple with heaven's secrets,8

Nor doth he teach the doctrine of a cursed9 Satan.

Whither then are ye going?

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

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

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


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

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

3 See Sura xvi. 61; xvii. 33.

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

5 Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn.

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

7 Sura 1iii. 7.

8 Like a mere Kahin, or soothsayer.

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

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


MECCA.–25 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the Heaven shall have SPLIT ASUNDER

And duteously obeyed its Lord;1

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

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

And duteously obeyed its Lord;

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

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

Shall be reckoned with in an easy reckoning,

And shall turn, rejoicing, to his kindred.

But he whose Book shall be given him behind his back2

Shall invoke destruction:

But in the fire shall he burn,

For that he lived joyously among his kindred,

Without a thought that he should return to God.

Yea, but his Lord beheld him.

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

And by the night and its gatherings,

And by the moon when at her full,

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

What then hath come to them that they believe not?

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

Yea, the unbelievers treat it as a lie.

But God knoweth their secret hatreds:

Let their only tidings4 be those of painful punishment;

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

An unfailing recompense shall be theirs.


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

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

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

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


Mecca.–11 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the snorting CHARGERS!

And those that dash off sparks of fire!

And those that scour to the attack at morn!

And stir therein the dust aloft;

And cleave therein their midway through a host!

Truly, Man is to his Lord ungrateful.

And of this he is himself a witness;

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

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

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

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


MECCA.–46 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By those angels who DRAG FORTH souls with violence,

And by those who with joyous release release them;

By those who swim swimmingly along;

By those who are foremost with foremost speed;2

By those who conduct the affairs of the universe!

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

Which the second blast shall follow:

Men's hearts on that day shall quake:–

Their looks be downcast.

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

What! when we have become rotten bones?"

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

Verily, it will be but a single blast,

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

Hath the story of Moses reached thee?

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

Go to Pharaoh, for he hath burst all bounds:

And say, "Wouldest thou become just?

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

And he showed him a great miracle,–

But he treated him as an impostor, and rebelled;

Then turned he his back all hastily,

And gathered an assembly and proclaimed,

And said, "I am your Lord supreme."

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

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

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

He reared its height and fashioned it,

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

And afterwards stretched forth the earth,–

He brought forth from it its waters and its pastures;

And set the mountains firm

For you and your cattle to enjoy.

But when the grand overthrow shall come,

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

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

Then, as for him who hath transgressed

And hath chosen this present life,

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

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

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

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

But what knowledge hast thou of it?

Its period is known only to thy Lord;

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

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


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

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


MECCA.–50 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the train of THE SENT ones,1

And the swift in their swiftness;

By the scatterers who scatter,

And the distinguishers who distinguish;

And by those that give forth the word

To excuse or warn;

Verily that which ye are promised is imminent.

When the stars, therefore, shall be blotted out,

And when the heaven shall be cleft,

And when the mountains shall be scattered in dust,

And when the Apostles shall have a time assigned them;

Until what day shall that time be deferred?

To the day of severing!

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

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

Have we not destroyed them of old?

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

Thus deal we with the evil doers.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

Have we not created you of a sorry germ,

Which we laid up in a secure place,

Till the term decreed for birth?

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

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

Have we not made the earth to hold

The living and the dead?

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

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

Begone to that Hell which ye called a lie:–

Begone to the shadows that lie in triple masses;

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

The sparks which it casteth out are like towers–

Like tawny camels.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

On that day they shall not speak,

Nor shall it be permitted them to allege excuses.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

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

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

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

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

And fruits, whatsoever they shall desire:

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

Thus recompense we the good.

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

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

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture!

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

Woe on that day to those who charged with imposture

In what other revelation after this will they believe?


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

2 Sura xliv. 40.

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


MECCA.–41 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Of what ask they of one another?

Of the great NEWS.1

The theme of their disputes.

Nay! they shall certainly knows its truth!

Again. Nay! they shall certainly know it.

Have we not made the Earth a couch?

And the mountains its tent-stakes?

We have created you of two sexes,

And ordained your sleep for rest,

And ordained the night as a mantle,

And ordained the day for gaining livelihood,

And built above you seven solid2 heavens,

And placed therein a burning lamp;

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

That we may bring forth by it corn and herbs,

And gardens thick with trees.

Lo! the day of Severance is fixed;

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

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

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

Hell truly shall be a place of snares,

The home of transgressors,

To abide therein ages;

No coolness shall they taste therein nor any drink,

Save boiling water and running sores;

Meet recompense!

For they looked not forward to their account;

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

But we noted and wrote down all:

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

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

Enclosed gardens and vineyards;

And damsels with swelling breasts, their peers in age,

And a full cup:

There shall they hear no vain discourse nor any falsehood:

A recompense from thy Lord–sufficing gift!–

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

4 Gabriel.


MECCA.–26 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

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

Downcast on that day shall be the countenances of some,

Travailing and worn,

Burnt at the scorching fire,

Made to drink from a fountain fiercely boiling.

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

Which shall not fatten, nor appease their hunger.

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

Well pleased with their labours past,

In a lofty garden:

No vain discourse shalt thou hear therein:

Therein shall be a gushing fountain,

Therein shall be raised couches,

And goblets ready placed,

And cushions laid in order,

And carpets spread forth.

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

And to the heaven how it is upraised;

And to the mountains how they are rooted;

And to the earth how it is outspread?

Warn thou then; for thou art a warner only:

Thou hast no authority over them:

But whoever shall turn back and disbelieve,

God shall punish him with the greater punishment.

Verily to Us shall they return;

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


1 The name of a bitter, thorny shrub.


MECCA.–30 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the DAYBREAK and ten nights.1

By that which is double and that which is single,

By the night when it pursues its course!

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

Hast thou not seen how thy Lord dealt with Ad,

At Irem adorned with pillars,

Whose like have not been reared in these lands!

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

And with Pharaoh the impaler;

Who all committed excesses in the lands,

And multiplied wickedness therein.

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

For thy Lord standeth on a watch tower.

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

Then saith he, "My Lord honoureth me:"

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

He saith, "My Lord despiseth me."

Aye. But ye honour not the orphan,

Nor urge ye one another to feed the poor,

And ye devour heritages, devouring greedily,

And ye love riches with exceeding love.

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

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

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

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

And none shall bind with such bonds as He.

Oh, thou soul which art at rest,

Return to thy Lord, pleased, and pleasing him:

Enter thou among my servants,

And enter thou my Paradise.


1 Of the sacred month Dhu'lhajja.

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

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


MECCA.–40 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

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

Or that I swear by the self-accusing soul.

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

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

But man chooseth to deny what is before him:

He asketh, "When this day of Resurrection?"

But when the eye shall be dazzled,

And when the moon shall be darkened,

And the sun and the moon shall be together,1

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

But in vain–there is no refuge–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aye, but ye love the transitory,

And ye neglect the life to come.

On that day shall faces beam with light,

Outlooking towards their Lord;

And faces on that day shall be dismal,

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

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

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

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

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

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

For he believed not, and he did not pray,

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

Then, walking with haughty men, rejoined his people.

That Hour is nearer to thee and nearer,5

It is ever nearer to thee and nearer still.

Thinketh man that he shall be left supreme?

Was he not a mere embryo?6

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

And made him twain, male and female.

Is not He powerful enough to quicken the dead?


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

2 Supply, it shall not be accepted.

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

4 In the death-struggle.

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

6 Nonne fuit humor ex spermate quod spermatizatur.


MECCA.–36 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Woe to those who STINT the measure:

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

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

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

For the great day?

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

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

And who shall make thee understand what Sidjin is?

It is a book distinctly written.

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

Who treated the day of judgment as a lie!

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

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

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

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

Then shall they be burned in Hell-fire:

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

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

And who shall make thee understand what Illiyoun is?

A book distinctly written;

The angels who draw nigh unto God attest it.

Surely, among delights shall the righteous dwell!

Seated on bridal couches they will gaze around;

Thou shalt mark in their faces the brightness of delight;

Choice sealed wine shall be given them to quaff,

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

Mingled therewith shall be the waters of Tasnim–2

Fount whereof they who draw nigh to God shall drink.

The sinners indeed laugh the faithful to scorn:

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

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

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

And yet they have no mission to be their guardians.

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

As reclining on bridal couches they behold them.

Shall not the infidels be recompensed according to their works?


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

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


MECCA.–52 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


And who shall make thee comprehend what the Inevitable is?

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

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

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

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

And couldst thou have seen one of them surviving?

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

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

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

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

But when one blast shall be blown on the trumpet,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In a lofty garden,

Whose clusters shall be near at hand:

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

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

And that I had never known my reckoning!

O that death had made an end of me!

My wealth hath not profited me!

My power hath perished from me!"

"Lay ye hold on him and chain him,

Then at the Hell-fire burn him,

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

For he believed not in God, the Great,

And was not careful to feed the poor;

No friend therefore shall he have here this day,

Nor food, but corrupt sores,

Which none shall eat but the sinners."

It needs not that I swear by what ye see,

And by that which ye see not,

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

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

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

It is a missive from the Lord of the worlds.

But if Muhammad had fabricated concerning us any sayings,

We had surely seized him by the right hand,

And had cut through the vein of his neck.5

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

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

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

But it shall be the despair of infidels,

For it is the very truth of sure knowledge.

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


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

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

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

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

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


MECCA.–60 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the clouds1 which scatter with SCATTERING,

And those which bear their load,

And by those which speed lightly along,

And those which apportion by command!

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

And lo! the judgment will surely come.2

By the star-tracked heaven!

Ye are discordant in what ye say;

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

Perish the liars,

Who are bewildered in the depths of ignorance!

They ask, "When this day of judgment?"

On that day they shall be tormented at the fire.

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

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

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

But little of the night was it that they slept,

And at dawn they prayed for pardon,

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

On Earth are signs for men of firm belief,

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

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

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

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

When they went in unto him and said, "Peace!" he replied, "Peace:–they are

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

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

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

His wife came up with outcry: she smote her face and said, "What I, old and

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

Said he, "And what, O messengers, is your errand?"

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

To hurl upon them stones of clay,

Destined5 by thy Lord for men guilty of excesses."

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

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

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

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

But relying on his forces6 he turned his back and said, "Sorcerer, or

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

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

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

And in Themoud:7 when it was said to them, "Enjoy yourselves for yet a

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

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

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

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

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

smoothly have we spread it forth!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

6 Or, with his nobles.

7 For Ad and Themoud, see Sura xi.

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


MECCA.–49 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


And by the Book written

On an outspread roll,

And by the frequented fane,1

And by the lofty vault,

And by the swollen sea,

Verily, a chastisement from thy Lord is imminent,

And none shall put it back.

Reeling on that day the Heaven shall reel,

And stirring shall the mountains stir.2

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

Who plunged for pastime into vain disputes–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And shall accost one another and ask mutual questions.

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

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

For, heretofore we called upon Him–and He is the Beneficent, the Merciful."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hath God daughters and ye sons?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


1 Of the Caaba.

2 Comp. Psalm lxviii. 9.

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


MECCA.–96 Verses

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

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

None shall treat that sudden coming as a lie:

Day that shall abase! Day that shall exalt!

When the earth shall be shaken with a shock,

And the mountains shall be crumbled with a crumbling,

And shall become scattered dust,

And into three bands shall ye be divided:2

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

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

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

These are they who shall be brought nigh to God,

In gardens of delight;

A crowd of the former

And few of the latter generations;

On inwrought couches

Reclining on them face to face:

Aye-blooming youths go round about to them

With goblets and ewers and a cup of flowing wine;

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

And with such fruits as shall please them best,

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

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

In recompense of their labours past.

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

But only the cry, "Peace! Peace!"

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

Amid thornless sidrahs5

And talh6 trees clad with fruit,

And in extended shade,

And by flowing waters,

And with abundant fruits,7

Unfailing, unforbidden,

And on lofty couches.

Of a rare creation have we created the Houris,

And we have made them ever virgins,

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

For the people of the right hand,

A crowd of the former,

And a crowd of the latter generations.9

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

Amid pestilential10 winds and in scalding water,

And in the shadow of a black smoke,

Not cool, and horrid to behold.11

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

But persisted in heinous sin,

And were wont to say,

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

And our fathers, the men of yore?"

SAY: Aye, the former and the latter:

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

Then ye, O ye the erring, the gainsaying,

Shall surely eat of the tree Ez-zakkoum,

And fill your bellies with it,

And thereupon shall ye drink boiling water,

And ye shall drink as the thirsty camel drinketh.

This shall be their repast in the day of reckoning!

We created you, will ye not credit us?12

What think ye? The germs of life13–

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

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

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

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

What think ye? That which ye sow–

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

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

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

What think ye of the water ye drink?

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

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

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

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

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

Praise therefore the name of thy Lord, the Great.

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

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

That this is the honourable Koran,

Written in the preserved Book:16

Let none touch it but the purified,17

It is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.

Such tidings as these will ye disdain?

Will ye make it your daily bread to gainsay them?

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

And when ye are gazing at him,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And of the erring,

His entertainment shall be of scalding water,

And the broiling of hell-fire.

Verily this is a certain truth:

Praise therefore the name of thy Lord, the Great.


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

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

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

4 Lit., the preceders, the preceders.

5 See Sura liii. 14, p. 69.

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

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

8 Like them, grow not old.

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

10 Or, scorching.

11 Lit., not noble, agreeable in appearance.

12 As to the resurrection.

13 Lit., semen quod emittitis.

14 Lit., forestalled, anticipated.

15 Lit, have incurred debt.

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

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


MECCA.–62 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the STAR when it setteth,

Your compatriot erreth not, nor is he led astray,

Neither speaketh he from mere impulse.

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

One terrible in power2 taught it him,

Endued with wisdom. With even balance stood he

In the highest part of the horizon:

Then came he nearer and approached,

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

And he revealed to his servant what he revealed.

His heart falsified not what he saw.

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

He had seen him also another time,

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

Near which is the garden of repose.

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

His eye turned not aside, nor did it wander:

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

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

And Manat the third idol besides?7

What? shall ye have male progeny and God female?

This were indeed an unfair partition!

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

Shall man have whatever he wisheth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hast thou considered him who turned his back?

Who giveth little and is covetous?

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

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

And of Abraham faithful to his pledge?

That no burdened soul shall bear the burdens of another,

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

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

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

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

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

And that He causeth to die and maketh alive,

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

From the diffused germs of life,9

And that with Him is the second creation,

And that He enricheth and causeth to possess,

And that He is the Lord of Sirius,10

And that it was He who destroyed the ancient Adites,

And the people of Themoud and left not one survivor,

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

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

So that that which covered them covered them.

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

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

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

Is it at these sayings that ye marvel?

And that ye laugh and weep not?

And that ye are triflers?

Prostrate yourselves then to God and worship.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And truly their intercession may be expected.

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

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

9 Ex spermate cum seminatum fuerit.

10 The Dog-star, worshipped by the Arabians.

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


MECCA.–44 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

A SUITOR sued1 for punishment to light suddenly

On the infidels: none can hinder

God from inflicting it, the master of those ASCENTS,

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

Be thou patient therefore with becoming patience;

They forsooth regard that day as distant,

But we see it nigh:

The day when the heavens shall become as molten brass,

And the mountains shall become like flocks of wool:

And friend shall not question of friend,

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

Of his spouse and his brother,

And of his kindred who shewed affection for him,

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

But no. For the fire,

Dragging by the scalp,

Shall claim him who turned his back and went away,

And amassed and hoarded.

Man truly is by creation hasty;

When evil befalleth him, impatient;

But when good falleth to his lot, tenacious.

Not so the prayerful,

Who are ever constant at their prayers;

And of whose substance there is a due and stated portion

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

And who own the judgment-day a truth,

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

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

And who control their desires,

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

But whoever indulge their desires beyond this are transgressors);

And who are true to their trusts and their engagements,

And who witness uprightly,

And who keep strictly the hours of prayer:

These shall dwell, laden with honours, amid gardens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

3 Lit. forbidden or prevented by shame.

4 See next Sura. v. 16.


MECCA.–78 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The God of MERCY hath taught the Koran,

Hath created man,

Hath taught him articulate speech,

The Sun and the Moon have each their times,

And the plants and the trees bend in adoration.

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

That in the balance ye should not transgress.

Weigh therefore with fairness, and scant not the balance.

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

Therein are fruits, and the palms with sheathed clusters,

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

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

He created man of clay like that of the potter.

And He created the djinn of pure fire:

Which then of the bounties, etc.

He is the Lord of the East,2

He is the Lord of the West:

Which, etc.

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

Yet between them is a barrier which they overpass not:

Which, etc.

From each he bringeth up pearls both great and small:

Which, etc.

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

Which, etc.

All on the earth shall pass away,

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

Which, etc.

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

Which, etc.

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

Which, etc.

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

Which, etc.

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

Which, etc.

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

Which, etc.

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

Which, etc.

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

Which, etc.

"This is Hell which sinners treated as a lie."

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

Which, etc.

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

Which, etc.

With o'erbranching trees in each:

Which, etc.

In each two kinds of every fruit:

Which, etc.

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

Which, etc.

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

Which, etc.

Like jacynths and pearls:

Which, etc.

Shall the reward of good be aught but good?

Which, etc.

And beside these shall be two other gardens:5

Which, etc.

Of a dark green:

Which, etc.

With gushing fountains in each:

Which, etc.

In each, fruits and the palm and the pomegranate:

Which, etc.

In each, the fair, the beauteous ones:

Which, etc.

With large dark eyeballs, kept close in their pavilions:

Which, etc.

Whom man hath never touched, nor any djinn:6

Which, etc.

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

Which, etc.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


MECCA.–55 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The hour hath approached and the MOON hath been cleft:

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

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

A message of prohibition had come to them–

Consummate wisdom–but warners profit them not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And how great was my vengeance and my menace!

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

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

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

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

And how great was my vengeance and my menace!

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

The tribe of Themoud treated the threatenings as lies:

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

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

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

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

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

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

And how great was my vengeance and my menance!

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

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

The people of Lot treated his warning as a lie;

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

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

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

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

And said, "Taste ye my vengeance and my menace;"

And in the morning a relentless punishment overtook them.

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

To the people of Pharaoh also came the threatenings:

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

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

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

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

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

Verily, the wicked are sunk in bewilderment and folly.

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

All things have we created after a fixed decree:

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

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

And everything that they do is in the Books;2

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

Verily, amid gardens3 and rivers shall the pious dwell.

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


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

2 Kept by the Guardian Angels.

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


MECCA.–182 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the angels ranged in order for Songs of Praise,

And by those who repel demons,1

And by those who recite the Koran for warning,

Truly your God is but one,

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

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

They serve also as a guard against every rebellious Satan,

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

Driven off and consigned to a lasting torment;

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

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

But while thou marvellest they mock;

When they are warned, no warning do they take;

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

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

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

Our sires also of olden times?"

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

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

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

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

Set them forth: they shall be questioned.

"How now, that ye help not one another?"

But on this day they shall submit themselves to God,

And shall address one another with mutual reproaches.

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

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

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

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

Partners therefore shall they be in punishment on that day.

Truly, thus will we deal with the wicked,

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

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

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

Ye shall surely taste the painful punishment,

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

Save the sincere servants of God!

A stated banquet shall they have

Of fruits; and honoured shall they be

In the gardens of delight,

Upon couches face to face.

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

Limpid, delicious to those who drink;

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

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

And they shall address one another with mutual questions.

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

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

What! when we shall have died, and become dust and bones, shall we indeed be

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

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

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

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

"But do we not die," say the blessed,

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

This truly is the great felicity!

For the like of this should the travailers travail!

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

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

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

Its fruits is as it were the heads of Satans;

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

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

Then shall they return to hell.

They found their fathers erring,

And they hastened on in their footsteps.

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

Though we had sent warners among them.

But see what was the end of these warned ones,

Except of God's true servants.

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

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

And we made his offspring the survivors;

And we left for him with posterity,

"Peace be on Noah throughout the worlds!"

Thus do we reward the well-doers,

For he was one of our believing servants;–

And the rest we drowned.

And truly, of his faith was Abraham,

When he brought to his Lord a perfect heart,

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

Prefer ye with falsehood gods to God?

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

So gazing he gazed towards the stars,

And said, "In sooth I am ill:10

And they turned their back on him and departed.

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

What aileth you that ye do not speak?"

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

When his tribesmen came back to him with hasty steps

He said, "Worship ye what ye carve,

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

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

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

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

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

We announced to him a youth of meekness.

And when he became a full-grown youth,11

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

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

God please, shalt thou find me."

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

We cried unto him, "O Abraham!

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

This was indeed a decisive test.

And we ransomed his son with a costly12 victim,

And we left this13 for him among posterity,


Thus do we reward the well-doers,

For he was of our believing servants.

And we announced Isaac to him–a righteous Prophet–

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

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

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

And we succoured them, and they became the conquerors:

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

And we guided them each into the right way:

And we left this for each among posterity,


Thus do we reward the well-doers,

For they were two of our believing servants.

And Elias truly was of our Sent Ones,

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

Invoke ye Baal and forsake ye the most skilful Creator?

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

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

Except God's faithful servants.

And we left this for him among posterity,


Thus do we reward the well-doers,

For he was one of our believing servants.

And Lot truly was of our Sent Ones,

When we rescued him and all his family,

Save an aged woman among those who tarried.

Afterward we destroyed the others.

And ye indeed pass by their ruined dwellings at morn

And night: will ye not then reflect?

Jonas, too, was one of the Apostles,

When he fled unto the laden ship,

And lots were cast,16 and he was doomed,

And the fish swallowed him, for he was blameworthy.

But had he not been of those who praise Us,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"God hath begotten"? They are indeed liars.

Would he have preferred daughters to sons?

What reason have ye for thus judging?

Will ye not then receive this warning?

Have ye a clear proof for them?

Produce your Book if ye speak truth.

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

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

"His faithful servants do not thus.

Moreover, ye and what ye worship

Shall not stir up any against God,17

Save him who shall burn in Hell.

And verily each one of us hath his appointed place,

And we range ourselves in order,

And we celebrate His praises."18

And if those infidels say,

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

We had surely been God's faithful servants."

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

Our word came of old to our servants the apostles,

That they should surely be the succoured,

And that our armies should procure the victory for them.

Turn aside therefore from them for a time,

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

Would they then hasten our vengeance?

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

Turn aside from them therefore for a time.

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

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

And peace be on his Apostles!

And praise be to God the Lord of the worlds.


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

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

3 See Sura [lvii.] xv. 18.

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

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

6 See Sura [lx.] xxxvi. 6.

7 The ostrich egg carefully protected from dust.

8 Lit. and are we not among the punished?

9 Lit. et sane euge auditores. Mar.

10 And therefore unable to assist at your sacrifices.

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

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

13 This salutation.

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

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

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

17 Nequequam vos ad illud colendum estis Seducturi. Mar.

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

19 Compare verse 69.


MECCA.–29 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

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

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

Serve God and fear Him, and obey me:

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

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

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

Then I cried aloud to them:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That ye may walk therein along spacious paths."'

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

And they plotted a great plot;

And they said, "Forsake not your Gods; forsake not Wadd nor Sowah,

Nor Yaghuth and Yahuk and Nesr;"

And they caused many to err;2–and thou, too, O Muhammad! shalt be the means
of increasing only error in the wicked–

Because of their sins they were drowned, and made to go into the Fire;

And they found that they had no helper save God.

And Noah said, "Lord, leave not one single family of Infidels on the Earth:

For if thou leave them they will beguile thy servants and will beget only
sinners, infidels.

O my Lord, forgive me, and my parents, and every one who, being a believer,
shall enter my house, and believers men and women: and add to the wicked
nought but perdition."


1 See Sura xxii. 5.

2 Or, the idols had seduced many. Thus Kas. Beidh. gives both  interpp.–See
on these idols Freytag's Einleitung, p. 349.


MECCA.–31 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Doth not a long time pass over MAN, during which he is a thing unremembered?1

We have created man from the union of the sexes that we might prove him; and
hearing, seeing, have we made him:

In a right way have we guided him, be he thankful or ungrateful.

For the Infidels we have got ready chains and collars and flaming fire.

But a wine cup tempered at the camphor fountain2 the just shall quaff:

Fount whence the servants of God shall drink, and guide by channels from
place to place;

They who fulfilled their vows, and feared the day whose woes will spread far
and wide;

Who though longing for it themselves, bestowed their food on the poor and the
orphan and the captive:

"We feed you for the sake of God: we seek from you neither recompense nor

A stern and calamitous day dread we from our Lord."

From the evil therefore of that day hath God delivered them and cast on them
brightness of face and joy:

And hath rewarded their constancy, with Paradise and silken robes:

Reclining therein on bridal couches, nought shall they know of sun or
piercing cold:

Its shades shall be close over them, and low shall its fruits hang down:

And vessels of silver and goblets like flagons shall be borne round among

Flagons of silver whose measure themselves shall mete.

And there shall they be given to drink of the cup tempered with zendjebil

From the fount therein whose name is Selsebil (the softly flowing).

Aye-blooming youths go round among them. When thou lookest at them thou
wouldest deem them scattered pearls;

And when thou seest this, thou wilt see delights and a vast kingdom:

Their clothing green silk robes and rich brocade: with silver bracelets shall
they be adorned; and drink of a pure beverage shall their Lord give them.

This shall be your recompense. Your efforts shall meet with thanks.

We ourselves have sent down to thee the Koran as a missive from on high.

Await then with patience the judgments of thy Lord, and obey not the wicked
among them and the unbelieving:

And make mention of the name of thy Lord at morn, at even,

And at night. Adore him, and praise him the livelong night.

But these men love the fleeting present, and leave behind them the heavy day
of doom.

Ourselves have we created them, and strengthened their joints; and when we
please, with others like unto themselves will we replace them.

This truly is a warning: And whoso willeth, taketh the way to his Lord;

But will it ye shall not, unless God will it, for God is Knowing, Wise.

He causeth whom He will to enter into his mercy. But for the evil doers, He
hath made ready an afflictive chastisement.


1 When in the womb.

2 With (the water of) Kafoor. Lane.

3 Desire no recompense from you.


MECCA.–59 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ha. Mim.1 By this clear Book!

See! on a blessed night2 have we sent it down, for we would warn mankind:

On the night wherein all things are disposed in wisdom,3

By virtue of our behest. Lo! we have ever sent forth Apostles,

A mercy from thy Lord: he truly heareth and knoweth all things–

Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth and of all that is between them,–if ye
be firm in faith–

There is no God but He!–He maketh alive and killeth!–Your Lord and the Lord
of your sires of old!

Yet with doubts do they disport them.

But mark them on the day when the Heaven shall give out a palpable SMOKE,

Which shall enshroud mankind: this will be an afflictive torment.

They will cry, "Our Lord! relieve us from this torment: see! we are

But how did warning avail them, when an undoubted apostle had come to them;

And they turned their backs on him, and said, "Taught by others, possessed?"

Were we to relieve you from the plague even a little, ye would certainly

On the day when we shall fiercely put forth our great fierceness, we will
surely take vengeance on them!

Of old, before their time, had we proved the people of Pharaoh, when a noble
apostle presented himself to them.

"Send away with me," cried he, "the servants of God; for I am an apostle
worthy of all credit:

And exalt not yourselves against God, for I come to you with undoubted power;

And I take refuge with Him who is my Lord and your Lord, that ye stone me

And if ye believe me not, at least separate yourselves from me."

And he cried to his Lord, "That these are a wicked people."

"March forth then, said God, with my servants by night, for ye will be

And leave behind you the cleft sea: they are a drowned host."

How many a garden and fountain did they quit!

And corn fields and noble dwellings!

And pleasures in which they rejoiced them!

So was it: and we gave them as a heritage to another people.

Nor Heaven nor Earth wept for them, nor was their sentence respited;

And we rescued the children of Israel from a degrading affliction–

From Pharaoh, for he was haughty, given to excess.

And we chose them, in our prescience, above all peoples,5

And we shewed them miracles wherein was their clear trial.

Yet these infidels say,

"There is but our first death, neither shall we be raised again:

Bring back our sires, if ye be men of truth."

Are they better than the people of Tobba,6

And those who flourished before them whom we destroyed for their evil deeds?

We have not created the Heavens and the Earth and whatever is between them in

We have not created them but for a serious end:7 but the greater part of them
understand it not.

Verily the day of severing8 shall be the appointed time of all:

A day when the master shall not at all be aided by the servant, neither shall
they be helped;

Save those on whom God shall have mercy: for He is the mighty, the merciful.

Verily the tree of Ez-Zakkoum9

Shall be the sinner's10 food:

Like dregs of oil shall it boil up in their bellies,

Like the boiling of scalding water.

"–Seize ye him, and drag him into the mid-fire;

Then pour on his head of the tormenting boiling water.

–'Taste this:' for thou forsooth art the mighty, the honourable!

Lo! this is that of which ye doubted."

But the pious shall be in a secure place,

Amid gardens and fountains,

Clothed in silk and richest robes, facing one another:

Thus shall it be: and we will wed them to the virgins with large dark eyes:

Therein shall they call, secure, for every kind of fruit;

Therein, their first death passed, shall they taste death no more; and He
shall keep them from the pains of Hell:–

'Tis the gracious bounty of thy Lord! This is the great felicity.

We have made this Koran easy for thee in thine own tongue, that they may take
the warning.

Therefore wait thou, for they are waiting.11


1 See Sura lxviii. I, p. 32.

2 Of the 23rd and 24th of Ramadhan, in which, according to the Muslim creed,
all the events of the year subsequent are arranged. See Sura xcvii. n. 2, p.

3 Lit. We settle each wise affair–called wise, because proceeding direct from
the will of Him who is absolute wisdom.

4 Beidh, and others suppose this verse to have been revealed at Medina. This
opinion, however, is based upon the supposition that it refers to the famine
with which Mecca was visited after the Hejira.

5 Comp. Ex. xx. 20; Deut. viii. 16.

6 Tobba, i.e. Chalif or successor, is the title of the Kings of Yemen; or of
Hadramont, Saba, and Hamyar.–See Pocock, Spec. Hist. Ar. p. 60.

7 Lit. in truth.

8 That is, Of the good from the bad.

9 See Sura xxxvii. 60, p. 81.

10 The commentators suppose this sinner to be Abu Jahl, one of the chief of
the Koreisch, and the bitter enemy of Muhammad.

11 To see the turn which events may take.


MECCA.–45 Verses

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

Kaf1. By the glorious Koran:

They marvel forsooth that one of themselves hath come to them charged with
warnings. "This," say the infidels, "is a marvellous thing:

What! when dead and turned to dust shall we. . . .? Far off is such a return
as this?"

Now know we what the earth consumeth of them, and with us is a Book in which
account is kept.

But they have treated the truth which hath come to them as falsehood;
perplexed therefore is their state.

Will they not look up to the heaven above them, and consider how we have
reared it and decked it forth, and that there are no flaws therein?

And as to the earth, we have spread it out, and have thrown the mountains
upon it, and have caused an upgrowth in it of all beauteous kinds of plants,

For insight and admonition to every servant who loveth to turn to God:

And we send down the rain from Heaven with its blessings, by which we cause
gardens to spring forth and the grain of harvest,

And the tall palm trees with date-bearing branches one above the other

For man's nourishment: And life give we thereby to a dead country. So also
shall be the resurrection.

Ere the days of these (Meccans) the people of Noah, and the men of Rass2 and
Themoud, treated their prophets as impostors:

And Ad and Pharaoh, and the brethren of Lot and the dwellers in the forest,
and the people of Tobba,3 all gave the lie to their prophets: justly,
therefore, were the menaces inflicted.

Are we wearied out with the first creation? Yet are they in doubt with regard
to a new creation!4

We created man: and we know what his soul whispereth to him, and we are
closer to him than his neck-vein.

When the two angels charged with taking account shall take it, one sitting on
the right hand, the other on the left:

Not a word doth he utter, but there is a watcher with him ready to note it

And the stupor of certain death cometh upon him: "This is what thou wouldst
have shunned"–

And there shall be a blast on the trumpet,–it is the threatened day!

And every soul shall come,–an angel with it urging it along, and an angel to
witness against it5–

Saith he, "Of this day didst thou live in heedlessness: but we have taken off
thy veil from thee, and thy sight is becoming sharp this day."

And he who is at this side6 shall say, "This is what I am prepared with
against thee."

And God will say, "Cast into Hell, ye twain, every infidel, every hardened

The hinderer of the good, the transgressor, the doubter,

Who set up other gods with God. Cast ye him into the fierce torment."

He who is at his side shall say, "O our Lord! I led him not astray, yet was
he in an error wide of truth."

He shall say, "Wrangle not in my presence. I had plied you beforehand with

My doom changeth not, and I am not unjust to man."

On that day will we cry to Hell, "Art thou full?" And it shall say, "Are
there more?"7

And not far from thence shall Paradise be brought near unto the Pious:

– "This is what ye have been promised: to every one who hath turned in
penitence to God and kept his laws;

Who hath feared the God of Mercy in secret, and come to him with a contrite

Enter it in peace: this is the day of Eternity."

There shall they have all that they can desire: and our's will it be to
augment their bliss:

And how many generations have we destroyed ere the days of these (Meccans),
mightier than they in strength! Search ye then the land. Is there any escape?

Lo! herein is warning for him who hath a heart, or giveth ear, and is himself
an eye-witness.8

We created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six
days, and no weariness touched us.9

Wherefore put up with what they say, and celebrate the praise of thy Lord
before sunrise and before sunset:

And praise Him in the night: and perform the two final prostrations.

And list for the day whereon the crier shall cry from a place near to every
one alike:

The day on which men shall in truth hear that shout will be the day of their
coming forth from the grave.

Verily, we cause to live, and we cause to die. To us shall all return.

On the day when the earth shall swiftly cleave asunder over the dead, will
this gathering be easy to Us.

We know best what the infidels say: and thou art not to compel them.

Warn then by the Koran those who fear my menace.


1 See Sura lxviii. I, p. 32.

2 See [lxvi.] xxv. 40.

3 See xliv. 36, p. 90.

4 The Resurrection.

5 Lit. a driver and a witness.

6 The Satan who is chained to him. Sura [lxxi.] xli. 24.

7 Lit. is there any addition? which some explain as if Hell enquired whether,
being already full, any addition could be made to its size. Comp. Prov. xxx.
15, and Othioth Derabbi Akiba, 8, 1: "That the Prince of Hell saith daily,
Give me food enough, is clear from what is said (Is. v. 14). Therefore Shaol
hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure, etc."

8 That is, of the ruins of the destroyed cities, etc.

9 This verse is said (by Omar b. Muhammad, Itq. 36, Djelal Eddin, ap. Maracc.
and Beidh.) to have been revealed in answer to the Jews who told the Prophet
that if God rested on the Sabbath, it was because he was weary. But a
connection with verse 14 seems more natural.


MECCA.–135 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

TA. HA.2 Not to sadden thee have we sent down this Koran to thee,

But as a warning for him who feareth;

It is a missive from Him who hath made the earth and the lofty heavens!

The God of Mercy sitteth on his throne:

His, whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and
whatsoever is between them both, and whatsoever is beneath the humid soil!

Thou needest not raise thy voice:3 for He knoweth the secret whisper, and the
yet more hidden.

God! There is no God but He! Most excellent His titles!

Hath the history of Moses reached thee?

When he saw a fire, and said to his family, "Tarry ye here, for I perceive a

Haply I may bring you a brand from it, or find at the fire a guide."4

And when he came to it, he was called to, "O Moses!

Verily, I am thy Lord:. therefore pull off thy shoes: for thou art in the
holy valley of Towa.

And I have chosen thee: hearken then to what shall be revealed.

Verily, I am God: there is no God but me: therefore worship me, and observe
prayer for a remembrance of me.

Verily the hour is coming:–I all but manifest it–

That every soul may be recompensed for its labours.

Nor let him who believeth not therein and followeth his lust, turn thee aside
from this truth, and thou perish.

Now, what is that in thy right hand, O Moses?"

Said he, "It is my staff on which I lean, and with which I beast down leaves
for my sheep, and I have other uses for it."

He said, "Cast it down, O Moses!"

So he cast it down, and lo! it became a serpent that ran along.

He said, "Lay hold on it, and fear not: to its former state will we restore

"Now place thy right hand to thy arm-pit: it shall come forth white, but
unhurt:–another sign!–

That We may shew thee the greatest of our signs.

Go to Pharaoh, for he hath burst all bounds."

He said, "O my Lord! enlarge my breast for me,

And make my work easy for me,

And loose the knot of my tongue,5

That they may understand my speech.

And give me a counsellor6 from among my family,

Aaron my brother;

By him gird up my loins,7

And make him a colleague in my work,

That we may praise thee oft and oft remember thee,

For thou regardest us."

He said, "O Moses, thou hast obtained thy suit:

Already, at another time, have we showed thee favour,

When we spake unto thy mother what was spoken:

'Cast him into the ark:8 then cast him on the sea [the river], and the sea
shall throw him on the shore: and an enemy to me and an enemy to him shall
take him up.' And I myself have made thee an object of love,

That thou mightest be reared in mine eye.

When thy sister went and said, 'Shall I shew you one who will nurse him?'9
Then We returned thee to thy mother that her eye might be cheered, and that
she might not grieve. And when thou slewest a person, We delivered thee from
trouble, and We tried thee with other trial.

For years didst thou stay among the people of Midian; then camest thou hither
by my decree, O Moses:

And I have chosen thee for Myself.

Go thou and thy brother with my signs and be not slack to remember me.

Go ye to Pharaoh, for he hath burst all bounds:

But speak ye to him with gentle speech; haply he will reflect or fear."

They said, "O our Lord! truly we fear lest he break forth against us, or act
with exceeding injustice."

He said, "Fear ye not, for I am with you both. I will hearken and I will

Go ye then to him and say, 'Verily we are Sent ones of thy Lord; send
therefore the children of Israel with us and vex them not: now are we come to
thee with signs from thy Lord, and, Peace shall be on him who followeth the
right guidance.

For now hath it been revealed to us, that chastisement shall be on him who
chargeth with falsehood, and turneth him away."'

And he said, "Who is your Lord, O Moses?"

He said, "Our Lord is He who hath given to everything its form and then
guideth it aright."

"But what," said he, "was the state of generations past?"10

He said, "The knowledge thereof is with my Lord in the Book of his decrees.
My Lord erreth not, nor forgetteth.

He hath spread the earth as a bed, and hath traced out paths for you therein,
and hath sent down rain from Heaven, and by it we bring forth the kinds11 of
various herbs:

–'Eat ye, and feed your cattle.' Of a truth in this are signs unto men endued
with understanding.

From it have we created you, and into it will we return you, and out of it
will we bring you forth a second time."12

And we shewed him all our signs: but he treated them as falsehoods, and
refused to believe.

He said, "Hast thou come, O Moses, to drive us from our land by thine

Therefore will we assuredly confront thee with like enchantments: so appoint
a meeting between us and you–we will not fail it, we, and do not thou–in a
place alike for both."

He said, "On the feast day13 be your meeting, and in broad daylight let the
people be assembled."

And Pharaoh turned away, and collected his craftsmen and came.

Said Moses to them, "Woe to you! devise not a lie against God:

For then will he destroy you by a punishment. They who have lied have ever

And the magicians discussed their plan, and spake apart in secret:

They said, "These two are surely sorcerers: fain would they drive you from
your land by their sorceries, and lead away in their paths your chiefest men:

So muster your craft: then come in order: well this day shall it be for him,
who shall gain the upper hand."

They said, "O Moses, wilt thou first cast down thy rod, or shall we be the
first who cast?"

He said, "Yes, cast ye down first." And lo! by their enchantment their cords
and rods seemed to him as if they ran.

And Moses conceived a secret fear within him.

We said, "Fear not, for thou shalt be the uppermost:

Cast forth then what is in thy right hand: it shall swallow up what they have
produced: they have only produced the deceit of an enchanter: and come where
he may, ill shall an enchanter fare."

And the magicians fell down and worshipped. They said,

"We believe in the Lord of Aaron and of Moses."

Said Pharaoh, "Believe ye on him ere I give you leave? He, in sooth, is your
Master who hath taught you magic. I will therefore cut off your hands and
your feet on opposite sides, and I will crucify you on trunks of the palm,
and assuredly shall ye learn which of us is severest in punishing, and who is
the more abiding."14

They said, "We will not have more regard to thee than to the clear tokens
which have come to us, or than to Him who hath made us: doom the doom thou
wilt: Thou canst only doom as to this present life: of a truth we have
believed on our Lord that he may pardon us our sins and the sorcery to which
thou hast forced us, for God is better, and more abiding than thou.15

As for him who shall come before his Lord laden with crime–for him verily is
Hell: he shall not die in it and he shall not live.

But he who shall come before Him, a believer, with righteous works,–these!
the loftiest grades await them:

Gardens of Eden, beneath whose trees16 the rivers flow: therein shall they
abide for ever. This, the reward of him who hath been pure."

Then revealed we to Moses, "Go forth by night with my servants and cleave for
them a dry path in the sea;

Fear not thou to be overtaken, neither be thou afraid."

And Pharaoh followed them with his hosts, and the whelming billows of the sea
overwhelmed them,17 for Pharaoh misled his people, and did not guide them.

O children of Israel! we rescued you from your foes; and We appointed a
meeting with you on the right side of the mountain; and We caused the manna
and the quail to descend upon you:

"Eat," said We, "of the good things with which we have supplied you; but
without excess, lest my wrath fall upon you; for on whom my wrath doth fall,
he perisheth outright.

Surely however will I forgive him who turneth to God and believeth, and
worketh righteousness, and then yieldeth to guidance.

But what hath hastened thee on apart from thy people,18 O Moses?"

He said, "They are hard on my footsteps: but to thee, O Lord, have I
hastened, that thou mightest be well pleased with me."

He said, "Of a truth now have we proved thy people since thou didst leave
them, and Samiri19 had led them astray."

And Moses returned to his people, angered, sorrowful.

He said, "O my people! did not your Lord promise you a good promise? Was the
time of my absence long to you? or desired ye that wrath from your Lord
should light upon you, that ye failed in your promise to me?"

They said, "Not of our own accord have we failed in the promise to thee, but
we were made to bring loads of the people's trinkets, and we threw them into
the fire and Samiri likewise cast them in, and brought forth to them a
corporeal lowing20 calf: and they said, "This is your God and the God of
Moses, whom he hath forgotten."'

What! saw they not that it returned them no answer, and could neither hurt
nor help them?

And Aaron had before said to them, "O my people! by this calf are ye only
proved: surely your Lord is the God of Mercy: follow me therefore and obey my

They said, "We will not cease devotion to it, till Moses come back to us."

He said, "O Aaron! when thou sawest that they had gone astray, what hindered
thee from following me? Hast thou then disobeyed my command?"

He said, "O Son of my mother! seize me not by my beard, nor by my head:
indeed I feared lest thou shouldst say,

Thou hast rent the children of Isreal asunder, and hast not observed my

He said, "And what was thy motive, O Samiri?" He said, "I saw what they saw
not: so I took a handful of dust from the track21 of the messenger of God,
and flung it into the calf, for so my soul prompted me."

He said, "Begone then: verily thy doom even in this life shall be to say,
'Touch me not.'22 And there is a threat against thee, which thou shalt not
escape hereafter. Now look at thy god to which thou hast continued so
devoted: we will surely burn it and reduce it to ashes, which we will cast
into the sea.

Your God is God, beside whom there is no God: In his knowledge he embraceth
all things."

Thus do We recite to thee histories of what passed of old; and from ourself
have we given thee admonition.

Whoso shall turn aside from it shall verily carry a burden on the day of

Under it shall they remain: and grievous, in the day of Resurrection, shall
it be to them to bear.

On that day there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and We will gather the
wicked together on that day with leaden23 eyes:

They shall say in a low voice, one to another,–"Ye tarried but ten days on

We are most knowing with respect to that which they will say when the most
veracious24 of them will say. "Ye have not tarried above a day."

And they will ask thee of the mountains: SAY: scattering my Lord will scatter
them in dust;

And he will leave them a level plain: thou shalt see in it no hollows or
jutting hills.

On that day shall men follow their summoner25–he marcheth straight on: and
low shall be their voices before the God of Mercy, nor shalt thou hear aught
but the light footfall.

No intercession shall avail on that day, save his whom the God of Mercy shall
allow to intercede, and whose words he shall approve.

He knoweth their future and their past; but in their own knowledge they
comprehend it not:–

And humble shall be their faces before Him that Liveth, the Self-subsisting:
and undone he, who shall bear the burden of iniquity;

But he who shall have done the things that are right and is a believer, shall
fear neither wrong nor loss.

Thus have We sent down to thee an Arabic Koran, and have set forth menaces
therein diversely, that haply they may fear God, or that it may give birth to
reflection in them.

Exalted then be God, the King, the Truth! Be not hasty in its recital26 while
the revelation of it to thee is incomplete. Say rather, "O my Lord, increase
knowledge unto me."

And of old We made a covenant with Adam; but he forgat it; and we found no
firmness of purpose in him.

And when We said to the angels, "Fall down and worship Adam," they worshipped
all, save Eblis, who refused: and We said, "O Adam! this truly is a foe to
thee and to thy wife. Let him not therefore drive you out of the garden, and
ye become wretched;

For to thee is it granted that thou shalt not hunger therein, neither shalt
thou be naked;

But Satan whispered him: said he, "O Adam! shall I shew thee the tree of
Eternity,27 and the Kingdom that faileth not?"

And they both ate thereof, and their nakedness appeared to them, and they
began to sew of the leaves of the Garden to cover them, and Adam disobeyed
his Lord and went astray.

Afterwards his Lord chose him for himself, and was turned towards him, and
guided him.

And God said, "Get ye all down hence, the one of you a foe unto the other.
Hereafter shall guidance come unto you from me;

And whoso followeth my guidance shall not err, and shall not be wretched:

But whoso turneth away from my monition, his truly shall be a life of misery:

And We will assemble him with others on the day of Resurrection, blind."28

He will say, "O my Lord! why hast thou assembled me with others, blind?
whereas I was endowed with sight."

He will answer, "Thus is it, because our signs came unto thee and thou didst
forget them, and thus shalt thou be forgotten this day."

Even thus will We recompense him who hath transgressed and hath not believed
in the signs of his Lord; and assuredly the chastisement of the next world
will be more severe and more lasting.

Are not they, who walk the very places where they dwelt, aware how many
generations we have destroyed before them? Verily in this are signs to men of

And had not a decree of respite from thy Lord first gone forth, their
chastisement had at once ensued. Yet the time is fixed.

Put up then with what they say; and celebrate the praise of thy Lord before
the sunrise, and before its setting; and some time in the night do thou
praise him, and in the extremes29 of the day, that thou haply mayest please

And strain not thine eye after what We have bestowed on divers of them–the
braveries of this world–that we may thereby prove them. The portion which thy
Lord will give, is better and more lasting.

Enjoin prayer on thy family, and persevere therein. We ask not of thee to
find thine own provision–we will provide for thee, and a happy issue shall
there be to piety.

But they say, "If he come not to us with a sign from his Lord . . .!"30 But
have not clear proofs for the Koran come to them, in what is in the Books of

And had We destroyed them by a chastisement before its time, they would
surely have said, "O our Lord! How could we believe if thou didst not send
unto us an Apostle that we might follow thy signs ere that we were humbled
and disgraced."

SAY: Each one of us awaiteth the end. Wait ye then, and ye shall know which
of us have been followers of the even way, and who hath been the rightly


1 The first 14 or 16 verses of this Sura are said to have induced Omar to
embrace Islam (His. 226. Ibn Sâd, i. and v. Comp. Weil, p. 60. Causs. i. 396
ff.) in the sixth year before the Hejira.

2 Freytag supposes these letters to mean, Hush! but see Sura lxviii. 1, p.

3 Lit. if thou raise thy voice.

4 Lit. guidance. Moses had lost his way, say the Commentators, when
journeying to Egypt to visit his mother.

5 The Muhammadan Commentators tell how Moses when a child burnt his tongue
with a live coal. The same story is found in Midr. Jalkut on Ex. c. 166, and
in Shalsheleth Hakabalah, p. 5, b. Ed. Amsterd.

6 Lit vizir.

7 Or, strengthen my back.

8 The form of the word in the original is not the pure Hebraic, but the later
Rabbinic form.

9 See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 11, 12.

10 What is their condition after their death as to happiness or misery.
Beidh. whom Sale follows. But the word state, which Mar. renders mens, refers
rather to their creed. "How," enquires Pharaoh, "do you explain the fact that
the generations of men have always practised a different worship?"

11 Lit. pairs.

12 The Midrasch Tanchumah on Ex. vii. gives a very similar dialogue between
Pharaoh and Moses.

13 Lit. the day of ornament.

14 In punishing. Beidh.

15 To recompense. Beidh.

16 As the garden is said in Sura lxxxviii. to be lofty in point of situation,
this frequently recurring phrase may mean that rivers run at its base. The
Commentators, however, generally understand it to imply that the rivers flow
beneath its shades or pavilions.

17 Lit. and there overwhelmed them of the sea that which overwhelmed them.

18 The 70 elders who were to have accompanied him.

19 That is, the Samaritan. This rendering, which is probably the true
explanation of the word Samiri, involves a grievous ignorance of history on
the part of Muhammad. Selden (de diis Syr. Syn. i. ch. 4) supposes that
Samiri is Aaron himself, the Shomeer, or keeper of Israel during the absence
of Moses. Many Arabians identify him with the Micha of Judges xvii. who is
said to have assisted in making the calf (Raschi, Sanhedr. 102, 2 Hottinger
Hist. Orient. p. 84). Geiger suggests that Samiri may be a corruption of
Samael. See next note. But it is probable that the name and its application
in the present instance, is to be traced to the old national feud between the
Jews and Samaritans. See De Sacy, Chrestom. i. p. 189, who quotes Abu Rihan
Muhammad as stating that the Samaritans were called Al-limsahsit, the people
who say, "Touch me not" (v. 97, below), and Juynboll Chron. Sam. (Leid. 1848)
p. 113. Sale also mentions a similar circumstance of a tribe of Samaritan
Jews dwelling on one of the islands in the Red Sea.

20 "The calf came forth (Ex. xxxii. 24) lowing and the Israelites beheld it.
R. Jehuda saith, Samuel entered into it and lowed in order to mislead
Israel." Pirke R. Eliezer, § 45.

21 From the track of Gabriel's horse, or of Gabriel himself.

22 Lit. no touch.

23 I have adopted the word leaden as expressive of the idea implied in the
original word, viz. grey or greyish blue; hence, dulled, dimmed. The Arabians
have a great aversion to blue and grey eyes as characteristic of their
enemies the Greeks. The word, however, may also mean blind. Comp. v. 124, 5.

24 Lit. the most excellent or just of them in his way: dignitate, Mar. But
Kam. in Freyt. (iii. 150) justissimus eorum, simillimus veracibus. The sense
of the last clause is, "Yes have not tarried even so much as ten days, such,
now that we look back upon it, is the brevity of life." See Sura [lxiv.]
xxiii. 115.

25 The angel Israfil.

26 Compare Sura lxxv. 16-19, p. 56.

27 It should be observed that here and in Sura vii. 19, Muhammad seems
unaware of the distinction between the tree of knowledge, and the tree of
life, as given in Gen. ii. 9, and iii. 5.

28 From the intensity of the light, mentioned Sura [1xxx.] xxxix. 69.

29 In order to reconcile this passage with the prescribed hours, some
understand the extremes to mean the mid-day, when the day is as it were

30 Supply, we will not believe.


MECCA.–228 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ta. Sin. Mim.2 These are the signs of the lucid Book.

Haply thou wearest thyself away with grief because they will not believe.

Were it our will we could send down to them a sign from Heaven, before which
they would humbly bow.3

But from each fresh warning that cometh to them from the God of Mercy they
have only turned aside,

And treated it as a lie: But tidings shall reach them which they shall not
laugh to scorn.

Have they not beheld the earth–how we have caused every kind of noble plant
to spring up therein?

Verily, in this is a sign: but most of them believe not.

And assuredly, thy Lord!–He is the Mighty, the Merciful.

And remember when thy Lord called to Moses, "Go to the wicked people,

The people of Pharaoh. What! will they not fear me?"

He said, "My Lord, in sooth I fear lest they treat me as a liar:

And my breast is straitened, and I am slow of speech:4 send therefore to
Aaron to be my helpmate.

For they have a charge5 against me, and I fear lest they put me to death."

He said, "Surely not. Go ye therefore with our signs: we will be with you and
will hearken.

And go to Pharaoh and say: 'Verily we are the messengers of the Lord of the

Send forth with us the children of Israel."'

He said, "Did we not rear thee among us when a child? And hast thou not
passed years of thy life among us?

And yet what a deed is that which thou hast done!6 Thou art one of the

He said, "I did it indeed, and I was one of those who erred: And I fled from
you because I feared you; but my Lord hath given me wisdom and hath made me
one of his Apostles.

And is this the favour thou hast conferred on me, that thou hast enslaved the
children of Israel?"

Said Pharaoh, "Who then is the Lord of the Worlds?"

He said, "The Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth and of all that is between
them, if only ye believe it."

Said Pharaoh to those around him, "Hear ye this?"

"Your Lord," said Moses, "and the Lord of your sires of old."

"In sooth, your Apostle whom He hath sent to you," said Pharaoh, "is
certainly possessed."

He said, "Lord is He of the East and of the West, and of all that is between
them, if ye can understand."

He said, "If ye take any God beside me, I will surely put thee in ward."

Said Moses, "What! if I shew thee that which shall be a proof of my mission?"

He said, "Forth with it then, if thou speakest truth."

Then threw he down his staff, and lo! an undoubted serpent:

And he drew out his hand, and lo! it was white7 to the beholders.

He said to his nobles around him. "This truly is a right cunning sorcerer:

Fain would he drive you out of your land by his Sorcery. But what do ye

They said, "Put him and his brother off awhile, and send summoners to all the

Who shall bring to thee every cunning magician."

So the magicians were mustered at a set time, on a solemn day:

And it was said to the people, "Are ye all assembled?"

–"Yes! and we will follow the magicians if they gain the day."

And when the magicians were arrived they said to Pharaoh, "Shall we have a
reward if we gain the day?"

He said, "Yes. And verily in that case ye shall be of those who are near my

Moses said to them, "Throw down what ye have to throw."

So they cast down their ropes and rods, and said, "By Pharaoh's might we
shall surely win."

Then Moses threw down his rod, and lo! it swallowed up their cheating

Then the magicians threw themselves down in worship:

They said, "We believe on the Lord of the Worlds,

The Lord of Moses and of Aaron."

Said Pharaoh, "Have ye then believed on him ere I gave you leave? He truly is
your master who hath taught you magic.8 But bye and bye ye shall surely know
my power.

I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will have you all

They said, "It cannot harm us, for to our Lord shall we return:

Assuredly we trust that our Lord will forgive us our sins, since we are of
the first who believe."

Then revealed we this order to Moses: "Go forth by night with my servants,
for ye will be pursued."

And Pharaoh sent summoners through the cities:–

"These Israelites," said they, "are a scanty band;

Yet are they enraged against us–

But we truly are numerous, wary."

Thus we caused them to quit gardens and fountains,

And treasures and splendid dwellings;

So was it; and we gave them to the children of Israel for an heritage.9

Then at sunrise the Egyptians followed them:

And when the hosts came in view of one another, the comrades of Moses said,
"We are surely overtaken."

He said, "By no means:–for my Lord is with me–He will guide me."

And we revealed this order to Moses, "Strike the sea with thy rod." And it
clave asunder, and each part became like a huge mountain.

Then made we the others to draw on;

And we saved Moses, and those who were with him, all;

But we drowned the others.

Truly in this was a sign; but most of them did not believe.

But verily thy Lord,–He is the Mighty, the Merciful!

And recite to them the story of Abraham

When he said to his Father and to his people, "What worship ye?"

They said, "We worship idols, and constant is our devotion to them."

He said, "Can they hear you when ye cry to them?

Or help you or do you harm?"

They said, "But we found our Fathers do the like."

He said, "How think ye? They whom ye worship,

Ye and your fathers of early days,

Are my foes: but not so10 the Lord of the Worlds,

Who hath created me, and guideth me,

Who giveth me food and drink;

And when I am sick, he healeth me,

And who will cause me to die and again quicken me,

And who, I hope, will forgive me my sins in the day of reckoning.

My Lord! bestow on me wisdom and join me to the just,

And give me a good name11 among posterity,

And make me one of the heirs of the garden of delight,

And forgive my father, for he was one of the erring,

And put me not to shame on the day when mankind shall be raised up,

The day when neither wealth nor children shall avail,

Save to him who shall come to God with a sound heart:

When Paradise shall be brought near the pious,

And Hell shall lay open for those who have gone astray.

And it shall be said to them, 'Where are they whom ye worshipped

Beside God? Can they harm you or help themselves?'

And they shall be cast into it–the seducers and the seduced,

And all the host of Eblis.

They shall say, as they wrangle therein together,

'By God, we were in a plain error,

When we equalled you with the Lord of the Worlds:

And none misled us but the wicked,

And we have none to plead for us,

Nor friend who careth for us.

Could we but return, we would be of the believers."'

Verily, in this was a sign: but most of them believed not.

And truly thy Lord!–He is the Mighty, the Merciful!

The people of Noah gainsaid the Apostles,

When their brother Noah said to them, "Will ye not fear God?

Of a truth am I your faithful Apostle;

Fear God then and obey me.

I ask of you no reward for this, for my reward is of the Lord of the Worlds

Fear God then and obey me."

They said, "Shall we believe on thee when the meanest only are thy

He said, "But I have no knowledge of that they did:12

To my Lord only must their account be given: would that ye understood this!

And I will not thrust away those who believe,

For I am only one charged with plain warnings."

They said, "Now unless thou desist, O Noah, one of the stoned shalt thou
surely be."

He said, "Lord! my people treat me as a liar:

Decide thou therefore a decision between me and them, and rescue me and the
faithful who are with me."

So we saved him and those who were with him in the fully-laden ark,

And afterwards we drowned the rest.

Herein truly was a sign, but most of them believed not.

But thy Lord!–He is the Mighty, the Merciful.

The Adites13 treated their Apostles as liars,

When their brother Houd said to them, "Will ye not fear God?

I am your Apostle, worthy of all credit;

Fear God then and obey me:

I ask for no reward for this; for my reward is of the Lord of the Worlds

What! build ye landmarks on all heights in mere pastime?

And raise ye structures to be your lasting abodes?14

And when ye put forth your power do ye put it forth with harshness?

Fear ye God then and obey me;

And fear ye Him who hath plenteously betowed on you ye well know what:

Plenteously bestowed on you flocks and children,

And gardens and fountains;

Indeed I fear for you the punishment of a tremendous day."

They said, "It is the same to us whether thou warn or warn us not.

This is but a tale of the ancients,

And we are not they who shall be punished."

And they charged him with imposture; and we destroyed them. In this was a
sign: but most of them believed not.

But thy Lord!–He is the Mighty, the Merciful!

The Themoudites also treated their Apostles as liars,

When their brother Saleh said to them, "Will ye not fear God?

I am your Apostle worthy of all credit:

Fear God, then, and obey me.

I ask of you no reward for this: my reward is of the Lord of the Worlds

Shall ye be left secure amid these things here?

Amid gardens and fountains,

And corn-fields and palm-trees, with flower-sheathing branches?

And, insolent that ye are, will ye hew out your dwellings in the mountains?

But fear God and obey me,

And obey not the bidding of those who commit excess,

Who act disorderly on the earth and reform it not."

They said, "Certainly thou art a person bewitched;

Thou art only a man like us: produce now a sign if thou art a man of truth."

He said, "This she-camel, then–drink shall there be for her, and drink shall
there be for you, on a several day for each.

But harm her not, lest the punishment of a tremendous day overtake you."

But they ham-strung her, and repented of it on the morrow;

For the punishment overtook them. In this truly was a sign, but most of them
believed not.

But thy Lord!–He is the Powerful, the Merciful!

The people of Lot treated their apostles as liars,

When their brother Lot said to them, "Will ye not fear God?

I am your Apostle worthy of all credit:

Fear God, then, and obey me.

For this I ask you no reward: my reward is of the Lord of the worlds alone.

What! with men, of all creatures, will ye have commerce?

And leave ye your wives whom your Lord hath created for you? Ah! ye are an
erring people!"

They said, "O Lot, if thou desist not, one of the banished shalt thou surely

He said, "I utterly abhor your doings:

My Lord! deliver me and my family from what they do."

So we delivered him and his whole family–

Save an aged one among those who tarried–

Then we destroyed the rest–

And we rained a rain upon them, and fatal was the rain to those whom we had

In this truly was a sign; but most of them did not believe.

But thy Lord! He is the Powerful, the Merciful!

The dwellers in the forest of Madian15 treated the Apostles as liars.

When Shoaib their brother said to them, "Will ye not fear God?

I truly am your trustworthy Apostle.

Fear God, then, and obey me:

No reward ask I of you for this: my reward is of the Lord of the Worlds

Fill the measure, and be not of those who minish:

Weigh with exact balance:

And defraud not men in their substance, and do no wrong on the earth by deeds
of licence;

And fear Him who made you and the races of old."

They said, "Certainly thou art a person bewitched.

Thou art but a man like us, and we deem thee liar–

Make now a part of the heaven to fall down upon us, if thou art a man of

He said, "My Lord best knoweth your doings."

And when they treated him as a liar, the chastisement of the day of cloud
overtook them. This truly was the chastisement of a dreadful day!

In this was a sign, but most of them believed not.

But thy Lord!–He is the Mighty, the Merciful!

Verily from the Lord of the Worlds hath this Book come down;

The faithful spirit16 hath come down with it

Upon thy heart, that thou mightest become a warner–

In the clear Arabic tongue:

And truly it is foretold in the Scriptures of them of yore.17

Was it not a sign to them18 that the learned among the children of Israel
recognised it?

If we had sent it down unto any foreigner,

And he had recited it to them, they had not believed.

In such sort have we influenced19 the heart of the wicked ones,

That they will not believe it till they see the grievous chastisement?

And it shall come upon them on a sudden when they look not for it:

And they will say, "Can we be respited?"

What! will they seek to hasten on our chastisement?

How thinkest thou? If after we have given them their fill for years,

That with which they are menaced come upon them at last,

Of what avail will their enjoyments be to them?

We never destroyed a city which had not first its warners

With admonition; nor did we deal unjustly.

The Satans were not sent down with this Koran:

It beseemed them not, and they had not the power,

For they are far removed from hearing it.20

Call not thou on any other god but God, lest thou be of those consigned to

But warn thy relatives of nearer kin,21

And kindly lower thy wing over the faithful who follow thee.

And if they disobey thee, then say: "I will not be answerable for your

And put thy trust in Him that is the Mighty, the Merciful,

Who seeth thee when thou standest in prayer,

And thy demeanour amongst those who worship;

For He heareth, knoweth all.

Shall I tell you on whom Satan descend?

They descend on every lying, wicked person:

They impart what they have heard;22–but most of them are liars.

It is the POETS23 whom the erring follow:

Seest thou not how they rove distraught in every valley?

And that they say that which they do not?

Save those who believe and do good works, and oft remember God;

And who defend themselves when unjustly treated. But they who treat them
unjustly shall find out what a lot awaiteth them.


1 This Sura belongs to about the seventh year of Muhammad's prophetic life.

2 See Sura 1xviii. I, p. 32.

3 Lit. to which their necks would humble themselves.

4 Lit. my tongue is not free. This verse appears to be a studied
simplification of Ex. iv. 10-13.

5 The murder of the Egyptian. See Geiger, 159.

6 Lit. and thou hast done thy deed which thou hast done. See xxviii. 15.

7 Thus Pirke R. Elieser § 48. "He placed his hand in his bosom, and drew it
forth, white as snow with leprosy."

8 "The Pharaoh who lived in the days of Moses was a great magician." Mid.
Jalkut, c. 182. Comp. Sura xxviii. 38, where, in accordance with the Rabbinic
traditions Pharaoh claims to be a God.

9 See ii. 58, and Midr. Jalkut on Ex. xii. c. 208.

10 Lit. except.

11 Lit. a tongue of truth, i.e. high repute. Or, grant that my words may be
believed among posterity. See [lviii.] xix. 47.

12 Of their motives in embracing Islam.

13 The Adites are mentioned in vii. and xi.

14 This is to be understood of the small forts erected by the nomades of the
Hejaz along the route of the caravans to guarantee their safety. Comp. Gen.
xi. 1-10, and Sura lxxxix. 6, p. 54.

15 The Madian and the El-Aika of other Suras are unquestionably one and the
same place, as they have the same prophet Shoaib (or Sho'eyb), the Jethro of
Scripture–a name perhaps altered from Hobab (Numb. x. 29)–and because the
same sin is laid to the charge of both. See Winer's Realw”rterbuch on Jethro.
The Midr. Rabbah on Ex. ii. I6, Par. I, makes Jethro renounce idolatry, and
his office of Priest, and undergo banishment from the Midianites.

16 Gabriel. See Sura lxxxi. 19, p. 46.

17 See Sura xiii. 36. This verse is said to have been revealed at Medina by
Itq. 34.

18 The unbelieving Meccans. Lit. that the knowing (Doctors, Uhlemas) knew it.

19 Lit. have introduced it, i.e. infidelity; or, the Koran. Beidh. The latter
interpretation seems most accordant with the context.

20 Comp. Sura xxxvii. 7, 8, p. 79.

21 It is probable that within three or four years from his entry upon the
prophetic office, Muhammad had made about 40 converts. Some biographers refer
to this passage, and not to Sura lxiv. I, as the first call to preach. But
this Sura is itself late, and bears evidence of the opposition to which the
prophet had become exposed, and of adherents to his cause, now become
numerous. The diffuseness and feeblenss of the style clearly point to a late

22 They impart to their votaries on earth what they have learned by stealth
and partially, in heaven.

23 Muhammad found it necessary to employ the pens of certain poets to defend
himself and his religion from the ridicule and satire of other poets, whose
productions were recited at the great annual fair held at Okatz, the Olympus
of the Hejaz. The poems which were judged the best were written up in letters
of gold, or suspended (hence called Moallakat) in the Caaba. These poetical
contests were subsequently suppressed by Muhammad, as offering openings for
discussions which might prove inconvenient, and dangerous to his rising


MECCA.–99 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. RA.2 These are the signs of the Book, and of a lucid recital

Many a time will the infidels wish that they had been Muslims.

Let them feast and enjoy themselves, and let hope beguile them: but they
shall know the truth at last.

We never destroyed a city whose term was not perfixed:3

No people can forestall or retard its destiny.

They say: "O thou to whom the warning hath been sent down, thou art surely
possessed by a djinn:

Wouldst thou not have come to us with the angels, if thou wert of those who
assert the truth?"

–We will not send down the angels without due cause.4 The Infidels would not
in that case have been respited.

Verily, We have sent down the warning, and verily, We will be its guardian;

And already have We sent Apostles, before thee, among the sects of the

But never came Apostles to them whom they did not deride.

In like manner will We put it into the hearts of the sinners of Mecca to do
the same:

They will not believe on him though the example of those of old hath gone

Even were We to open above them a gate in Heaven, yet all the while they were
mounting up to it,

They would surely say: It is only that our eyes are drunken: nay, we are a
people enchanted.

We have set the signs of the zodiac5 in the Heavens, and adorned and decked
them forth for the beholders,

And We guard them from every stoned6 Satan,

Save such as steal a hearing:7 and him doth a visible flame pursue.

And the Earth have We spread forth, and thrown thereon the mountains, and
caused everything to spring forth in it in balanced measure:

And We have provided therein sustenance for you, and for the creatures which
not ye sustain:

And no one thing is there, but with Us are its storehouses; and We send it
not down but in settled measure:

And We send forth the fertilising winds, and cause the rain to come down from
the heaven, and give you to drink of it; and it is not ye who are its

And We cause to live and We cause to die,8 and We are the heir of all things:

We know those of you who flourish first and We know those who come later:

And truly thy Lord will gather them together again, for He is Wise, Knowing.

We created man of dried clay, of dark loam moulded;

And the djinn had We before created of subtle fire.

Remember when thy Lord said to the Angels, "I create man of dried clay, of
dark loam moulded:

And when I shall have fashioned him and breathed of my spirit into him, then
fall ye down and worship him."

And the Angels bowed down in worship, all of them, all together,

Save Eblis: he refused to be with those who bowed in worship.

"O Eblis,"9 said God, "wherefore art thou not with those who bow down in

He said, "It beseemeth not me to bow in worship to man whom thou hast created
of clay, of moulded loam."

He said, "Begone then hence; thou art a stoned one,10

And the curse shall be on thee till the day of reckoning."

He said, "O my Lord! respite me till the day when man shall be raised from
the dead."

He said, "One then of the respited shalt thou be

Till the day of the predestined time."

He said, "O my Lord! because thou hast beguiled me, I will surely make all
fair seeming to them11 on the earth; I will surely beguile them all;

Except such of them as shall be thy sincere servants."

He said, "This is the right way with me;

For over none of my servants shalt thou have power, save those beguiled ones
who shall follow thee."

And verily, Hell is the promise for them one and all.

It hath seven Portals;12 at each Portal is a separate band of them;

But 'mid gardens and fountains shall the pious dwell:

"Enter ye therein in peace, secure–"

And all rancour will We remove from their bosoms: they shall sit as brethren,
face to face, on couches:

Therein no weariness shall reach them, nor forth from it shall they be cast
for ever.

Announce to my servants that I am the Gracious, the Merciful,

And that my chastisement is the grievous chastisement.

And tell them of Abraham's guests.

When they entered in unto him, and said, "Peace."

"Verily," said he, "We fear you."

They said, "Fear not, for of a sage son we bring thee tidings."

He said, "Bring ye me such tidings now that old age hath come upon me? What,
therefore, are your tidings really?"

They said, "We announce them to thee in very truth. Be not then one of the

"And who," said he, "despaireth of the mercy of his Lord, but they who err?"

He said, "What is your business then, O ye Sent Ones?"

They said, "We are sent unto a people who are sinners,

Except the family of Lot, whom verily we will rescue all,

Except his wife. We have decreed that she shall be of those who linger."

And when the Sent Ones came to the family of Lot

He said, "Yes; are persons unknown to me."

They said, "Yes; but we have come to thee for a purpose about which thy
people doubt:

We have come to thee with very truth, and we are truthful envoys.

Lead forth therefore thy family in the dead of the night; follow thou on
their rear: and let no one of you turn round, but pass ye on whither ye are

And this command we gave him because to the last man should these people be
cut off at morning.

Then came the people of the city rejoicing at the news13–

He said, "These are my guests: therefore disgrace me not.

And fear God and put me not to shame."

They said, "Have we not forbidden thee to entertain any one whatever?"14

He said, "Here are my daughters, if ye will thus act."

As thou livest, O Muhammad, they were bewildered in the drunkenness of their

So a tempest overtook them at their sunrise,

And we turned the city upside down, and we rained stones of baked clay upon

Verily, in this are signs for those who scan heedfully;

And these cities lay on the high road.15

Verily, in this are signs for the faithful.

The inhabitants also of El Aika16 were sinners:

So we took vengeance on them, and they both became a plain example.

And the people of HEDJR treated God's messengers as liars.

And we brought forth our signs to them, but they drew back from them:

And they hewed them out abodes in the mountains to secure them:

But a tempest surprised them at early morn,

And their labours availed them nothing.

We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that between them is,
but for a worthy end.17 And verily, "the hour" shall surely come. Wherefore
do thou, Muhammad, forgive with kindly forgiveness,

For thy Lord! He is the Creator, the Wise.

We have already given thee the seven verses of repetition18 and the glorious

Strain not thine eyes after the good things we have bestowed on some of the
unbelievers: afflict not thyself on their account, and lower thy wing to the

And SAY: I am the only plain-spoken warner.

We will punish those who foster divisions,20

Who break up the Koran into parts:

By thy Lord! we will surely take account from them one and all,

Concerning that which they have done.

Profess publicly then what thou hast been bidden,21 and withdraw from those
who join gods to God.

Verily, We will maintain thy cause against those who deride thee,

Who set up gods with God: and at last shall they know their folly.

Now know We that thy heart is distressed22 at what they say:

But do thou celebrate the praise of thy Lord, and be of those who bow down in

And serve thy Lord till the certainty23 o'ertake thee.


1 Hedjr, a valley in the route between Medina and Syria, originally the
country of the Themoudites.

2 See Sura lxviii. p. 32.

3 Lit. which had not a known writing.

4 That is, not merely to gratify the curiosity of the doubting, but to
execute prompt punishment. It might also be rendered, save with justice

5 Ar. bourdj, Gr. [greek text], towers, i.e. Signs of the Zodiac.

6 See Sura xv. 34; and note p. 114.

7 Comp. Sura xxxvii. 6, p. 79. In Chagiga 16, 1, the Demons (schedim) are
said to learn the secrets of the future by listening behind the veil

8 Compare precisely a similar association of subjects, the Rain, Food, God,
as Lord of life and death in Tr. Taanith, fol. 1 a.

9 Comp. Sura [xci.] ii. 32. There is much in this dialogue between Eblis and
Allah which reminds of the dialogue between Jehovah and Satan in the opening
of the Book of Job.

10 That is, accursed. According to the Muhammadan tradition, Abraham drove
Satan away with stones when he would have hindered him from sacrificing
Ismael. Hence the custom during the pilgrimage of throwing a certain number
of stones–the Shafeis, 49; the Hanafis, 70–as if at Satan, in the valley of
Mina, near Mecca. The spot where the apparition of Satan to Abraham took
place is marked by three small pillars, at which the stones are now thrown.
Comp. Gen. xv. II.

11 Lit. I will embellish, prepare.

12 Thus, in Sota, 10, David is said to have rescued Absalom from "the seven
dwellings of Hell;" in Midr. on Ps. xi. "There are seven houses of abode for
the wicked in Hell;" and in Sohar ii. 150, "Hell hath seven gates."

13 At the arrival of strangers.

14 Comp. Midr. Rabbah on Gen. Par. 50.

15 From Arabia to Syria. The pronoun in the fem. sing. may refer to the
Pentapolis as to a single city, or to Sodom alone.

16 See Sura [lvi.] xxvi. 176.

17 See Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 3.

18 That is, the seven verses of Sura 1, p. 28. Others understand, the seven
long Suras; or, the fifteen Suras which make a seventh of the whole; or, this
Sura (Hedjr) as originally the seventh. Mathani is an allusion, according to
some, to the frequency with which the fatthah is to be repeated; or, to the
frequent repetitions of great truths, etc., in order to impress them on the
memory of the hearer and reader; or, to the manner in which waid and wa'd,
promises and threatenings, alternate and balance each other in the same or
subsequent verses and Suras, in pairs. This verse and Sura x. 10 shew that a
part at least of the Koran was known under that name and existed as a whole
in the time of Muhammad. Geiger's interpretations at pp. 59, 60 (and in the
note) seem very forced.

19 Comp. Sura [lvi.] xxvi. 215, i.e. demean thyself gently.

20 Lit. as we sent down upon the dividers, i.e. the Jews and Christians, who
receive part of the Scriptures and reject part. Others render obstructors and
explain the passage of twelve idolaters, who in order to intimidate the
Meccans, seized upon the public revenues of Mecca during the pilgrimage.

21 In this, the fourth year of his mission, Muhammad is said to have hazarded
the step of mounting the Safa, a slight eminence in one of the streets of
Mecca, and publicly preached to the Koreisch. The authorities are given in
Sprenger (Life of M. p. 177, 8).

22 Lit. contracted.

23 Death.


MECCA.–98 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

KAF. HA. YA. AIN. SAD.2 A recital of thy Lord's mercy to his servant

When he called upon his Lord with secret calling,

And said: "O Lord, verily my bones are weakened, and the hoar hairs glisten
on my head,

And never, Lord, have I prayed to thee with ill success.

But now I have fears for my kindred after me;3 and my wife is barren:

Give me, then, a successor as thy special gift, who shall be my heir and an
heir of the family of Jacob: and make him, Lord, well pleasing to thee."

–"O Zachariah! verily we announce to thee a son,–his name John:

That name We have given to none before him."4

He said: "O my Lord! how when my wife is barren shall I have a son, and when
I have now reached old age, failing in my powers?"

He said: So shall it be. Thy Lord hath said, Easy is this to me, for I
created thee aforetime when thou wast nothing."

He said: "Vouchsafe me, O my Lord! a sign." He said: "Thy sign shall be that
for three nights, though sound in health, thou speakest not to man."

And he came forth from the sanctuary to his people, and made signs to them to
sing praises morn and even.

We said: "O John! receive the Book with purpose of heart:"5–and We bestowed
on him wisdom while yet a child;

And mercifulness from Ourself, and purity; and pious was he, and duteous to
his parents; and not proud, rebellious.

And peace was on him on the day he was born, and the day of his death, and
shall be on the day when he shall be raised to life!

And make mention in the Book, of Mary, when she went apart from her family,

And took a veil to shroud herself from them:7 and we sent our spirit8 to her,
and he took before her the form of a perfect man.9

She said: "I fly for refuge from thee to the God of Mercy! If thou fearest
Him, begone from me."

He said: "I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a holy

She said: "How shall I have a son, when man hath never touched me? and I am
not unchaste."

He said: "So shall it be. Thy Lord hath said: 'Easy is this with me;' and we
will make him a sign to mankind, and a mercy from us. For it is a thing

And she conceived him,10 and retired with him to a far-off place.

And the throes came upon her11 by the trunk of a palm. She said: "Oh, would
that I had died ere this, and been a thing forgotten, forgotten quite!"

And one cried to her from below her:12 "Grieve not thou, thy Lord hath
provided a streamlet at thy feet:–

And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward thee:13 it will drop fresh ripe
dates upon thee.

Eat then and drink, and be of cheerful eye:14 and shouldst thou see a man,

Say,–Verily, I have vowed abstinence to the God of mercy.–To no one will I
speak this day."

Then came she with the babe to her people, bearing him. They said, "O Mary!
now hast thou done a strange thing!

O sister of Aaron!15 Thy father was not a man of wickedness, nor unchaste thy

And she made a sign to them, pointing towards the babe. They said, "How shall
we speak with him who is in the cradle, an infant?"

It said,16 "Verily, I am the servant of God; He hath given me the Book, and
He hath made me a prophet;

And He hath made me blessed wherever I may be, and hath enjoined me prayer
and almsgiving so long as I shall live;

And to be duteous to her that bare me: and he hath not made me proud,

And the peace of God was on me the day I was born, and will be the day I
shall die, and the day I shall be raised to life."

This is Jesus, the son of Mary; this is a statement of the truth concerning
which they doubt.

It beseemeth not God to beget a son. Glory be to Him! when he decreeth a
thing, He only saith to it, Be, and it Is.17

And verily, God is my Lord and your Lord; adore Him then. This is the right

But the Sects have fallen to variance among themselves about Jesus: but woe,
because of the assembly of a great day, to those who believe not!

Make them hear, make them behold the day when they shall come before us! But
the offenders this day are in a manifest error.

Warn them of the day of sighing when the decree shall be accomplished, while
they are sunk in heedlessness and while they believe not.

Verily, we will inherit the earth and all who are upon it. To us shall they
be brought back.

Make mention also in the Book of Abraham; for he was a man of truth, a

When he said to his Father, "O my Father! why dost thou worship that which
neither seeth nor heareth, nor profiteth thee aught?

O my Father! verily now hath knowledge come to me which hath not come to
thee. Follow me therefore–I will guide thee into an even path.

O my Father! worship not Satan, for Satan is a rebel against the God of

O my Father! indeed I fear lest a chastisement from the God of Mercy light
upon thee, and thou become Satan's vassal."

He said, "Castest thou off my Gods, O Abraham? If thou forbear not, I will
surely stone thee. Begone from me for a length of time."

He said, "Peace be on thee! I will pray my Lord for thy forgiveness, for he
is gracious to me:

But I will separate myself from you, and the gods ye call on beside God, and
on my Lord will I call. Haply, my prayers to my Lord will not be with ill

And when he had separated himself from them and that which they worshipped
beside God, we bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob, and each of them we made a

And we bestowed gifts on them in our mercy, and gave them the lofty tongue of

And commemorate Moses in "the Book;" for he was a man of purity: moreover he
was an Apostle, a Prophet:

From the right side of the mountain we called to him, and caused him to draw
nigh to us for secret converse:

And we bestowed on him in our mercy his brother Aaron, a Prophet.

And commemorate Ismael in "the Book;" for he was true to his promise, and was
an Apostle, a Prophet;

And he enjoined prayer and almsgiving on his people, and was well pleasing to
his Lord.

And commemorate Edris20 in "the Book;" for he was a man of truth, a Prophet:

And we uplifted him to a place on high.21

These are they among the prophets of the posterity of Adam, and among those
whom we bare with Noah, and among the posterity of Abraham and Israel, and
among those whom we have guided and chosen, to whom God hath shewed favour.
When the signs of the God of Mercy were rehearsed to them, they bowed them
down worshipping and weeping.

But others have come in their place after them: they have made an end of
prayer, and have gone after their own lusts; and in the end they shall meet
with evil:–

Save those who turn and believe and do that which is right, these shall enter
the Garden, and in nought shall they be wronged:

The Garden of Eden, which the God of Mercy hath promised to his servants,
though yet unseen:22 for his promise shall come to pass:

No vain discourse shall they hear therein, but only "Peace;" and their food
shall be given them at morn and even:

This is the Paradise which we will make the heritage of those our servants
who fear us.

We23 come not down from Heaven but by thy Lord's command. His, whatever is
before us and whatever is behind us, and whatever is between the two! And thy
Lord is not forgetful,–

Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, and of all that is between them!
Worship Him, then, and abide thou steadfast in his worship. Knowest thou any
other of the same name?24

Man saith: "What! after I am dead, shall I in the end be brought forth

Doth not man bear in mind that we made him at first, when he was nought?

And I swear by thy Lord, we will surely gather together them and the Satans:
then will we set them on their knees round Hell:

Then will we take forth from each band those of them who have been stoutest
in rebellion against the God of Mercy:

Then shall we know right well to whom its burning is most due:

No one is there of you who shall not go down unto it25–This is a settled
decree with thy Lord–

Then will we deliver those who had the fear of God, and the wicked will we
leave in it on their knees.

And when our clear signs are rehearsed to them, the infidels say to those who
believe: "Which of the two parties26 is in the best plight? and which is the
most goodly company?"

But how many generations have we brought to ruin before them, who surpassed
them in riches and in splendour!

SAY: As to those who are in error, the God of Mercy will lengthen out to them
a length of days

Until they see that with which they are threatened, whether it be some
present chastisement, or whether it be "the Hour," and they shall then know
which is in the worse state, and which the more weak in forces:

But God will increase the guidance of the already guided.

And good works which abide, are in thy Lord's sight better in respect of
guerdon, and better in the issue than all worldly good.

Hast thou marked him who believeth not in our signs, and saith, "I shall
surely have riches and children bestowed upon me?"

Hath he mounted up into the secrets of God? Hath he made a compact with the
God of Mercy?

No! we will certainly write down what he saith, and will lengthen the length
of his chastisement:

And we will inherit what he spake of, and he shall come before us all alone.

They have taken other gods beside God to be their help.27

But it shall not be. Those gods will disavow their worship and will become
their enemies.

Seest thou not that we send the Satans against the Infidels to urge them into

Wherefore be not thou in haste with them;28 for a small number of days do we
number to them.

One day we will gather the God-fearing before the God of Mercy with honours

But the sinners will we drive unto Hell, like flocks driven to the watering.

None shall have power to intercede, save he who hath received permission at
the hands of the God of Mercy.

They say: "The God of Mercy hath gotten offspring." Now have ye done a
monstrous thing!

Almost might the very Heavens be rent thereat, and the Earth cleave asunder,
and the mountains fall down in fragments,

That they ascribe a son to the God of Mercy, when it beseemeth not the God of
Mercy to beget a son!

Verily there is none in the Heavens and in the Earth but shall approach the
God of Mercy as a servant. He hath taken note of them, and numbered them with
exact numbering:

And each of them shall come to Him, on the day of Resurrection, singly:

But love will the God of Mercy vouchsafe to those who believe and do the
things that be right.

Verily we have made this Koran easy and in thine own tongue, that thou mayest
announce glad tidings by it to the God-fearing, and that thou mayest warn the
contentious by it.

How many generations have we destroyed before them! Canst thou search out one
of them? or canst thou hear a whisper from them?


1 Comp. the first 37 verses of this Sura with Sura iii. 35-57 with reference
to the different style adopted by Muhammad in the later Suras, probably for
the purpose of avoiding the imputation of his being merely a poet, a
sorcerer, or person possessed. Sura lii. 29, 30; xxi. 5; lxviii. 2, 51. This
Sura is one of the fullest and earliest Koranic Gospel Histories, and was
recited to the Nagash or King of Æthiopia, in the presence of the ambassadors
of the Koreisch. His. 220; Caussin, i. 392; Sprenger (Life of M.) p. 193.

2 See Sura lxviii. I, p. 32. Golius conjectured that these letters represent
coh ya'as, thus he counselled, and that they were added by some Jewish
scribe. Sprenger (Journ. of As. Soc. of Bengal, xx. 280) arranges them as
Ain, Sad, Kaf, Ha, Ya, and supposes them to be taken from the Arabic words
for Aisa (Jesus) of the Nazarenes, King of the Jews. But we can hardly
imagine that Muhammad would ascribe such a title to our Lord, and the word
which Dr. Sprenger uses for Jews is not the form peculiar to the Koran.

3 Lest they should desert the worship of the God of Israel.

4 Ar. Yahia. It may be true that the name in this form had never been given.
Otherwise, we have in this passage a misunderstanding of Luke i. 61, as well
as ignorance of the Jewish Scriptures. Comp. 2 Kings xxv. 23; 1 Chron. iii.
16; Ezra viii. 12; Jerem. xl. 8. Some commentators try to avoid the
difficulty by rendering samiyan, deserving of the name.

5 Or, with firm resolve. See Sura [xcvii.] iii. 36. The speaker is God.

6 To an eastern chamber in the temple to pray. Or it may mean, to some place
eastward from Jerusalem, or from the house of her parents.

7 Thus the Protev. Jac. c. 12 says that Mary, although at a later period,
[greek text] But Wahl, she laid aside her veil.

8 Gabriel.

9 See Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 9.

10 It is quite clear from this passage, and from verse 36, that Muhammad
believed Jesus to have been conceived by an act of the divine will. Comp.
Sura [xcvii.] iii. 52; see also note at Sura [xci.] ii. 81.

11 Or, the throes urged her to the trunk of, etc.

12 This was either the Infant which spoke as soon as born, or Gabriel. Comp.
Thilo Cod. Apoc. 136-139 on this passage. Beidhawi explains: from behind the
palm tree.

13 See Thilo Cod. Apoc. N. T. p. 138, and the Hist. Nat. Mar. c. 20, which
connects similar incidents with the flight into Egypt. Thus also Latona,
[greek text], Call. H. in Apoll. and [greek text], H. in Delum.

14 Or, settle, calm thine eye, refresh thine eye. The birth of a son is still
called korrat ol ain.

15 The anachronism is probably only apparent. See Sura iii. 1, n. Muhammad
may have supposed that this Aaron (or Harun) was the son of Imran and Anna.
Or, if Aaron the brother of Moses be meant Mary may be called his sister,
either because she was of the Levitical race, or by way of comparison.

16 See Sura [cxiv.] v. 109.

17 From the change in the rhyme, and from the more polemical tone of the
following five verses, it may be inferred that they were added at a somewhat
later period.

18 The title Nabi, prophet, is used of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as
depositaries of the worship of the one true God, but with a mission
restricted to their own families; whereas Houd, Saleh, Shoaib, etc., are
designated as (Resoul) apostles and envoys, charged with a more extended
mission to the tribes of Arabia. In Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, etc., are
united the office and gift both of prophet (nabi) and apostle (resoul).

19 Made them to be highly praised. Beidh.

20 Enoch. Beidhawi derives the name Edris from the Ar. darasa, to search out,
with reference to his knowledge of divine mysteries. The Heb. Enoch, in like
manner, means initiated.

21 Comp. Gen. v. 24, and the tract Derek Erez in Midr. Jalkut, c. 42, where
Enoch is reckoned among the nine according to other Talmudists, thirteen
(Schroeder's Talm. und Rabb. Judenthum)–individuals who were exempted from
death and taken straight to Paradise. It should be observed that both here
and Sura xxi. 85, Edris is named after Ismael.

22 Maracci and Beidhawi, in absentid. Sale, as an object of faith. Beidhawi
ad f. in reward for their secret faith. Ullmann für die verborgene Zukunft.

23 This verse is to be understood as an answer on the part of Gabriel to
Muhammad's complaints of the long intervals between the revelations.

24 The idolaters called their deities Gods, but as Polytheists were unused to
the singular Allah, God.

25 Even the pious on their way to Paradise are to pass the confines of Hell.

26 The Koreisch, or the Muslims.

27 Or, glory, strength.

28 To call down judgments upon them.

29 As ambassadors come into the presence of a prince. Sale. This is implied
in the original.


MECCA.–88 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

SAD.1 By the Koran full of warning! In sooth the Infidels are absorbed in
pride, in contention with thee.

How many generations have we destroyed before them! And they cried for mercy
but no time was it of escape!

And they marvel that a warner from among themselves hath come to them; and
the Infidels say, "This is a sorcerer, a liar:

Maketh he the gods to be but one god? A strange thing forsooth is this!"

And their chiefs took themselves off. "Go, said they, and cleave steadfastly2
to your gods. Ye see the thing aimed at.

We heard not of this in the previous creed.3 It is but an imposture:

To him alone of us all hath a book of warning been sent down?" Yes! they are
in doubt as to my warnings, for they have not yet tasted my vengeance.

Are the treasures of the mercy of thy Lord, the Mighty, the bounteous, in
their hands?

Is the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth and of all that is between
them theirs? Then let them mount up by cords!

Any army of the confederates4 shall here be routed.

Before them the people of Noah and Ad and Pharaoh the impaler5 treated their
prophets as impostors;

And Themoud, and the people of Lot, and the dwellers in the forest: these
were the confederates.

Nought did they all but charge the apostles with falsehood: Just, therefore,
the retribution.

And these (Meccans) await but one single trumpet blast–There shall be no
delaying it–

Yet they dare to say, "O our Lord! hasten our lot to us, before the day of

Put thou up with what they say: and remember our servant David, a man strong
of hand6, one who turned him to Us in penitence:

We constrained the mountains7 to join with him in lauds at even and at

And the birds which flocked to him, and would all return to him oft;

And we stablished his kingdom: and wisdom, and skill to pronounce clear
decisions, did we bestow on him.

Hath the story of the two pleaders8 reached thee, O Muhammad, when they
mounted the walls of his closet?

When they entered in upon David, and he was frightened at them, they said,
"Be not afraid; we are two opposing parties: one of us hath wronged the
other. Judge therefore with truth between us, and be not unjust, but guide us
to the right way.

Now this my brother had ninety and nine ewes, and I had but a single ewe; and
he said, make me her keeper. And he over-persuaded me in the dispute."

He said, "Certainly he hath wronged thee in asking for thine ewe to add her
to his own ewes: and truly many associates do one another wrong–except those
who believe and do the things that are right; and few indeed are they!" And
David perceived that we had tried him; so he asked pardon of his Lord, and
fell down and bowed himself and repented.

So we forgave him that his sin; and truly he shall have a high rank with Us,
and an excellent retreat in Paradise.

O David! verily we have made thee our vicegerent upon earth. Judge therefore
between men with truth, and follow not thy passions, lest they cause thee to
err from the way of God. For they who err from the way of God shall meet with
a grievous chastisement, for that they have forgotten the day of reckoning.

We have not created the heaven and the earth and what is between them for
nought. That is the thought of infidels; but woe to the infidels because of
the fire!

Shall we treat those who believe and do the things that are right like those
who propagate evil on earth? Shall we treat the God-fearing like the impious?

A blessed Book9 have we sent down to thee, that men may meditate its verses,
and that those endued with understanding may bear it in mind.

And Solomon gave we unto David. An excellent servant, for he loved to turn
him Godward.

Remember when at eventide the prancing10 chargers were displayed before him,

And he said, "Truly I have loved the love of earthly goods above the
remembrance of my Lord, till the sun hath been hidden by the veil of

Bring them back to me." And he began to sever the legs and necks.

We also made trial of Solomon, and placed a phantom12 on his throne:
whereupon he returned to Us (in penitence).

He said, O my Lord! pardon me, and give me a dominion that may not be to any
one beside me, for thou art the liberal giver.

So we subjected the wind to him; it ran softly at his bidding, whithersoever
he directed it:

And the Satans–every builder and diver–

And others bound in chains:13

"This," said we, "is our gift: be bounteous then, or withhold thy favours; no
account shalt thou render."

And his rank also is high with Us, and an excellent retreat.

And remember our servant Job when he cried to his Lord, "Verily, Satan hath
laid on me disease and pain."

"Stamp," said we, "with thy foot. This14 is to wash with; cool, and to

And we gave him back his family, and as many more with them in our mercy; and
for a monition to men of judgment.

And we said, "Take in thine hand a rod, and strike15 with it, nor break thine
oath." Verily, we found him patient!

How excellent a servant, one who turned to Us was he!

And remember our servants Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, men of might and

With this cleansing did we cleanse them the remembrance of the abode of

And verily, they were, in our sight, of the elect and of the good.

And remember Ishmael and Elisha and Dhoulkefl, for all these were of the

This is a monition: and verily, the pious shall have a goodly retreat:

Gardens of Eden, whose portals shall stand open to them:

Therein reclining, they shall there call for many a fruit and drink:

And with them shall be virgins of their own age, with modest retiring

"This is what ye were promised at the day of reckoning."

"Yes! this is our provision: it shall never fail."

Even so. But for the evil doers is a wretched home–

Hell–wherein they shall be burned: how wretched a bed!

Even so. Let them then taste it–boiling water and gore,

And other things of kindred sort!

To their leaders it shall be said, "This company shall be thrown in headlong
with you. No greetings shall await them, for they shall be burned in the

They shall say: "But ye, too! there shall be no welcome for you. It was ye
who prepared this for us, and wretched is the abode!"

They will say: "O our Lord! increase twofold in the fire, the punishment of
him who hath brought this upon us."

And they will say: "Why see we not the men whom we numbered among the wicked–

Whom we used to treat with scorn? Have they escaped our eyes?"17

Verily this is truth–the wrangling together of the people of the fire.

SAY: I am but a warner; and there is no God but God the One, the Almighty!

Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, and of all that is between them,18 the
Potent, the Forgiving!

SAY: this is a weighty message,19

From which ye turn aside!

Yet had I no knowledge of what passed among the celestial chiefs when they

–Verily, it hath been revealed to me only because I am a public preacher–

When thy Lord said to the angels, "I am about to make man of clay,21

And when I have formed him and breathed my spirit into him, then worshipping
fall down before him."

And the angels prostrated themselves, all of them with one accord,

Save Eblis. He swelled with pride, and became an unbeliever.

"O Eblis," said God, "what hindereth thee from prostrating thyself before him
whom my hands have made?

Is it that thou are puffed up with pride? or art thou a being of lofty

He said: "I am more excellent than he; me hast thou created of fire:22 of
clay hast thou created him."

He said: "Begone then hence: thou art accursed,23

And lo! my ban shall be on thee till the day of the reckoning."

He said: "O my Lord! respite me till the day of Resurrection."

He said, "One then of the respited shalt thou be,

Till the day of the time appointed."

He said: "I swear by thy might then that all of them will I seduce,

Save thy sincere servants among them."

He said: "It is truth, and the truth I speak. From thee will I surely fill
Hell, and with such of them as shall follow thee, one and all.

Say: I ask no wage of you for this, nor am I one who intermeddleth.

Of a truth the Koran is no other than a warning to all creatures.

And after a time shall ye surely know its message.


1 The letter S. See Sura lxviii. p. 32.

2 These verses are said to have been revealed when, upon the conversion of
Omar, the Koreisch went in a body to Abu Talib and requested him to withdraw
his protection from Muhammad, but being put to silence by the latter,
departed in great confusion. Wah. Beidh.

3 That is, in the Christian religion, which teaches, Muhammad ironically
implies, a plurality of Gods.

4 This may allude to the so-called "confederacy" of the Koreisch against

5 This term is also applied to Pharaoh, Sura lxxxix. 9, p. 54. He is said to
have fastened the Israelites to stakes, and then subjected them to various

addenda: This is the usual interpretation.  Lit. Lord of, or, possessor of
stakes (comp. li. 39 in Ar.), i.e., Forces.  Dr. Sprenger ingenuously
suggests that Muhammad’s Jewish informant may have described Pharaoh as rich
in neçyb, i.e., fortresses; whereas, in Ar., naçyb, means an erection,
pillar, etc., for which Muhammad substituted the word for tent stakes.  Vol.
i. (470).

6 Præditi (manibus) virtute. Mar.

7 Comp. Ps. cxlviii. 9, 10.

8 Two angels who pretended to appeal to David in order to convince him of his
sin in the matter of Uriah's wife. Comp. I Sam. xii.

9 The Psalms, if we suppose with Nöldeke, p. 99, that David is still
addressed: the Koran, if with Sale we refer the passage to Muhammad.

10 The Commentators say that the word used in the original implies that the
mares stood on three feet, and touched the ground with the edge of the fourth

11 Solomon, in his admiration of these horses, the result, we are told, of
David's or his own conquests, forgot the hour of evening prayer, and when
aware of his fault commenced their slaughter. The Tr. Sanhedr. fol. 21,
mentions Solomon's love for horses, and that he determined to have a large
stud; yet not to send the people to Egypt (Deut. xvii. 16) but to have them
brought to him out of Egypt (I Kings x. 28).

12 One of the Djinn. The absurd fiction may be seen in extenso in Sale.
Compare Tr. Sanhedr. fol. 20, b. and Midr. Jalkut on I Kings vi. § 182.

13 Thus the second Targum on Esther i. 2, mentions the four different kinds
of Demons which were "given into the hand" of Solomon–a legend derived from a
misunderstanding of Eccl. ii. 8.

14 The fountain which had sprung up. To this history the Talmudists have no

15 Thy wife;–on whom he had sworn that he would inflict an hundred blows,
because she had absented herself from him when in need of her assistance, or
for her words (Job ii. 9). The oath was kept, we are told, by his giving her
one blow with a rod of a hundred stalks. This passage is often quoted by the
Muslims as authorising any similar manner of release from an oath
inconsiderately taken.

16 Lit. men of hand and of sight.

17 Lit. or do our eyes wander from them.

18 See verses 9, 26, above. It seems to have been one of the peculiarities of
Muhammad, as a person very deficient in imagination, to dwell upon and repeat
the same ideas, with an intensity which is at once an evidence of deep
personal conviction and consciousness, of the simple Arabian especially.

19 The connection between the concluding episode and the preceding part of
the Sura does not seem very clear. It probably originated at a different but
uncertain period.

20 About the creation of man.

21 Comp. Sura [xci.] ii. 28, ff.

22 Comp. Ps. civ. 4.

23 Lit. stoned. See Sura xv. 34, p. 114.


MECCA.–83 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

YA. SIN.1 By the wise Koran!

Surely of the Sent Ones, Thou,

Upon a right path!

A revelation of the Mighty, the Merciful,

That thou shouldest warn a people whose fathers were not warned and therefore
lived in heedlessness!

Just, now, is our sentence2 against most of them; therefore they shall not

On their necks have we placed chains which reach the chin, and forced up are
their heads:

Before them have we set a barrier and behind them a barrier, and we have
shrouded them in a veil, so that they shall not see.

Alike is it to them if thou warn them or warn them not: they will not

Him only shalt thou really warn, who followeth the monition and feareth the
God of mercy in secret: him cheer with tidings of pardon, and of a noble

Verily, it is We who will quicken the dead, and write down the works which
they have sent on before them, and the traces which they shall have left
behind them: and everything have we set down in the clear Book of our

Set forth to them the instance of the people of the city4 when the Sent Ones
came to it.

When we sent two unto them and they charged them both with imposture–
therefore with a third we strengthened them: and they said, "Verily we are
the Sent unto you of God."

They said, "Ye are only men like us: Nought hath the God of Mercy sent down.
Ye do nothing but lie."

They said, "Our Lord knoweth that we are surely sent unto you;

To proclaim a clear message is our only duty."

They said, "Of a truth we augur ill from you:5 if ye desist not we will
surely stone you, and a grievous punishment will surely befall you from us."

They said, "Your augury of ill is with yourselves. Will ye be warned?6 Nay,
ye are an erring people."

Then from the end of the city a man came running:7 He said, "O my people!
follow the Sent Ones;

Follow those who ask not of you a recompense, and who are rightly guided.

And why should I not worship Him who made me, and to whom ye shall be brought

Shall I take gods beside Him? If the God of Mercy be pleased to afflict me,
their intercession will not avert from me aught, nor will they deliver:

Truly then should I be in a manifest error.

Verily, in your Lord have I believed; therefore hear me."8

–It was said to him, "Enter thou into Paradise:" And he said, "Oh that my
people knew

How gracious God hath been to me, and that He hath made me one of His
honoured ones."

But no army sent we down out of heaven after his death, nor were we then
sending down our angels–

There was but one shout from Gabriel, and lo! they were extinct.

Oh! the misery that rests upon my servants! No apostle cometh to them but
they laugh him to scorn.

See they not how many generations we have destroyed before them?

Not to false gods is it that they shall be brought9 back,

But all, gathered together, shall be set before Us.

Moreover, the dead earth is a sign to them: we quicken it and bring forth the
grain from it, and they eat thereof:

And we make in it gardens of the date and vine; and we cause springs to gush
forth in it;

That they may eat of its fruits and of the labour of their hands. Will they
not therefore be thankful?

Glory be to Him, who hath created all the sexual pairs of such things as
Earth produceth,10 and of mankind themselves; and of things beyond their ken!

A sign to them also is the Night. We withdraw the day from it, and lo! they
are plunged in darkness;

And the Sun hasteneth to her place of rest. This, the ordinance of the
Mighty, the Knowing!

And as for the Moon, We have decreed stations for it, till it change like an
old and crooked palm branch.

To the Sun it is not given to overtake the Moon, nor doth the night outstrip
the day; but each in its own sphere doth journey on.

It is also a sign to them that we bare their posterity in the full-laden Ark;

And that we have made for them vessels like it on which they embark;

And if we please, we drown them, and there is none to help them, and they are
not rescued,

Unless through our mercy, and that they may enjoy themselves for yet awhile.

And when it is said to them, Fear what is before you and what is behind
you,11 that ye may obtain mercy. . . .

Aye, not one sign from among the signs of their Lord dost thou bring them,
but they turn away from it!

And when it is said to them, Give alms of what God hath bestowed on you,12
they who believe not say to the believers, "Shall we feed him whom God can
feed if He will? Truly ye are in no other than a plain error."

And they say, "When will this promise be fulfilled, if what ye say be true?"

They await but a single blast: as they are wrangling shall it assail them:

And not a bequest shall they be able to make, nor to their families shall
they return.

And the trumpet shall be blown, and, lo! they shall speed out of their
sepulchres to their Lord:

They shall say, "Oh! woe to us! who hath roused us from our sleeping place?
'Tis what the God of Mercy promised; and the Apostles spake the truth."

But one blast shall there be,13 and, lo! they shall be assembled before us,
all together.

And on that day shall no soul be wronged in the least: neither shall ye be
rewarded but as ye shall have wrought.

But joyous on that day shall be the inmates of Paradise, in their employ;

In shades, on bridal couches reclining, they and their spouses:

Therein shall they have fruits, and shall have whatever they require–

"Peace!" shall be the word on the part of a merciful Lord.

"But be ye separated this day, O ye sinners!

Did I not enjoin on you, O sons of Adam, 'Worship not Satan, for that he is
your declared foe,'

But 'Worship Me: this is a right path'?

But now hath he led a vast host of you astray. Did ye not then comprehend?

This is Hell with which ye were threatened:

Endure its heat this day, for that ye believed not."

On that day will we set a seal upon their mouths; yet shall their hands speak
unto us, and their feet14 shall bear witness of that which they shall have

And, if we pleased, we would surely put out their eyes: yet even then would
they speed on with rivalry in their path: but how should they see?

And, if we pleased, we would surely transform them as they stand,15 and they
would not be able to move onward, or to return.

Him cause we to stoop through age whose days we lengthen. Will they not

We have not taught him (Muhammad) poetry,16 nor would it beseem him. This
Book is no other than a warning and a clear Koran,

To warn whoever liveth; and, that against the Infidels sentence may be justly

See they not that we have created for them among the things which our hands
have wrought, the animals of which they are masters?

And that we have subjected them unto them? And on some they ride, and of
others they eat;

And they find in them profitable uses and beverages:

Yet have they taken other gods beside God that they might be helpful to them.

No power have they to succour them: yet are their votaries an army at their

Let not their speech grieve thee: We know what they hide and what they bring
to light.

Doth not man perceive that we have created him of the moist germs of life?
Yet lo! is he an open caviller.

And he meeteth us with arguments,17 and forgetteth his creation: "Who," saith
he, "shall give life to bones when they are rotten?"

SAY: He shall give life to them who gave them being at first, for in all
creation is he skilled:

Who even out of the green tree hath given you fire18, and lo! ye kindle flame
from it.

What! must not He who hath created the Heavens and the Earth be mighty enough
to create your likes? Yes! and He is the skilful creator.

His command when He willeth aught, is but to say to it, BE, and IT IS.

So glory be to Him in whose hand is sway over all things! And to Him shall ye
be brought back.


1 This Sura is said to have been termed by Muhammad "the heart of the Koran."
It is recited in all Muhammadan countries to the dying, at the tombs of
saints, etc. On Ya. Sin, see Sura lxviii. p. 32.

2 Sura xxxviii. 85, p. 129.

3 Lit. in the clear prototype, that is, in the Preserved Table, on which all
the actions of mankind are written down.

4 Antioch, to which Jesus is said to have sent two disciples to preach the
unity of God, and subsequently Simon Peter. This vague story, and that of the
seven sleepers in Sura xviii. are the only traces to be found in the Koran of
any knowledge, on the part of Muhammad, of the history of the Church
subsequent to the day of Pentecost, or of the spread of the Christian

5 Comp. Sura xxvii. 48; vii. 128, where, as in this passage, the word augur
refers to the mode of divination practised previous to Islam, by the flight
of birds.

6 Lit. if ye have been warned (will ye still disbelieve?).

7 Habib, the carpenter, who, as implied at verse 25, was martyred, and whose
tomb at Antioch is still an object of veneration to the Muhammadans.

8 Ullm. following Wahl, renders, Als sie (die stadtlente) darauf ihn
schändlich behandleten. The verb in the original is thus used in the 4th
conj. Nöldeke supposes that words to this effect have been lost from the
text. But of this there is no trace in the Commentators.

9 Or, the Apostles shall not return to them again. Ullm.

10 For instance, date trees, the female blossoms of which were carefully
impregnated, when requisite, by branches of the male plant. See Freyt. Einl.
p. 271.

11 The chastisements of this world and of the next.

12 On account of this precept, Itq. 35, and Omar b. Muhammad suppose the
verse to have originated at Medina.

13 The Muhammadans affirm that a space of forty years will intervene between
two blasts of the Trumpet. Maracci suggests that the idea of the two blasts
is derived from 1 Thess. iv. 16, "the voice of the archangel and . . . the
trump of God."

14 Thus Chagiga, 16; Taanith, 11. "The very members of a man bear witness
against him, for thus is it written (Is. xliii. 12), Ye yourselves are my
witnesses, saith the Lord." See also Sura [lxxi.] xli. 19, 20.

15 Lit. in their place.

16 See Sura xxvi. 225, p. III.

17 Lit. he setteth forth to us comparisons.

18 The form of the Arabic word is Rabbinic Hebrew.


MECCA.–89 Verses.

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Ha. Mim.1 By the Luminous Book!

We have made it an Arabic Koran that ye may understand:

And it is a transcript of the archetypal Book,2 kept by us; it is lofty,
filled with wisdom,

Shall we then turn aside this warning from you because ye are a people who

Yet how many prophets sent we among those of old!

But no prophet came to them whom they made not the object of their scorn:

Wherefore we destroyed nations mightier than these Meccans in strength; and
the example of those of old hath gone before!

And if thou ask them who created the Heavens and the Earth, they will say:
"The Mighty, the Sage, created them both,"

Who hath made the Earth as a couch for you, and hath traced out routes
therein for your guidance;

And who sendeth down out of Heaven the rain in due degree, by which we
quicken a dead land; thus shall ye be brought forth from the grave:

And who hath created the sexual couples, all of them, and hath made for you
the ships and beasts whereon ye ride:

That ye may sit balanced on their backs and remember the goodness of your
Lord as ye sit so evenly thereon, and say: "Glory to Him who hath subjected
these to us! We could not have attained to it of ourselves:

And truly unto our Lord shall we return."

Yet do they assign to him some of his own servants for offspring! Verily man
is an open ingrate!

Hath God adopted daughters from among those whom he hath created, and chosen
sons for you?

But when that3 is announced to any one of them, which he affirmeth to be the
case with the God of Mercy,4 his face settleth into darkness and he is

What! make they a being to be the offspring of God who is brought up among
trinkets, and is ever contentious without reason?

And they make the angels who are the servants of God of Mercy, females. What!
did they witness their creation? Their witness shall be taken down, and they
shall hereafter be enquired at.

And they say: "Had the God of Mercy so willed it we should never have
worshipped them." No knowledge have they in this: they only lie.

Have we ere this given them a Book?5 and do they possess it still?

But say they: "Verily we found our fathers of that persuasion, and verily, by
their footsteps do we guide ourselves."

And thus never before thy time did we send a warner to any city but its
wealthy ones said: "Verily we found our fathers with a religion, and in their
tracks we tread."

SAY,–such was our command to that apostle–"What! even if I bring you a
religion more right than that ye found your fathers following?" And they
said, "Verily we believe not in your message."

Wherefore we took vengeance on them, and behold what hath been the end of
those who treated our messengers as liars!

And bear in mind when Abraham said to his father and to his people, "Verily I
am clear of what ye worship,

Save Him who hath created me; for he will vouchsafe me guidance."

And this he established as a doctrine that should abide among his posterity,
that to God might they be turned.

In sooth to these idolatrous Arabians and to their fathers did I allow their
full enjoyments, till the truth should come to them, and an undoubted

But now that the truth hath come to them, they say, "'Tis sorcery, and we
believe it not."

And they say, "Had but this Koran been sent down to some great one of the two
cities6 . . .!"

Are they then the distributors of thy Lord's Mercy?7 It is we who distribute
their subsistence among them in this world's life; and we raise some of them
by grades above others, that the one may take the other to serve him: but
better is the mercy of thy Lord than all their hoards.

But for fear that all mankind would have become a single people of
unbelievers, verily we would certainly have given to those who believe not in
the God of Mercy roofs of silver to their houses, and silver stairs to ascend

And doors of silver to their houses, and couches of silver to recline on;

And ORNAMENTS OF GOLD: for all these are merely the good things of the
present life; but the next life doth thy Lord reserve for those who fear Him.

And whoso shall withdraw from the Warning of the God of Mercy, we will chain
a Satan to him, and he shall be his fast companion:

For the Satans will turn men aside from the Way, who yet shall deem
themselves rightly guided;

Until when man shall come before us, he shall say, "O Satan, would that
between me and thee were the distance of the East and West."8 And a wretched
companion is a Satan.

But it shall not avail you on that day, because ye were unjust: partners
shall ye be in the torment.

What! Canst thou then make the deaf to hear, or guide the blind and him who
is in palpable error?

Whether therefore we take thee off by death, surely will we avenge ourselves
on them;

Or whether we make thee a witness of the accomplishment of that with which we
threatened them, we will surely gain the mastery over them.9

Hold thou fast therefore what hath been revealed to thee, for thou art on a
right path:

For truly to thee and to thy people it is an admonition; and ye shall have an
account to render for it at last.10

And ask our Sent Ones whom we have sent before thee,

"Appointed we gods beside the God of Mercy whom they should worship?"11

Of old sent we Moses with our signs to Pharaoh and his nobles: and he said,
"I truly am the Apostle of the Lord of the worlds."

And when he presented himself before them with our signs, lo! they laughed at

Though we shewed them no sign that was not greater than its fellow:12 and
therefore did we lay hold on them with chastisement, to the intent that they
might be turned to God.

Then they said, "O Magician! call on thy Lord on our behalf to do as he hath
engaged with thee, for truly we would fain be guided."

But when we relieved them from the chastisement, lo! they broke their pledge.

And Pharaoh made proclamation among his people. Said he, "O my people! is not
the kingdom of Egypt mine, and these rivers which flow at my feet?13 Do ye
not behold?

Am I not mightier than this despicable fellow,

And who scarce can speak distinctly?

Have bracelets of gold14 then been put upon him, or come there with him a
train of Angels?"

And he inspired his people with levity, and they obeyed him; for they were a
perverse people:

And when they had angered us, we took vengeance on them, and we drowned them

And we made them a precedent and instance of divine judgments to those who
came after them.

And when the Son of Mary was set forth as an instance of divine power, lo!
thy people cried out for joy thereat:

And they said, "Are our gods or is he the better?"15 They put this forth to
thee only in the spirit of dispute. Yea, they are a contentious people.

Jesus is no more than a servant whom we favoured, and proposed as an instance
of divine power to the children of Israel.

(And if we pleased, we could from yourselves bring forth Angels to succeed
you on earth:)16

And he shall be a sign of the last hour;17 doubt not then of it, and follow
ye me: this is the right way;

And let not Satan turn you aside from it, for he is your manifest foe.

And when Jesus came with manifest proofs, he said, "Now am I come to you with
wisdom; and a part of those things about which ye are at variance I will
clear up to you; fear ye God therefore and obey me.

Verily, God is my Lord and your Lord; wherefore worship ye him: this is a
right way."

But the different parties18 fell into disputes among themselves; but woe to
those who thus transgressed, because of the punishment of an afflictive day!

For what wait they but for the hour "to come suddenly on them, while they
expect it not?"

Friends on that day shall become foes to one another, except the God-

"O my servants! on this day shall no fear come upon you, neither shall ye be
put to grief,

Who have believed in our signs and become Muslims:

Enter ye and your wives into Paradise, delighted."

Dishes and bowls of gold shall go round unto them: there shall they enjoy
whatever their souls desire, and whatever their eyes delight in; and therein
shall ye abide for ever.

This is Paradise, which ye have received as your heritage in recompense for
your works;

Therein shall ye have fruits in abundance, of which ye shall eat.

But in the torment of Hell shall the wicked remain for ever:

It shall not be mitigated to them, and they shall be mute for despair

For it is not we who have treated them unjustly, but it was they who were
unjust to themselves.

And they shall cry: "O Malec!19 would that thy Lord would make an end of us!"
He saith: "Here must ye remain."

We have come to you with the truth (O Meccans), but most of you abhor the

Have they drawn tight their toils for thee?20 We too will tighten ours.

Think they that we hear not their secrets and their private talk? Yes, and
our angels who are at their sides write them down.

SAY: If the God of Mercy had a son, the first would I be to worship him:

But far be the Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, the Lord of the Throne,
from that which they impute to Him!

Wherefore let them alone, to plunge on, and sport, until they meet the day
with which they are menaced.

He who is God in the Heavens is God in earth also: and He is the Wise, the

And Blessed be He whose is the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth and of
all that is between them; for with Him is the knowledge of the Hour, and to
Him shall ye be brought back.

The gods whom they call upon beside Him shall not be able to intercede for
others: they only shall be able who bore witness to the truth and21 knew it."

If thou ask them who hath created them, they will be sure to say, "God." How
then hold they false opinions?

And one22 saith, "O Lord! verily these are people who believe not."

Turn thou then from them, and say, "Peace:" In the end they shall know their


1 See Sura lxviii. I, p. 32.

2 Lit. it is in the Mother of the Book, i.e. the original of the Koran,
preserved before God.

3 That is, of the birth of a female.

4 Lit. which he imputeth to the God of Mercy, as his likeness.

5 To authorise angel-worship.

6 Supply, Mecca and Taief, we would have received it.

7 Lit. mercy, i.e. the gift and office of prophecy.

8 Lit. the two Easts, by which some understand the distance between the two

9 Comp. Suras xl. 77; xxiii. 97; x. 47; xxix. 53; xxxvii. 179; xiii. 42.
These passages clearly show that Muhammad had at this period–towards the
close of his Meccan period–full faith in his ultimate success, and in the
fulfilment of his menaces against the unbelievers.

10 Lit. ye shall be examined in the end.

11 This verse is said (see Nöld. p. 100, n.) to have been revealed in the
temple at Jerusalem on the occasion of the night journey thither. See also
Weil's Muhammed der Prophet, p. 374.

12 Lit. sister.

13 See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 39, n.

14 Comp. Gen. xli. 42.

15 This was a captious objection made to Muhammad by the idolaters of Mecca
when he condemned their gods (Sura xxi. 98), as if they had said, "Jesus is
worshipped as a God by the Christians: does he come under your anathema
equally with our idols? we shall be content for our gods to be with him."

16 That is, as we caused Jesus to be born without a human father.

17 At his return to this earth. Some refer this to the Koran as revealing the
last Hour. Lit. He (or It) is for knowledge of the Hour.

18 Jewish and Christian sects.

19 Malec is one of the keepers of Hell, who specially presides over the
torments of the damned.

20 Lit. if they have twisted tight or set firmly the affair, i.e. their plots
against thee and the truth.

21 Or, and they (the Infidels). The Commentators say that Jesus, Ezra, and
the angels, will be allowed to intercede.

22 Muhammad.


MECCA.–28 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

SAY: It hath been revealed to me that a company of

DJINN1 listened, and said,–"Verily, we have heard a marvellous discourse

It guideth to the truth; wherefore we believed in it, and we will not
henceforth join any being with our Lord;

And He,–may the majesty of our Lord be exalted!–hath taken no spouse neither
hath he any offspring.

But the foolish among us hath spoken of God that which is unjust:

And we verily thought that no one amongst men or Djinn would have uttered a
lie against God.

There are indeed people among men, who have sought for refuge unto people
among Djinn: but they only increased their folly:

And they thought, as ye think, that God would not raise any from the dead.

And the Heavens did we essay, but found them filled with a mighty garrison,
and with flaming darts;

And we sat on some of the seats to listen, but whoever listeneth findeth an
ambush ready for him of flaming darts.

And truly we know not whether evil be meant for them that are on earth, or
whether their Lord meaneth guidance for them.

And there are among us good, and others among us of another kind;–we are of
various sorts:

And verily we thought that no one could weaken God on earth, neither could we
escape from him by flight:

Wherefore as soon as we had heard 'the guidance' we believed in it; and
whoever believeth in his Lord, need not fear either loss or wrong.

There are some among us who have resigned themselves to God (the Muslims);
and there are others of us who have gone astray. And whoso resigneth himself
to God pursueth the way of truth;

But they who go astray from it shall be fuel for Hell."

Moreover, if they (the Meccans) keep straight on in that way, we will surely
give them to drink of abundant waters,

That we may prove them thereby: but whoso withdraweth from the remembrance of
his Lord, him will He send into a severe torment.

It is unto God that the temples are set apart: call not then on any other
therein with God.

When the servant of God stood up to call upon Him, the djinn almost jostled
him by their crowds.

SAY: I call only upon my Lord, and I join no other being with Him.

SAY: No control have I over what may hurt or benefit you.

SAY: Verily none can protect me against God;

Neither shall I find any refuge beside Him.

My sole work is preaching from God, and His message: and for such as shall
rebel against God and his apostle is the fire of Hell! they shall remain
therein alway,–for ever!

Until they see their threatened vengeance they will be perverse! but then
shall they know which side was the weakest in a protector and the fewest in

SAY: I know not whether that with which ye are threatened be nigh, or whether
my Lord hath assigned it to a distant day: He knoweth the secret, nor doth He
divulge his secret to any,

Except to that Apostle who pleaseth Him; and before him and behind him He
maketh a guard to march:

That He may know if his Apostles have verily delivered the messages of their
Lord: and He embraceth in his knowledge all their ways, and taketh count of
all that concerneth them.


1 This interview with the Djinn took place at Nakhla, probably the "Wady
Mohram" of Burckhardt, midway between Mecca and Ta‹ef, when Muhammad was
driven from Mecca. A.D. 620.


MECCA.– 30 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BLESSED be He is whose hand is the KINGDOM! and over all things is He potent:

Who hath created death and life to prove which of you will be most righteous
in deed; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving!

Who hath created seven Heavens one above another: No defect canst thou see in
the creation of the God of Mercy: Repeat the gaze: seest thou a single flaw?

Then twice more repeat the gaze: thy gaze shall return to thee dulled and

Moreover we have decked the lowest heaven with lights, and have placed them
there to be hurled at the Satans, for whom we have prepared the torment of
the flaming fire.

And for those who believe not in their Lord is the torment of Hell; and
horrid the journey thither!

When they shall be thrown into it, they shall hear it braying:1 and it shall

Almost shall it burst for fury. So oft as a crowd shall be thrown into it,
its keepers shall ask them, "Came not the warner to you?"

They shall say, Yes! there came to us one charged with warnings; but we
treated him as a liar, and said, "Nothing hath God sent down: ye are in
nothing but a vast delusion."

And they shall say, "Had we but hearkened or understood, we had not been
among the dwellers in the flames;"

And their sin shall they acknowledge: but, "Avaunt, ye dwellers in the

But pardon and a great reward for those who fear their Lord in secret!

Be your converse hidden or open, He truly knoweth the inmost recess of your

What! shall He not know who hath created? for He is the Subtil,2 the

It is He who hath made the earth level for you: traverse then its broad
sides, and eat of what He hath provided.–Unto Him shall be the resurrection.

What! are ye sure that He who is in Heaven will not cleave the Earth beneath
you? And lo, it shall quake.

Or are ye sure that He who is in Heaven will not send against you a stone-
charged whirlwind? Then shall ye know what my warning meant!

And verily, those who flourish before you treated their prophets as liars:
and how grievous my wrath!

Behold they not the birds over their heads, outstretching and drawing in
their wings? None, save the God of Mercy, upholdeth them: for he regardeth
all things.

Who is he that can be as an army to you, to succour you, except the God of
Mercy? Truly, the infidels are in the merest delusion.

Or who is he that will furnish you supplies, if He withhold His supplies? Yet
do they persist in pride and in fleeing from Him!

Is he who goeth along grovelling on his face, better guided than he who goeth
upright on a straight path?

SAY: It is He who hath brought you forth, and gifted you with hearing and
sight and heart: yet how few are grateful!

SAY: It is He who hath sown you in the earth, and to Him shall ye be

And they say, "When shall this threat be put in force, if ye speak the

SAY: Nay truly, this knowledge is with God alone: and I am only an open

But when they shall see it nigh, sad shall wax the countenances of the
infidels: and it shall be said, "This is what ye have been calling for."

SAY: What think ye? Whether God destroy me or not, and those who follow me,
or whether he have mercy on us, yet who will protect the infidels from a
woeful torment?

SAY: He is the God of Mercy: in Him do we believe, and in Him put we our
trust; and ye shall know hereafter who is in a manifest error.

SAY: What think ye? If at early morn your waters shall have sunk away, who
then will give you clear running water?


1 Thus Shakespeare uses the word braying of clamours of Hell; and Milton
speaks of braying horrible discord. Comp. Sura xxv. 12-21.

2 Der alles durchdringt. Ullm.; perspicax. Mar.; sagacious. Sale. The primary
meaning of the Arabic root is to draw near; hence the above signification, in
the sense of God's presence as interpenetrating all things: hence also the
other sense of benign, as in Sura [lxxxiii.] xlii. 18.


MECCA.1–118 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


Who humble them in their prayer,

And who keep aloof from vain words,2

And who are doers of alms deeds,

And who restrain their appetites,

(Save with their wives, or the slaves whom their right hands possess: for in
that case they shall be free from blame:

But they whose desires reach further than this are transgressors:)

And who tend well their trusts and their covenants,

And who keep them strictly to their prayers:

These shall be the heritors,

Who shall inherit the paradise, to abide therein for ever.

Now of fine clay have we created man:

Then we placed him, a moist germ,3 in a safe abode;

Then made we the moist germ a clot of blood: then made the clotted blood into
a piece of flesh; then made the piece of flesh into bones: and we clothed the
bones with flesh: then brought forth man of yet another make4–Blessed
therefore be God, the most excellent of Makers5–

Then after this ye shall surely die:

Then shall ye be waked up on the day of resurrection.

And we have created over you seven heavens:6–and we are not careless of the

And we send down water from the Heaven in its due degree, and we cause it to
settle on the earth;–and we have power for its withdrawal:–

And by it we cause gardens of palm trees, and vineyards to spring forth for
you, in which ye have plenteous fruits, and whereof ye eat;

And the tree that groweth up on Mount Sinai; which yieldeth oil and a juice
for those who eat.

And there is a lesson for you in the cattle: We give you to drink of what is
in their bellies, and many advantages do ye derive from them, and for food
they serve you;

And on them and on ships are ye borne.

We sent Noah heretofore unto his people, and he said, "O my people! serve
God: ye have no other God than He: will ye not therefore fear Him?

But the chiefs of the people who believed not said, "This is but a man like
yourselves: he fain would raise himself above you: but had it pleased God to
send, He would have sent angels: We heard not of this with our sires of old;–

Verily he is but a man possessed; leave him alone therefore for a time."

He said, "O my Lord! help me against their charge of imposture."

So we revealed unto him, "Make the ark under our eye, and as we have taught,
and when our doom shall come on, and the earth's surface shall boil up,7

Carry into it of every kind a pair, and thy family, save him on whom sentence
hath already passed: and plead not with me for the wicked, for they shall be

And when thou, and they who shall be with thee, shall go up into the ark;
say, 'Praise be unto God, who hath rescued us from the wicked folk.'

And say, 'O my Lord! disembark me with a blessed disembarking: for thou art
the best to disembark."'

Verily in this were signs, and verily we made proof of man.

We then raised up other generations after them;

And we sent among them an apostle from out themselves, with, "Worship ye God!
ye have no other God than He: will ye not therefore fear Him?"

And the chiefs of His people who believed not, and who deemed the meeting
with us in the life to come to be a lie, and whom we had richly supplied in
this present life, said, "This is but a man like yourselves; he eateth of
what ye eat,

And he drinketh of what ye drink:

And if ye obey a man like yourselves, then ye will surely be undone.

What! doth he foretell you, that after ye shall be dead and become dust and
bones, ye shall be brought forth?

Away, away with his predictions!

There is no life beyond our present life; we die, and we live, and we shall
not be quickened again!

This is merely a man who forgeth a lie about God: and we will not believe

He said, "O my Lord! help me against this charge of imposture."

He said, "Yet a little, and they will soon repent them!"

Then did the shout of the destroying angel in justice surprise them, we made
them like leaves swept down by a torrent. Away then with the wicked people!

Then raised we up other generations after them–

Neither too soon, nor too late, shall a people reach its appointed time–

Then sent we our apostles one after another. Oft as their apostle presented
himself to a nation, they treated him as a liar; and we caused one nation to
follow another; and we made them the burden of a tale. Away then with the
people who believe not!

Then sent we Moses and his brother Aaron, with our signs and manifest power,

To Pharaoh and his princes; but they behaved them proudly, for they were a
haughty people.

And they said, "Shall we believe on two men like ourselves, whose people are
our slaves?"

And they treated them both as impostors; wherefore they became of the

And we gave Moses the Book for Israel's guidance.

And we appointed the Son of Mary, and His mother for a sign; and we prepared
an abode for both in a lofty spot,8 quiet, and watered with springs.

"O ye apostles! eat of things that are good: and do that which is right: of
your doings I am cognisant.

And truly this your religion is the one religion;9 and I am your Lord:
therefore fear me."

But men have rent their great concern, one among another, into sects; every
party rejoicing in that which is their own;

Wherefore leave them till a certain time, in their depths of error.

What! think they that what we largely, bestow on them of wealth and children,

We hasten to them for their good? Nay, they have no knowledge.

But they who are awed with the dread of their Lord,

And who believe in the signs of their Lord,

And who join no other gods with their Lord,

And who give that which they give with hearts thrilled with dread because
they must return unto their Lord,

These hasten after good, and are the first to win it.

We will not burden a soul beyond its power: and with us is a book, which
speaketh the truth; and they shall not be wronged:

But as to this Book, their hearts are plunged in error, and their works are
far other than those of Muslims, and they will work those works,

Until when we lay hold on their affluent ones with punishment; lo! they cry
for help:

–"Cry not for help this day, for by Us ye shall not be succoured:

Long since were my signs rehearsed to you, but ye turned back on your heels,

Puffed up with pride, discoursing foolishly by night."

Do they not then heed the things spoken–whether that hath come to them which
came not to their fathers of old?

Or do they not recognise their apostle; and therefore disavow him?

Or say they, "A Djinn is in him?" Nay! he hath come to them with the truth;
but the truth do most of them abhor.

But if the truth had followed in the train of their desires, the heavens and
the earth, and all that therein is, had surely come to ruin! But we have
brought them their warning; and from their warning they withdraw.

Dost thou ask them for remuneration? But, remuneration from thy Lord is best;
and He is the best provider.

And thou indeed biddest them to the right path;

But verily they who believe not in the life to come, from that path do surely

And if we had taken compassion on them, and relieved them from their trouble,
they would have plunged on in their wickedness, wildly wandering.10

We formerly laid hold on them with chastisement, yet they did not humble them
to their Lord, nor did they abase them;

Until, when we have opened upon them the door of a severe punishment, lo!
they are in despair at it.

It is He who hath implanted in you hearing, and sight, and heart; how few of
you give thanks!

It is He who hath caused you to be born on the earth: and unto Him shall ye
be gathered.

And it is He who maketh alive and killeth, and of Him is the change of the
night and of the day: Will ye not understand?

But they say, as said those of old:–

They say,"What! When we shall be dead, and have become dust and bones, shall
we, indeed, be waked to life?

This have we been promised, we and our fathers aforetime: but it is only
fables of the ancients."

SAY: Whose is the earth, and all that is therein;–if ye know?

They will answer, "God's." SAY: Will ye not, then reflect?

SAY: Who is the Lord of the seven heavens, and the Lord of the glorious

They will say, "They are God's". SAY: Will ye not, then, fear Him?

SAY: In whose hand is the empire of all things, who protecteth but is not
protected? if ye know:

They will answer, "In God's." SAY: How, then, can ye be so spell-bound?

Yea, we have brought them the truth; but they are surely liars:

God hath not begotten offspring; neither is there any other God with Him:
else had each god assuredly taken away that which he had created,11 and some
had assuredly uplifted themselves above others! Far from the glory of God, be
what they affirm of Him!

He knoweth alike the unseen and the seen: far be He uplifted above the gods
whom they associate with Him!

SAY: O my Lord! If thou wilt let me witness the infliction of that with which
they have been threatened!

O my Lord! place me not among the ungodly people.

Verily, we are well able to make thee see the punishment with which we have
threatened them.

Turn aside evil with that which is better: we best know what they utter
against thee.

And SAY: "O my Lord! I betake me to Thee, against the promptings of the

And I betake me to Thee, O my Lord! that they gain no hurtful access to me."

When death overtaketh one of the wicked, he saith, "Lord, send me back again,

That I may do the good which I have left undone."12 "By no means." These are
the very words which he shall speak:

But behind them shall be a barrier, until the day when they shall be raised

And when the trumpet shall be sounded, the ties of kindred between them shall
cease on that day; neither shall they ask each other's help.

They whose balances shall be heavy, shall be the blest.

But they whose balances shall be light,–these are they who shall lose their
souls, abiding in hell for ever:

The fire shall scorch their faces, and their lips shall quiver therein:–

–"What! Were not my signs rehearsed unto you? and did ye not treat them as

They shall say, "O our Lord! our ill-fortune prevailed against us, and we
became an erring people.

O our Lord! Bring us forth hence: if we go back again to our sins, we shall
indeed be evil doers."

He will say; "Be ye driven down into it; and, address me not."

A part truly of my servants was there, who said, "O our Lord! we believe:
forgive us, then, and be merciful to us, for of the merciful art thou the

But ye received them with such scoffs that they suffered you to forget my
warning, and ye laughed them to scorn.

Verily this day will I reward then, for their patient endurance: the blissful
ones shall they be!

He will say, "What number of years tarried ye on earth?"

They will say, "We tarried a day, or part of a day;13 but ask the recording

God will say, "Short indeed was the time ye tarried, if that ye knew it.

What! Did ye then think that we had created you for pastime, and that ye
should not be brought back again to us?" Wherefore let God be exalted, the
King, the Truth! There is no god but He! Lord of the stately throne! And
whoso, together with God, shall call on another god, for whom he hath no
proof, shall surely have to give account to his Lord. Aye, it shall fare ill
with the infidels.

And SAY: "O my Lord, pardon, and have mercy; for of those who show mercy, art
thou the best."


1 This Sura is said by Wahidi Intr, and by Assuyûti, 55, to be the last
Meccan revelation. But there seems to be no reason for this opinion.

2 In prayer. Eccl. v. I; Matt. vi. 7. But it may be understood of idle talk

3 See Sura xxii. 5, n.

4 That is, a perfect man at last, composed of soul and body. The verb halaka,
to create, is used throughout, for which I have necessarily substituted to
make, in order to retain the same word throughout the verse.

5 These words are said by most commentators on Sura vi. 93, to have been
uttered by Muhammad's scribe, Abdallah, on hearing the previous part of this
verse, and to have been adopted by the prophet, at the same moment, as
identical with his own inspirations.

6 Lit. seven paths–a Talmudic expression.

7 See Sura [lxxv.] xi. 42, n.

8 Comp. Sura xix. 22 ff., p. 119. Wahl understands this passage of Paradise.

9 Comp. Sura xxi. 92, p. 157.

10 There is no reliable tradition as to the nature of the visitation here
alluded to.

11 That is, each would have formed a separate and independent kingdom.

12 Or, in the (world) which I have left.

13 That is, our past life seems brevity itself in comparison with eternal

14 Lit. those who number, or keep account, i.e. our torments distract us too
much to allow us to compute.


MECCA.–112 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

THIS people's reckoning hath drawn nigh, yet, sunk in carelessness, they turn

Every fresh warning that cometh to them from their Lord they only hear to
mock it,–

Their hearts set on lusts: and they who have done this wrong say in secret
discourse, "Is He more than a man like yourselves? What! will ye, with your
eyes open,1 accede to sorcery?"

SAY: "My Lord knoweth what is spoken in the heaven and on the earth: He is
the Hearer, the Knower."

"Nay," say they, "it is the medley of dreams: nay, he hath forged it: nay, he
is a poet: let him come to us with a sign as the prophets of old were sent."

Before their time, none of the cities which we have destroyed, believed: will
these men, then, believe?

And we sent none, previous to thee, but men to whom we had revealed
ourselves. Ask ye the people who are warned by Scriptures,2 if ye know it

We gave them not bodies which could dispense with food: and they were not to
live for ever.

Then made we good our promise to them; and we delivered them and whom we
pleased, and we destroyed the transgressors.

And now have we sent down to you "the book," in which is your warning: What,
will ye not then understand?

And how many a guilty city have we broken down, and raised up after it other

And when they felt our vengeance, lo! they fled from it.

"Flee not," said the angels in mockery, "but come back to that wherein ye
revelled, and to your abodes! Questions will haply be put to you."

They said, "Oh, woe to us! Verily we have been evil doers."

And this ceased not to be their cry, until we made them like reaped corn,

We created not the heaven and the earth, and what is between them, for sport:

Had it been our wish to find a pastime, we had surely found it in ourselves;–
if to do so had been our will.

Nay, we will hurl the truth at falsehood, and it shall smite it, and lo! it
shall vanish. But woe be to you for what ye utter of God!

All beings in the heaven and on the earth are His: and they who are in his
presence disdain not his service, neither are they wearied:

They praise Him night and day: they rest not.3

Have they taken gods from the earth who can quicken the dead?

Had there been in either heaven or earth gods besides God, both surely had
gone to ruin. But glory be to God, the Lord of the throne, beyond what they

He shall not be asked of his doings, but they shall be asked.

Have they taken other gods beside Him? SAY; Bring forth your proofs that they
are gods. This is the warning of those who are with me, and the warning of
those who were before me: but most of them know not the truth, and turn

No apostle have we sent before thee to whom we did not reveal that "Verily
there is no God beside me: therefore worship me."

Yet they say, "The God of Mercy hath begotten issue from the angels." Glory
be to Him! Nay, they are but His honoured servants:

They speak not till He hath spoken;4 and they do His bidding.

He knoweth what is before them and what is behind them; and no plea shall
they offer

Save for whom He pleaseth; and they tremble for fear of Him.

And that angel among them who saith "I am a god beside Him," will we
recompense with hell: in such sort will we recompense the offenders.

Do not the infidels see that the heavens and the earth were both a solid
mass, and that we clave them asunder, and that by means of water we give life
to everything? Will they not then believe?

And we set mountains on the earth lest it should move with them, and we made
on it broad passages between them as routes for their guidance;

And we made the heaven a roof strongly upholden; yet turn they away from its

And He it is who hath created the night and the day, and the sun and the
moon, each moving swiftly in its sphere.

At no time5 have we granted to man a life that shall last for ever: if thou
then die, shall they live for ever?

Every soul shall taste of death:6 and for trial will we prove you with evil
and with good; and unto Us shall ye be brought back.

And when the infidels see thee they receive thee only with scoffs:–"What! is
this he who maketh such mention of your gods?" Yet when mention is made to
them of the God of Mercy, they believe not.

"Man," say they, "is made up of haste."7 But I will shew you my signs:8
desire them not then to be hastened.

They say, "When will this threat be made good? Tell us, if ye be men of

Did the infidels but know the time when they shall not be able to keep the
fire of hell from their faces or from their backs, neither shall they be

But it shall come on them suddenly and shall confound them; and they shall
not be able to put it back, neither shall they be respited.

Other apostles have been scoffed at before thee: but that doom at which they
mocked encompassed the scoffers.

SAY: Who shall protect you by night and by day from the God of Mercy? Yet
turn they away from the warning of their Lord.

Have they gods beside Us who can defend them? For their own succour have they
no power; neither shall the gods they join with God screen them from Us.

Yes! we have given these men and their fathers enjoyments so long as their
life lasted. What! see they not that we come to a land and straiten its
borders9 Is it they who are the conquerors?

SAY: I only warn you of what hath been revealed to me: but the deaf will not
hear the call, whenever they are warned;

Yet if a breath of thy Lord's chastisement touch them, they will assuredly
say, "Oh! woe to us! we have indeed been offenders."

Just balances will we set up for the day of the resurrection, neither shall
any soul be wronged in aught; though, were a work but the weight of a grain
of mustard seed, we would bring it forth to be weighed: and our reckoning
will suffice.

We gave of old to Moses and Aaron the illumination,10 and a light and a
warning for the God-fearing,

Who dread their Lord in secret, and who tremble for "the Hour."

And this Koran which we have sent down is a blessed warning: will ye then
disown it?

Of old we gave unto Abraham his direction,11 for we knew him worthy.

When he said to his Father and to his people, "What are these images to which
ye are devoted?"

They said, "We found our fathers worshipping them."

He said, "Truly ye and your fathers have been in a plain mistake."

They said, "Hast thou come unto us in earnest? or art thou of those who

He said, "Nay, your Lord is Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, who hath
created them both; and to this am I one of those who witness:

–And, by God, I will certainly lay a plot against your idols, after ye shall
have retired and turned your backs."

So, he broke them all in pieces, except the chief of them, that to it they
might return, inquiring.

They said, "Who hath done this to our gods? Verily he is one of the unjust."

They said, "We heard a youth make mention of them: they call him Abraham."

They said, "Then bring him before the people's eyes, that they may witness
against him."

They said, "Hast thou done this to our gods, O Abraham?"

He said, "Nay, that their chief hath done it: but ask ye them, if they can

So they turned their thoughts upon themselves, and said, "Ye truly are the
impious persons:"

Then became headstrong in their former error12 and exclaimed,"Thou knowest
that these speak not."

He said, "What! do ye then worship, instead of God, that which doth not
profit you at all, nor injure you? Fie on you and on that ye worship instead
of God! What! do ye not then understand?"

They said:13 "Burn him, and come to the succour of your gods: if ye will do
anything at all."

We said, "O fire! be thou cold, and to Abraham a safety!"14

And they sought to lay a plot against him, but we made them the sufferers.

And we brought him and Lot in safety to the land which we have blessed for
all human beings:

And we gave him Isaac and Jacob as a farther gift, and we made all of them

We also made them models who should guide others by our command, and we
inspired them with good deeds and constancy in prayer and almsgiving, and
they worshipped us.

And unto Lot we gave wisdom, and knowledge; and we rescued him from the city
which wrought filthiness; for they were a people, evil, perverse:

And we caused him to enter into our mercy, for he was of the righteous.

And remember Noah when aforetime he cried to us and we heard him, and
delivered him and his family from the great calamity;

And we helped him against the people who treated our signs as impostures. An
evil people verily were they, and we drowned them all.

And David and Solomon; when they gave judgment concerning a field when some
people's sheep had caused a waste therein; and we were witnesses of their

And we gave Solomon insight into the affair; and on both of them we bestowed
wisdom and knowledge. And we constrained the mountains and the birds to join
with David in our praise: Our doing was it!

And we taught David the art of making mail15 for you, to defend you from each
other's violence: will ye therefore be thankful?

And to Solomon we subjected we subjected the strongly blowing wind; it sped
at his bidding to the land we had blessed; for we know all things:

And sundry Satans16 who should dive for him and perform other work beside:
and we kept watch over them.

And remember Job: When he cried to his Lord, "Truly evil hath touched me: but
thou art the most merciful of those who shew mercy."

So we heard him, and lightened the burden of his woe; and we gave him back
his family, and as many more with them,–a mercy from us, and a memorial for
those who serve us:

And Ismael, and Edris17 and Dhoulkefl18–all steadfast in patience.

And we caused them to enter into our mercy; for they were of the righteous:

And Dhoulnoun;19 when he went on his way in anger, and thought that we had no
power over him. But in the darkness he cried "There is no God but thou: Glory
be unto Thee! Verily, I have been one of the evil doers:"

So we heard him and rescued him from misery: for thus rescue we the faithful:

And Zacharias; when he called upon his Lord saying, "O my Lord, leave me not
childless: but there is no better heir than Thyself."20

So we heard him, and gave him John, and we made his wife fit for child-
bearing. Verily, these vied in goodness, and called upon us with love and
fear, and humbled themselves before us:

And her who kept her maidenhood, and into whom21 we breathed of our spirit,
and made her and her son a sign to all creatures.

Of a truth, this, your religion, is the one22 Religion, and I your Lord;
therefore serve me:

But they have rent asunder this their great concern among themselves into
sects. All of them shall return to us.

And whoso shall do the things that are right, and be a believer, his efforts
shall not be disowned: and surely will we write them down for him.

There is a ban on every city which we shall have destroyed, that they shall
not rise again,

Until a way is opened for Gog and Magog,23 and they shall hasten from every
high land,

And this sure promise shall draw on. And lo! the eyes of the infidels shall
stare amazedly; and they shall say, "Oh, our misery! of this were we
careless! yea, we were impious persons."

Verily, ye, and what ye worship beside God,24 shall be fuel for hell: ye
shall go down into it.

Were these gods, they would not go down into it; but they shall all abide in
it for ever.

Therein shall they groan; but nought therein shall they hear to comfort them.

But they for whom we have before ordained good things, shall be far away from

Its slightest sound they shall not hear: in what their souls longed for, they
shall abide for ever:

The great terror shall not trouble them; and the angel shall meet them with,
"This is your day which ye were promised."

On that day we will roll up the heaven as one rolleth up25 written scrolls.
As we made the first creation, so will we bring it forth again. This promise
bindeth us; verily, we will perform it.

And now, since the Law was given, have we written in the Psalms that "my
servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth."26

Verily, in this Koran is teaching for those who serve God.

We have not sent thee otherwise than as mercy unto all creatures.

SAY: Verily it hath been revealed to me that your God is one God; are ye then
resigned to Him? (Muslims.)

But if they turn their backs, then SAY: I have warned you all alike; but I
know not whether that with which ye are threatened be nigh or distant.

God truly knoweth what is spoken aloud, and He also knoweth that which ye

And I know not whether haply this delay be not for your trial, and that ye
may enjoy yourselves for a time.

My Lord saith: Judge ye with truth; for our Lord is the God of Mercy–whose
help is to be sought against what ye utter.


1 Lit. while ye see it to be such.

2 Lit. the people or family of the admonition. Itq. 34 considers this verse
to have been revealed at Medina.

3 Or, they invent not (concerning Him). Comp. Rev. iv. 8.

4 Lit. they precede him not in speech.

5 Lit. before thee, which might seem to imply that the grant of immortality
had been made to Muhammad. I have therefore rendered, as in the text, to
avoid the ambiguity. Comp. Suras [xcvii.] iii. 182; [lxxxi.] xxix. 57, and
Weil's Life of Mohammad, p. 350.

6 Comp. Matt. xvi. 28; Heb. ii. 9. Hist. Josephi Fabr. Lign. c. 22 at the

7 See the index under the word Man. The Rabbins teach that man was created
with innate evil propensities. See Schr der's Talm. Rabb.- Judenthum, p. 378.
8 That is, my teaching as to the future lot of the infidels, etc.

9 Muhammad appeals to the rapid progress of Islam as a proof of his divine

10 Ar. furquan–a derived by Muhammad from the Jews, constantly used in the
Talmud, and meaning as in Syr. and Æth. deliverance, liberation. Thus, Sura
viii. 29, 42, and hence, illumination, revelation, generally. The usual
interpretation here and in other passages is the distinction, i.e. between
good and evil, lawful and unlawful. The title is applied to the Koran and
Pentateuch alike.

11 This story is taken in part verbatim from Midr. Rabbah on Gen. par. 17.
See also Schalscheleth Hakabala, 2; Maimon de Idol. ch. 1; and Yad
Hachazakah, vii. 6, who makes Abraham–in his 40th year–renounce star-worship,
break images, escape the wrath of the king by a miracle, and preach that
there is one God of the whole universe.

12 Lit. sie neigten sich nach ihren Kopfen. They were turned down upon their
heads. Ullm. and Sale in notes. But Ullm. in the text, verfielen sie wieder
in ihren Aberglauben.

13 The Rabbins make Nimrod to have been the persecutor of Abraham. Comp.
Targ. Jon. on Gen. xv. 7. Tr. Bava Bathra, fol. 91 a. Maimon. More Nevochim,
iii. 29. Weil, Legenden, p. 74.

14 Or, let peace be upon Abraham. Comp. Targ. Jon. on Gen. xi. 28, from the
mistranslation of which this legend took its rise, the word ur in Heb.
meaning fire. See also Targ. Jon. on. Gen. xv. 7. The legend was adopted by
some of the Eastern Christians; and commemorated in the Syrian Calendar on
Jan. 29. (Hyde de Rel. V. Pers. 74). Comp. the Abyssinian Calendar on Jan.
25. (Ludolf. Hist. p. 409).

15 It has been observed that the blacksmith has ever been looked upon with
awe by barbarians on the same principle that made Vulcan a deity. In
Abyssinia all artisans are Budah, sorcerers, especially the blacksmith, and
he is a social outcast, as among the Somal;   Throughout the rest of El-
Islam, the blacksmith is respected as treading in the path of David, the
father of the craft. Burton. First Footsteps in E. Africa, p. 33. The
numerous wars in which David was engaged, may have given rise to the myth of
his being the inventor of mail.

16 See Sura xxxviii. 37, p. 127.

17 See Sura xix. 55, 6, p. 121.

18 The man of the lot or portion. Or, of care, support. According to some
Elias, as others say, Isaiah. It is more probable, however, that he is he
Obadiah of 1 Kings xviii. 4, who supported 100 prophets in the cave, or
Ezechiel, who is called Kephil by the Arabs. See Niebuhr, Travels, ii. 265.

19 The man of the fish–Jonah.

20 See Suras [xcvii.] iii. 33; xix. p. 117, for the story of Zacharias in
full. The concluding sentence of this clause is obscure. It probably means
that even if no heir were vouchsafed to Zacharias, yet since God will be the
heir of all things he would take Zacharias to himself and thus abundantly
recompense him. See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 58.

21 See Sura [cix.] lxvi. 12. It is quite clear from these two passages that
Muhammad believed in the Immaculate and miraculous conception of Jesus.

22 That is, identical with that of the previous prophets, etc.

23 See Sura [lxix.] xviii. 93. Thus, the ancient Jewish and Christian legend
connects Gog and Magog with the end of the world. Rev. xx. 8. Pseudojon on
Lev. xxvi. 44. Comp. Numb. xi. 27. Gog, however, is probably the mountain
Ghef or Ghogh (see Reinegg's Beschreib. der Caucasus, ii. 79) and the
syllable Ma in Magog, the Sanscrit mah, maha great.

24 "Whenever a people is punished (for idolatry) the beings honoured by them
as gods, shall also be punished, for so it is written, on all the gods also
of Egypt will I inflict judgments." (Sakkah, 29.)

25 Ar. Sidjill, which is supposed by some to be the name of the angel who
writes down the actions of every man's life upon a scroll, which is rolled up
at his death (comp. Isai. xxxiv. 4); by others, to be the name of one of
Muhammad's secretaries.

26 Ps. xxxvii. 29. This is the only text quoted in the Koran.


MECCA.–77 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

BLESSED be He who hath sent down AL FURKAN1 (the illumination) on his
servant, that to all creatures he may be a warner.

His the Kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth! No son hath He begotten! No
partner hath He in his Empire! All things hath He created, and decreeing hath
decreed their destinies.

Yet have they adopted gods beside Him which have created nothing, but were
themselves created:

And no power have they over themselves for evil or for good, nor have they
power of death, or of life, or of raising the dead.

And the infidels say, "This Koran is a mere fraud of his own devising, and
others have helped him with it,2 who had come hither by outrage and lie."3

And they say, "Tales of the ancients that he hath put in writing! and they
were dictated to him morn and even."

SAY: He hath sent it down who knoweth the secrets of the Heavens and of the
Earth. He truly is the Gracious, the Merciful.

And they say, "What sort of apostle is this? He eateth food and he walketh
the streets! Unless an angel be sent down and take part in his warnings,

Or a treasure be thrown down to him, or he have a garden that supplieth him
with food . . ."4 and those unjust persons say, "Ye follow but a man

See what likenesses they strike out for thee! But they err, and cannot find
their way.

Blessed be He who if he please can give thee better than that of which they
speak–Gardens, 'neath which the rivers flow: and pavilions will He assign

Aye, they have treated the coming of "the Hour" as a lie. But a flaming fire
have we got ready for those who treat the coming of the Hour as a lie.

When it shall see them from afar, they shall hear its raging and roaring,–

And when they shall be flung into a narrow space thereof bound together, they
shall invoke destruction on the spot:

–"Call not this day for one destruction, but call for destructions many."

SAY: Is this, or the Paradise of Eternity which was promised to the God-
fearing, best? Their recompense shall it be and their retreat;

Abiding therein for ever, they shall have in it all that they desire! It is a
promise to be claimed of thy Lord.

And on the day when he shall gather them together, and those whom they
worshipped beside God, he will say, "Was it ye who led these my servants
astray, or of themselves strayed they from the path?"

They will say, "Glory be to thee! It beseemed not us to take other lords than
thee. But thou gavest them and their fathers their fill of good things, till
they forgat the remembrance of thee, and became a lost people."

Then will God say to the Idolaters, "Now have they made you liars in what ye
say,5 and they have no power to avert your doom, or to succour you."

And whosoever of you thus offendeth, we will make him taste a great

Never have we sent Apostles before thee who ate not common food, and walked
not the streets. And we test you by means of each other. Will ye be
steadfast? Thy Lord is looking on!

They who look not forward to meet Us say, "If the angels be not sent down to
us, or unless we behold our Lord. . . .”  Ah! they are proud of heart, and
exceed with great excess!

On the day when they shall see the angels, no good news shall there be for
the guilty ones, and they shall cry out, "A barrier that cannot be passed!"6

Then will we proceed to the works which they have wrought, and make them as
scattered dust.

Happier, on that day, the inmates of the Garden as to abode, and better off
as to place of noontide slumber!

On that day shall the heaven with its clouds be cleft, and the angels shall
be sent down, descending:

On that day shall all empire be in very deed with the God of Mercy, and a
hard day shall it be for the Infidels.

And on that day shall the wicked one7 bite his hands, and say, "Oh! would
that I had taken the same path with the Apostle!

"Oh! woe is me! would that I had not taken such an one8 for my friend!

It was he who led me astray from the Warning which had reached me! and Satan
is man's betrayer."9

Then said the Apostle, "O my Lord! truly my people have esteemed this Koran
to be vain babbling."

Thus have we given to every Prophet an enemy from among the wicked ones–But
thy Lord is a sufficient guide and helper.

And the infidels say, "Unless the Koran be sent down to him all at once. . .
." But in this way would we stablish thy heart by it; in parcels have we
parcelled it out to thee;10

Nor shall they come to thee with puzzling questions,11 but we will come to
thee with the truth, and their best solution.

They who shall be gathered upon their faces into hell, shall have the worst
place, and be farthest from the path of happiness.

Heretofore we gave the law to Moses, and appointed his brother Aaron to be
his counsellor:12

And we said, "Go ye to the people who treat our signs as lies." And them
destroyed we with utter destruction.

And as to the people of Noah! when they treated their Apostles as impostors,
we drowned them; and we made them a sign to mankind:–A grievous chastisement
have we prepared for the wicked!

And Ad and Themoud, and the men of Rass,13 and divers generations between

Unto each of them did we set forth parables for warnings, and each of them
did we utterly exterminate.

Oft are this have the unbelieving Meccans passed by the city on which was
rained a fatal rain. What! Have they not seen it? Yet have they no hope of a

And when they see thee, they do but take thee as the subject of their
railleries. "What! Is this he whom God has sent as an Apostle?

Indeed he had well nigh led us astray from our gods, had we not persevered
steadfastly in their service." But in the end they shall know, when they
shall see the punishment, who hath most strayed from the path.

What thinkest thou? He who hath taken his passions as a god–wilt thou be a
guardian over him?

Thinkest thou that the greater part of them hear or understand? They are just
like the brutes! Yes! they stray even further from the right way.

Hast thou not seen how thy Lord lengtheneth out the shadow?14 Had He pleased
he had made it motionless.15 But we made the sun to be its guide;

Then draw it in unto Us with easy indrawing.

He it is who ordaineth the night as a garment, and sleep for rest, and
ordaineth the day for waking up to life:

He it is who sendeth the winds as the forerunner of his mercy (rain); and
pure water send we down from Heaven,

That we may revive by it a dead land: and we give it for drink to our
creation, beasts and men in numbers;

And we distribute it among them on all sides, that they may reflect: but most
men refuse to be aught but thankless.

Had we pleased, we had raised up a warner in every city.

Give not way therefore to the Infidels, but by means of this Koran strive
against them with a mighty strife.

And He it is who hath let loose the two seas,16 the one sweet, fresh; and the
other salt, bitter; and hath put an interspace between them, and a barrier
that cannot be passed.

And it is He who hath created man of water,17 and established between them
the ties of kindred and affinity: and potent is thy Lord.

Yet beside God do they worship what can neither help nor hurt them: and the
Infidel is Satan's helper against his Lord:

Still we have sent thee only as a herald and a warner.

SAY: I ask of you no recompense for it,18 except from him who is willing to
take the way to his Lord.

And put thou thy trust in Him that liveth and dieth not, and celebrate his
praise; (He fully knoweth the faults of his servants) who in six days created
the Heavens and the Earth, and whatever is between them, then mounted his
Throne: the God of Mercy! Ask now of the Wise concerning Him.

But when it is said to them, "Bow down before the God of Mercy," they say,
"Who is the God of Mercy? Shall we bow down to what thou biddest?" And they
fly from thee the more.

Blessed be He who hath placed in the Heaven the sign of the Zodiac!19 who
hath placed in it the Lamp of the Sun, and the light-giving Moon!

And it is He who hath ordained the night and the day to succeed one another
for those who desire to think on God or desire to be thankful.

And the servants of the God of Mercy are they who walk upon the Earth softly;
and when the ignorant20 address them, they reply, "Peace!"

They that pass the night in the worship of their lord prostrate and

And that say, "O our Lord! turn away from us the torment of Hell, for its
torment is endless: it is indeed an ill abode and resting place!

Those who when they spend are neither lavish nor niggard, but keep the mean:–

Those who call on no other gods with God, nor slay whom God hath forbidden to
be slain, except for a just cause, and who commit not fornication (for he who
doth this shall meet the reward of his wickedness:

Doubled to him shall be the torment on the day of Resurrection; and in it
shall he remain, disgraced, for ever:–

Save those who shall repent and believe and do righteous works–for them God
will change their evil things into good things, for God is Gracious,

And whose turneth to God and doeth what is right, he verily will convert with
a true conversion):

And they who bear not witness to that which is false, and when they pass by
frivolous sport, pass on with dignity:–

And they who, when monished by the signs of their Lord, fall not down
thereat, as if deaf and blind:–

And who say, "O our Lord! give us in our wives and offspring the joy of our
eyes, and make us examples to those who fear thee:"

These shall be rewarded with the High Places of Paradise for their steadfast
endurance, and they shall meet therein with–Welcome and Salutation:–

For ever shall they remain therein: a fair abode and resting-place!

SAY: Not on your account doth my Lord care if ye call not on Him! ye have
treated his Apostle as an impostor: but bye and bye a punishment shall cleave
to them.


1 See Sura [lxv.] xxi. 49.

2 Comp. Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 105. The frequency with which Muhammad feels it
necessary to rebut this charge by mere denial is strongly indicative of its

3 "The meaning may possibly be that the teachers of Muhammad were persons who
had taken refuge in Arabia for offences and heresies." Sprenger, Life of M.
p. 96, n. Or, but they utter an injustice and a falsehood. Nöldeke combats
Dr. Sprenger's supposition that "Tales of the ancients" (verse 6) is a book.
Hist. of Qoran, p. 13.

4 Supply, we will not believe.

5 In your ascriptions of divinity to them. Beidh.

6 Or, far, far be they removed. The same words occur at the end of verse 55.
The Commentators doubt whether they are spoken by the wicked of the
impossibility of their attaining Paradise, or by the angels to the wicked.

7 Said by Beidh. to be the polytheist Okbeh, the son of Abu Mo'eyt, who by
Muhammad's persuasion professed Islam, but afterwards retracted to please
Ubei ben Khalaf. See Gagnier's Vie de Mahom. i. 362.

8 Ar. fulani (whence the Spanish fulano) identical with the Heb. p. 155, used
of a person only in Ruth iv. 1, but by the Rabbinic writers, constantly.

9 Or, abandoner.

10 This verse shews that the Koran was of gradual growth in the time of
Muhammad himself.

11 Lit. parables.

12 Lit. vizier.

13 It is uncertain whether Rass is the name of a city in Yemama; or merely,
as some interpret it, of a well near Midian; or, according to others, in the
territory of Hadramont.

14 Geiger is mistaken in supposing that this passage alludes to 2 Kings xx. 9
12, and his translation is inaccurate.

15 Lit. quiescent, i.e. always the same.

16 According to some commentators, Muhammad here speaks of the waters of the
Tigris, which do not mingle with the salt water of the sea till they have
reached a considerable distance from the river-mouth. See Zech. xiv. 8.

17 See Sura [cv.] xxiv. 44, n.

18 "Thou art taught that whoever would make a profit by the Law depriveth
himself of life." Pirke Aboth, i. 4. This precept is of frequent occurrence
in the Talmud.

19 Comp. Sura [xc.] xiii. 29; and the following Sura xvii. 109, n.

20 The idolaters.


MECCA.1–111 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

GLORY be to Him who carried his servant by night2 from the sacred temple of
Mecca to the temple3 that is more remote, whose precinct we have blessed,
that we might shew him of our signs! for He is the Hearer, the Seer.

And4 we gave the Book to Moses and ordained it for guidance to the children
of Israel–"that ye take no other Guardian than me."

O posterity of those whom we bare with Noah! He truly was a grateful servant!

And we solemnly declared to the children of Israel in the Book, "Twice surely
will ye enact crimes in the earth, and with great loftiness of pride will ye
surely be uplifted."

So when the menace for the first crime5 came to be inflicted, we sent against
you our servants endued with terrible prowess; and they searched the inmost
part of your abodes, and the menace was accomplished.

Then we gave you the mastery over them6 in turn, and increased you in wealth
and children, and made you a most numerous host.

We said, "If ye do well, to your own behoof will ye do well: and if ye do
evil, against yourselves will ye do it. And when the menace for your latter
crime7 came to be inflicted, then we sent an enemy to sadden your faces, and
to enter the temple as they entered it at first, and to destroy with utter
destruction that which they had conquered.

Haply your Lord will have mercy on you! but if ye return, we will return:8
and we have appointed Hell–the prison of the infidels.

Verily, this Koran guideth to what is most upright; and it announceth to

Who do the things that are right, that for them is a great reward;

And that for those who believe not in the life to come, we have got ready a
painful punishment.

Man prayeth for evil as he prayeth for good; for man is hasty.

We have made the night and the day for two signs: the sign of the night do we
obscure, but the sign of the day cause we to shine forth, that ye may seek
plenty from your Lord, and that ye may know the number of the years and the
reckoning of time; and we have made everything distinct by distinctiveness.

And every man's fate9 have we fastened about his neck: and on the day of
resurrection will we bring forth to him a book which shall be proffered to
him wide open:

–"Read thy Book:10 there needeth none but thyself to make out an account
against thee this day."

For his own good only shall the guided yield to guidance, and to his own loss
only shall the erring err; and the heavy laden shall not be laden with
another's load. We never punished until we had first sent an apostle:

And when we willed to destroy a city, to its affluent ones did we address our
bidding; but when they acted criminally therein, just was its doom, and we
destroyed it with an utter destruction.

And since Noah, how many nations have we exterminated! And of the sins of his
servants thy Lord is sufficiently informed, observant.

Whoso chooseth this quickly passing life, quickly will we bestow therein that
which we please–even on him we choose; afterward we will appoint hell for
him, in which he shall burn–disgraced, outcast:

But whoso chooseth the next life, and striveth after it as it should be
striven for, being also a believer,–these! their striving shall be grateful
to God:

To all–both to these and those–will we prolong the gifts of thy Lord; for not
to any shall the gifts of thy Lord be denied.

See how we have caused some of them to excel others! but the next life shall
be greater in its grades, and greater in excellence.

Set not up another god with God, lest thou sit thee down disgraced,

Thy Lord hath ordained that ye worship none but him; and, kindness to your
parents, whether one or both of them attain to old age with thee: and say not
to them, "Fie!" neither reproach them; but speak to them both with respectful

And defer humbly to them12 out of tenderness; and say, "Lord, have compassion
on them both, even as they reared me when I was little."

Your Lord well knoweth what is in your souls; he knoweth whether ye be

And gracious is He to those who return to Him.

And to him who is of kin render his due, and also to the poor and to the
wayfarer; yet waste not wastefully,

For the wasteful are brethren of the Satans, and Satan was ungrateful to his

But if thou turn away from them, while thou thyself seekest boons from thy
Lord for which thou hopest, at least speak to them with kindly speech:

And let not thy hand be tied up to thy neck; nor yet open it with all
openness, lest thou sit thee down in rebuke, in beggary.

Verily, thy Lord will provide with open hand for whom he pleaseth, and will
be sparing. His servants doth he scan, inspect.

Kill not your children for fear of want:13 for them and for you will we
provide. Verily, the killing them is a great wickedness.

Have nought to do with adultery; for it is a foul thing and an evil way:

Neither slay any one whom God hath forbidden you to slay, unless for a just
cause: and whosoever shall be slain wrongfully, to his heir14 have we given
powers; but let him not outstep bounds in putting the manslayer to death, for
he too, in his turn, will be assisted and avenged.

And touch not the substance of the orphan, unless in an upright way, till he
attain his age of strength: And perform your covenant; verily the covenant
shall be enquired of:

And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with just balance. This
will be better, and fairest for settlement:

And follow not that of which thou hast no knowledge;15 because the hearing
and the sight and the heart,–each of these shall be enquired of:

And walk not proudly on the earth, for thou canst not cleave the earth,
neither shalt thou reach to the mountains in height:

All this is evil; odious to thy Lord.

This is a part of the wisdom which thy Lord hath revealed to thee. Set not up
any other god with God, lest thou be cast into Hell, rebuked, cast away.

What! hath your Lord prepared sons for you, and taken for himself daughters
from among the angels? Indeed, ye say a dreadful saying.

Moreover, for man's warning have we varied16 this Koran: Yet it only
increaseth their flight from it.

SAY: If, as ye affirm, there were other gods with Him, they would in that
case seek occasion against the occupant of the throne:

Glory to Him! Immensely high is He exalted above their blasphemies!

The seven heavens17 praise him, and the earth, and all who are therein;
neither is there aught which doth not celebrate his praise; but their
utterances of praise ye understand not. He is kind, indulgent.

When thou recitest the Koran we place between thee and those who believe not
in the life to come, a dark veil;

And we put coverings over their hearts lest they should understand it, and in
their ears a heaviness;

And when in the Koran thou namest thy One Lord, they turn their backs in

We well know why they hearken, when they hearken unto thee, and when they
whisper apart; when the wicked say, "Ye follow no other than a man

See what likenesses they strike out for thee! But they are in error, neither
can they find the path.

They also say, "After we shall have become bones and dust, shall we in sooth
be raised a new creation?"

SAY: "Yes, though ye were stones, or iron, or any other creature, to your
seeming, yet harder to be raised." But they will say, "Who shall bring us
back?" SAY: "He who created you at first." And they will wag their heads at
thee, and say, "When shall this be?" SAY: "Haply it is nigh."

On that day shall God call you forth, and ye shall answer by praising Him;
and ye shall seem to have tarried but a little while.

Enjoin my servants to speak in kindly sort: Verily Satan would stir up
strifes among them, for Satan is man's avowed foe.

Your Lord well knoweth you: if He please He will have mercy on you; or if He
please He will chastise you: and we have not sent thee to be a guardian over

Thy Lord hath full knowledge of all in the heavens and the earth. Higher
gifts have we given to some of the prophets than to others, and the Psalter
we gave to David.

SAY: Call ye upon those whom ye fancy to be gods beside Him; yet they will
have no power to relieve you from trouble, or to shift it elsewhere.

Those whom ye call on, themselves desire union with their Lord,18 striving
which of them shall be nearest to him: they also hope for his mercy and fear
his chastisement. Verily the chastisement of thy Lord is to be dreaded.

There is no city which we will not destroy before the day of Resurrection, or
chastise it with a grievous chastisement. This is written in the Book.

Nothing hindered us from sending thee with the power of working miracles,
except that the peoples of old treated them as lies. We gave to Themoud19 the
she-camel before their very eyes, yet they maltreated her! We send not a
prophet with miracles but to strike terror.

And remember when we said to thee, Verily, thy Lord is round about mankind;
we ordained the vision20 which we shewed thee, and likewise the cursed tree
of the Koran, only for men to dispute of; we will strike them with terror;
but it shall only increase in them enormous wickedness:

And when we said to the Angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam:" and they
all prostrated them, save Eblis. "What!" said he, "shall I bow me before him
whom thou hast created of clay?

Seest thou this man whom thou hast honoured above me? Verily, if thou respite
me till the day of Resurrection, I will destroy his offspring, except a few."

He said, "Begone; but whosoever of them shall follow thee, verily, Hell shall
be your recompense; an ample recompense!

And entice such of them as thou canst by thy voice; assault them with thy
horsemen and thy footmen;21 be their partner in their riches and in their
children, and make them promises: but Satan shall make them only deceitful

As to my servants, no power over them shalt thou have; And thy Lord will be
their sufficient guardian."

It is your Lord who speedeth onward the ships for you in the sea, that ye may
seek of his abundance; for he is merciful towards you.

When a misfortune befalleth you out at sea, they whom ye invoke are not to be
found: God alone is there: yet when he bringeth you safe to dry land, ye
place yourselves at a distance from Him. Ungrateful is man.

What! are ye sure, then, that he will not cleave the sides of the earth for
you? or that he will not send against you a whirlwind charged with sands?
Then shall ye find no protector.

Or are ye sure that he will not cause you to put back to sea a second time,
and send against you a storm blast, and drown you, for that ye have been
thankless? Then shall ye find no helper against us therein.

And now have we honoured the children of Adam: by land and by sea have we
carried them: food have we provided for them of good things, and with
endowments beyond many of our creatures have we endowed them.

One day we will summon all men with their leaders: they whose book shall be
given into their right hand, shall read their book, and not be wronged a

And he who has been blind here, shall be blind hereafter, and wander yet more
from the way.

And, verily, they had well nigh beguiled thee from what we revealed to thee,
and caused thee to invent some other thing in our name: but in that case they
would surely have taken thee as a friend;22

And had we not settled thee, thou hadst well nigh leaned to them a little:

In that case we would surely have made thee taste of woe23 in life and of woe
in death: then thou shouldest not have found a helper against us.

And truly they had almost caused thee to quit the land, in order wholly to
drive thee forth from it:24 but then, themselves should have tarried but a
little after thee.

This was our way with the Apostles we have already sent before thee, and in
this our way thou shalt find no change.

Observe prayer at sunset, till the first darkening of the night, and the
daybreak reading–for the daybreak reading hath its witnesses,

And watch unto it in the night: this shall be an excess in service:25 it may
be that thy Lord will raise thee to a glorious station:

And say, "O my Lord, cause me to enter26 with a perfect entry, and to come
forth with a perfect forthcoming, and give me from thy presence a helping

And SAY: Truth is come and falsehood is vanished. Verily, falsehood is a
thing that vanisheth.

And we send down of the Koran that which is a healing and a mercy to the
faithful: But it shall only add to the ruin of the wicked.

When we bestow favours on man, he withdraweth and goeth aside; but when evil
toucheth him, he is despairing.

SAY: Every one acteth after his own manner: but your Lord well knoweth who is
best guided in his path.

And they will ask thee of the Spirit.27 SAY: The Spirit proceedeth at my
Lord's command: but of knowledge, only a little to you is given.

If we pleased, we could take away what we have revealed to thee: none couldst
thou then find thee to undertake thy cause with us,

Save as a mercy from thy Lord; great, verily, is his favour towards thee.

SAY: Verily, were men and Djinn assembled to produce the like of this Koran,
they could not produce its like, though the one should help the other.

And of a truth we have set out to men every kind of similitude in this Koran,
but most men have refused everything except unbelief.

And they say, "By no means will we believe on thee till thou cause a fountain
to gush forth for us from the earth;

Or, till thou have a garden of palm-trees and grapes, and thou cause forth-
gushing rivers to gush forth in its midst;

Or thou make the heaven to fall on us, as thou hast given out, in pieces; or
thou bring God and the angels to vouch for thee;

Or thou have a house of gold; or thou mount up into Heaven; nor will we
believe in thy mounting up, till thou send down to us a book which we may
read." SAY: Praise be to my Lord! Am I more than a man, an apostle?

And what hindereth men from believing, when the guidance hath come to them,
but that they say, "Hath God sent a man as an apostle?"

SAY: Did angels walk the earth as its familiars, we had surely sent them an
angel-apostle out of Heaven.

SAY: God is witness enough between you and me. His servants He scanneth,

And He whom God shall guide will be guided indeed; and whom he shall mislead
thou shalt find none to assist, but Him: and we will gather them together on
the day of the resurrection, on their faces, blind and dumb and deaf: Hell
shall be their abode: so oft as its fires die down, we will rekindle the

This shall be their reward for that they believed not our signs and said,
"When we shall have become bones and dust, shall we surely be raised a new

Do they not perceive that God, who created the Heavens and the Earth, is able
to create their like? And he hath ordained them a term; there is no doubt of
it: but the wicked refuse everything except unbelief.

SAY: If ye held the treasures of my Lord's mercy ye would certainly refrain
from them through fear of spending them: for man is covetous.

We therefore gave to Moses nine clear signs. Ask thou, therefore, the
children of Israel how it was when he came unto them, and Pharaoh said to
him, "Verily, I deem thee, O Moses, a man enchanted."

Said Moses, "Thou knowest that none hath sent down these clear signs but the
Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth; and I surely deem thee, O Pharaoh, a
person lost."

So Pharaoh sought to drive them out of the land; but we drowned him and all
his followers.

And after his death, we said to the children of Israel, "Dwell ye in the
land:" and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will
bring you both up together to judgment. In truth have we sent down the Koran,
and in truth hath it descended, and we have only sent thee to announce and to

And we have parcelled out the Koran into sections, that thou mightest recite
it unto men by slow degrees, and we have sent it down piecemeal.

SAY: Believe ye therein or believe ye not? They verily to whom knowledge had
been given previously, fall on their faces worshipping when it is recited to
them, and say: "Glory be to God! the promise of our Lord is made good!"

They fall down on their faces weeping, and It increaseth their humility.

SAY: Call upon God (Allah),28 or call upon the God of Mercy (Arrahman), by
whichsoever ye will invoke him: He hath most excellent names. And be not loud
in thy prayer, neither pronounce it too low;29 but between these follow a
middle way:

And SAY: Praise be to God who hath not begotten a son, who hath no partner in
the Kingdom, nor any protector on account of weakness. And magnify him by
proclaiming His greatness.30


1 Verses 12, 23-41, 75-82, 87, are supposed by many commentators to have
originated at Medina.

2 Waquidy says the night-journey took place on the 17th of Rabhy' 1, a
twelvemonth before the Hejira.

3 Of Jerusalem; and thence through the seven heavens to the throne of God on
the back of Borak, accompanied by Gabriel, according to some traditions;
while others, and those too of early date, regard it as no more than a
vision. It was, however, in all probability a dream. Muir ii. 219; Nöld. p.
102, who give the Muhammadan sources of information.

4 It is probable that as this verse has no real or apparent connection with
the preceding, a verse may have been lost, and that verse 1 has been placed
at the head of the Sura merely because the night-journey is elsewhere alluded
to in it.

5 According to the commentators the slaughter of Isaiah and the imprisonment
of Jeremiah, punished by the invasion of the Assyrians.

6 Over Sennacherib.

7 The slaying Zacharias, John Baptist, and Jesus, punished by the destruction
of Jerusalem by the Romans. Comp. Tr. Gittin, fol. 57, where we read of the
sufferings drawn down upon the Jews in consequence of the former of these

8 That is, if ye return to sin, we will return to punish.

9 Lit. bird.

10 Comp. Mischnah Aboth, 3, 20.

11 Comp. in Heb. Isai. liii. 3.

12 Lit. lower a wing of humility.

13 Comp. Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 151; lxxxi. 8, p. 45. Zaid, the sceptical seeker
after truth, is reported to have discouraged the killing of daughters,
saying, "I will support them." Kitâb al Wackidi, p. 255. See note at Sura
[xcvii.] iii. 18.

14 Or, next of kin.

15 Or, run not after vain things which will avail nought. Or, accuse not any
of a crime if thou art not sure of his guilt.

16 Used a variety of arguments and illustrations.

17 Thus Tr. Chagiga, fol. 9 b. "There are seven heavens (rakian): the veil,
the firmament, the clouds, the habitation, the abode, the fixed seat, the
araboth." See Wetst. on 2 Cor. xii. 2.

18 In obvious allusion to the saint-worship of the Christians.

19 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 71.

20 See note on v. 1. The tree is Zakkoum, Sura [xlv.] lvi. The Rabbins teach
that food of the bitterest herbs is one of the punishments of Hell. See
Schröder's Rabb. und. Talm. Judenthum, p. 403.

21 That is, with all thy might.

22 Zamakshary relates that this passage was revealed when the Thaqyfites in
framing the document of agreement between themselves and Muhammad, required
that the words requiring the prostrations in worship should not be added. The
writer looked at the prophet, who stood by in silence, when Omar stood up and
drew his sword with menacing words. They replied, We speak not thee but to
Muhammad. Then this verse was revealed. Thus Dr. Sprenger. Life, p. 186. He
renders the last clause, but at the right moment a friend reprehended thee.

23 Lit. weakness, languors.

24 "The Jews, envious of Muhammad's good reception and stay there, told him,
by way of counsel, that Syria was the land of the Prophets, and that if he
was really a prophet, he ought to go there." Sale from Djelal Eddin ap. Mar.
Geiger, p. 12, quotes a Talmudical saying to the same effect, but without any

25 A work of supererogation, and therefore doubly meritorious. Thus Tr.
Berachoth, fol. 4. The word station (mekam) is still used of the nearness to
God, attained in spiritual ecstacies, etc.

26 That is, to enter the Grave or Mecca. Lit. with an entry of truth.

27 The word spirit is probably to be understood of the Angel Gabriel. Comp. 1
Kings xxii. 21. Others understand it of the immaterial soul of man. See note
on Sura [xci.] ii. 81.

28 The infidels hearing Muhammad say, Ya Allah! Ya Rahman! in his prayers,
imagined that he was addressing two Deities; hence this passage. Comp.
[lxxiii.] xvi. 52; [lxvi.] xxv. 61. As this title of God (Rahman) disappears
from the later Suras, it has been inferred that Muhammad's original intention
was to have combined it with Allah, but that through fear lest Allah and
Arrahman should be supposed to be two Gods, he dropped the latter.–This title
was applied to their deities by the Himyarites; and it occurs in Ps. lxxviii.
38, and Ex. xxxiv. 6. The root is not found in Æthiopic.

29 The Talm. Tr. Berachoth, 31, 2, forbids loudness in prayer by the example
of Hannah.

30 Lit. magnify Him by magnifying.


MECCA.–95 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

TA. SAD.1 These are the signs (verses) of the Koran and of the lucid Book;

Guidance and glad tidings to the believers who observe prayer and pay the
stated alms, and believe firmly–do they–in the life to come.

As to those who believe not in the life to come, we have made their own
doings fair seeming to them, and they are bewildered therein.

These are they whom the woe of chastisement awaiteth; and in the next life
they shall suffer–yes shall they–greatest loss;

But thou hast certainly received the Koran from the Wise, the Knowing.

Bear in mind when Moses said to his family, "I have perceived a fire;

I will bring you tidings from it, or will bring you a blazing brand, that ye
may warm you."

And when he came to it, he was called to, "Blessed, He who is in the fire,
and He who is about it; and glory be to God, the Lord of the worlds!

O Moses! verily, I am God, the Mighty, the Wise!

Throw down now thy staff." And when he saw that it moved itself as though it
were a serpent, he retreated backward and returned not. "O Moses, fear not;
for the Sent Ones fear not in my presence,

Save he who having done amiss shall afterwards exchange the evil for good;
for I am Forgiving, Merciful.

Put now thy hand into thy bosom: it shall come forth white, yet free from
hurt:2 one of nine signs to Pharaoh and his people; for a perverse people are

And when our signs were wrought in their very sight,3 they said, "This is
plain magic."

And though in their souls they knew them to be true, yet in their wickedness
and pride they denied them. But see what was the end of the corrupt doers!

And of old we gave knowledge to David and Solomon: and they said, "Praise be
to God, who hath made us to excel many of his believing servants!"

And in knowledge Solomon was David's heir. And he said, "O men, we have been
taught the speech of birds,4 and are endued with everything. This is indeed a
clear boon from God."

And to Solomon were gathered his hosts of Djinn5 and men and birds, and they
were marched on in bands,

Till they reached the Valley of Ants. Said AN ANT, "O ye ants, enter your
dwellings, lest Solomon and his army crush you and know it not."

Then smiled Solomon, laughing at her words, and he said, "Stir me up, O Lord,
to be thankful for thy favour which thou hast shewed upon me and upon my
parents, and to do righteousness that shall be well pleasing to thee, and
bring me in, by thy mercy, among thy servants the righteous."

And he reviewed the birds, and said, "How is it that I see not the lapwing?
Is it one of the absent?

Surely, with a severe chastisement will I chastise it, or I will certainly
slaughter it, unless it bring me a clear excuse."

Nor tarried it long ere it came and said, "I have gained the knowledge that
thou knowest not, and with sure tidings have I come to thee from Saba:

I found a woman reigning over them, gifted with everything, and she hath a
splendid throne;

And I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of God; and Satan
hath made their works fair seeming to them, so that he hath turned them from
the Way: wherefore they are not guided,

To the worship of God, who bringeth to light the secret things of heaven and
earth, and knoweth what men conceal and what they manifest:

God! there is no god but He! the lord of the glorious throne!"

He said, "We shall see whether thou hast spoken truth, or whether thou art of
them that lie.

Go with this my letter and throw it down to them: then turn away from them
and await their answer."

She said, "O my nobles! an honourable letter hath been thrown down to me:

It is from Solomon; and it is this: 'In the name of God, the Compassionate,
the Merciful!

Set not up yourselves against me, but come to me submitting (Muslims).' "

She said, "O my nobles, advise me in mine affair: I decide it not without
your concurrence."6

They said, "We are endued with strength and are endued with mighty valour.–
But to command is thine: See therefore what thou wilt command us."

She said, "Kings when they enter a city spoil it, and abase the mightiest of
its people: and in like manner will these also do.

But I will send to them with a gift, and await what my envoys bring back."

And when the messenger came to Solomon, he said, "Aid ye me with riches? But
what God hath given to me is better than what he hath given you: yet ye glory
in your gifts:

Return to them: for we will surely come to them with forces which they cannot
withstand, and we will drive them from their land humbled and contemptible."

Said he, "O nobles, which of you will bring me her throne before they come to
me, submitting? (Muslims)."

An Efreet7 of the Djinn said: "I will bring it thee ere thou risest from thy
place: I have power for this and am trusty."

And one who had the knowledge of Scripture said, "I will bring it to thee in
the twinkling of an eye."8 And when he saw it set before him, he said, "This
is of the favour of my Lord, to try me whether I will be thankful or
unthankful. And he who is thankful is thankful to his own behoof; and as for
him who is unthankful–truly my Lord is self-sufficient, bounteous!"

Said he, "Make her throne so that she know it not: we shall see whether she
hath or not guidance."

And when she came he said, "Is thy throne like this?" She said, "As though it
were the same." "And we," said he, "have had knowledge given us before her,
and have been Muslims."

But the gods she had worshipped instead of God had led her astray: for she
was of a people who believe not.

It was said to her,"Enter the Palace:" and when she saw it, she thought it a
lake of water, and bared her legs. He said, "It is a palace paved with

She said, "O my Lord! I have sinned against my own soul, and I resign myself,
with Solomon, to God the Lord of the Worlds."

And of old we sent to Themoud their brother Saleh, with "Serve ye God:"but
lo! they became two sets of disputants wrangling with each other.

He said, "O my people, why, if ye ask not pardon of God that ye may find
mercy, hasten ye on evil rather than good?"

They said,"We augur9 ill concerning thee and those who are with thee." He
said, "The ills of which ye augur10 depend on God. But ye are a people on
your trial."

And there were in the city nine persons who committed excesses in the land
and did not that which is right.

They said, "Swear ye to one another by God that we will surely fall on him
and on his family by night: then will be say to the avenger of blood, we
witnessed not the destruction of his family: and verily we speak the truth."

And they devised a device, and we devised a device, and they were not aware
of it–

And see what was the end of their device! We destroyed them and their whole

And for their sin these their houses are empty ruins: Verily in this is a
sign to those who understand;

And we delivered those who believed and feared.

And Lot, when he said to his people, "What! proceed ye to such filthiness
with your eyes open?

What! come ye with lust unto men rather than to women? Surely ye are an
ignorant people."

And the answer of his people was but to say, "Cast out the family of Lot from
your city: they, forsooth, are men of purity!"

So we rescued him and his family: but as for his wife, we decreed her to be
of them that lingered:

And we rained a rain upon them, and fatal was the rain to those who had had
their warning.

SAY: Praise be to God and peace be on His servants whom He hath chosen! Is
God the more worthy or the gods they join with Him?

Is not He who hath made the Heavens and the Earth, and hath sent down rain to
you from Heaven, by which we cause the luxuriant groves to spring up! It is
not in your power to cause its trees to spring up! What! A god with God? Yet
they find equals for Him!

Is not He, who hath set the earth so firm, and hath made rivers in its midst,
and hath placed mountains upon it, and put a barrier between the two seas?11
What! a god with God? Yet the greater part of them have no knowledge!

Is not He the more worthy who answereth the oppressed when they cry to him,
and taketh off their ills, and maketh you to succeed your sires on the earth?
What! a god with God? How few bear these things in mind!

Is not He, who guideth you in the darkness of the land and of the sea, and
who sendeth forth the winds as the forerunners of His mercy? What! a god with
God? Far from God be what ye join with Him!

Is not He, who created a Being, then reneweth it, and who supplieth you out
of the Heaven and the Earth? What! a god with God? SAY: Bring forth your
proofs if you speak the truth.

SAY: None either in the Heavens or in the Earth knoweth the unseen but God.
And they know not

When they shall be raised.

–Yet they have attained to a knowledge of the life to come:12–yet are they in
doubt about it:–yet are they blind about it!

And the unbelievers say: "When we and our fathers have been dead shall we be
taken forth?

Of old have we been promised this, we and our sires of old it is but fables
of the ancients."

SAY: Go ye through the land, and see what hath been the end of the wicked.

And grieve not thou for them, nor be in distress at their devisings.

And they say, "When will this promise be made good, if ye speak true?"

SAY: Haply a part of what ye desire to be hastened may be close behind you.

And truly thy Lord is full of goodness towards men: But most of them are not

And thy Lord knoweth well what their breasts enshroud, and what they bring to

And there is no secret thing in the Heaven or on the Earth, but it is in the
clear Book.

Truly this Koran declareth to the children of Israel most things wherein they

And it is certainly guidance and a mercy to the faithful.

Verily, by his wisdom will thy Lord decide between them: for He is the
Mighty, the Knowing.

Put thou then thy trust in God: for thou hast clear truth on thy side.13

Thou shalt not make the dead to hear; neither shalt thou make the deaf to
hear the call, when they turn away backward;

Neither art thou the guide of the blind out of their errors: none truly shalt
thou make to hear but those who believe our signs: and they are Muslims.

When the doom shall be ready to light upon them, we will cause a monster14 to
come forth to them out of the earth, and cry to them "Verily men have not
firmly believed our signs."

And on that day shall be gathered out of every nation a company of those who
have gainsaid our signs, in separate bands;

Till they come before God, who will say, "Treated ye my signs as impostures,
although ye embraced them not in your knowledge? or what is it that ye were

And doom shall light upon them for their evil deeds, and nought shall they
have to plead.

See they not that we have ordained the night that they may rest in it, and
the day with its gift of light? Of a truth herein are signs to people who

On that day there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and all that are in the
heavens, and all that the on the earth shall be terror-stricken, save him
whom God pleaseth to deliver; and all shall come to him in humble guise.

And thou shalt see the mountains, which thou thinkest so firm, pass away with
the passing of a cloud! 'Tis the work of God, who ordereth all things! of all
that ye do is He well aware.

To him who shall present himself with good works, shall be a reward beyond
their desert,15 and they shall be secure from the terror on that day;

And they who shall present themselves with evil shall be flung downward on
their faces into the fire. Shall ye be rewarded but as ye have wrought?

SAY: Specially am I commanded to worship the Lord of this land, which He hath
sanctified. All things are His: and I am commanded to be one of those who
surrender them to God (a Muslim)

And to recite the Koran: and whoever is rightly guided, assuredly will be
rightly guided to his own behoof.

And as to him who erreth, SAY, I truly am a warner only.And SAY, Praise be to
God! He will shew you His signs, and ye shall acknowledge them: and of what
ye do, thy Lord is not regardless.


1 See Sura lxviii., p. 32, n.

2 Not really leprous.

3 Lit. when our visible signs came to them.

4 This tradition may be derived from 1 Kings iv. 33. Comp. Geiger, p. 185.
The legend of Solomon's power over the Genii originates in a mistranslation
of Eccl. ii. 8. Comp. also for other points in this story Prov. vi. 6; 1
Kings x. 1-10.

5 "Demons obeyed him (Solomon) . . . and evil spirits were subjected to him."
Targ. 2. on Esther 1, 2. From the same source Muhammad has adopted, with
slight variations, the whole story of Solomon's intercourse with the Queen of
Saba. Comp. also Tr. Gittin, fol. 68, and Midr. Jalkut on 1 Kings vi. ch.

6 Lit. unless ye bear me witness.

7 That is, malignant. "The efreets are generally believed to differ from the
other djinn in being very powerful and always malicious; but to be in other
respects of a similar nature" (Lane's Modern Egyptians, i. 285). "The ghosts
of dead persons are also called by this name" (ib. 289).

8 Or, before thy glance can be withdrawn from an object.

9 Lit. we have consulted the flight of birds: hence presage.

10 Lit. your bird, augury.

11 Comp. Sura [lxvi.] xxv. 55.

12 Lit. their knowledge attaineth to the next life.

13 Lit. art on clear truth.

14 Al Jassaca, the Spy.

15 Or, shall derive advantage from them.


MECCA.–110 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

PRAISE be to God, who hath sent down the Book to his servant, and hath not
made it tortuous1

But direct; that it may warn of a grievous woe from him, and announce to the
faithful who do the things that are right, that a goodly reward, wherein they
shall abide for ever, awaiteth them;

And that it may warn those who say, "God hath begotten a Son."

No knowledge of this have either they or their fathers! A grievous saying to
come out of their mouths! They speak no other than a lie!

And haply, if they believe not in this new revelation, thou wilt slay
thyself, on their very footsteps, out of vexation.

Verily, we have made all that is on earth as its adornment, that we might
make trial who among mankind would excel in works:

But we are surely about to reduce all that is thereon to dust!

Hast thou reflected that the Inmates of THE CAVE and of Al Rakim2 were on our
wondrous signs?

When the youths betook them to the cave they said, "O our Lord! grant us
mercy from before thee, and order for us our affair aright."

Then struck we upon their ears with deafness in the cave for many a year:

Then we awaked them that we might know which of the two parties could best
reckon the space of their abiding.

We will relate to thee their tale with truth. They were youths who had
believed in their Lord, and in guidance had we increased them;

And we had made them stout of heart, when they stood up and said, "Our Lord
is Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth: we will call on no other God than
Him; for in that case we had said a thing outrageous.

These our people have taken other gods beside Him, though they bring no clear
proof for them; but, who more iniquitous than he who forgeth a lie of God?

So when ye shall have separated you from them and from that which they
worship beside God, then betake you to the cave: Your Lord will unfold his
mercy to you, and will order your affairs for you for the best."

And thou mightest have seen the sun when it arose, pass on the right of their
cave, and when it set, leave them on the left, while they were in its
spacious chamber. This is one of the signs of God. Guided indeed is he whom
God guideth; but for him whom He misleadeth, thou shalt by no means find a
patron, director.

And thou wouldst have deemed them awake,3 though they were sleeping: and we
turned them to the right and to the left. And in the entry lay their dog with
paws outstretched.4 Hadst thou come suddenly upon them, thou wouldst surely
have turned thy back on them in flight, and have been filled with fear at

So we awaked them that they might question one another. Said one of them,
"How long have ye tarried here?" They said, "We have tarried a day or part of
day." They said, "Your Lord knoweth best how long ye have tarried: Send now
one of you with this your coin into the city, and let him mark who therein
hath purest food, and from him let him bring you a supply: and let him be
courteous, and not discover you to any one.

For they, if they find you out, will stone you or turn you back to their
faith, and in that case it will fare ill with you for ever."

And thus made we their adventure known to their fellow citizens, that they
might learn that the promise of God is true, and that as to "the Hour" there
is no doubt of its coming. When they disputed among themselves concerning
what had befallen them, some said, "Build a building over them; their Lord
knoweth best about them." Those who prevailed in the matter said, "A place of
worship will we surely raise over them."

Some say, "They were three; their dog the fourth:" others say, "Five; their
dog the sixth," guessing at the secret: others say, "Seven; and their dog the
eighth." SAY: My Lord best knoweth the number: none, save a few, shall know

Therefore be clear in they discussions about them,5 and ask not any Christian
concerning them.

Say not thou of a thing, " I will surely do it to-morrow;" without , "If God
will."6 And when thou hast forgotten, call thy Lord to mind; and say, "Haply
my Lord will guide me, that I may come near to the truth of this story with

And they tarried in their cave 300 years, and 9 years over.7

SAY: God best knoweth how long they tarried: With Him are the secrets of the
Heavens and of the Earth: Look thou and hearken unto Him alone.8 Man hath no
guardian but Him, and none may bear part in his judgments:–

And publish what hath been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord–none may
change his words,–and thou shalt find no refuge beside Him.

Be patient with those who call upon their Lord at morn and even, seeking his
face: and let not thine eyes be turned away from them in quest of the pomp of
this life;9 neither obey him10 whose heart we have made careless of the
remembrance of Us, and who followeth his own lusts, and whose ways are

And SAY: the truth is from your Lord: let him then who will, believe; and let
him who will, be an infidel. But for the offenders we have got ready the fire
whose smoke shall enwrap them: and if they implore help, helped shall they be
with water like molten brass which shall scald their Wretched the drink! and
an unhappy couch!

But as to those who have believed and done the things that are right,–Verily
we will not suffer the reward of him whose works were good, to perish!

For them, the gardens of Eden, under whose shades shall rivers flow: decked
shall they be therein with bracelets of gold, and green robes of silk and
rich brocade shall they wear, reclining them therein on thrones. Blissful the
reward! and a pleasant couch!11

And set forth to them as a parable two men; on one of whom we bestowed two
gardens of grape vines, and surrounded both with palm trees, and placed corn
fields between them: Each of the gardens did yield its fruit, and failed not
thereof at all:

And we caused a river to flow in their midst: And this man received his
fruit, and said, disputing with him, to his companion, "More have I than thou
of wealth, and my family is mightier."

And he went into his garden–to his own soul unjust. He said, "I do not think
that this will ever perish:

And I do not think that 'the Hour' will come: and even if I be taken back to
my Lord, I shall surely find a better than it in exchange."

His fellow said to him, disputing with him, "What ! hast thou no belief in
him who created thee of the dust, then of the germs of life,12 then fashioned
thee a perfect man?

But God is my Lord; and no other being will I associate with my Lord.

And why didst thou not say when thou enteredst thy garden, 'What God willeth!
There is no power but in God.' Though thou seest that I have less than thou
of wealth and children,

Yet haply my Lord may bestow on me better than thy garden, and may send his
bolts upon it out of Heaven, so that the next dawn shall find it barren dust;

Or its water become deep sunk, so that thou art unable to find it."

And his fruits were encompassed by destruction. Then began he to turn down
the palms of his hands at what he had spent on it; for its vines were falling
down on their trellises, and he said, "Oh that I had not joined any other god
to my Lord!"

And he had no host to help him instead of God, neither was he able to help

Protection in such a case is of God–the Truth: He is the best rewarder, and
He bringeth to the best issue.

And set before them a similitude of the present life. It is as water which we
send down from Heaven, and the herb of the Earth is mingled with it, and on
the morrow it becometh dry stubble which the winds scatter: for God hath
power over all things.

Wealth and children are the adornment of this present life: but good works,
which are lasting, are better in the sight of thy Lord as to recompense, and
better as to hope.

And call to mind the day when we will cause the mountains to pass away,13 and
thou shalt see the earth a levelled plain, and we will gather mankind
together, and not leave of them any one.

And they shall be set before thy Lord in ranks:–"Now are ye come unto us as
we created you at first: but ye thought that we should not make good to you
the promise."

And each shall have his book put into his hand: and thou shalt see the wicked
in alarm at that which is therein: and they shall say, "O woe to us! what
meaneth this Book? It leaveth neither small nor great unnoted down!" And they
shall find all that they have wrought present to them, and thy Lord will not
deal unjustly with any one.

When we said to the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam," they all
prostrated them save Eblis, who was of the Djinn,14 and revolted from his
Lord's behest. behest.–What! will ye then take him and his offspring as
patrons rather than Me? and they your enemies? Sad exchange for the ungodly!

I made them not witnesses of the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth,
nor of their own creation, neither did I take seducers as my helpers.

On a certain day, God shall say, "Call ye on the companions ye joined with
me, deeming them to be gods:" and they shall call on them, but they shall not
answer them: then will we place a valley of perdition between them:

And the wicked shall see the fire, and shall have a foreboding that they
shall be flung into it, and they shall find no escape from it.

And now in this Koran we have presented to man similitudes of every kind:
but, at most things is man a caviller.

And what, now that guidance is come to them, letteth men from believing and
from asking forgiveness of their Lord–unless they wait till that the doom of
the ancients overtake them, or the chastisement come upon them in the sight
of the universe?

We send not our Sent Ones but to announce and to warn: but the infidels cavil
with vain words in order to refute the truth; and they treat my signs and
their own warnings with scorn.

But who is worse than he who when told of the signs of his Lord turneth him
away and forgetteth what in time past his hands have wrought? Truly we have
thrown veils over their hearts lest they should understand this Koran, and
into their ears a heaviness:

And if thou bid them to "the guidance" yet will they not even then be guided

The gracious one, full of compassion, is thy Lord! if he would have chastised
them for their demerits he would have hastened their chastisement. But they
have a time fixed for the accomplishment of our menaces: and beside God they
shall find no refuge.

And those cities did we destroy when they became impious; and of their coming
destruction we gave them warning.

Remember when Moses said to his servant, "I will not stop till I reach the
confluence of the two seas,15 or for years will I journey on."

But when they reached their confluence, they forgot their fish, and it took
its way in the sea at will.

And when they had passed on, said Moses to his servant, "Bring us our morning
meal; for now have we incurred weariness from this journey."

He said, "What thinkest thou? When we repaired to the rock for rest I forgot
the fish; and none but Satan made me forget it, so as not to mention it; and
it hath taken its way in the sea in a wondrous sort."

He said, "It is this we were in quest of."16 And they both went back
retracing their footsteps.

Then found they one of our servants to whom we had vouchsafed our mercy, and
whom we had instructed with our knowledge.

And Moses said to him, "Shall I follow thee that thou teach me, for guidance,
of that which thou too hast been taught?"

He said, "Verily, thou canst not have patience with me;

How canst thou be patient in matters whose meaning thou comprehendest not?"

He said, "Thou shalt find me patient if God please, nor will I disobey thy

He said, "Then, if thou follow me, ask me not of aught until I have given
thee an account thereof."

So they both went on, till they embarked in a ship, and he–the unknown–staved
it in. "What!" said Moses, "hast thou staved it in that thou mayest drown its
crew? a strange thing now hast thou done!"

He said, "Did I not tell thee that thou couldst not have patience with me?"

He said, "Chide me not that I forgat, nor lay on me a hard command."

Then went they on till they met a youth, and he slew him. Said Moses, "Hast
thou slain him who is free from guilt of blood? Now hast thou wrought a
grievous thing!"

He said, "Did I not tell thee that thou couldst not have patience with me?"

Moses said, "If after this I ask thee aught, then let me be thy comrade no
longer; but now hast thou my excuse."

They went on till they came to the people of a city. Of this people they
asked food, but they refused them for guests. And they found in it a wall
that was about to fall, and he set it upright. Said Moses, "If thou hadst
wished, for this thou mightest have obtained pay."

He said, "This is the parting point between me and thee. But I will first
tell thee the meaning of that which thou couldst not await with patience.

"As to the vessel, it belonged to poor men who toiled upon the sea, and I was
minded to damage it, for in their rear was a king who seized every ship by

As to the youth his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should
trouble them by error and infidelity.

And we desired that their Lord might give them in his place a child, better
than he in virtue, and nearer to filial piety.

And as to the wall, it belonged to two orphan youths in the city, and beneath
it was their treasure: and their father was a righteous man: and thy Lord
desired that they should reach the age of strength, and take forth their
treasure through the mercy of thy Lord. And not of mine own will have I done
this. This is the interpretation of that which thou couldst not bear with

They will ask thee of Dhoulkarnain [the two-horned17]. SAY: I will recite to
you an account of him.

We stablished his power upon the earth, and made for him a way to everything.
And a route he followed,

Until when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it to set in a miry
fount; and hard by he found a people.

We said, "O Dhoulkarnain! either chastise or treat them generously."

"The impious," said he, "will we surely chastise;" then shall he be taken
back to his Lord, and he will chastise him with a grievous chastisement.

But as to him who believeth and doeth that which is right, he shall have a
generous recompense, and we will lay on them our easy behests.

Then followed he a route,

Until when he reached the rising of the sun he found it to rise on a people
to whom we had given no shelter from it.

Thus it was.  And we had full knowledge of the forces that were with him.

Then followed he a route

Until he came between the two mountains, beneath which he found a people who
scarce understood a language.

They said, "O Dhoulkarnain! verily, Gog and Magog18 waste this land; shall we
then pay thee tribute, so thou build a rampart19 between us and them?"

He said, "Better than your tribute is the might wherewith my Lord hath
strengthened me; but help me strenuously, and I will set a barrier between
you and them.

Bring me blocks of iron,"–until when it filled the space between the mountain
sides–"Ply," said he, "your bellows,"–until when he had made it red with heat
(fire), he said,–"Bring me molten brass that I may pour upon it."

And Gog and Magog were not able to scale it, neither were they able to dig
through it.

"This," said he, "is a mercy from my Lord:

But when the promise of my Lord shall come to pass, he will turn it to dust;
and the promise of my Lord is true."

On that day we will let them dash like billows one over another; and there
shall be a blast on the trumpet, and we will gather them together in a body.

And we will set Hell on that day close before the infidels,

Whose eyes were veiled from my warning, and who had no power to hear.

What! do the infidels think that they can take my servants as their patrons,
beside Me? Verily, we have got Hell ready as the abode of the infidels.

SAY: Shall we tell you who they are that have lost their labour most?

Whose aim in the present life hath been mistaken, and who deem that what they
do is right?

They are those who believe not in the signs of the Lord, or that they shall
ever meet him. Vain, therefore, are their works; and no weight will we allow
them on the day of resurrection.

This shall be their reward–Hell.20 Because they were unbelievers, and treated
my signs and my Apostles with scorn.

But as for those who believe and do the things that are right, they shall
have the gardens of Paradise21 for their abode:

They shall remain therein for ever: they shall wish for no change from it.

SAY: Should the sea become ink, to write the words of my Lord, the sea would
surely fail ere the words of my Lord would fail, though we brought its like
in aid.

SAY: In sooth I am only a man like you. It hath been revealed to me that your
God is one only God: let him then who hopeth to meet his Lord work a
righteous work: nor let him give any other creature a share in the worship of
his Lord.


1 Lit. hath not put crookedness into it.

2 The valley, or mountain, in which the Cave of the Seven Sleepers was
situated. Comp. Fundgreiben des Orients, iii. 347-381. Gibbon's Decline and
Fall, ch. xxxiii., especially the concluding sentences.

3 Because they slept with their eyes open. Beidh.

4 The Muhammadans believe that this dog will be admitted into Paradise. One
of its traditional names is Katmir, a word whose letters, it should be
observed, are with one exception identical with Rakim.

5 Lit. dispute not about them unless with clear disputation.

6 Muhammad had omitted to use the qualifying phrase when, in reply to the
Jews who asked for the History of the Seven Sleepers, he simply promised to
give it on the morrow; hence, this verse. Comp. James iv. 13-15.

7 They entered the cavern under Decius and awoke in the time of Theodosius,
according to the tradition; which cannot be reconciled with the number of
years given in the text.

8 Thus Ullm. But the words may be taken with Beidh. and Sale, as ironical.
Make thou him to see and hear.

9 Said to have been promulgated at Medina. Nöld. p. 106

10 Omaya Ibn Chalf, who advised Muhammad to cast off all his poorer
followers, out of respect to the Koreisch.

11 It is probable that this and the numerous similar descriptions of the
enjoyments in Paradise are based upon Muhammad's knowledge, or possibly
personal observation, of the luxurious habits of the Persians, to whom many
Arabian tribes owed allegiance, and with whom they had mercantile
transactions by means of caravans. The word Paradise, the names of cups and
brocade in Sura lvi. pp. 66, 67, and the word sundus in this passage, are all

12 Lit ex spermate.

13 Comp. Isai. xl. 4, etc.

14 Muhammad appears, according to this text, to have considered Eblis not
only as the father of the Djinn, but as one of their number. The truth
appears to be that Muhammad derived his doctrines of the Genii from the
Persian and Indian mythology, and attempted to identify them with the Satan
and demons of the Semitic races. Both the Satans and Djinn represent in the
Koran the principle of Evil. See Sura [xci.] ii. 32, n.

15 The sea of Greece and the sea of Persia. But as no literal interpretation
of the passage seems satisfactory, the Commentators have devised a spiritual
or metaphorical one, and explain it of the two oceans of natural and
supernatural knowledge. There is no trace of this legend in the Rabbinic

16 The loss of our fish is a sign to us of our finding him whom we seek,
namely, El-Khidr, or El-Khadir, the reputed vizier of Dhoulkarnain, and said
to have drunk of the fountain of life, by virtue of which he still lives, and
will live till the day of judgment. He is also said to appear, clad in green
robes, to Muslims in distress, whence his name. Perhaps the name Khidr is
formed from Jethro.

17 Probably Alexander the Great–so called from his expeditions to the East
and West. He seems to be regarded in this passage as invested with a divine
commission for the extirpation of impiety and idolatry. Comp. Dan. viii. and
Tr. Tanith, fol. 32. Hottinger Bibl. Orient. 109.

18 Ar. Yadjoudj and Madjoudj–the barbarous people of E. Asia. See Ibn
Batoutah's Travels, iv. p. 274 (Par.ed.)

19 This rampart has been identified with fortifications which extended from
the W. shore of the Caspian Sea to the Pontus Euxinus, made, as it is said,
by Alexander, and repaired by Yezdegird II. Caussin de Perceval, vol.i.p. 66.
See Sura [lxv.] xxi. 96

20 The form of this word in the Arabic, with the h in the second syllable and
the final m, shews that the word was borrowed from the Hebrew, and not from
the Greek or Syriac.

21 Observe in this expression the same admixture of the Semitic and Indo-
Persian elements as was noticed above in the identification of Satans and
Djinn, verse 48.


MECCA.–30 Verses

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

ELIF. LAM. MIM.1 This Book is without a doubt a Revelation sent down from the
Lord of the Worlds.

Will they say, He hath forged it? Nay, it is the truth from thy Lord that
thou mayest warn a people to whom no warner hath come before thee, that haply
they may be guided.

God it is who hath created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is between
them in six days; then ascended his throne. Save Him ye have no patron, and
none to plead for you. Will ye not then reflect?

From the Heaven to the Earth He governeth all things: hereafter shall they
come up to him on a day whose length shall be a thousand of such years as ye

This is He who knoweth the unseen and the seen; the Mighty, the Merciful,

Who hath made everything which he hath created most good; and began the
creation of man with clay;

Then ordained his progeny from germs of life,3 from sorry water:

Then shaped him, and breathed of His Spirit into him, and gave you hearing
and seeing and hearts: what little thanks do ye return!

And they say, "What! when we shall have lain hidden in the earth, shall we
become a new creation?"

Yea, they deny that they shall meet their Lord.

SAY: The angel of death who is charged with you shall cause you to die: then
shall ye be returned to your Lord.

Couldst thou but see when the guilty shall droop their heads before their
Lord, and cry, "O our Lord! we have seen and we have heard: return us then to
life: we will do that which is right. Verily we believe firmly!"

(Had we pleased we had certainly given to every soul its guidance. But true
shall be the word which hath gone forth from me–I will surely fill hell with
Djinn and men together.)

"Taste then the recompense of your having forgotten the meeting with this
your day. We, too, we have forgotten you: taste then an eternal punishment
for that which ye have wrought."

They only believe in our signs, who, when mention is made of them, fall down
in ADORATION, and celebrate the praise of their Lord, and are not puffed up
with disdain:

Who, as they raise them4 from their couches, call on their Lord with fear and
desire, and give alms of that with which we have supplied them.

No soul knoweth what joy of the eyes is reserved for the good in recompense
of their works.

Shall he then who is a believer be as he who sinneth grossly? they shall not
be held alike.

As to those who believe and do that which is right, they shall have gardens
of eternal abode as the meed of their works:

But as for those who grossly sin, their abode shall be the fire: so oft as
they shall desire to escape out of it, back shall they be turned into it. And
it shall be said to them, Taste ye the torment of the fire, which ye treated
as a lie.

And we will surely cause them to taste a punishment yet nearer at hand,
besides the greater punishment, that haply they may turn to us in penitence.

Who acteth worse than he who is warned by the signs of his Lord, then turneth
away from them? We will surely take vengeance on the guilty ones.

We heretofore gave the Book of the law to Moses: have thou no doubt as to our
meeting with him:5 and we appointed it for the guidance of the children of

And we appointed Imâms from among them who should guide after our command
when they had themselves endured with constancy, and had firmly believed in
our signs.

Now thy Lord! He will decide between them on the day of resurrection as to
the subject of their disputes.

Is it not notorious to them how many generations, through whose abodes they
walk, we have destroyed before them? Truly herein are sings: will they not
then hear?

See they not how we drive the rain to some parched land and thereby bring
forth corn of which their cattle and themselves do eat? Will they not then

They say, "When will this decision take place? Tell us, if ye are men of

SAY: On the day of that decision, the faith of infidels shall not avail them,
and they shall have no further respite.

Stand aloof from them then, and wait thou, for they too wait.6


1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

2 Comp. Sura [cvii.] xxii. 46, and Ps. xc. 4, which is taken literally by
many of the Talmudists. Comp. e.g. Sanhed. 96, 2.

3 Lit. ex spermate genitali.

4 Lit. their sides are raised.

5 Nöldeke thinks that the word for meeting is used here in the same sense as
in v. 10 above and Sura [lxxi.] xli. 54, and that the clause does not belong
to this verse, p. 108, n.

6 Wait thou for their punishment as they wait for thy downfall.


MECCA.–54 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HA. MIM.2 A Revelation from the Compassionate, the Merciful!

A Book whose verses (signs) are MADE PLAIN–an Arabic Koran, for men of

Announcer of glad tidings and charged with warnings! But most of them
withdraw and hearken not:

And they say, "Our hearts are under shelter from thy teachings, and in our
ears is a deafness, and between us and thee there is a veil. Act as thou
thinkest right: we verily shall act as we think right."

SAY: I am only a man like you.3 It is revealed to me that your God is one
God: go straight then to Him, and implore his pardon. And woe to those who
join gods with God;

Who pay not the alms of obligation, and in the life to come believe not!

But they who believe and do the things that are right shall receive a
perfect4 recompense.

SAY: Do ye indeed disbelieve in Him who in two days created the earth? and do
ye assign Him peers? The Lord of the worlds is He!

And he hath placed on the earth the firm mountains which tower above it; and
He hath blessed it, and distributed food throughout it, for the cravings of
all alike, in four days:

Then He applied himself to the Heaven, which then was but smoke: and to it
and to the Earth He said, "Come ye, whether in obedience or against your
will?" and they both said, "We come obedient."

And He made them seven heavens in two days, and in each heaven made known its
office: And we furnished the lower heaven with lights and guardian angels.
This, the disposition of the Almighty, the All-knowing.

If they turn away, then SAY: I warn you of a tempest, like the tempest of Ad
and Themoud!

When the apostles came to them on every side,5 saying, "Worship none but
God," they said, "Had our Lord been pleased to send down, He had surely sent
down angels; and in sooth, your message we do not believe."

As to Ad, they bore them proudly and unjustly in the land, and said, "Who
more mighty than we in prowess?" Saw they not that God their creator was
mightier than they in prowess? And they rejected our signs.

Therefore on ill-omened days did we send against them an impetuous blast that
we might make them taste the chastisement of shame in this world:–but more
shameful shall be the chastisement of the life to come; and they shall not be

And as to Themoud, we had vouchsafed them guidance; but to guidance did they
prefer blindness; wherefore the tempest of a shameful punishment overtook
them for their doings:

But we rescued the believing and the God-fearing:

And warn of the day when the enemies of God shall be gathered6 unto the fire
urged on in bands:

Until when they reach it, their ears and their eyes and their skins shall
bear witness against them of their deeds:

And they shall say to their skins, "Why witness ye against us?" They shall
say, "God, who giveth a voice to all things, hath given us a voice: He
created you at first, and to Him are ye brought back.

And ye did not hide yourselves so that neither your ears nor your eyes nor
your skins should witness against you: but ye thought that God knew not many
a thing that ye did!

And this your thought which ye did think of your Lord hath ruined you, so
that ye are become of those who perish."

And be they patient, still the fire shall be their abode: or if they beg for
favour, yet shall they not be of favoured.

And we will appoint Satans as their fast companions; for it was they who made
their present and future state seem fair and right to them; and the sentence
passed on the peoples of Djinn and men who flourished before them hath become
their due, and they shall perish.

Yet the unbelievers say, "Hearken not to this Koran, but keep up a talking,
that ye may overpower the voice of the reader."

Surely therefore will we cause the unbelievers to taste a terrible

And recompense them according to the worst of their actions.

This the reward of the enemies of God,–the Fire! it shall be their eternal
abode, in requital for their gainsaying our signs.

And they who believed not shall say, "O our Lord! shew us those of the Djinn
and men who led us astray: both of them will we put under out feet, that they
may be of the humbled."

But as for those who say, "Our Lord is God;" and who go straight to Him,7
angels shall descend to them and say, "Fear ye not, neither be ye grieved,
but rejoice ye in the paradise which ye have been promised.

We are your guardians in this life and in the next: your's therein shall be
your soul's desire, and your's therein whatever ye shall ask for,

The hospitality of a Gracious, a Merciful One."

And who speaketh fairer than he who biddeth to God and doth the thing that is
right, and saith, "I for my part am of the Muslims"?

Moreover, good and evil are not to be treated as the same thing. Turn away
evil by what is better, and lo! he between whom and thyself was enmity, shall
be as though he were a warm friend.

But none attain to this save men steadfast in patience, and none attain to it
except the most highly favoured.8

And if an enticement from Satan entice thee, then take refuge in God, for He
is the Hearing, the Knowing.

And among his signs are the night, and the day, and the sun, and the moon.
Bend not in adoration to the sun or the moon, but bend in adoration before
God who created them both, if ye would serve Him.

But if they are too proud for this, yet they who are with thy Lord do
celebrate His praises night and day,9 and cease not.

And among His signs is this, that thou seest the earth drooping: but, when we
send down the rain upon it, it is stirred and swelleth; verily He who giveth
it life, will surely give life to the dead; for His might extendeth over all

They truly who with obloquy disown our signs are not hidden from us. Is he
then who shall be cast into the fire, or he who shall come forth secure on
the day of resurrection, in the better position? Do what ye will: but His eye
is on all your doings.

Verily, they who believe not in "the warning," after it hath come to them . .
. and yet the Koran is a glorious book!

Falsehood, from whatever side it cometh, shall not come night it;11 it is a
missive down from the Wise, the Praiseworthy.

Nothing hath been said to thee which hath not been said of old to apostles
before thee. Verily with thy Lord is forgiveness, and with Him is terrible

Had we made it a Koran in a foreign tongue, they had surely said, "Unless its
signs be made clear . . . !12 What! in a foreign tongue? and the people
Arabian?" SAY: It is to those who believe a guide and a medicine;13 but as to
those who believe not, there is a thickness in their ears, and to them it is
a blindness: they are like those who are called to from afar.

Of old we gave the Book to Moses, and disputes arose about it: and if a
decree of respite from thy Lord had gone before, there would surely have been
a decision between them: for great were their doubts and questionings about

He who doth right–it is for himself:15 and he who doth evil–it is for
himself: and thy Lord will not deal unfairly with his servants.

With Him alone16 is the knowledge of "the Hour." No fruit cometh forth from
its coverings, neither doth any female conceive, nor is she delivered, but
with His knowledge. And on that day He shall call men to Him, saying, "Where
are the companions ye gave me?" They shall say, "We own to thee, there is no
one of us can witness for them."

And what they erst called on shall pass away from them, and they shall
perceive that there will be no escape for them.

Man ceaseth not to pray for good: but if evil betide him he despondeth,

And if we cause him to taste our mercy after affliction hath touched him, he
is sure to say, "This is my due: and I take no thought of the Hour of
Resurrection: and if I be brought back to my Lord, I shall indeed attain with
Him my highest good." But we will then certainly declare their doings to the
Infidels, and cause them to taste a stern punishment.

When we are gracious to man, he withdraweth and turneth him aside: but when
evil toucheth him, he is a man of long prayers.

SAY: What think ye? If this Book be from God and ye believe it not, who will
have gone further astray than he who is at a distance from it?

We will shew them our signs in different countries and among themselves,
until it become plain to them that it is the truth. Is it not enough for thee
that thy Lord is witness of all things?

Are they not in doubt as to the meeting with their Lord? But doth he not
encompass all things?


1 In some MSS. this Sura is entitled Adoration. Thus Beidh. According to His.
186, comp. Caussin 1, 375 f., Muhammad's aim in this Sura was the conversion
of a noble Meccan, Utba ben Rabia, to Islam. The precise year is uncertain.

2 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

3 Thus SS. Paul and Barnabas, Acts xiv. 15.

4 Or, never failing.

5 Lit. from before them and from behind them.

6 See Sura [lx.] xxxvi. 64, n.

7 Comp. Sura [lxxxviii.] xlvi. 12.

8 Lit. the possessor of great good fortune.

9 Comp. Rev. iv. 8 in the original.

10 Thus Tr. Taanith (init.).

11 Lit. vanity shall not come to it from before it, or from behind it.

12 We will not receive it. The literal rendering of the following words is
what! foreign and Arabian?

13 Comp. Sura [lxvii.] xvii. 83, 84.

14 Lit. verily they were in suspicious doubting about it.

15 Lit. for his soul. See next Sura, v. 14.

16 Lit. to Him is referred.


MECCA.–36 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HA. MIM.1 This Book is sent down2 from God, the Mighty, the Wise!

Assuredly in the Heavens and the Earth are signs for those who believe:

And in your own creation, and in the beasts which are scattered abroad are
signs to the firm in faith:

And in the succession of night and day, and in the supply which God sendeth
down from the Heaven whereby He giveth life to the earth when dead, and in
the change of the winds, are signs for a people of discernment.

Such are the signs of God: with truth do we recite them to thee. But in what
teaching will they believe, if they reject3 God and his signs?

Woe to every lying sinner,

Who heareth the signs of God recited to him, and then, as though he heard
them not, persisteth in proud disdain! Apprise him of an afflictive

And when he becometh acquainted with any of our signs he turneth them into
ridicule. These! a shameful punishment for them!

Hell is behind them! and neither their gains nor the lords whom they have
adopted beside God shall avail them in the least: and theirs, a great

This is "Guidance:" and for those who disbelieve the signs of their Lord is
the punishment of an afflictive torment.

It is God who hath subjected the sea to you that the ships may traverse it at
his bidding, and that ye may go in quest of the gifts of his bounty, and that
ye may be thankful.

And he hath subjected to you all that is in the Heavens and all that is on
the Earth: all is from him. Verily, herein are signs for those who reflect.

Tell the believers to pardon those who hope not for the days of God4 in which
He purposeth to reward men according to their deeds.

He who doth that which is right, doth it to his own behoof, and whoso doth
evil, doth it to his own hurt. Hereafter, to your Lord shall ye be brought

To the children of Israel gave we of old the Book and the Wisdom, and the
gift of Prophecy, and we supplied them with good things, and privileged them
above all peoples:

And we gave them clear sanctions for our behests: neither did they differ,
through mutual envy, till after they had become possessed of knowledge; but
thy Lord will judge between them on the day of resurrection, as to the
subject of their disputes.

Afterwards we set thee over our divine law:5 follow it then: and follow not
the wishes of those who have no knowledge,

For against God shall they avail thee nothing. And in sooth, the doers of
evil are one another's patrons; but the patron of them that fear Him is God

This Book hath insight for mankind, and a Guidance and Mercy to a people who
are firm in faith.

Deem they whose gettings are only evil, that we will deal with them as with
those who believe and work righteousness, so that their lives and deaths
shall be alike? Ill do they judge.

In all truth hath God created the Heavens and the Earth, that he may reward
every one as he shall have wrought; and they shall not be wronged.

What thinkest thou? He who hath made a God of his passions, and whom God
causeth wilfully to err, and whose ears and whose heart he hath sealed up,
and over whose sight he hath placed a veil–who, after his rejection by God,
shall guide such a one? Will ye not then be warned?

And they say, "There is only this our present life: we die and we live, and
nought but time destroyeth us." But in this they have no knowledge: it is
merely their own conceit.

And when our clear signs are recited to them, their only argument is to say,
"Bring back our fathers, if ye speak the truth."

Say: God giveth you life, then causeth you to die: then will He assemble you
on the day of resurrection: there is no doubt of it: but most men have not
this knowledge.

And God's is the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth; and on the day when
the Hour shall arrive, on that day shall the despisers6 perish.

And thou shalt see every nation KNEELING: to its own book shall every nation
be summoned:–”This day shall ye be repaid as ye have wrought.

This our Book will speak of you with truth: therein have we written down
whatever ye have done."

As to those who have believed and wrought righteously, into his mercy shall
their Lord cause them to enter. This shall be undoubted bliss!

But as to the Infidels–"Were not my signs recited to you? but ye proudly
scorned them, and became a sinful people."

And when it was said, "Verily the Promise of God is truth; and as to the
Hour, there is no doubt of it;" ye said, "We know not what the hour is–we
conceive it a mere conceit,–we have no assurance of it."

And the evils they have wrought shall rise up into their view, and that at
which they mocked shall hem them in on every side.

And it shall be said to them, "This day will we forget you as ye forgat your
meeting with us this day, and your abode shall be the fire, and none shall
there be to succour you:–

This, because ye received the signs of God with mockery, and this present
life deceived you." On that day therefore they shall not come out from it;
and they shall not be asked to win the favour of God.

Praise then be to God, Lord of the Heavens and Lord of the Earth; the Lord of
the worlds!

And His be the greatness in the Heavens and on the Earth; for He is the
Mighty, the Wise!


1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32.

2 Lit. the sending down, i.e. the revelation of the Book.

3 Lit. after God.

4 That is, the days of victory. In Scripture phrase, "the days of the right
hand of the Most High."

5 The Arabic amri may be rendered either command or business, i.e. of

6 Lit. the makers vain, i.e. vanitatis arguentes alcoranum. Mar.


MECCA.–128 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

THE doom of God cometh to pass. Then hasten it not. Glory be to Him! High let
Him be exalted above the gods whom they join with Him!

By his own behest will He cause the angels to descend with the Spirit on whom
he pleaseth among his servants, bidding them, "Warn that there is no God but
me; therefore fear me."

He hath created the Heavens and the Earth to set forth his truth;1 high let
Him be exalted above the gods they join with Him!

Man hath He created from a moist germ;2 yet lo! man is an open caviller.

And the cattle! for you hath He created them: in them ye have warm garments
and gainful uses; and of them ye eat:

And they beseem you well3 when ye fetch them home and when ye drive them
forth to pasture:

And they carry your burdens to lands which ye could not else reach but with
travail of soul: truly your Lord is full of goodness, and merciful:

And He hath given you horses, mules, and asses, that ye may ride them, and
for your ornament: and things of which ye have no knowledge hath he created.

Of God it is to point out "the Way." Some turn aside from it: but had He
pleased, He had guided you all aright.

It is He who sendeth down rain out of Heaven: from it is your drink; and from
it are the plants by which ye pasture.

By it He causeth the corn, and the olives, and the palm-trees, and the grapes
to spring forth for you, and all kinds of fruits: verily, in this are signs
for those who ponder.

And He hath subjected to you the night and the day; the sun and the moon and
the stars too are subjected to you by his behest; verily, in this are signs
for those who understand:

And all of varied hues that He hath created for you over the earth: verily,
in this are signs for those who remember.

And He it is who hath subjected the sea to you, that ye may eat of its fresh
fish, and take forth from it ornaments to wear–thou seest the ships ploughing
its billows–and that ye may go in quest of his bounties, and that ye might
give thanks.

And He hath thrown firm mountains on the earth, least it move with you; and
rivers and paths for your guidance,

And way marks. By the stars too are men guided.

Shall He then who hath created be as he who hath not created? Will ye not

And if ye would reckon up the favours of God, ye could not count them. Aye!
God is right Gracious, Merciful!

And God knoweth what ye conceal, and what ye bring to light,

While the gods whom they call on beside God, create nothing, but are
themselves created:

Dead are they, lifeless! and they know not

When they shall be raised!

Your God is the one God: and they who believe not in a future life, have
hearts given to denial, and are men of pride:–

Beyond a doubt God knoweth what they conceal and what they manifest:–

He truly loveth not the men of pride.

For when it is said to them, "What is this your Lord hath sent down?" they
say, "Fables of the ancients,"–

That on the day of resurrection they may bear their own entire burden, and
the burden of those whom they, in their ignorance, misled. Shall it not be a
grievous burden for them?

They who were before them did plot of old. But God attacked their building at
its foundation the roof fell on them from above; and, whence they looked not
for it, punishment overtook them:4

On the day of resurrection, too, will He shame them. He will say, "Where are
the gods ye associated with me, the subjects of your disputes?" They to whom
"the knowledge" hath been given will say, Verily, this day shall shame and
evil fall upon the infidels.

The sinners against their own souls whom the angels shall cause to die will
proffer the submission, "No evil have we done." Nay! God knoweth what ye have

Enter ye therefore the gates of Hell to remain therein for ever: and horrid
the abiding place of the haughty ones!

But to those who have feared God it shall be said, "What is this that your
Lord hath awarded?" They shall say, "That which is best. To those who do
good, a good reward in this present world; but better the mansion of the
next, and right pleasant the abode of the God-fearing!"

Gardens of Eden into which they shall enter; rivers shall flow beneath their
shades; all they wish for shall they find therein! Thus God rewardeth those
who fear Him;

To whom, as righteous persons, the angels shall say, when they receive their
souls, "Peace be on you! Enter Paradise as the meed of your labours."

What can the infidels expect but that the angels of death come upon them, or
that a sentence of thy Lord take effect? Thus did they who flourished before
them. God was not unjust to them, but to their ownselves were they unjust;

And the ill which they had done recoiled upon them, and that which they had
scoffed at encompassed them round about.

They who have joined other gods with God say, "Had He pleased, neither we nor
our fathers had worshipped aught but him; nor should we, apart from him, have
forbidden aught." Thus acted they who were before them. Yet is the duty of
the apostles other than public preaching?

And to every people have we sent an apostle saying:–Worship God and turn away
from Taghout.5 Some of them there were whom God guided, and there were others
decreed to err. But go through the land and see what hath been the end of
those who treated my apostles as liars!

If thou art anxious for their guidance, know that God will not guide him whom
He would lead astray, neither shall they have any helpers.

And they swear by God with their most sacred oath that "God will never raise
him who once is dead." Nay, but on Him is a promise binding, though most men
know it not,–

That He may clear up to them the subject of their disputes, and that the
infidels may know that they are liars.

Our word to a thing when we will it, is but to say, "Be," and it is.6

And as to those who when oppressed have fled their country for the sake of
God, we will surely provide them a goodly abode in this world, but greater
the reward of the next life, did they but know it

They who bear ills with patience and put their trust in the Lord!

None have we sent before thee but men inspired ask of those who have Books of
Monition,7 if ye know it not–

With proofs of their mission and Scriptures: and to thee have we sent down
this Book of Monition that thou mayest make clear to men what hath been sent
down to them, and that they may ponder it.

What! Are they then who have plotted mischiefs, sure that God will not cause
the earth to cleave under them? or that a chastisement will not come upon
them whence they looked not for it?

Or that He will not seize upon them in their comings and goings, while they
shall not be able to resist him?

Or that he will not seize them with some slowly wasting scourge? But verily
your Lord is Good, Gracious.

Have they not seen how everything which God hath created turneth its shadow
right and left, prostrating itself before God in all abasement?

And all in the Heavens and all on the Earth, each thing that moveth, and the
very angels, prostrate them in adoration before God, and are free from pride;

They fear their Lord who is above them, and do what they are bidden:

For God hath said, "Take not to yourselves two gods, for He is one God: me,
therefore! yea, me revere!

All in the Heavens and in the Earth is His! His due unceasing service! Will
ye then fear any other than God?

And all your blessings are assuredly from God: then, when trouble befalleth
you, to Him ye turn for help:

Then when He relieveth you of the trouble, lo! some of you join associates
with your Lord:–

To prove how thankless are they for our gifts! Enjoy yourselves then: but in
the end ye shall know the truth.

And for idols, of which they know nothing, they set apart a share of our
bounties! By God ye shall be called to account for your devices!

And they ascribe daughters unto God! Glory be to Him! But they desire them
not for themselves:8

For when the birth of a daughter is announced to any one of them, dark
shadows settle on his face, and he is sad:

He hideth him from the people because of the ill tidings: shall he keep it
with disgrace or bury it in the dust?9 Are not their judgments wrong?

To whatever is evil may they be likened who believe not in a future life;10
but God is to be likened to whatever is loftiest: for He is the Mighty, the

Should God punish men for their perverse doings, he would not leave on earth
a moving thing! but to an appointed term doth He respite them; and when their
term is come, they shall not delay or advance it an hour.

Yet what they loathe themselves do they assign to God; and their tongues
utter the lie, that theirs shall be a goodly lot. But beyond a doubt is it
that the fire awaiteth them, and that they shall be the first sent into it.

By God we have sent Apostles to nations before thee, but Satan prepared their
work for them, and this day is he their liege; and a woeful punishment doth
await them.

And we have sent down the Book to thee only, that thou mightest clear up to
them the subject of their wranglings, and as a guidance and a mercy to those
who believe.

And God sendeth down water from Heaven, and by it giveth life to the Earth
after it hath been dead: verily, in this is a sign to those who hearken.

Ye have also teaching from the cattle. We give you drink of the pure milk,
between dregs and blood, which is in their bellies; the pleasant beverage of
them that quaff it.

And among fruits ye have the palm and the vine, from which ye get wine and
healthful nutriment: in this, verily, are signs for those who reflect.

And thy Lord hath taught the BEE, saying: "Provide thee houses in the
mountains, and in the trees, and in the hives which men do build thee:

Feed, moreover, on every kind of fruit, and walk the beaten paths of thy
Lord." From its belly cometh forth a fluid of varying hues,11 which yieldeth
medicine to man. Verily in this is a sign for those who consider.

And God hath created you; by and bye will he take you to himself; and some
among you will he carry on to abject old age, when all that once was known is
known no longer. Aye, God is Knowing, Powerful.

And God hath abounded to some of you more than to others in the supplies of
life; yet they to whom He hath abounded, impart not thereof to the slaves
whom their right hands possess, so that they may share alike. What! will they
deny, then, that these boons are from God?

God, too, hath given you wives of your own race, and from your wives hath He
given you sons and grandsons, and with good things hath he supplied you.
What, will they then believe in vain idols? For God's boons they are

And they worship beside God those who neither out of the Heavens or Earth can
provide them a particle of food, and have no power in themselves!

Make no comparisons, therefore, with God.12 Verily, God hath knowledge, but
ye have not.

God maketh comparison between a slave13 the property of his lord, who hath no
power over anything, and a free man whom we have ourselves supplies, and who
giveth alms therefrom both in secret and openly. Shall they be held equal?
No: praise be to God! But most men know it not.

God setteth forth also a comparison between two men, one of whom is dumb from
his birth, and hath no power over anything, and is a burden to his lord: send
him where he will, he cometh not back with success. Shall he and the man who
enjoineth what is just, and keepeth in the straight path, be held equal?

God's are the secrets of the Heavens and of the Earth! and the business of
the last hour will be but as the twinkling of an eye, or even less. Yes! for
all things is God Potent.

God hath brought you out of your mothers' wombs devoid of all knowledge; but
hath given you hearing, and sight, and heart, that haply ye might render

Have they never looked up at the birds subjected to Him in Heaven's vault?
None holdeth them in hand but God! In this are signs for those who believe.

And God hath given you tents to dwell in: and He hath given you the skins of
beasts for tents, that ye may find them light when ye shift your quarters, or
when ye halt; and from their wool and soft fur and hair, hath He supplied you
with furniture and goods for temporary use.

And from the things which He hath created, hath God provided shade for you,
and hath given you the mountains for places of shelter, and hath given you
garments to defend you from the heat, and garments to defend you in your
wars. Thus doth He fill up the measure of His goodness towards you, that you
may resign yourselves to Him.

But if they turn their backs, still thy office is only plain spoken

They own the goodness of God–then they disown it–and most of them are

But one day, we will raise up a witness out of every nation: them shall the
infidels have no permission to make excuses, and they shall find no favour.

And when they who have acted thus wrongly shall behold their torment, it
shall not be made light to them, nor will God deign to look upon them.

And when they who had joined associates with God shall see those their
associate-gods, they shall say, "O our Lord! these are our associate-gods
whom we called upon beside Thee." But they shall retort on them, "Verily, ye
are liars."

And on that day shall they proffer submission to God; and the deities of
their own invention shall vanish from them.

As for those who were infidels and turned others aside from the way of God,
to them we will add punishment on punishment for their corrupt doings.

And one day we will summon up in every people a witness against them from
among themselves; and we will bring thee up as a witness against these
Meccans: for to thee have we sent down the Book which cleareth up everything,
a guidance, and mercy, and glad tidings to those who resign themselves to God
(to Muslims).

Verily, God enjoineth justice and the doing of good and gifts to kindred, and
he forbiddeth wickedness and wrong and oppression. He warneth you that haply
ye may be mindful.

Be faithful in the covenant of God when ye have covenanted, and break not
your oaths after ye have pledged them: for now have ye made God to stand
surety for you. Verily, God hath knowledge of what ye do.

And, because you are a more numerous people than some other people, be not
like her who unravelleth the thread which she had strongly spun, by taking
your oaths with mutual perfidy. God is making trial of you in this: and in
the day of resurrection he will assuredly clear up to you that concerning
which ye are now at variance.

Had God pleased, He could have made you one people: but He causeth whom He
will to err, and whom He will He guideth: and ye shall assuredly be called to
account for your doings.

Therefore take not your oaths with mutual fraud, lest your foot slip after it
hath been firmly fixed, and ye taste of evil because ye have turned others
aside from the way of God, and great be your punishment.

And barter not the covenant of God for a mean price; for with God is that
which is better for you, if ye do but understand.

All that is with you passeth away, but that which is with God abideth. With a
reward meet for their best deeds will we surely recompense those who have
patiently endured.

Whoso doeth that which is right, whether male or female, if a believer, him
will we surely quicken to a happy life, and recompense them with a reward
meet for their best deeds.

When thou readest the Koran, have recourse to God for help against Satan the

For no power hath he over those who believe, and put their trust in their

But only hath he power over those who turn away from God, and join other
deities with Him.

And when we change one (sign) verse for another, and God knoweth best what He
revealeth, they say, "Thou art only a fabricator." Nay! but most of them have
no knowledge.

SAY: The Holy Spirit15 hath brought it down with truth from thy Lord, that He
may stablish those who have believed, and as guidance and glad tidings to the

We also know that they say, "Surely a certain person teacheth him." But the
tongue of him at whom they hint is foreign,16 while this Koran is in the
plain Arabic.

As for those who believe not in the signs of God, God will not guide them,
and a sore torment doth await them.

Surely they invent a lie who believe not in the signs of God–and they are the

Whoso, after he hath believed in God denieth him, if he were forced to it and
if his heart remain steadfast in the faith, shall be guiltless:17 but whoso
openeth his breast to infidelity–on such shall be wrath from God, and a
severe punishment awaiteth them.

This, because they have loved this present life beyond the next, and because
God guideth not the unbelievers!

These are they whose hearts and ears and eyes God hath sealed up: these are
the careless ones: in the next world shall they perish beyond a doubt.

To those also who after their trials fled their country,18 then fought and
endured with patience, verily, thy Lord will in the end be forgiving,

On a certain day shall every soul come to plead for itself, and every soul
shall be repaid according to its deeds; and they shall not be wronged.

God proposeth the instance of a city,19 secure and at ease, to which its
supplies come in plenty from every side. But she was thankless for the boons
of God; God therefore made her taste the woe20 of famine and of fear, for
what they had done.

Moreover, an apostle of their own people came to them, and they treated him
as an impostor. So chastisement overtook them because they were evil doers.

Of what God hath supplied you eat the lawful and good, and be grateful for
the favours of God, if ye are his worshippers.

Forbidden to you is that only which dieth of itself, and blood, and swine's
flesh, and that which hath been slain in the name of any other than God: but
if any be forced, and neither lust for it nor wilfully transgress, then
verily God is forgiving, gracious.21

And say not with a lie upon your tongue, "This is lawful and this is
forbidden:" for so will ye invent a lie concerning God: but they who invent a
lie of God shall not prosper:

Brief their enjoyment, but sore their punishment!

To the Jews22 we have forbidden that of which we before told thee; we injured
them not, but they injured themselves.

To those who have done evil in ignorance, then afterwards have repented and
amended, verily thy Lord is in the end right gracious, merciful.

Verily, Abraham was a leader in religion:23 obedient to God, sound in
faith:24 he was not of those who join gods with God.

Grateful was he for His favours: God chose him and guided him into the
straight way;

And we bestowed on him good things in this world: and in the world to come he
shall be among the just.

We have moreover revealed to thee that thou follow the religion of Abraham,
the sound in faith. He was not of those who join gods with God.

The Sabbath was only ordained for those who differed about it: and of a truth
thy Lord will decide between them on the day of resurrection as to the
subject of their disputes.

Summon thou to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and with kindly warning:
dispute with them in the kindest manner: thy Lord best knoweth those who
stray from his way, and He best knoweth those who have yielded to his

If ye make reprisals,25 then make them to the same extent that ye were
injured: but if ye can endure patiently, best will it be for the patiently

Endure then with patience. But thy patient endurance must be sought in none
but God. And be not grieved about the infidels, and be not troubled at their
devices; for God is with those who fear him and do good deeds.


1 See Sura [lxxxiv.] x. 5, n.

2 Ex gutta spermatis. Pirke Aboth iii. Unde venisti? ex guttá foetidâ. This
verse is said to be an allusion to a difficulty proposed by an idolatrous
Arab, who brought a carious leg-bone to Muhammad, and asked whether it could
be restored to life. Compare a similar argument for the Resurrection, Tr.
Sanhedrin, fol. 91 a.

3 Lit. there is beauty in them for you, i.e. they win you credit.

4 In allusion to Gen. xi. 1-10.

5 An Arabian idol.

6 Ps. xxxv. 9.

7 Lit. the family of the admonition, i.e. Jews and Christians versed in the
Pentateuch and Gospel.

8 The idolatrous Arabians regarded Angels as females and daughters of God.
But their own preference was always for male offspring. Thus Rabbinism
teaches that to be a woman is a great degradation. The modern Jew says in his
Daily Prayers, fol. 5, 6, "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! King of the
Universe! who hath not made me a woman."

9 See Sura lxxxi. 8, p. 45. It is said that the only occasion on which Othman
ever shed a tear was when his little daughter, whom he was burying alive,
wiped the dust of the grave-earth from his beard.

10 Lit. the likeness of evil to those, etc.

11 The Arabs are curious in and fond of honey: Mecca alone affords eight or
nine varieties–green, white, red, and brown. Burton's Pilgr. iii. 110.

12 Ex. xx. 4.

13 The slave, and the dumb in verse following, are the idols.

14 See Sura [xcvii.] iii. 34, and n. 1, p. 114.

15 Gabriel.

16 This passage has been supposed to refer to Salman the Persian. He did not,
however, embrace Islam till a much later period, at Medina. Nöld. p. 110. Mr.
Muir thinks that it may refer to Suheib, son of Sinan, "the first fruits of
Greece," as Muhammad styled him, who, while yet a boy, had been carried off
by some Greeks as a slave, from Mesopotamia to Syria, brought by a party of
the Beni Kalb, and sold to Abdallah ibn Jodda'ân of Mecca. He became rich,
and embraced Islam. Dr. Sprenger thinks the person alluded to may have been
Addas, a monk of Nineveh, who had settled at Mecca. Life of M. p. 79.

17 This is to be understood of the persecutions endured by the more humble
and needy Muslims by their townspeople of Mecca.

18 From Mecca to Medina, i.e. the Mohadjers, to whom also verse 43 refers.
Both passages, therefore, are of a later date than the rest of this Sura.
Thus Nöldeke. Sprenger, however (Life, p. 159), explains this passage of the
seven slaves purchased and manumitted by Abu Bekr. They had been tortured for
professing Islam, shortly after Muhammad assumed the Prophetic office.

19 Mecca.

20 Lit. the garment.

21 Comp. Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 119.

22 Comp. Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 147. This verse as well as the following, and
verse 125, were probably added at Medina.

23 Antistes. Maracci. Or the text may be literally rendered Abraham was a
people, i.e. the people of Abraham; from whom the idolatrous Koreisch
pretended to derive their origin.

24 Ar. a Hanyf. According to a tradition in Waquidi, fol. 255, Zaid (who died
only five years before Muhammad received his first inspiration, and
undoubtedly prepared the way for many of his subsequent announcements)
adopted this term at the instance of a Christian and a Jew, who exhorted him
to become a Hanyf. Zaid having at this time renounced idolatry, and being
unable to receive either Judaism or Christianity, "What," said he, "is a
Hanyf?" They both told him, it was the religion of Abraham, who worshipped
nothing but God. On this Zaid exclaimed, "O God, I bear witness that I follow
the religion of Abraham." The root, whence Hanyf is derived, means generally
to turn from good to bad, or vice versâ, and is equivalent to the verbs
convert and pervert.

25 All Muhammadan commentators explain this verse as a prohibition to avenge
the death of Hamza on the Meccans with too great severity.


MECCA.–60 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. MIM.1  THE GREEKS have been defeated2

In a land hard by: But after their defeat they shall defeat their foes,

In a few years.3  First and last is the affair with God. And on that day
shall the faithful rejoice

In the aid of their God: He aideth whom He will; and He is the Mighty, the

It is the promise of God: To his promise God will not be untrue: but most men
know it not.

They know the outward shews of this life present, but of the next life are
they careless.

Have they not considered within themselves that God hath not created the
Heavens and the Earth and all that is between them but for a serious end, and
for a fixed term? But truly most men believe not that they shall meet their

Have they never journeyed through the land, and seen what hath been the end
of those who were before them? Mightier were they than these in strength; and
they broke up the land, and dwelt in it in greater numbers than they who
dwell there now; and their apostles came to them with proofs of their
mission: and it was not God who would wrong them, but they wronged

Then evil was the end of the evil doers; because they had treated our signs
as lies, and laughed them to scorn.

God bringth forth the creation–then causeth it to return again–then to Him
shall ye come back.4

And on the day when the hour shall arrive, the guilty shall be struck dumb
for despair,

And they shall have no intercessors from among the gods whom they have joined
with God, and they shall deny the gods they joined with Him.

And on that day when the Hour shall arrive, shall men be separated one from

And as for those who shall have believed and done the things that are right,
they shall enjoy themselves in a flowery mead;

But as for those who shall not have believed, but treated our signs and the
meeting of the next life as lies, they shall be given over to the torment.

Glorify God therefore when ye reach the evening, and when ye rise at morn:

And to Him be praise in the Heavens and on the Earth; and at twilight, and
when ye rest at noon.

He bringeth forth the living out of the dead, and He bringeth forth the dead
out of the living: and He quickeneth the earth when dead. Thus is it that ye
too shall be brought forth.5

And one of his signs it is that He hath created you out of dust; then lo! ye
become men who spread themselves far and wide:

And one of his signs it is, that He hath created wives for you of your own
species,6 that ye may dwell with them, and hath put love and tenderness
between you. Herein truly are signs for those who reflect.

And among his signs are the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth, and
your variety of tongues and colour. Herein truly are signs for all men.

And of his signs are your sleep by night and by day, and your goings in quest
of his bounties. Herein truly are signs to those who hearken.

And of his signs are, that He sheweth you the lightning, a source of awe and
hope; and that He sendeth down rain from the heaven and giveth life by it to
the earth when dead. Herein truly are signs to those who understand.

And of his signs also one is that the Heaven and the Earth stand firm at his
bidding: hereafter, when with one summons He shall summon you out of the
earth,–lo! forth shall ye come.

His, whatsoever is in the Heavens and on the Earth: all are obedient to him.

And He it is who bringeth a creature forth, then causeth it to return again;
and to him is this most easy. To whatever is loftiest in heaven and earth is
He to be likened; and He is the Mighty, the Wise.

He setteth forth to you an instance drawn from yourselves. Have ye among the
slaves whom your right hands have won, any partner in what we have bestowed
on you, so that ye share alike? Fear ye them as ye fear each other? (Thus
make we our signs clear to men of understanding.)

No, ye do not. But the wicked, devoid of knowledge, follow their own
desires:7 and those whom God shall mislead, who shall guide, and who shall be
their protector?

Set thou thy face then, as a true convert,8 towards the Faith which God hath
made, and for which He hath made man. No change is there in the creation of
God. This is the right Faith, but the greater part of men know it not.

And be ye turned to Him, and fear Him, and observe prayer, and be not of
those who unite gods with God:

Of those who have split up their religion, and have become sects, where every
party rejoices in what is their own.9

When some evil toucheth men, they turn to their Lord and call upon him: then
when he hath made them taste his mercy, lo, a part of them join other gods
with their Lord,

Ungrateful for our favours! Enjoy yourselves then. But in the end ye shall
know your folly.

Have we sent down to them any mandate which speaketh in favour of what they
join with God?

When we cause men to taste mercy they rejoice in it; but if, for that which
their hands have aforetime wrought, evil befall them, they despair.

See they not that God bestoweth full supplies on whom He pleaseth and giveth
sparingly to whom He pleaseth? Signs truly are there herein to those who

To him who is of kin to thee give his due, and to the poor and to the
wayfarer: this will be best for those who seek the face of God; and with them
it shall be well.

Whatever ye put out at usury to increase it with the substance of others
shall have no increase from God:10 but whatever ye shall give in alms, as
seeking the face of God, shall be doubled to you.

It is God who created you–then fed you–then will cause you to die–then will
make you alive. Is there any of your companion-gods who can do aught of these
things? Praise be to Him! and far be He exalted above the gods they join with

Destruction hath appeared by land and by sea on account of what men's hands
have wrought, that it might make them taste somewhat of the fruit of their
doings, that haply they might turn to God.

SAY: Journey through the land, and see what hath been the end of those who
were before you! The greater part of them joined other gods with God.

Set thy face then towards the right faith, ere the day come which none can
hinder God from bringing on.11 On that day shall they be parted in twain:

Unbelievers on whom shall be their unbelief; and they who have wrought
righteousness, and prepared for themselves couches of repose:

That of his bounty He may reward those who have believed and wrought
righteousness; for the unbelievers He loveth not.

And one of his signs is that He sendeth the winds with glad tidings of rain,
both that He may cause you to taste his mercy, and that ships may sail at his
command, that out of his bounties ye may seek wealth, and that haply ye may
render thanks.

We have sent apostles before thee to their peoples, and they presented
themselves to them with clear proofs of their mission; and while it behoved
us to succour the faithful, we took vengeance on the guilty.

It is God who sendeth the winds and uplifteth the clouds, and, as He
pleaseth, spreadeth them on high, and breaketh them up; and thou mayest see
the rain issuing from their midst; and when He poureth it down on such of his
servants as He pleaseth, lo! they are filled with joy,

Even they who before it was sent down to them, were in mute despair.

Look then at the traces of God's mercy–how after its death he quickeneth the
earth! This same God will surely quicken the dead, for to all things His
might is equal.

Yet should we send a blast, and should they see their harvest turn yellow,
they would afterwards shew themselves ungrateful.

Thou canst not make the dead to hear, neither canst thou make the deaf to
hear the call, when they withdraw and turn their backs:

Neither canst thou guide the blind out of their error: in sooth, none shalt
thou make to hear, save him who shall believe in our signs: for they are
resigned to our will (Muslims).

It is God who hath created you in weakness, then after weakness hath given
you strength: then after strength, weakness and grey hairs: He createth what
He will; and He is the Wise, the Powerful.

And on the day whereon the Hour shall arrive, the wicked will swear

That not above an hour have they waited: Even so did they utter lies on

But they to whom knowledge and faith have been given will say, "Ye have
waited, in accordance with the book of God, till the day of Resurrection: for
this is the day of the Resurrection–but ye knew it not."

On that day their plea shall not avail the wicked, neither shall they again
be bidden to seek acceptance with God.

And now have we set before men, in this Koran, every kind of parable: yet if
thou bring them a single verse of it, the infidels will surely say, "Ye are
only utterers of vain things."

It is thus that God hath sealed up the hearts of those who are devoid of

But do thou, Muhammad, bear with patience, for true is the promise of God;
and let not those who have no firm belief, unsettle thee.


1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

2 By the Persians; probably in Palestine in the 6th year before the Hejira,
under Khosrou Parviz. (Ann. 615. See Gibbon's Decline and Fall, ch. xlvi.)
The sympathies of Muhammad would naturally be enlisted on the side of the
Christians rather than on that of the idolatrous fire-worshippers, with whom
Islam had nothing in common.

3 This alludes to the defeat of the Persians by Heraclius, ann. 625. The
Muhammadans appeal to this passage as a clear proof of the inspiration of
their prophet. But it should be borne in mind that the vowel points of the
consonants of the Arabic word for defeated in verse 1, not being originally
written, and depending entirely on the speaker or reader, would make the
prophecy true in either event, according as the verb received an active or
passive sense in pronunciation. The whole passage was probably constructed
with the view of its proving true in any event.

4 Comp. Psalm xc. 30, in the Arabic version.

5 The Talmudists apply the description of God of the sender of the rain to
the divine command which shall cause the dead to arise. Taanith (init.).

6 Lit. from yourselves, i.e. either from the side of Adam or of human, and of
no other kind of being. Beidh.

7 By worshipping idols conjointly with God.

8 Lit. as a Hanyf. See note on the preceding Sura, 121, p. 209.

9 Peculiar to and distinctive of themselves. Muhammad had a just appreciation
of that narrowness of mind which is the characteristic of sectarians in every
age, who seize upon some one point of truth, through inability to grasp the
whole in its due proportions and bearing, and glory in it, as if the fragment
were the whole.

10 Comp. Ps. xv. 5.

11 Lit. which none can put back from God.


MECCA.–123 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. RA.1 A book whose verses are stablished in wisdom and then set
forth with clearness from the Wise, the All-informed–

That ye worship none other than God–Verily I come to you from Him charged
with warnings, announcements;

And that ye seek pardon of your Lord, and then be turned unto Him! Goodly
enjoyments will He give you to enjoy until a destined time, and His favours
will He bestow on every one who deserves his favours.2 But if ye turn away,
then verily I fear for you the chastisement of the great day.

Unto God shall ye return, and over all things is he Potent.

Do they not doubly fold up their breasts, that they may hide themselves from

But when they enshroud themselves in their garments, doth He not know alike
what they conceal and what they shew?

For He knoweth the very inmost of their breast.

There is no moving thing on earth whose nourishment dependeth not on God; he
knoweth its haunts and final resting place: all is in the clear Book.

And He it is who hath made the Heavens and the Earth in six days: His throne
had stood ere this upon the waters,3 that He might make proof which of you4
would excel in works.

And if thou say, "After death ye shall surely be raised again," the infidels
will certainly exclaim, "This is nothing but pure sorcery."

And if we defer their chastisement to some definite time, they will exclaim,
"What keepeth it back?" What! will it not come upon them on a day when there
shall be none to avert it from them? And that at which they scoffed shall
enclose them in on every side.

And if we cause man to taste our mercy, and then deprive him of it, verily,
he is despairing, ungrateful.

And if after trouble hath befallen him we cause him to taste our favour, he
will surely exclaim, "The evils are passed away from me." Verily, he is
joyous, boastful.

Except those who endure with patience and do the things that are right: these
doth pardon await and a great reward.

Perhaps thou wilt suppress a part of what hath been revealed to thee, and
wilt be distress at heart lest they say, "If a treasure be not sent down to
him, or an angel come with him. . . ." But thou art only a warner, and God
hath all things in his charge.

If they shall say, "The Koran is his own device," SAY: Then bring ten Suras
like it5 of your devising, and call whom ye can to your aid beside God, if ye
are men of truth.

But if they answer you not, then know that it hath been sent down to you in
the wisdom of God only, and that there is no God but He. Are ye then Muslims?

Those who choose this present life and its braveries, we will recompense for
their works therein: they shall have nothing less therein than their deserts.

These are they for whom there is nothing in the next world but the Fire: all
that they have wrought in this life shall come to nought, and vain shall be
all their doings.

With such can they be compared who rest upon clear proofs from their Lord? to
whom a witness from him reciteth the Koran, and who is preceded by the Book
of Moses, a guide and mercy? These have faith in it: but the partisans of
idolatry, who believe not in it, are menaced with the fire! Have thou no
doubts about that Book, for it is the very truth from thy Lord. But most men
will not believe.

Who is guilty of a greater injustice than he who inventeth a lie concerning
God? They shall be set before their Lord, and the witnesses shall say, "These
are they who made their Lord a liar." Shall not the malison of God be on
these unjust doers,

Who pervert others from the way of God, and seek to make it crooked, and
believe not in a life to come? God's power on earth they shall not weaken;
and beside God they have no protector! Doubled shall be their punishment!
They were not able to hearken, and they could not see.

These are they who have lost their own souls, and the deities of their own
devising have vanished from them:

There is no doubt but that in the next world they shall be the lost ones.

But they who shall have believed and done the things that are right, and
humbled them before their Lord, shall be the inmates of Paradise; therein
shall they abide for ever.

These two sorts of persons resemble the blind and deaf, and the seeing and
hearing: shall these be compared as alike? Ah! do ye not comprehend?

We sent Noah of old unto his people:–"Verily I come to you a plain

That ye worship none but God. Verily I fear for you the punishment of a
grievous day."

Then said the chiefs of his people who believed not, "We see in thee but a
man like ourselves; and we see not who have followed thee except our meanest
ones of hasty judgment, nor see we any excellence in you above ourselves:
nay, we deem you liars."

He said: "O my people! how think you? If I am upon a clear revelation from my
Lord, who hath bestowed on me mercy from Himself to which ye are blind, can
we force it on you, if ye are averse from it?

And, O my people! I ask you not for riches: my reward is of God alone: and I
will not drive away those who believe that they shall meet their Lord:–but I
see that ye are an ignorant people.

And, O my people! were I to drive them away, who shall help me against God?
Will ye not therefore consider?

And I tell you not that with me are the treasures of God: nor do I say, 'I
know the things unseen;' nor do I say, 'I am an angel;' nor do I say of those
whom you eye with scorn, No good thing will God bestow on them:–God best
knoweth what is in their minds–for then should I be one of those who act

They said: "O Noah! already hast thou disputed with us, and multiplied
disputes with us: Bring then upon us what thou hast threatened, if thou be of
those who speak truth."

He said, "God will bring it on you at His sole pleasure, and it is not you
who can weaken him;

Nor, if God desire to mislead you, shall my counsel profit you, though I fain
would counsel you aright. He is your Lord, and unto Him shall ye be brought

Do they say, "This Koran is of his own devising?" Say: On me be my own guilt,
if I have devised it, but I am clear of that whereof ye are guilty.

And it was revealed unto Noah. Verily, none of thy people shall believe, save
they who have believed already; therefore be not thou grieved at their

But build the Ark under our eye and after our revelation: and plead not with
me for the evil doers, for they are to be drowned.

So he built the Ark; and whenever the chiefs of his people passed by they
laughed him to scorn:6 said he, "Though ye laugh at us, we truly shall laugh
at you, even as ye laugh at us; and in the end ye shall know

On whom a punishment shall come that shall shame him, and on whom shall light
a lasting punishment."

Thus was it until our sentence came to pass, and the earth's surface7 boiled
up. We said, "Carry into it one pair of every kind, and thy family, except
him on whom sentence hath before been passed, and those who have believed."
But there believed not with him except a few.

And he said, "Embark ye therein. In the name of God be its course and its
riding at anchor! Truly my Lord is right Gracious, Merciful."

And the Ark moved on with them amid waves like mountains: and Noah called to
his son–for he was apart–"Embark with us, O my child! and be not with the

He said, "I will betake me to a mountain that shall secure me from the
water." He said, "None shall be secure this day from the decree of God, save
him on whom He shall have mercy." And a wave passed between them, and he was
among the drowned.

And it was said, "O Earth! swallow up thy water;" and "cease, O Heaven!" And
the water abated, and the decree was fulfilled, and the Ark rested upon Al-
Djoudi;8 and it was said, "Avaunt! ye tribe of the wicked!"

And Noah called on his Lord and said, "O Lord! verily my son is of my family:
and thy promise is true, and thou art the most just of judges."

He said, "O Noah! verily, he is not of thy family: in this thou actest not
aright.9 Ask not of me that whereof thou knowest nought: I warn thee that
thou become not of the ignorant.

He said, "To thee verily, O my Lord, do I repair lest I ask that of thee
wherein I have no knowledge: unless thou forgive me and be merciful to me I
shall be one of the lost.

It was said to him, "O Noah! debark with peace from Us, and with blessings on
thee and on peoples to be born from those who are with thee; but as for other
and unbelieving peoples, we will give them their good things in this world,
but hereafter shall a grievous punishment light on them from us.

This is one of the secret Histories: we reveal it unto thee: neither thou nor
thy people knew it ere this: be patient thou: verily, there is a prosperous
issue to the God-fearing.

And unto Ad we sent their Brother HOUD. He said, "O my people, worship God.
You have no God beside Him. Ye only devise a lie.

O my people! I ask of you no recompense for this: my recompense is with Him
only who hath made me. Will ye not then understand?

O my people! ask pardon of your Lord; then be turned unto Him: He will send
down the heavens upon you with copious rains:

And with strength on strength will He increase you: only turn not back with
deeds of evil."

They said, "O Houd, thou hast not brought us proofs of thy mission: we will
not abandon our gods at thy word, and we believe thee not.

We can only say that some of our gods have smitten thee with evil." Said he,
"Now take I God to witness, and do ye also witness, that I am clear of your
joining other gods

To God. Conspire then against me all of you, and delay me not.

For I trust in God, my Lord and yours. No single beast is there which he
holdeth not by its forelock. Right, truly, is the way in which my Lord goeth.

But if ye turn back, I have already declared to you my message. And my Lord
will put another people in your place, nor shall ye at all hurt Him; verily,
my Lord keepeth watch over all things."

And when our doom came to be inflicted, we rescued Houd and those who had
like faith with Him, by our special mercy: we rescued them from the rigorous

These men of Ad gainsaid the signs of their Lord, and rebelled against his
messengers, and followed the bidding of every proud contumacious person.

Followed therefore were they in this world by a curse; and in the day of the
Resurrection it shall be said to them, "What! Did not Ad disbelieve their
Lord?" Was not Ad, the people of Houd, cast far away?

And unto Themoud we sent their Brother Saleh:10–"O my people! said he,
worship God: you have no other god than Him. He hath raised you up out of the
earth, and hath given you to dwell therein. Ask pardon of him then, and be
turned unto him; for thy Lord is nigh, ready to answer."

They said, "O Saleh! our hopes were fixed on thee till now:11 forbiddest thou
us to worship what our fathers worshipped? Truly we misdoubt the faith to
which thou callest us, as suspicious."

He said, "O my people! what think ye? If I have a revelation from my Lord to
support me, and if He hath shewed his mercy on me, who could protect me from
God if I rebel against him? Ye would only confer on me increase of ruin.

O my people! this is the she-Camel of God, and a sign unto you. Let her go at
large and feed in God's earth, and do her no harm, lest a speedy punishment
overtake you."

Yet they hamstrung her: then said he, "Yet three days more enjoy yourselves
in your dwellings: this menace will not prove untrue."

And when our sentence came to pass, we rescued Saleh and those who had a like
faith with him, by our mercy, from ignominy on that day. Verily, thy Lord is
the Strong, the Mighty!

And a violent tempest overtook the wicked, and they were found in the morning
prostrate in their dwellings,

As though they had never abode in them. What! Did not Themoud disbelieve his
Lord? Was not Themoud utterly cast off?

And our messengers came formerly to Abraham with glad tidings. "Peace," said
they. He said, "Peace," and he tarried not, but brought a roasted calf.

And when he saw that their hands touched it not,12 he misliked them, and grew
fearful of them. They said, "Fear not, for we are sent to the people of Lot."

His wife was standing by and laughed;13 and we announced Isaac to her; and
after Isacc, Jacob.

She said, "Ah, woe is me! shall I bear a son when I am old, and when this my
husband is an old man? This truly would be a marvellous thing."

They said, "Marvellest thou at the command of God? God's mercy and blessing
be upon you, O people of this house; praise and glory are His due!"

And when Abraham's fear had passed away, and these glad tidings had reached
him, he pleaded with us for the people of Lot. Verily, Abraham was right
kind, pitiful, relenting.

"O Abraham! desist from this; for already hath the command of thy God gone
forth; as for them, a punishment not to be averted is coming on them."

And when our messengers came to Lot, he was grieved for them; and he was too
weak to protect them,14 and he said, "This is a day of difficulty."

And his people came rushing on towards him, for aforetime had they wrought
this wickedness. He said, "O my people! these my daughters will be purer for
you: fear God, and put me not to shame in my guests. Is there no rightminded
man among you?"

They said, "Thou knowest now that we need not thy daughters; and thou well
knowest what we require."

He said, "Would that I had strength to resist you, or that I could find
refuge with some powerful chieftain."15

The Angels said, "O Lot! verily, we are the messengers of thy Lord: they
shall not touch thee: depart with thy family in the dead of night, and let
not one of you turn back: as for thy wife, on her shall light what shall
light on them. Verily, that with which they are threatened is for the
morning. Is not the morning near?"

And when our decree came to be executed we turned those cities upside down,
and we rained down upon them blocks of claystone one after another, marked16
by thy Lord himself. Nor are they far distant from the wicked Meccans.

And we sent to Madian17 their brother Shoaib. He said, "O my people! worship
God: no other God have you than He: give not short weight and measure: I see
indeed that ye revel in good things; but I fear for you the punishment of the
all-encompassing day.

O my people! give weight and measure with fairness; purloin not other men's
goods; and perpetrate not injustice on the earth with corrupt practices:

A residue,18 the gift of God, will be best for you if ye are believers:

But I am not a guardian over you."

They said to him, "O Shoaib! is it thy prayers which enjoin that we should
leave what our fathers worshipped, or that we should not do with our
substance as pleaseth us? Thou forsooth art the mild, the right director!"

He said, "O my people! How think ye? If I have a clear revelation from my
Lord, and if from Himself He hath supplied me with goodly supplies, and if I
will not follow you in that which I myself forbid you, do I seek aught but
your amendment so far as in me lieth? My sole help is in God. In Him do I
trust, and to Him do I turn me.

O my people! let not your opposition to me draw down upon you the like of
that which befel the people of Noah, or the people of Houd, or the people of
Saleh: and the abodes of the people of Lot are not far distant from you!

Seek pardon of your Lord and be turned unto Him: verily, my Lord is Merciful,

They said, "O Shoaib! we understand not much of what thou sayest, and we
clearly see that thou art powerless among us: were it not for thy family we
would have surely stoned thee, nor couldest thou have prevailed against us."

He said, "O my people! think ye more highly of my family than of God? Cast ye
Him behind your back, with neglect? Verily, my Lord is round about your

And, O my people! act with what power ye can for my hurt: I verily will act:
and ye shall know

On whom shall light a punishment that shall disgrace him, and who is the
liar. Await ye; verily I will await with you."

And when our decree came to pass, we delivered Shoaib and his companions in
faith, by our mercy: And a violent tempest overtook the wicked, and in the
morning they were found prostrate in their houses

As if they had never dwelt in them. Was not Madian swept off even as Themoud
had been swept off?

Of old sent we Moses with our signs and with incontestable power to Pharaoh,
and to his nobles–who followed the behests of Pharaoh, and, unrighteous were
Pharaoh's behests.

He shall head his people on the day of the Resurrection and cause them to
descend into the fire: and wretched the descent by which they shall descend!

They were followed by a curse in this world; and in the day of the
Resurrection, wretched the gift that shall be given them!

Such, the histories of the cities which we relate to thee. Some of them are
standing, others mown down:

We dealt not unfairly by them, but they dealt not fairly by themselves: and
their gods on whom they called beside God availed them not at all when thy
Lord's behest came to pass. They did but increase their ruin.

Such was thy Lord's grasp19 when he laid that grasp on the cities that had
been wicked. Verily his grasp is afflictive, terrible!

Herein truly is a sign for him who feareth the punishment of the latter day.
That shall be a day unto which mankind shall be gathered together; that shall
be a day witnessed by all creatures.

Nor do we delay it, but until a time appointed.

When that day shall come no one shall speak a word but by His leave, and some
shall be miserable and others blessed.

And as for those who shall be consigned to misery–their place the Fire!
therein shall they sigh and bemoan them–

Therein shall they abide while the Heavens and the Earth shall last, unless
thy Lord shall will it otherwise; verily thy Lord doth what He chooseth.

And as for the blessed ones–their place the Garden! therein shall they abide
while the Heavens and the Earth endure, with whatever imperishable boon thy
Lord may please to add.

Have thou no doubts therefore concerning that which they worship: they
worship but what their fathers worshipped before them: we will surely assign
them their portion with nothing lacking.

Of old gave we Moses the Book, and they fell to variance about it. If a
decree of respite had not gone forth from thy Lord, there had surely been a
decision between them. Thy people also are in suspicious doubts about the

And truly thy Lord will repay every one according to their works! for He is
well aware of what they do.

Go straight on then as thou hast been commanded, and he also who hath turned
to God with thee, and let him transgress no more. He beholdeth what ye do.

Lean not on the evil doers lest the Fire lay hold on you. Ye have no
protector, save God, and ye shall not be helped against Him.

And observe prayer at early morning, at the close of the day, and at the
approach of night; for the good deeds drive away the evil deeds. This is a
warning for those who reflect:

And persevere steadfastly, for verily God will not suffer the reward of the
righteous to perish.

Were the generations before you, endued with virtue, and who forbad corrupt
doings on the earth, more than a few of those whom we delivered? but the evil
doers followed their selfish pleasures, and became transgressors.

And thy Lord was not one who would destroy those cities unjustly, when its
inhabitants were righteous.

Had thy Lord pleased he would have made mankind of one religion: but those
only to whom thy Lord hath granted his mercy will cease to differ. And unto
this hath He created them; for the word of thy Lord shall be fulfilled, "I
will wholly fill hell with Djinn and men."

And all that we have related to thee of the histories of these Apostles, is
to confirm thy heart thereby. By these hath the truth reached thee, and a
monition and warning to those who believe.

But say to those who believe not, "Act as ye may and can: we will act our
part: and wait ye; we verily will wait."

To God belong the secret things of the Heavens and of the Earth: all things
return to him: worship him then and put thy trust in Him: thy Lord is not
regardless of your doings.20


1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32.

2 Or, will bestow his grace on every gracious one, or will bestow his
abundance on every one who hath abundance (of merit). The difficulty of
rendering this passage arises from the word fadhl, which means merit as
applied to man, favour as applied to God.

3 That is, before the Creation. Precisely the same statement occurs in Raschi
on Gen. i. 2, also in the modern catechism. Tsenah ur'enak b'noth Tsion,
authoritatively put forth by the Polish and German Talmudist Rabbins. "At the
first creation of Heaven and Earth . . . the throne of glory of the Blessed
God stood in the air above the waters." Comp. Ps. civ. 3.

4 Men, heaven, and earth. Comp. Tr. Aboth, v. Mischna 1.

5 Comp. verse 37 and Sura [xci.] ii. 21. It should be observed that the
challenge in these passages is not to produce a book which shall equal the
Koran in point of poetry or rhetoric, but in the importance of its subject-
matter with reference to the Divine Unity, the future retribution, etc. Upon
these topics Muhammad well knew that he had preoccupied the ground. And we
may infer from the fragments of the Revelations of Musailima and Sajâh
(Hisam. 946; Attabâri (ed. Kosegarten) i. 134, 136, 152; Tab. Agâni, 339),
which are mere imitations of the Koran, that he felt this to be the case.

6 "They laughed and jeered at him in their words." Midr. Tanchuma. "The
passage Job xii. 5, refers to the righteous Noah who taught them and spake to
them words severe as flames: but they scorned him, and said, 'Old man! for
what purpose is this ark?"' Sanhedr. 108. Comp. Midr. Rabbah on Gen. 30, and
33 on Eccl. ix. 14.

7 Or, oven: according to others, reservoir. Geiger thinks that the expression
the oven boiled up may be a figurative mode of expressing the Rabbinic idea
that "the generation of the Deluge were punished by hot water." Rosch.
Haschanah, 16, 2; Sanhedr. 108. Comp. Weil's Legenden, p. 44.

8 The Montes Gordyoei, perhaps.

9 According to another reading: He hath done amiss. The origin of this story
is probably Gen. ix. 20-25.

10 A Prophet, so far as we know, of Muhammad's own invention, unless Muir's
conjecture be admitted that he was a Christian or Jewish missionary whose
adventures and persecution were recast into this form.–The name may have been
suggested by, Methusaleh, upon whose piety the Midrasch enlarges.

11 That is, we had intended to make thee our chief. Beidh.

12 Thus, in contradiction to Gen. xviii. 8, the Rabbins; comp. Tr. Baba
Mezia, fol. 86, "They made as though they ate."

13 Or, menstrua passa est, in token of the possibility of her bearing a

14 Lit. his arm was straitened concerning them.

15 Lit. column.

16 With the name, it is said, of the person each should strike.

17 See Sura [lvi.] xxvi. 176.

18 That is, after giving fair measure.

19 Seizure, for punishment. Hence, the punishment itself.

20 In the later period of his life Muhammad attributed his gray hairs to the
effect produced upon him by this Sura and its "Sisters." While Abu Bekr and
Omar sat in the mosque at Medina, Muhammad suddenly came upon them from the
door of one of his wives' houses.  . . .  And Abu Bekr said, "Ah! thou for
whom I would sacrifice father and mother, white hairs are hastening upon
thee!" And the Prophet raised up his beard with his hand and gazed at it; and
Abu Bekr's eyes filled with tears. "Yes," said Muhammad, "Hûd and its sisters
have hastened my white hairs." "And what," asked Abu Bekr, "are its sisters?"
"The Inevitable (Sura lvi.) and the Blow (Sura ci.)." Kitâb al Wackidi, p.
84, ap. Muir.


MECCA.–52 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. RA. This Book have we sent down to thee that by their Lord's
permission thou mayest bring men out of darkness into light, into the path of
the Mighty, the Glorious–

Of God; to whom belongeth whatever is in the Heavens and whatever is on the
Earth: and woe! for their terrible punishment, to the infidels,

Who love the life that now is, above that which is to come, and mislead from
the way of God, and seek to make it crooked. These are in a far-gone error.

And in order that He might speak plainly to them, we have not sent any
Apostle, save with the speech of his own people; but God misleadeth whom He
will, and whom He will he guideth: and He is the Mighty, the Wise.

Of old did we send Moses with our signs: and said to him, "Bring forth thy
people from the darkness into the light, and remind them of the days of God."
Verily, in this are signs for every patient, grateful person:

When Moses said to his people, "Remember the kindness of God to you, when he
rescued you from the family of Pharaoh who laid on you a cruel affliction,
slaughtering your male children, and suffering only your females to live." In
this was a sore trial from your Lord–

And when your Lord caused it to be heard that, "If we render thanks then will
I surely increase you more and more: but if ye be thankless. . . .  Verily,
right terrible my chastisement."

And Moses said, "If ye and all who are on the Earth be thankless, yet truly
God is passing Rich, and worthy of all praise."

Hath not the story reached you of those who were before you, the people of
Noah, and Ad, and Themoud,

And of those who lived after them? None knoweth them but God. When their
prophets came to them with proofs of their mission, they put their hands on
their mouths and said, "In sooth, we believe not your message; and in sooth,
of that to which you bid us, we are in doubt, as of a thing suspicious."

Their prophets said: "Is there any doubt concerning God, maker of the Heavens
and of the Earth, who calleth you that He may pardon your sins, and respite
you until an appointed time?"

They said, "Ye are but men like us: fain would ye turn us from our fathers'
worship. Bring us therefore some clear proof."

Their Apostles said to them, "We are indeed but men like you. But God
bestoweth favours on such of his servants as he pleaseth, and it is not in
our power to bring you any special proof,

But by the leave of God. In God therefore let the faithful trust.

And why should we not put our trust in God, since He hath already guided us
in our ways. We will certainly bear with constancy the harm you would do to
us. In God let the trustful trust."

And they who believed not said to their Apostles, "Forth from our land will
we surely drive you, or, to our religion shall ye return." Then their Lord
revealed to them, "We will certainly destroy the wicked doers,

And we shall certainly cause you to dwell in the land after them. This for
him who dreadeth the appearance at my judgment-seat and who dreadeth my

Then sought they help from God, and every proud rebellious one perished:

Hell is before him: and of tainted water shall he be made to drink:

He shall sup it and scarce swallow it for loathing; and Death shall assail
him on every side, but he shall not die: and before him shall be seen a
grievous torment.

A likeness of those who believe not in their Lord. Their works are like ashes
which the wind scattereth on a stormy day: no advantage shall they gain from
their works. This is the far-gone wandering.

Seest thou not that in truth1 hath God created the Heavens and the Earth?
Were such his pleasure He could make you pass away, and cause a new creation
to arise.

And this would not be hard for God.

All mankind shall come forth before God; and the weak shall say to the men of
might, "Verily, we were your followers: will ye not then relieve us of some
part of the vengeance of God?"

They shall say, "If God had guided us, we surely had guided you. It is now
all one whether we be impatient, or endure with patience. We have no escape."

And after doom hath been given, Satan shall say, "Verily, God promised you a
promise of truth: I, too, made you a promise, but I deceived you. Yet I had
no power over you:

But I only called you and ye answered me. Blame not me then, but blame
yourselves: I cannot aid you, neither can ye aid me. I never believed that I
was His equal with whom ye joined me."2 As for the evil doers, a grievous
torment doth await them.

But they who shall have believed and done the things that be right, shall be
brought into gardens beneath which the rivers flow: therein shall they abide
for ever by the permission of their Lord: their greeting therein shall be

Seest thou not to what God likeneth a good word?3 To a good tree: its root
firmly fixed, and its branches in the Heaven:

Yielding its fruit in all seasons by the will of its Lord. God setteth forth
these similitudes to men that haply they may reflect.

And an evil word is like an evil tree torn up from the face of the earth, and
without strength to stand.

Those who believe shall God stablish by his steadfast word both in this life
and in that which is to come: but the wicked shall He cause to err: God doth
his pleasure.

Hast thou not beholden those who repay the goodness of God with infidelity,
and sink their people into the abode of perdition–

Hell? Therein shall they be burned; and wretched the dwelling!

They set up compeers with God in order to mislead man from his way. SAY:
Enjoy your pleasures yet awhile, but assuredly, your going hence shall be
into the fire.

Speak to my servants who have believed, that they observe prayer, and give
alms of that with which we have supplied them, both privately and openly, ere
the day come when there shall be neither traffic nor friendship.

It is God who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, and sendeth down water
from the Heaven, and so bringeth forth the fruits for your food: And He hath
subjected to you the ships, so that by His command, they pass through the
sea; and He hath subjected the rivers to you: and He hath subjected to you
the sun and the moon in their constant courses: and He hath subjected the day
and the night to you: of everything which ye ask Him, giveth He to you; and
if ye would reckon up the favours of God, ye cannot count them! Surely man is
unjust, ungrateful!

ABRAHAM said, "O Lord make this land secure, and turn aside me and my
children from serving idols:

For many men, O my Lord, have they led astray. But whosoever shall follow me,
he truly shall be of me; and whosoever shall disobey me. . . .  Thou truly
art Gracious, Merciful.

O our Lord! verily I have settled some of my offspring in an unfruitful
valley, nigh to thy holy house;4 O our Lord, that they may strictly observe
prayer! Make thou therefore the hearts of men to yearn toward them, and
supply them with fruits that they may be thankful.

O our Lord! thou truly knowest what we hide and what we bring to light;
nought on earth or in heaven is hidden from God. Praise be to God who hath
given me, in my old age, Ismael and Isaac! My Lord is the hearer of prayer.

Lord! grant that I and my posterity may observe prayer. O our Lord! and grant
this my petition. O our Lord! forgive me and my parents and the faithful, on
the day wherein account shall be taken."

Think thou not that God is regardless of the deeds of the wicked. He only
respiteth them to the day on which all eyes shall stare up with terror:

They hasten forward in fear; their heads upraised in supplication; their
looks riveted; and their hearts a blank. Warn men therefore of the day when
the punishment shall overtake them,

And when the evil doers shall say, "O our Lord! respite us yet a little

To thy call will we make answer; thine Apostles will we follow." "Did ye not
once swear that no change should befal you?

Yet ye dwelt in the dwellings of those6 who were the authors of their
undoing7 and it was made plain to you how we had dealt with them; and we held
them up to you as examples. They plotted their plots: but God could master
their plots, even though their plots had been so powerful as to move the

Think not then that God will fail his promise to his Apostles: aye! God is
mighty, and Vengeance is His.

On the day when the Earth shall be changed into another Earth, and the
Heavens also, men shall come forth unto God, the Only, the Victorious.

And thou shalt see the wicked on that day linked together in chains–

Their garments of pitch, and fire shall enwrap their faces that God may
reward every soul as it deserveth; verily God is prompt to reckon.

This is a message for mankind, that they may thereby be warned: and that they
may know that there is but one God; and that men of understanding may ponder


1 See Sura [lxxxiv.] x. 5.

2 Lit. I truly renounce your having associated me (with God) heretofore.

3 The preaching and the profession of Islam. Comp. Ps. i. 3, 4.

4 The Caaba.

5 Lit. to a term near at hand.

6 Of the anciently destroyed cities of Themoud, Ad, etc.

7 Lit. were unjust to their own souls.



In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. RA.1 These are signs of the clear Book.

An Arabic Koran have we sent it down, that ye might understand it.

In revealing to thee this Koran,2 one of the most beautiful of narratives
will we narrate to thee, of which thou hast hitherto been regardless.

When Joseph said to his Father, "O my Father! verily I beheld eleven stars
and the sun and the moon–beheld them make obeisance to me!"3

He said, "O my son! tell not thy vision to thy brethren, lest they plot a
plot against thee: for Satan is the manifest foe of man.

It is thus that thy Lord shall choose thee and will teach thee the
interpretation of dark saying, and will perfect his favours on thee and on
the family of Jacob, as of old he perfected it on thy fathers Abraham and
Isaac; verily thy Lord is Knowing, Wise!"

Now in JOSEPH and his brethren are signs for the enquirers;4

When they said, "Surely better loved by our Father, than we, who are more in
number, is Joseph and his brother; verily, our father hath clearly erred.

Slay ye Joseph! or drive him to some other land, and on you alone shall your
father's face be set! and after this, ye shall live as upright persons."

One of them said, "Slay not Joseph, but cast him down to the bottom of the
well: if ye do so, some wayfarers will take him up."

They said, "O our Father! why dost thou not entrust us with Joseph? indeed we
mean him well.

Send him with us to-morrow that he may enjoy himself and sport: we will
surely keep him safely."

He said, "Verily, your taking him away will grieve me; and I fear lest while
ye are heedless of him the wolf devour him."

They said, "Surely if the wolf devour him, and we so many, we must in that
case be weak indeed."5

And when they went away with him they agreed to place him at the bottom of
the well. And We revealed to him, "Thou wilt yet tell them of this their
deed, when they shall not know thee."

And they came at nightfall to their father weeping.

They said, "O our Father! of a truth, we went to run races, and we left
Joseph with our clothes, and the wolf devoured him: but thou wilt not believe
us even though we speak the truth."

And they brought his shirt with false blood upon it. He said, "Nay, but
yourselves have managed this affair.6 But patience is seemly: and the help of
God is to be implored that I may bear what you tell me."

And wayfarers came and sent their drawer of water,7 and he let down his
bucket. "Good news!"8 said he, "This is a youth!" And they kept his case
secret, to make merchandise of him. But God knew what they did.

And they sold him for a paltry price–for some dirhems counted down, and at no
high rate did they value him.

And he who bought him–an Egyptian–said to his wife, "Treat him hospitably;
haply he may be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son." Thus did we
settle Joseph in the land, and we instructed him in the interpretation of
dark sayings, for God is equal to his purpose; but most men know it not.

And when he had reached his age of strength we bestowed on him judgment and
knowledge; for thus do we recompense the well doers.

And she in whose house he was conceived a passion for him, and she shut the
doors and said, "Come hither." He said, "God keep me! Verily, my lord hath
given me a good home: and the injurious shall not prosper."

But she longed for him; and he had longed for her had he not seen a token
from his lord.9 Thus we averted evil and defilement from him, for he was one
of our sincere servants.

And they both made for the door, and she rent his shirt behind; and at the
door they met her lord. "What," said she, "shall be the recompense of him who
would do evil to thy family, but a prison10 or a sore punishment?"

He said, "She solicited me to evil." And a witness out of her own family11
witnessed: "If his shirt be rent in front she speaketh truth, and he is a

But if his shirt be rent behind, she lieth and he is true."

And when his lord saw his shirt torn behind, he said, "This is one of your
devices! verily your devices are great!

Joseph! leave this affair. And thou, O wife, ask pardon for thy crime, for
thou hast sinned."

And in the city, the women said, "The wife of the Prince hath solicited her
servant: he hath fired her with his love: but we clearly see her manifest

And when she heard of their cabal, she sent to them and got ready a banquet
for them, and gave each one of them a knife, and said, "Joseph shew thyself
to them." And when they saw him they were amazed at him, and cut their
hands,12 and said, "God keep us! This is no man! This is no other than a
noble angel!"

She said, "This is he about whom ye blamed me. I wished him to yield to my
desires, but he stood firm. But if he obey not my command, he shall surely be
cast into prison, and become one of the despised."

He said, "O my Lord! I prefer the prison to compliance with their bidding:
but unless thou turn away their snares from me, I shall play the youth with
them, and become one of the unwise."

And his Lord heard him and turned aside their snares from him: for he is the
Hearer, the Knower.

Yet resolved they, even after they had seen the signs of his innocence, to
imprison him for a time.

And there came into the prison with him two youths. Said one of them,
"Methought in my dream that I was pressing grapes." And the other said, "I
dreamed that I was carrying bread on my head, of which the birds did eat.
Declare to us the interpretation of this, for we see thou art a virtuous

He said, "There shall not come to you in a dream any food wherewith ye shall
be fed, but I will acquaint you with its interpretation ere it come to pass
to you. This is a part of that which my Lord hath taught me: for I have
abandoned the religion13 of those who believe not in God and who deny the
life to come;

And I follow the religion of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. We may
not associate aught with God. This is of God's bounty towards us and towards
mankind: but the greater part of mankind are not thankful.

O my two fellow prisoners! are sundry lords best, or God, the One, the

Ye worship beside him mere names which ye have named, ye and your fathers,
for which God hath not sent down any warranty. Judgment belongeth to God
alone. He hath bidden you worship none but Him. This is the right faith: but
most men know it not.

O my two fellow prisoners! as to one of you, he will serve wine unto his
Lord: but as to the other, he will be crucified and the birds shall eat from
off his head. The matter is decreed concerning which ye enquire."

And he said unto him who he judged would be set at large, "Remember me with
thy lord." But Satan caused him to forget the remembrance of his Lord,14 so
he remained some years in prison.

And the King said, "Verily, I saw in a dream seven fat kine which seven lean
devoured; and seven green ears and other withered. O nobles, teach me my
vision, if a vision ye are able to expound."

They said, "They are confused dreams, nor know we aught of the unravelling of

And he of the twain who had been set at large, said, "I will tell you the
interpretation; let me go for it."

"Joseph, man of truth! teach us of the seven fat kine which seven lean
devoured, and of the seven green ears, and other withered, that I may return
to the men, and that they may be informed."

He said, "Ye shall sow seven years as is your wont, and the corn which ye
reap leave ye in its ear, except a little of which ye shall eat.

Then after that shall come seven grievous years which shall eat what ye have
stored for them, except a little which ye shall have kept.

Then shall come after this a year, in which men shall have rain, and in which
they shall press the grape."

And the King said, "Bring him to me."15 And when the messenger came to Joseph
he said, "Go back to thy lord, and ask him what meant the women who cut their
hands, for my lord well knoweth the snare they laid."

Then said the Prince to the women, "What was your purpose when ye solicited
Joseph?" They said, "God keep us! we know not any ill of him." The wife of
the Prince said, "Now doth the truth appear. It was I who would have led him
into unlawful love, and he is one of the truthful."

"By this" (said Joseph) "may my lord know that I did not in his absence play
him false, and that God guideth not the machinations of deceivers.

Yet I hold not myself clear, for the heart is prone to evil, save theirs on
whom my Lord hath mercy; for gracious is my Lord, Merciful."

And the King said, "Bring him to me: I will take him for my special service."
And when he had spoken with him he said, "From this day shalt thou be with
us, invested with place and trust."

He said, "Set me over the granaries of the land,16 I will be their prudent

Thus did we stablish Joseph in the land that he might house himself therein
at pleasure. We bestow our favours on whom we will, and suffer not the reward
of the righteous to perish.

And truly the recompense of the life to come is better, for those who have
believed and feared God.

And Joseph's brethren came and went in to him and he knew them, but they
recognised him not.

And when he had provided them with their provision, he said, "Bring me your
brother from your father. See ye not that I fill the measure, and am the best
of hosts?

But if ye bring him not to me, then no measure of corn shall there be for you
from me, nor shall ye come near me."

They said, "We will ask him of his father, and we will surely do it."

Said he to his servants, "Put their money into their camel-packs, that they
may perceive it when they have returned to their family: haply they will come
back to us."

And when they returned to their father, they said, "O, our father! corn is
withholden from us: send, therefore, our brother with us and we shall have
our measure; and all care of him will we take."

He said, "Shall I entrust you with him otherwise than as I before entrusted
you with his brother? But God is the best guardian, and of those who shew
compassion He is the most compassionate."

And when they opened their goods they found their money had been returned to
them. They said, "O, our father, what more can we desire? Here is our money
returned to us; we will provide corn for our families, and will take care of
our brother, and shall receive a camel's burden more of corn. This is an easy

He said, "I will not send him with you but on your oath before God that ye
will, indeed, bring him back to me, unless hindrances encompass you." And
when they had given him their pledge, he said, "God is witness of what we

And he said, "O, my sons! Enter not by one gate, but enter by different
gates.18 Yet can I not help you against aught decreed by God: judgment
belongeth to God alone. In Him put I my trust, and in Him let the trusting

And when they entered as their father had bidden them, it did not avert from
them anything decreed of God; but it only served to satisfy a desire in the
soul of Jacob which he had charged them to perform; for he was possessed of
knowledge which we had taught him; but most men have not that knowledge.

And when they came in to Joseph, he took his brother to him. He said,
"Verily, I am thy brother. Be not thou grieved for what they did."19

And when he had provided them with their provisions, he placed his drinking
cup in his brother's camel-pack. Then a crier cried after them, "O
travellers! ye are surely thieves."

They turned back to them and said, "What is that ye miss?"

"We miss," said they, "the prince's cup. For him who shall restore it, a
camel's load of corn! I pledge myself for it."

They said, "By God! ye know certainly that we came not to do wrong20 in the
land and we have not been thieves."

"What," said the Egyptians, "shall be the recompense of him who hath stolen
it, if ye be found liars?"

They said, "That he in whose camel-pack it shall be found be given up to you
in satisfaction for it. Thus recompense we the unjust."

And Joseph began with their sacks, before the sack of his brother, and then
from the sack of his brother he drew it out. This stratagem did we suggest to
Joseph. By the King's law he had no power to seize his brother, had not God
pleased. We uplift into grades of wisdom whom we will. And there is one
knowing above every one else endued with knowledge.

They said, "If he steal, a brother of his hath stolen heretofore."21 But
Joseph kept his secret, and did not discover it to them. Said he, aside, "Ye
are in the worse condition. And God well knoweth what ye state."

They said, "O Prince! Verily he hath a very aged father; in his stead,
therefore, take one of us, for we see that thou art a generous person."

He said, "God forbid that we should take but him with whom our property was
found, for then should we act unjustly."

And when they despaired of Benjamin, they went apart for counsel. The eldest
of them said, "Know ye not how that your father hath taken a pledge from you
before God, and how formerly ye failed in duty with regard to Joseph? I will
not quit the land till my father give me leave, or God decide for me; for of
those who decide is He the best.

Return ye to your father and say, 'O our father! Verily, thy son hath stolen:
we bear witness only of what we know: we could not guard against the

Enquire for thyself in the city where we have been, and of the caravan with
which we have arrived; and we are surely speakers of the truth.'

He said, "Nay, ye have arranged all this among yourselves: But patience is
seemly: God, may be, will bring them back to me together; for he is the
Knowing, the Wise."

And he turned away from them and said, "Oh! how I am grieved for Joseph!" and
his eyes became white with grief, for he bore a silent sorrow.

They said, "By God thou wilt only cease to think of Joseph when thou art at
the point of death, or dead."

He said, "I only plead my grief and my sorrow to God: but I know from God
what ye know not:22

Go, my sons, and seek tidings of Joseph and his brother, and despair not of
God's mercy, for none but the unbelieving despair of the mercy of God."

And when they came in to Joseph, they said, "O Prince, distress hath reached
us and our family, and little is the money that we have brought. But give us
full measure, and bestow it as alms, for God will recompense the almsgivers."

He said, "Know ye what ye did to Joseph and his brother in your ignorance?"

They said, "Canst thou indeed be Joseph?" He said, "I am Joseph, and this is
my brother. Now hath God been gracious to us. For whoso feareth God and
endureth. . . .  God verily will not suffer the reward of the righteous to

They said, "By God! now hath God chosen thee above us, and we have indeed
been sinners!"

He said, "No blame be on you this day. God will forgive you, for He is the
most merciful of those who shew mercy.

Go ye with this my shirt and throw it on my father's face, and he shall
recover his sight: and bring me all your family."

And when the caravan was departed, their father said, "I surely perceive the
smell of Joseph:23 think ye that I dote?"

They said, "By God, it is thy old mistake."

And when the bearer of good tidings came, he cast it on his face, and Jacob's
eyesight returned."

Then he said, "Did I not tell you that I knew from God what ye knew not?"

They said, "Our father, ask pardon for our crimes for us, for we have indeed
been sinners."

He said, "I will ask your pardon of my Lord, for he is Gracious, Merciful."

And when they came into Joseph he took his parents24 to him, and said, "Enter
ye Egypt, if God will, secure."

And he raised his parents to the seat of state, and they fell down bowing
themselves unto him. Then said he, "O my father, this is the meaning of my
dream of old. My Lord hath now made it true, and he hath surely been gracious
to me, since he took me forth from the prison, and hath brought you up out of
the desert, after that Satan had stirred up strife between me and my
brethren; for my Lord is gracious to whom He will; for He is the Knowing, the

O my Lord, thou hast given me dominion, and hast taught me to expound dark
sayings. Maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! My guardian art thou in this
world and in the next! Cause thou me to die a Muslim, and join me with the

This is one of the secret histories25 which we reveal unto thee. Thou wast
not present with Joseph's brethren when they conceived their design and laid
their plot: but the greater part of men, though thou long for it, will not

Thou shalt not ask of them any recompense for this message. It is simply an
instruction for all mankind.

And many as are the signs in the Heavens and on the Earth, yet they will pass
them by, and turn aside from them:

And most of them believe not in God, without also joining other deities with

What! Are they sure that the overwhelming chastisement of God shall not come
upon them, or that that Hour shall not come upon them suddenly, while they
are unaware?

SAY: This is my way: resting on a clear proof, I call you to God, I and whoso
followeth me: and glory be to God! I am not one of those who add other
deities to Him.

Never before thee have we sent any but men, chosen out of the people of the
cities, to whom we made revelations. Will they not journey through the land,
and see what hath been the end of those who were before them? But the
mansions of the next life shall be better for those who fear God. Will they
not then comprehend?

When at last the Apostles lost all hope, and deemed that they were reckoned
as liars, our aid reached them, and we delivered whom we would; but our
vengeance was not averted from the wicked.

Certainly in their histories is an example for men of understanding. This is
no new tale of fiction, but a confirmation of previous scriptures, and an
explanation of all things, and guidance and mercy to those who believe.


1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32. In no other Sura beside this is one subject treated
of throughout. It was recited to the first eight of the Ansars who were
converted, and clearly proves that Muhammad must have been in confidential
intercourse with learned Jews.

2 The word Koran is here used in the same sense as Sura.

3 Muhammad was either unaware of the previous dream mentioned, Gen. xxxvii.
7, or passes it by in silence.

4 The captious and unbelieving Koreisch.

5 Wir mussten denn zuerst das Leben einbüssen. Wahl. Ullm. Maracci.

6 Lit. your minds have made a thing seem pleasant to you.

7 According to Gen. xxxvii. 24, the well or pit had "no water in it.

8 Some take the Arabic Boshra as the proper name of the person who
accompanied the drawer of water.

9 The apparition of his father, who said, "Hereafter shall the names of thy
brethren, engraven on precious stones, shine on the breast of the High
Priest. Shall thine be blotted out?" Tr. Sotah, fol. 36. Comp. Weil,
Legenden, p. 109, n.

10 Lit. that he be imprisoned.

11 An infant in the cradle. Sepher Hadjascher, as below on v. 31.

12 Instead of their food, through surprise at his beauty. Seph. Hadj. in
Midr. Jalkut. See also Midr. Abkhir, ib. ch. 146.

13 It is curious to observe how Muhammad, in this and the following verse,
puts his own doctrine and convictions into the mouth of Joseph.

14 Satan induced Joseph to place his confidence in man, rather than in God
alone, in punishment of which sin the imprisonment was continued. Thus Midr.
Rabba. Gen. Par. 89. Midr. Jalkut, ib. ch. 147.

15 In Gen. xli. 14, Joseph is released from prison before the interpretation
of the dreams. But the Koran makes him decline to quit it till his character
is cleared.

16 According to Gen. xli. 39, Pharaoh of his own accord sets Joseph over his
house and land.

17 For the king to bestow.

18 Thus we read in Mid. Rab. on Gen. Par. 91, "Jacob said to them, Enter ye
not all by one gate." See also Midr. Jalkut, ch. 148.

19 Thus also, in the Sepher Hadjaschar, Joseph first discovers himself to
Benjamin, in opposition to Gen. xlv. 1.

20 Comp. Gen. xlii. 9.

21 Joseph is said by the Muhammadan commentators to have stolen an idol of
gold belonging to his mother's father, which he broke, that he might not
worship it. But this comment, as well as the text of the Koran, is probably
based upon some such tradition as that of Midr. Rabba, Par. 92, "He is a
thief and the son of a thief" (Comp. Gen. xxxi. 19)–spoken of Benjamin.

22 That is, that Joseph was still alive. Thus Midr. Tanchumah on Gen. xlii.

23 Comp. Gen. xxvii. 27.

24 Joseph's mother had long been dead. See Gen. xxxv. 19. But the object of
Muhammad was probably to bring the event into strict accordance with the
prediction of the dream. Gen. xxxvii. 10. Some, however, suppose that Bilhah
is here meant, and her appearance before Joseph is also asserted to be the
fulfilment of the dream by some of the Rabbins. Comp. Raschi on Gen. xxxvii.

25 Lit. This is of the announcements of the things unseen (by thee,
Muhammad). Compare the manner in which the story of the Creation and of Moses
in the mount is introduced. Sura xxxviii. 70; xxviii. 45. Mr. Muir thinks
that Muhammad must at this period, while recasting and working up these
materials, have entered upon a course of wilful dissimulation and deceit
(although the end would justify to him the means employed) in claiming
inspiration for them.


MECCA.–85 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HA. MIM. The Revelation (sending down) of the Book is from God the Almighty,
the All-knowing,1

Forgiver of sin, and receiver of penitence,–vehement in chastisement,

Long-suffering! There is no God but He: to Him shall be the final gathering.

None but infidels gainsay the signs of God: but let not their prosperity in
the land deceive thee.

The people of Noah, and the confederates after them, have brought the charge
of imposture before these Meccans: each nation schemed against their apostle
to lay violent hold on him, and disputed with vain words to refute the truth.
Therefore did I lay violent hold on them; and how great was my chastisement!

Thus is it that thy Lord's sentence, that inmates shall they be of the fire,
was accomplished upon the infidels.

They who bear the throne2 and they who encircle it, celebrate the praise of
their Lord and believe in Him, and implore forgiveness for the believers:–"O
our Lord! thou embracest all things in mercy and knowledge; forgive,
therefore, those who turn to thee and follow thy path; keep them from the
pains of hell:

O our Lord! and bring them into the Gardens of Eden which thou hast promised
to them, and to the righteous ones of their fathers and their wives and their
children; for thou art the All-mighty, the All-wise:

And keep them from evil: for on him hast thou mercy whom on that day thou
shalt keep from evil;" and this will be the great felicity.

But to the infidels shall a voice cry, "Surely the hatred of God is more
grievous than your hatred of yourselves, when ye were called to the faith,
and remained unbelievers."

They shall say, "Twice, O our Lord, hast thou given us death, and twice hast
thou given us life:3 and we acknowledge our sins: is there no way to escape?"

"This hath befallen you, for that when One God was proclaimed to you, ye
believed not: but when partners had been united with him, ye believed: But
judgment belongeth unto God, the High, the Great."

It is He who sheweth you his signs, and sendeth down supplies to you from
Heaven: but none will receive warning save he who turneth to God.

Call then on God, offering him a pure worship, though the infidels abhor it.

Of exalted grade, of the throne possessed, He sendeth forth the Spirit at His
own behest on whomsoever of His servants He pleaseth, that He may warn of the
day of meeting,

The day when they shall come forth from their graves, when nought that
concerneth them shall be hidden from God. With whom shall be the power
supreme on that day? With God, the One, the Almighty.

On that day shall every soul be recompensed as it hath deserved: no injustice
on that day! Verily, God will be swift to reckon.

Warn them, then, of the approaching day, when men's hearts shall rise up,
choking them, into their throats.

The evil-doers shall have no friend or intercessor who shall prevail.

God knoweth the deceitful of eye, and what men's breasts conceal.

And everything will God decide with truth: But nothing shall those gods whom
men call on beside him, decide. Verily, God! the Hearer, the Beholder, He!

Have they never journeyed in this land, and seen what hath been the end of
those who flourished before them? Mightier were they in strength than these
Meccans, and their traces remain in the land: Yet God took them in their
sins, and there was none to defend them against God.

This, because their apostles had come to them with proofs of their mission,
and they believed not: so God took them in hand; for He is mighty, vehement
in punishing.

Moreover we had sent Moses of old with our signs and with clear authority.

To Pharaoh, and Haman, and Karun:4 and they said, "Sorcerer, impostor."

And when he came to them from our presence with the truth, they said, "Slay
the sons of those who believe as he doth, and save their females alive;" but
the stratagem of the unbelievers issued only in failure.

And Pharaoh said, "Let me alone, that I may kill Moses; and let him call upon
his Lord: I fear lest he change your religion, or cause disorder to shew
itself in the land."

And Moses said, "I take refuge with my Lord and your Lord from every proud
one who believeth not in the day of reckoning."

And a man of the family of Pharaoh, who was a BELIEVER,5 but hid his faith,
said, "Will ye slay a man because he saith my Lord is God, when he hath
already come to you with proofs of his mission from your Lord? and if he be a
liar, on him will be his lie:6 but if he be a man of truth, part at least of
what he threateneth will fall upon you. Truly God guideth not him who is a
transgressor, a liar.

O my people! this day is the kingdom yours, the eminent of the earth! but who
shall defend us from the vengeance of God if it come on us?" Pharaoh said, "I
would have you see only what I see; and in a right way only will I guide

Then said he who believed, "O my people! truly I fear for you the like of the
day of the allies,7

The like of the state of the people of Noah and Ad and Themoud,

And of those who came after them; yet God willeth not injustice to his

And, O my people! I indeed fear for you the day of mutual outcry–

The day when ye shall be turned back from the Judgment into hell. No
protector shall ye have then against God. And he whom God shall mislead no
guide shall there be for him.

Moreover, Joseph had come to you before with clear tokens, but ye ceased not
to doubt of the message with which he came to you, until when he died, ye
said, 'God will by no means raise up an apostle after him.' " Thus God
misleadeth him who is the transgressor, the doubter.

They who gainsay the signs of God without authority having come to them, are
greatly hated by God and by those who believe. Thus God sealeth up every
proud, contumacious heart.

And Pharaoh said, "O Haman,8 Build for me a tower that I may reach the

The avenues of the heavens, and may mount to the God of Moses, for I verily
deem him a liar."

And thus the evil of his doings was made fair-seeming to Pharaoh, and he
turned away from the path of truth; but the artifice of Pharaoh ended only in
his ruin.

And he who believed said, "O my people! follow me: into the right way will I
guide you.

O my people! this present life is only a passing joy, but the life to come is
the mansion that abideth.

Whoso shall have wrought evil shall not be recompensed but with its like; but
whoso shall have done the things that are right, whether male or female, and
is a believer–these shall enter paradise: good things unreckoned shall they
enjoy therein.

And, O my people! how is it that I bid you to salvation, but that ye bid me
to the fire?

Ye invite me to deny God, and to join with him gods of whom I know nothing;
but I invite you to the Mighty, the Forgiving.

No doubt is there that they to whom ye invite me are not to be invoked either
in this world or in the world to come: and that unto God is our return, and
that the transgressors shall be the inmates of the fire.

Then shall ye remember what I am saying unto you: and to God commit I my
case: Verily, God beholdeth his servants."

So God preserved him from the evils which they had planned, and the woe of
the punishment encompassed the people of Pharaoh.

It is the fire to which they shall be exposed morning and evening, and on the
day when "the Hour" shall arrive–"Bring in the people of Pharaoh into the
severest punishment."

And when they shall wrangle together in the fire, the weak shall say to those
who had borne themselves so proudly, "It is you we followed: will ye
therefore relieve us from aught of the fire?"

And those proud ones shall say, "Verily we are all in it; for now hath God
judged between his servants."

And they who are in the fire shall say to the keepers of Hell, "Implore your
Lord that he would give us ease but for one day from this torment."

They shall say, "Came not your apostles to you with the tokens?" They shall
say, "Yes." They shall say, "Cry ye then aloud for help:" but the cry of the
unbelievers shall be only in vain.

Assuredly, in this present life will we succour our apostles and those who
shall have believed, and on the day when the witnesses shall stand forth;

A day whereon the plea of the evil doers shall not avail them; but theirs
shall be a curse, and theirs the woe of the abode in Hell.

And of old gave we Moses the guidance, and we made the children of Israel the
heritors of the Book,–a guidance and warning to men endued with

Therefore be steadfast thou and patient; for true is the promise of God: and
seek pardon for thy fault,9 and celebrate the praise of thy Lord at evening
and at morning.

As to those who cavil at the signs of God without authority having reached
them, nought is there but pride in their breasts: but they shall not succeed.
Fly thou for refuge then to God, for He is the Hearer, the Beholder.

Greater surely than the creation of man is the creation of the heavens and of
the earth: but most men know it not.

Moreover, the blind and the seeing, and the evil doer and they who believe
and do the things that are right, shall not be deemed equal. How few ponder

Aye, "the Hour" will surely come: there is no doubt of it: but most men
believe it not.

And your Lord saith, "Call upon me–I will hearken unto you: but they who turn
in disdain from my service shall enter Hell with shame."

It is God who hath ordained the night for your rest, and the day to give you
light: verily God is rich in bounties to men: but most men render not the
tribute of thanks.

This is God your Lord, Creator of all things: no god is there but He: why
then do ye turn away from Him?

Yet thus are they turned aside who gainsay the signs of God.

It is God who hath given you the earth as a sure foundation, and over it
built up the Heaven, and formed you, and made your forms beautiful, and
feedeth you with good things. This is God your Lord. Blessed then be God the
Lord of the Worlds!

He is the Living One. No God is there but He. Call then upon Him and offer
Him a pure worship. Praise be to God the Lord of the Worlds!

SAY: Verily I am forbidden to worship what ye call on beside God, after that
the clear tokens have come to me from my Lord, and I am bidden to surrender
myself to the Lord of the Worlds.

He it is who created you of the dust, then of the germs of life, then of
thick blood, then brought you forth infants: then he letteth you reach your
full strength, and then become old men (but some of you die first), and reach
the ordained term. And this that haply ye may understand.

It is He who giveth life and death; and when He decreeth a thing, He only
saith of it, "Be," and it is.

Seest thou not those who cavil at the signs of God? how are they turned

They who treat "the Book," and the message with which we have sent our Sent
Ones, as a lie, shall know the truth hereafter,

When the collars shall be on their necks and the chains to drag them into
Hell: then in the fire shall they be burned.

Then shall it be said to them, "Where are they whom ye made the objects of
joint worship with God?" They shall say, "They have vanished away from us.
Yea, it was nought on which we called heretofore." Thus God leadeth the
unbelievers astray.

–"This for you, because of your unrighteous insolence and immoderate joys on

Enter ye the portals of Hell to abide therein for ever. And, wretched the
abode of the haughty ones!"

Therefore be thou steadfast in patience: for the promise of God is truth: and
whether we shall make thee see part of the woes with which we threatened
them, or whether we cause thee first to die, unto us shall they be brought

And we have already sent apostles before thee: of some we have told thee, and
of others we have told thee nothing:10 but no apostle had the power to work a
miracle unless by the leave of God. But when God's behest cometh, everything
will be decided with truth: and then they perish who treated it as a vain

It is God who hath given you the cattle that on some of them ye may ride, and
of some may eat:

(Other advantages too do ye derive from them)–and that by them ye may effect
the projects ye cherish in your breasts; for on them, and on ships are ye

And He sheweth you His signs: which, then, of the signs of God will ye deny?

Have they not journeyed in this land, and seen what hath been the end of
those who flourished before them? More were they than these in number and
mightier in strength, and greater are the traces of their power remaining in
the land:11 yet their labours availed them nothing.

And when their apostles had come to them with the tokens of their mission,
they exulted in what they possessed of knowledge; but that retribution at
which they scoffed, encompassed them.

And when they beheld our vengeance they said, "We believe in God alone, and
we disbelieve in the deities we once associated with Him."

But their faith, after they had witnessed our vengeance, profited them not.
Such the procedure of God with regard to his servants who flourished of old.
And then the unbelievers perished.


1 See Sura 1xviii. 1, p. 32.

2 The Cherubic beings of Scripture are said to be above the throne of God
(Is. vi. 1), beneath it (Ezek. x.); and the mystical beasts in the
Revelations are said to be in the midst of the throne and round about it.

3 Probably the union of life and death in the womb, and the subsequent life
followed by death.

4 See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 76.

5 Thus Sura [lxxix.] xxviii 20, and Sura [lx.] xxxvi. 19, we have a similar
character introduced into the narrative.

6 Comp. Acts v. 38, 39.

7 These tribes no doubt constantly formed temporary alliances. Muhammad
implies that they were confederate against their prophets.

8 Haman, the favourite of Ahasuerus and the enemy of the Jews, is thus made
the vizier of Pharaoh. The Rabbins make this vizier to have been Korah,
Jethro, or Balaam. Midr. Jalkut on Ex. ch. 1, Sect. 162-168; and Tr. Solah,
fol. 11. See Sura [lxxix.] xxviii. 5.

9 Thy remissness in propagating Islam. Beidh.

10 It is possible that Muhammad, conscious of his ignorance of Jewish
history, intends in this verse to screen himself from the charge of passing
over the histories of many of their prophets.

11 The wealth of Mecca, although it still numbered about 12,000 inhabitants
(as well as of Arabia generally), had much declined at the time of Muhammad,
owing mainly to the navigation of the Red Sea, under the Roman dominion over
Egypt, which of course impoverished the tribes situated on the line of the
old mercantile route southward. Mecca, however, was still to a certain extent
prosperous. Comp. Sura [lxi.] xliii. 28.


MECCA.–88 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

TA. SIN. MIM.1 These are the signs of the lucid Book.

We will recite to thee portions of the History of Moses and Pharaoh with
truth, for the teaching of the faithful.

Now Pharaoh lifted himself up in the earth, and divided his people into
parties: one portion of them he brought low–He slew their male children, and
let their females only live; for he was one of those who wrought disorders.

And we were minded to shew favour to those who were brought low in the land,
and to make them spiritual chiefs,2 and to make them Pharaoh's heirs,

And to stablish them in the land;3 and to make Pharaoh and Haman and their
hosts, the eye-witnesses of what they dreaded from them.

And we said by revelation to the mother of Moses, "Give him suck; and if thou
fearest for him, launch him on the sea; and fear not, neither fret; for we
will restore him to thee, and make him one of the apostles."

And Pharaoh's family took him up to be a foe and a sorrow to them, for
sinners were Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts!

And Pharaoh's wife said, "Joy of the eye4 to me and thee! put him not to
death: haply he will be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son." But they
knew not what they did.

And the heart of Moses' mother became a blank through fear: and almost had
she discovered him, but that we girt up her heart with constancy, in order
that she might be one of those who believe.

She said to his sister, "Follow him." And she watched him from afar: and they
perceived it not.

And we caused him to refuse the nurses,5 until his sister came and said,
Shall I point out to you the family of a house that will rear him for you,
and will be careful of him?

So we restored him to his mother, to be the joy of her eyes, and that she
might not fret, and that she might know that the promise of God was true. But
most men knew it not.

And when he had reached his age of strength, and had become a man, we
bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge; for thus do we reward the righteous.

And he entered a city at the time when its inhabitants would not observe
him,6 and found therein two men fighting: the one, of his own people; the
other, of his enemies. And he who was of his own people asked his help
against him who was of his enemies. And Moses smote him with his fist and
slew him. Said he, "This is a work of Satan; for he is an enemy, a manifest

He said, "O my Lord, I have sinned to mine own hurt:7 forgive me." So God
forgave him; for He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.

He said, "Lord, because thou hast showed me this grace, I will never again be
the helper of the wicked."

And in the city at noon he was full of fear, casting furtive glances round
him: and lo! the man whom he had helped the day before, cried out to him
again for help. Said Moses to him, "Thou art plainly a most depraved person."

And when he would have laid violent hands on him who was their common foe, he
said to him, "O Moses, dost thou desire to slay me, as thou slayedst a man
yesterday? Thou desirest only to become a tyrant in this land, and desirest
not to become a peacemaker."

But a man came running up from the city's end. He said, "O Moses, of a truth,
the nobles consult to slay thee–Begone then–I counsel thee as a friend."

So forth he went from it in fear, looking warily about him. He said, "O Lord,
deliver me from the unjust people."

And when he was journeying toward Madian, he said, "Haply my Lord will direct
me in an even path."

And when he arrived at the water of Madian, he found at it a company of men

And he found beside them, two women8 keeping back their flock: "Why do ye,"
said he, "thus?" They said "We shall not water till the shepherds shall have
driven off; for our father is very aged."

So he watered for them–then retired to the shade and said, "O my Lord, of the
good thou hast caused me to meet with I stand in need."9

And one of them came to him, walking bashfully. Said she, "My father calleth
thee, that he may pay thee wages for thy watering for us." And when he came
to him and had told him his STORY, "Fear not," said he, "thou hast escaped
from an unjust people."

One of them said, "O my father, hire him: for the best thou canst hire is the
strong, the trusty."

He said, "Truly to one of these my two daughters I desire to marry thee, if
for eight years thou wilt be my hired servant:10 and if thou fulfil ten, it
shall be of thine own accord, for I wish not to deal hardly with thee. Thou
wilt find me, if God will, one of the upright."

He said, "Be it so between me and thee: Whichever of the two terms I fulfil,
there will be no injustice to me. And God is witness of what we say."

And when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was journeying with his family, he
perceived a fire on the mountain side. He said to his family, "Wait ye, for I
perceive a fire. Haply I may bring you tidings from it, or a brand from the
fire to warm you."

And when he came up to it, a Voice cried to him11 out of the bush from the
right side of the valley in the sacred hollow, "O Moses, I truly am God, the
Lord of the Worlds:

Throw down now thy rod." And when he saw it move as though it were a serpent,
he retreated and fled and returned not. "O Moses," cried the Voice, "draw
near and fear not, for thou art in safety.

Put thy hand into thy bosom; it shall come forth white, but unharmed: and
draw back thy hand12 to thee without fear. These shall be two signs from thy
Lord to Pharaoh and his nobles; for they are a perverse people."

He said, "O my Lord! truly I have slain one of them, therefore fear I lest
they slay me.

My brother Aaron is clearer of speech than I. Send him, therefore, with me as
a help, and to make good my cause, for I fear lest they treat me as an

He said, "We will strengthen thine arm with thy brother, and we will give
power unto you both, and they shall not equal you in our signs. Ye twain and
they who shall follow you, shall gain the day."

And when Moses came to him with our demonstrative signs they said, "This is
nought but magical device. We never heard the like among our sires of old."

And Moses said, "My Lord best knoweth on whom He hath bestowed His guidance,
and whose shall be the recompense of the abode of Paradise. Verily, the
wicked shall not prosper."

And Pharaoh said, "O ye nobles, ye have no other God that I know of but
myself. Burn me then, Haman, bricks of clay,13 and build me a tower that I
may mount up to the God of Moses, for in sooth, I deem him a liar."

And he and his hosts behaved themselves proudly and unjustly on the earth,
and thought that they should never be brought back to us.

But we seized on him and his hosts and cast them into the sea: Behold, then,
the end of the wrongful doers:

And we made them imâms who invite to the fire of hell, and on the day of
Resurrection they shall not be helped.

We followed them with a curse in this world, and covered shall they be with
shame on the day of Resurrection.

And after we had destroyed the former generations, we gave the book of the
Law to Moses for man's enlightening, and a guidance and a mercy, that haply
they might reflect.

And thou wast not on the western slope of Sinai when we laid his charge on
Moses, nor wast thou one of the witnesses;

But we raised up generations after Moses, men whose days were lengthened;14
neither didst thou dwell among the inhabitants of Madian to rehearse to them
our signs, but we sent Apostles to them.15

Nor wast thou on the slope of Sinai when we called to Moses, but it is of the
mercy of thy Lord that thou warnest a people, to whom no warner had come
before thee, to the intent that they should reflect:

And that they should not say when a calamity shall befal them for their
previous handy work, "O our Lord! why hast thou not sent an Apostle to us?
Then we should have followed thy signs and have been of the believers."

Yet when the truth came to them from our very presence, they said, "Unless
the like powers be given to him that were given to Moses. . . ."16 But did
they not disbelieve in what of old was given to Moses? They said, "Two works
of sorcery17 have helped each other;" and they said, "We disbelieve them

SAY: Bring then a Book from before God which shall be a better guide than
these, that I may follow it; if ye speak the truth.

And if they answer thee not, then know that verily they are following their
own caprices: and who goeth more widely astray than he who followeth his own
caprice without guidance from God? for God guideth not the wicked.

And now have we caused our word to come unto them, that they may be warned:

They18 to whom we gave the Scriptures before IT, do in IT believe.

And when it is recited to them they say, "We believe in it, for it is the
truth from our Lord. We were Muslims before it came."

Twice shall their reward be given them, for that they suffered with patience,
and repelled evil with good, and gave alms out of that with which we provided

And when they hear light discourse they withdraw from it, and say, "Our works
for us and your works for you! Peace be on you! We are not in quest of

Thou truly canst not guide whom thou desirest; but God guideth whom He will;
and He best knoweth those who yield to guidance.

But they say, "If we follow the way in which thou art guided,19 we shall be
driven from our country." But have we not established for them a sacred
secure precinct, to which fruits of every kind, our gift for their support,
are gathered together? But most of them have no knowledge.

And how many cities have we destroyed that flourished in wanton ease! And
these their dwellings have not been inhabited since their time save by a few,
and it is we who became their heirs.

But thy Lord did not destroy the cities till He had sent an apostle to their
mother-city to rehearse our signs to its people: nor did we destroy the
cities unless its people were unjust.

And all that hath been bestowed on you is merely for enjoyment and pomp of
this life present: but that which is with God is better and more lasting.
Will ye not be wise?

Shall he then to whom we have promised a goodly promise and who obtaineth it,
be as he on whom we have bestowed the enjoyments of this life present, and
who on the day of Resurrection shall be brought up for punishment?

On that day will God cry to them and say, "Where are my companions, as ye
supposed them?"

They on whom doom shall be justly pronounced will say, "O our Lord! these are
they whom we led astray: we led them astray even as we had been led astray
ourselves: Thou hast no cause of blame against us: It was not we whom they

And it shall be said, "Call now on those whom ye made God's companions:" and
they shall call on them, but they will not answer them. And they shall see
the punishment, and wish that they had been guided aright.

And on that day shall God call to them and say, "How answered ye the

But on that day they shall be too blinded with confusion to give an
account,21 nor shall they ask it of one another.

Yet as to him who shall turn to God and believe and do the thing that is
right, it may come to pass that he shall be among the happy.

And thy Lord createth what he will and hath a free choice. But they, the
false gods, have no power to choose. Glory be to God! and high let him be
exalted above those whom they associate with him.

And thy Lord knoweth what their breasts conceal and what they bring to light.

And He is God! There is no god but He! His, all praise in this life and in
the next, and His the power supreme,22 and to Him shall ye be brought back!

SAY: What think ye? If God should enshroud you with a long night until the
day of resurrection, what god beside God would bring you light? Will ye not
then hearken?

SAY: What think ye? If God should make it one long day for you until the day
of resurrection, what god but God could bring you the night in which to take
your rest? Will ye not then see?

Of His mercy he hath made for you the night that ye may take your rest in it;
and the day that ye may seek what ye need out of his bounteous supplies, and
that ye may give thanks.

One day God will call to them and say, "Where are my companions as ye
supposed them?

And we will bring up a witness out of every nation and say, "Bring your
proofs." And they shall know that the truth is with God alone, and the gods
of their own devising shall desert them.

Now Korah23 was of the people of Moses: but he behaved haughtily toward them;
for we had given him such treasure that its keys would have burdened a
company of men of strength. When his people said to him, "Exult not, for God
loveth not those who exult;

But seek, by means of what God hath given thee, to attain the future Mansion;
and neglect not thy part in this world, but be bounteous to others as God
hath been bounteous to thee, and seek not to commit excesses on the earth;
for God loveth not those who commit excesses:"

He said, "It hath been given me only on account of the knowledge that is in
me." Did he not know that God had destroyed before him generations that were
mightier than he in strength and had amassed more abundant wealth? But the
wicked shall not be asked of their crimes.

And Korah went forth to his people in his pomp. Those who were greedy for
this present life said, "Oh that we had the like of that which hath been
bestowed on Korah! Truly he is possessed of great good fortune."

But they to whom knowledge had been given said, "Woe to you! the reward of
God is better for him who believeth and worketh righteousness, and none shall
win it but those who have patiently endured."

And we clave the earth for him and for his palace, and he had no forces, in
the place of God,24 to help him, nor was he among those who are succoured.

And in the morning those who the day before had coveted his lot said, "Aha!
God enlargeth supplies to whom he pleaseth of his servants, or is sparing.
Had not God been gracious to us, He had caused it to cleave for us. Aha! the
ungrateful can never prosper."

As to this future mansion, we will bestow it on those who seek not to exalt
them in the earth or to do wrong: And there is a happy issue for the God-

Whoso doeth good shall have reward beyond its merits, and whoso doeth evil,
they who do evil shall be rewarded only as they shall have wrought.

He who hath sanctioned the Koran to thee will certainly bring thee to thy
home.25 SAY: My Lord best knoweth who hath guidance, and who is in undoubted

Thou didst never expect that the Book would be given thee. Of thy Lord's
mercy only hath it been sent down. Be not thou helpful then to the

Neither let them turn thee aside from the signs of God after they have been
sent down to thee, but bid men to thy Lord; and be not among those who add
gods to God:

And call not on any other god with God. There is no god but He! Everything
shall perish except Himself! Judgment is His, and to Him shall ye return!


1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

2 Lit. Imâms.

3 Comp. [xci.] ii. 58.

4 That is, This child will be a comfort to us. See Sura [lviii.] xix. 26.

5 "Why must the nurse be a Hebrew woman? (Ex. ii. 7.) This shews that he
refused the breast of all the Egyptian women. For the Holy, blessed be He,
had said, Shall the mouth that is to speak with me suck an unclean thing?"
Sotah. xii. 2.

6 Lit. in the time of neglect on the part of its people, i.e. at the hour of
the noon sleep.

7 Lit. I have acted unjustly to my soul.

8 Comp. Ex. ii. 16, 17, where the daughters are said to be seven.

9 That is, of a wife.

10 The compact (Gen. xxix. 15-39) between Laban and Jacob must have been
present to the mind of Muhammad when composing this tale.

11 Lit. he was cried to. According to Muhammad, Moses had resolved to quit
Madian previously to the Vision of the Bush, which, according to Ex. iii.,
was the real occasion.

12 Lit. thy wing.

13 Lit. kindle upon the clay. Comp. [lxxviii.] xl. 38-49. "He (Pharaoh) said
to them: From the first have ye spoken an untruth, for Lord of the Worlds am
I. I created myself and the Nile, as it is said (Ez. xxix. 3), 'My river is
mine own and I have made it for myself."' (E.T.) Mid. Rab. on Ex. Par. 5.

14 So that the oral traditions would be easily handed down.

15 Or, yet have we sent thee as an Apostle to them.

16 Supply, we will not believe.

17 That is, the Pentateuch and the Koran.

18 The Meccan Jews and Christians who had formerly embraced Islam, and could
now affirm that they had always held the same faith. This passage could not
have been written after Muhammad's experience of Jewish unbelief at Medina.

19 Lit. the guidance with thee.

20 But their own imaginations and passions.

21 Lit. the account shall be blind or dark to them. Sie werden vor Bestürzung
keine Rechenschaft geben. Ullm.

22 Potestas judiciaria. Mar. Richteramt. Ullm.

23 Ar. Karun. "Joseph concealed three treasures in Egypt, one of which became
known to Korah . . . the keys of Korah's treasure chambers were a burden for
300 white mules." Midr. Jalkut on Eccl. v. 12, "Riches kept for the owners
thereof to their hurt,"–which may have furnished Muhammad with the nucleus of
this story. Compare also Tract. Psachim. fol. 119 a.

24 Or, against God.

25 Probably to Paradise, according to others to Mecca, as a conqueror. But
this latter interpretation involves the revelation of this verse at least, at


MECCA.–75 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

THE Book1 sent down from God, the Mighty, the Wise!

We have sent down the Book to thee with the truth: serve thou God then, and
be sincere in thy worship:

Is not a sincere worship due to God?

But they who take others beside him as lords saying, "We serve them only that
they may bring us near to God"–God will judge between them and the faithful,
concerning that wherein they are at variance.

Verily God will not guide him who is a liar, an infidel.

Had God desired to have had a son, he had surely chosen what he pleased out
of his own creation. But praise be to Him! He is God, the One, the Almighty.

For truth2 hath he created the Heavens and the Earth: It is of Him that the
night returneth upon the day and that the day returneth upon the night: and
He controlleth the sun and the moon so that each speedeth to an appointed
goal. Is He not the Mighty, the Gracious?

He created you all of one man, from whom He afterwards formed his wife; and
of cattle He hath sent down to you four pairs.3 In the wombs of your mothers
did He create you by creation upon creation in triple darkness. It is He who
is God your Lord: the kingdom is His: There is no God but He. How then are ye
so turned aside from Him?

Suppose ye render him no thanks! yet forsooth is God rich without you: but He
is not pleased with thanklessness in His servants: yet if ye be thankful He
will be pleased with you. The soul burdened with its own works shall not be
burdened with the burden of another: hereafter shall ye return to your Lord,
and he will tell you of all your works,

For he knoweth the very secrets of your breasts.

When some trouble toucheth a man, he turneth to his Lord and calleth on him:
yet no sooner hath He enriched him with his favour than he forgetteth Him on
whom he before had called, and setteth up peers with God, that he may beguile
others from His way. SAY: Enjoy thou thyself yet a little in thine
ingratitude! but thou shalt surely be one of the inmates of the fire.

Shall he who observeth the hours of the night, prostrate or standing in
devotion, heedful of the life to come, and hoping for the mercy of his Lord .
. .? SAY: Shall they who have knowledge and they who have it not, be treated
alike? In sooth, men of understanding only will take the warning.

SAY: O my believing servants, fear your Lord. For those who do good in this
world there is good: and broad is God's earth4–verily those who endure with
patience shall be repaid: their reward shall not be by measure.

SAY: I am bidden to serve God with a sincere worship: and I am bidden to be
the first of those who surrender themselves to him (Muslims).

SAY: Verily I fear if I rebel against my Lord the punishment of a great day.

SAY: God will I serve, presenting him with a sincere worship:

And serve ye what ye choose beside Him. SAY: The losers truly will they be
who shall lose their own souls and their families on the day of resurrection:
Is not this the clear ruin?

Canopies of fire shall be over them, and floors of fire beneath them. With
this doth God alarm his servants: Fear ye me, then, O my servants!

But good tidings are there for those who shun the worship of Thagout and are
turned to God. Cheer then with good tidings those my servants who hearken to
my word and follow its excellence. These are they whom God guideth, and these
are men of insight.

Him then on whom the sentence of punishment hath justly lighted–him who is
doomed to the fire canst thou rescue?

But for those who fear their Lord are storied pavilions beneath which shall
the rivers flow: it is the promise of God, and God will not fail in his

Seest thou not that God sendeth down water from heaven, and guideth it along
so as to form springs in the earth–then bringeth forth by it corn of varied
sorts–then causeth he it to wither, and thou seest it become yellow–then
crumbleth it away? Lo! herein is teaching for men of insight.

Shall he then whose breast God hath opened to Islam, and who hath light from
his Lord . . .? But woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the
remembrance of God! They plainly err.

The best of recitals hath God sent down a book in unison with itself, and
teaching by iteration.5 The very skins of those who fear their Lord do creep
at it! Then do their skins and their hearts soften at the remembrance of
their Lord! This is God's guidance: by it will He guide whom He pleaseth;
and, whom God shall mislead, no guide shall there be for him.

Shall he who shall have nought but his own face to shelter him with from the
torment of the punishment on the day of the resurrection . . .? Aye, to the
evil doers it shall be said, "Taste what ye have earned."

They who were before them said it was a lie; but a punishment came upon them
whence they looked not for it:

And God made them taste humiliation in this present life: but greater surely
will be the punishment of the life to come. Did they but know it!

Now have we set before man in this Koran every kind of parable for their

An Arabic Koran, free from tortuous wording, to the intent that they may fear

God setteth forth the comparison of a man with associates6 at variance among
themselves, and of a man devoted wholly to a man. Are these to be held alike?
No, praise be to God! But the greater part of them understand not.

Thou truly shall die, O Muhammad, and they too shall die:

Then, at the day of resurrection, ye shall wrangle with one another in the
presence of your Lord.

And who acteth more unjustly than he who lieth of God, and treateth the truth
when it cometh to him as a lie? Is there not a dwelling-place in Hell for the

But he who bringeth the truth, and he who believeth it to be the truth: these
are the God-fearing.

Whatever they shall desire, awaiteth them with their Lord! This is the reward
of the righteous;

That God may do away the guilt of their worst actions, and for their best
actions render them their reward.

Is not God all-sufficient for his servant? Yet would they scare thee by their
idols. But no guide shall there be for him whom God misleadeth:

And he whom God guideth shall have none to mislead him. Is not God, all-
mighty, able to revenge?

And if thou ask them who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, they will
surely answer, God. SAY: Think ye, then, that they7 on whom ye call beside
God, if God choose to afflict me, could remove his affliction? or if he
choose to show me mercy, could they withhold His mercy? SAY: God sufficeth
me: in Him let the trusting trust.

SAY: O my people, act your part as best ye can, I too will act mine; and in
the end ye shall know

On whom shall light a punishment that shall shame him, and on whom a lasting
punishment shall fall.

Assuredly we have sent down the Book to thee for man and for the ends of
truth. Whoso shall be guided by it–it will be for his own advantage, and
whoso shall err, shall only err to his own loss. But not to thy keeping are
they entrusted.

God taketh souls unto Himself at death; and during their sleep those who do
not die:8 and he retaineth those on which he hath passed a decree of death,
but sendeth the others back till a time that is fixed. Herein are signs for
the reflecting.

Have they taken aught beside God as intercessors? SAY: What! though they have
no power over anything, neither do they understand?

SAY: Intercession is wholly with God:9 His the kingdom of the Heavens and of
the Earth! To him shall ye be brought back hereafter!

But when the One God is named, the hearts of those who believe not in the
life to come, shrivel up: but when the deities who are adored beside Him are
named, lo! they are filled with joy.

SAY: O God, creator of the Heaven and of the Earth, who knowest the hidden
and the manifest, thou shalt judge between thy servants as to the subject of
their disputes.

If the wicked possessed all that is in the earth and as much again therewith,
verily they would ransom themselves with it from the pain of the punishment
on the day of the resurrection; and there shall appear to them, from God,
things they had never reckoned on:

And their own ill deeds shall be clearly perceived by them, and that fire at
which they mocked shall encircle them on every side.

When trouble befalleth a man he crieth to Us; afterwards, when we have
vouchsafed favour to him, he saith, "God knew that I deserved it."10 Nay, it
is a trial. But the greater part of them knew it not.

The same said those who flourished before them; but their deeds profited them

And their own ill deeds recoiled upon them. And whoso among these (Meccans)
shall do wrong, on them likewise their own misdeeds shall light, neither
shall they invalidate God.

Know they not that God giveth supplies with open hand, and that He is sparing
to whom He will? Of a truth herein are signs to those who believe.

SAY: O my servants who have transgressed to your own hurt,11 despair not of
God's mercy, for all sins doth God forgive. Gracious, Merciful is He!

And return ye to your Lord, and to Him resign yourselves, ere the punishment
come on you, for then ye shall not be helped:

And follow that most excellent thing which hath been sent down to you from
your Lord, ere the punishment come on you suddenly, and when ye look not for

So that a soul say, "Oh misery! for my failures in duty towards God! and
verily I was of those who scoffed:"

Or say, "Had God guided me, I had surely been of those who feared Him:"

Or say, when it seeth the punishment, "Could I but return, then I would be of
the righteous."

Nay! my signs had already come to thee, and thou didst treat them as
untruths, and wast arrogant, and becamest of those who believed not.

And on the resurrection day, thou shalt see those who have lied of God, with
their faces black. Is there not an abode in Hell for the arrogant?

But God shall rescue those who fear him into their safe retreat: no ill shall
touch them, neither shall they be put to grief.

God is the creator of all things, and of all things is He the guardian! His
the keys of the Heavens and of the Earth! and–who believe not in the signs of
God–these! they shall perish!

SAY: What! do ye then bid me worship other than God, O ye ignorant ones?

But now hath it been revealed to thee and to those who flourished before
thee,–"Verily, if thou join partners with God, vain shall be all thy work,
and thyself shalt be of those who perish.

Nay, rather worship God! and be of those who render thanks."

But they have not deemed of God as is His due;12 for on the resurrection day
the whole Earth shall be but his handful, and in his right hand shall the
Heavens be folded together. Praise be to Him! and high be He uplifted above
the partners they join with Him!

And there shall be a blast on the trumpet, and all who are in the Heavens and
all who are in the Earth shall expire, save those whom God shall vouchsafe to
live. Then shall there be another blast on it, and lo! arising they shall
gaze around them:

And the earth shall shine with the light of her Lord, and the Book shall be
set, and the prophets shall be brought up, and the witnesses; and judgment
shall be given between them with equity; and none shall be wronged:

And every soul shall receive as it shall have wrought, for well knoweth He
men's actions.

And by TROOPS shall the unbelievers be driven towards Hell, until when they
reach it, its gates shall be opened, and its keepers shall say to them, "Came
not apostles from among yourselves to you, reciting to you the signs of your
Lord, and warning you of the meeting with Him on this your day?"13 They shall
say, "Yes." But just is the sentence of punishment on the unbelievers.

It shall be said to them, "Enter ye the gates of Hell, therein to dwell for
ever;" and wretched the abode of the arrogant!

But those who feared their Lord shall be driven on by troops to Paradise,
until when they reach it, its gates shall be opened, and its keepers shall
say to them, "All hail! virtuous have ye been: enter then in, to abide herein
for ever."

And they shall say, "Praise be to God, who hath made good to us His promise,
and hath given to us the earth as our heritage, that we may dwell in Paradise
wherever we please!" And goodly is the reward of those who travailed

And thou shalt see the Angels circling around the Throne with praises of
their Lord: and judgment shall be pronounced between them with equity: and it
shall be said, "Glory be to God the Lord of the Worlds."


1 Lit. the sending down, or revelation, of the Book is, etc.

2 Lit. in truth, i.e. for a serious and earnest purpose, and not as mere

3 That is, camels, oxen, sheep and goats.

4 The wording of this verse would seem to indicate a period when Muhammad was
meditating flight from Mecca. Comp. [lxxxi.] xxix. 56.

5 See on the word Mathani, Sura xv. 87, p. 116. Or, by rhyming couplets.

6 The word associates contains an implied allusion to the deities associated
with God, and who distract the idolaters in their worship.

7 In the fem. gender in the Ar. This passage was revealed shortly after the
circumstances mentioned, liii. 20, n. p. 70.

8 See Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 60.

9 That is, none may intercede with Him but those whom He permits to do so.

10 Lit. It was only given to me on account of knowledge. Mar. Deus sciebat me
esse dignum eo. Thus Sale.

11 By becoming apostates from Islam. Comp. Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 108. This and
the two following verses are said to have originated at Medina. His 230, Wah.
Omar ben Muhammad. Beidh. Itq. 19.

12 Lit. they have not esteemed God according to the truth of His estimation.

13 Adventum diei hujus. Mar.


MECCA–69 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. MIM.1 Think men that when they say, "We believe," they shall be
let alone and not be put to proof?

We put to proof those who lived before them; for God will surely take
knowledge of those who are sincere, and will surely take knowledge of the

Think they who work evil that they shall escape Us? Ill do they judge.

To him who hopeth to meet God, the set time of God will surely come. The
Hearer, the Knower, He!

Whoso maketh efforts for the faith, maketh them for his own good only. Verily
God is rich enough to dispense with all creatures.

And as to those who shall have believed and done the things that are right,
their evil deeds will we surely blot out from them, and according to their
best actions will we surely reward them.

Moreover we have enjoined on man to shew kindness to parents: but if they
strive with thee that thou join that with Me of which thou hast no
knowledge,2 obey them not. To me do ye return, and then will I tell you of
your doings:

And those who shall have believed and done the things that are right, we will
surely give them an entering in among the just.

But some men say, "We believe in God," yet when they meet with sufferings in
the cause of God, they regard trouble from man as chastisement from God. Yet
if a success come from thy Lord they are sure to say, "We were on your side!"
Doth not God well know what is in the breasts of his creatures?

Yes, and God well knoweth those who believe, and He well knoweth the

The unbelievers say to the faithful, "Follow ye our way, and we will surely
bear your sins." But not aught of their sins will they bear–verily they are

But their own burdens, and burdens beside their own burdens shall they surely
bear: and inquisition shall be made of them on the day of Resurrection as to
their false devices.

Of old sent we Noah to his people: a thousand years save fifty did he tarry
among them; and the flood overtook them in their wrongful doings:

But we rescued him and those who were in the vessel; and we made it a sign to
all men:

And Abraham; when he said to his people, "Worship God and fear Him. This will
be best for you, if ye have knowledge;"

Ye only worship idols beside God, and are the authors of a lie. Those whom ye
worship beside God can give you no supplies: seek, then, your supplies from
God; and serve Him and give Him thanks. To Him shall ye return.

Suppose that ye treat me as a liar! nations before you have treated God's
messenger as a liar; but open preaching is his only duty.

See they not how God bringeth forth creation? and then causeth it to return
again? This truly is easy for God.

SAY,3 Go through the earth, and see how he hath brought forth created beings.
Hereafter, with a second birth will God cause them to be born again; for God
is Almighty.

Whom He pleaseth will He chastise, and on whom He pleaseth will He have
mercy, and to Him shall ye be taken back.

And ye shall not invalidate his power either in the Earth or in the Heaven:4
and, save God, ye shall have neither patron nor helper.

As for those who believe not in the signs of God, or that they shall ever
meet him, these of my mercy shall despair, and these doth a grievous
chastisement await."

And the only answer of his people was to say, "Slay him or burn him." But
from the fire did God save him! Verily, herein are signs to those who

And Abraham said, "Of a truth ye have taken idols along with God as your bond
of union5 in this life present;

But on the day of resurrection some of you shall deny the others, and some of
you shall curse the others; and your abode shall be the fire, and ye shall
have none to help."

But Lot believed on him,6 and said, "I betake me to my Lord, for He truly is
the Mighty, the Wise."

And we bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob,7 and placed the gift of prophecy and
the Scripture among his posterity; And we gave him his reward in this world,
and in the next he shall be among the just.

We sent also Lot: when he said to his people, "Proceed ye to a filthiness in
which no people in the world hath ever gone before you?

Proceed ye even to men? attack ye them on the highway? and proceed ye to the
crime in your assemblies?" But the only answer of his people was to say,
"Bring God's chastisement upon us, if thou art a man of truth."

He cried: My Lord! help me against this polluted people.

And when our messengers came to Abraham with the tidings of a son, they said,
"Of a truth we will destroy the in-dwellers in this city, for its in-dwellers
are evil doers."

He said, "Lot is therein." They said, "We know full well who therein is. Him
and his family will we save, except his wife; she will be of those who

And when our messengers came to Lot, he was troubled for them, and his arm
was too weak8 to protect them; and they said, "Fear not, and distress not
thyself, for thee and thy family will we save, except thy wife; she will be
of those who linger.9

We will surely bring down upon the dwellers in this city vengeance from
Heaven for the excesses they have committed."

And in what we have left of it is a clear sign to men of understanding.

And to Madian we sent their brother Shoaib. And he said, "Oh! my people!
worship God, and expect the latter day, and enact not in the land deeds of
harmful excess."

But they treated him as an impostor: so an earthquake assailed them; and at
morn they were found prostrate and dead in their dwellings.

And we destroyed Ad and Themoud. Already is this made plain to you in the
ruins of their dwellings. For Satan had made their own works fair seeming to
them, and drew them from the right path, keen-sighted though they were.

And Corah and Pharaoh and Haman. With proofs of his mission did Moses come to
them, and they behaved proudly on the earth; but us they could not

For, every one of them did we seize in his sin. Against some of them did
wesend a stone-charged wind: Some of them did the terrible cry of Gabriel
surprise: for some of them we cleaved the earth; and some of them we drowned.
And it was not God who would deal wrongly by them, but they wronged

The likeness for those who take to themselves guardians instead of God is the
likeness of the SPIDER who buildeth her a house: But verily, frailest of all
houses surely is the house of the spider. Did they but know this!

God truly knoweth all that they call on beside Him; and He is the Mighty, the

These similitudes do we set forth to men: and none understand them except the

God hath created the Heavens and the Earth for a serious end.11 Verily in
this is a sign to those who believe.

Recite the portions of the Book which have been revealed to thee and
discharge the duty of prayer: for prayer restraineth from the filthy and the
blame-worthy. And the gravest duty is the remembrance of God; and God knoweth
what ye do.

Dispute not, unless in kindly sort, with the people of the Book;12 save with
such of them as have dealt wrongfully with you: And say ye, "We believe in
what hath been sent down to us and hath been sent down to you. Our God and
your God is one, and to him are we self-surrendered" (Muslims).

Thus have we sent down the Book of the Koran to thee: and they to whom we
have given the Book of the law believe in it: and of these Arabians there are
those who believe in it: and none, save the Infidels, reject our signs.

Thou didst not recite any book (of revelation) before it: with that right
hand of thine thou didst not transcribe one: else might they who treat it as
a vain thing have justly doubted:

But it is a clear sign in the hearts of those whom "the knowledge" hath
reached. None except the wicked reject our signs.

And they say, "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . ." SAY:
Signs are in the power of God alone. I am only a plain spoken warner.

Is it not enough for them that we have sent down to thee the Book to be
recited to them? In this verily is a mercy and a warning to those who

SAY: God is witness enough between me and you.

He knoweth all that is in the Heavens and the Earth, and they who believe in
vain things13 and disbelieve in God–these shall be the lost ones.

They will challenge thee to hasten the punishment: but had there not been a
season fixed for it, that punishment had already come upon them. But it shall
overtake them suddenly when they look not for it.

They will challenge thee to hasten the punishment: but verily Hell shall be
round about the infidels.

One day the punishment shall wrap them round, both from above them and from
beneath their feet; and God will say, "Taste ye your own doings."

O my servants who have believed! Vast truly is my Earth:14 me, therefore! yea
worship me.

Every soul shall taste of death. Then to us shall ye return.

But those who shall have believed and wrought righteousness will we lodge in
gardens with palaces, beneath which the rivers flow. For ever shall they
abide therein. How goodly the reward of those who labour,

Who patiently endure, and put their trust in their Lord!

How many animals are there which provide not15 their own food! God feedeth
them and you. He Heareth, Knoweth all things.

If thou ask them who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, and hath imposed
laws on the sun and on the moon, they will certainly say, "God." How then can
they devise lies?

God lavisheth supplies on such of his servants as He pleaseth or giveth to
them by measure. God knoweth all things.

If thou ask them who sendeth rain from heaven, and by it quickeneth the
earth, after it hath been dead, they will certainly answer, "God." SAY:
Praise be to God! Yet most of them do not understand.

This present life is no other than a pastime and a disport: but truly the
future mansion is life indeed! Would that they knew this!

Lo! when they embark on shipboard, they call upon God, vowing him sincere
worship, but when He bringeth them safe to land, behold they join partners
with Him.

In our revelation they believe not, yet take their fill of good things. But
in the end they shall know their folly.

Do they not see that we have established a safe precinct16 while all around
them men are being spoiled? Will they then believe in vain idols, and not own
the goodness of God?

But who acteth more wrongly than he who deviseth a lie against God, or calls
the truth when it hath come to him, a lie? Is there not an abode for the
infidels in Hell?

And whoso maketh efforts for us, in our ways will we guide them: for God is
assuredly with those who do righteous deeds.


1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32. The first ten verses of this Sura were revealed at
Medina, after the battles of Bedr and Ohod. Nöld. p. 115.

2 Deities for whose worship thou canst shew no authority. Comp. Tr.
Jebhamoth, fol. 6. If a father saith to his son, "Defile thyself," or saith,
"Make not restitution," shall he obey him? It is said (Lev. xix. 3), Let
every man reverence his father and mother, but keep my Sabbaths all of you:
ye are all bound to honour me. Thus also Midr. Jalkut, 604. Comp. next Sura,
v. 13.

3 The word SAY–the usual address of God or Gabriel to Muhammad–must either be
considered as spoken by God to Abraham, in which case we have a curious
instance of the manner in which Muhammad identifies himself with Abraham, and
makes Abraham speak in words which he constantly elsewhere uses himself; or,
with Wahl, we must suppose that from v. 17 to v. 22 are misplaced.

4 Comp. Ps. cxxxix. 7.

5 Lit. for love among yourselves, or as an object of love, i.e. devout

6 Thus Sura [lxv.] xxi. 71. The Midr. Rabbah on Gen. Par. 18, says that
Haran, the father of Lot, was brought by Abraham's deliverance from the
furnace to the adoption of his doctrines. Muhammad may have transferred this
idea to Lot.

7 The following passages deserve to be compared, as shewing the loose way in
which Muhammad could speak of the relationship subsisting between Abraham and
the other Patriarchs. See 38 below. Sura [xci.] ii. 127; [lxxxix.] vi. 84;
[lviii.] xix. 50; [lxv.] xxi. 72; [lxxvii.] xii. 6. It is a curious
coincidence that in the Sonna 398, 400, Joseph is said to be the Grandson,
and Jacob the Son, of Abraham.

8 Lit. was straitened in regard to them.

9 See [lxxv.] xi. 83.

10 So as to fly from our vengeance.

11 Lit. in truth.

12 With the Jews. This passage is quoted by modern Muslims in justification
of their indifference with respect to the propagation of their religion. "The
number of the faithful," said one of them to Mr. Lane, "is decreed by God,
and no act of man can increase or diminish it." Mod. Egypt. i. p. 364.
Nöldeke supposes this verse to have been revealed at Medina, and renders,
Contend not except in the best way, i.e. not by words but by force.

13 Idols.

14 That is, you may find places of refuge where you may worship the true God
in some other parts of the earth, if driven forth from your native city. This
verse is very indicative of a late Meccan origin. Flight from Mecca must have
been imminent when Muhammad could thus write.

15 Lit. carry not. Comp. Matth. vi. 26; Luke xii. 24.

16 At Mecca.


MECCA.–34 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. MIM.2 These are the verses (signs) of the wise Book,

A guidance and a mercy to the righteous,

Who observe prayer, and pay the impost,3 and believe firmly in the life to

These rest on guidance from their Lord, and with these it shall be well.

But a man there is4 who buyeth an idle tale, that in his lack of knowledge he
may mislead others from the way of God, and turn it to scorn. For such is
prepared a shameful punishment!

And when our signs are rehearsed to him, he turneth away disdainfully, as
though he heard them not,–as though his ears were heavy with deafness.
Announce to him therefore tidings of an afflictive punishment!

But they who shall have believed and wrought good works, shall enjoy the
gardens of delight:

For ever shall they dwell therein: it is God's true promise! and He is the
Mighty, the Wise.

Without pillars that can be seen hath He created the heavens, and on the
earth hath thrown mountains lest it should move with you;5 and He hath
scattered over it animals of every sort: and from the Heaven we send down
rain and cause every kind of noble plant to grow up therein.

This is the creation of God: Shew me now what others than He have created.
Ah! the ungodly are in a manifest delusion.

Of old we bestowed wisdom upon LOKMAN, and taught him thus–"Be thankful to
God: for whoever is thankful, is thankful to his own behoof; and if any shall
be thankless . . .  God truly is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise!"

And bear in mind when Lokman said to his son by way of warning, "O my son!
join not other gods with God, for the joining gods with God is the great

(We have commanded6 man concerning his parents. His mother carrieth him with
weakness upon weakness; nor until after two years is he weaned.7 Be grateful
to me, and to thy parents. Unto me shall all come.

But if they importune thee to join that with Me of which thou hast no
knowledge, obey them not: comport thyself towards them in this world as is
meet and right; but follow the way of him who turneth unto me. Unto me shall
ye return at last, and then will I tell you of your doings;)

"O my son! verily God will bring everything to light, though it were but the
weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and hidden in a rock or in the heavens or
in the earth; for, God is subtile, informed of all.

O my son! observe prayer, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and be
patient under whatever shall betide thee: for this is a bounden duty.

And distort not thy face at men; nor walk thou loftily on the earth; for God
loveth no arrogant vain-glorious one.

But let thy pace be middling; and lower thy voice: for the least pleasing of
voices is surely the voice of asses."

See ye not how that God hath put under you all that is in the heavens and all
that is on the earth, and hath been bounteous to you of his favours, both for
soul and body.8 But some are there who dispute of God without knowledge, and
have no guidance and no illuminating Book:

And when it is said to them, Follow ye what God hath sent down, they say,
"Nay; that religion in which we found our fathers will we follow." What!
though Satan bid them to the torment of the flame?

But whoso setteth his face toward God with self-surrender, and is a doer of
that which is good, hath laid hold on a sure handle; for unto God is the
issue of all things.

But let not the unbelief of the unbelieving grieve thee: unto us shall they
return: then will we tell them of their doings; for God knoweth the very
secrets of the breast.

Yet a little while will we provide for them: afterwards will we force them to
a stern punishment.

If thou ask them who hath created the heavens and the earth, they will
certainly reply, "God." SAY: God be praised! But most of them have no

God's, whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth! for God, He is the Rich,9
the Praiseworthy.

If all the trees that are upon the earth were to become pens, and if God
should after that swell the sea into seven seas of ink, His words would not
be exhausted: for God is Mighty, Wise.10

Your creation and your quickening hereafter, are but as those of a single
individual. Verily, God Heareth, Seeth!

Seest thou not that God causeth the night to come in upon the day, and the
day to come in upon the night? and that he hath subjected the sun and the
moon to laws by which each speedeth along to an appointed goal? and that God
therefore is acquainted with that which ye do?

This, for that God is the truth; and that whatever ye call upon beside Him is
a vain thing; and that God–He is the High, the Great.

Seest thou not how the ships speed on in the sea, through the favour of God,
that he may shew you of his signs? for herein are signs to all patient,
grateful ones.

When the waves cover them like dark shadows they call upon God as with
sincere religion; but when He safely landeth them, some of them there are who
halt between two opinions.11 Yet none reject our signs but all deceitful,
ungrateful ones.

O men! fear ye your Lord, and dread the day whereon father shall not atone
for son, neither shall a son in the least atone for his father.

Aye! the promise of God is a truth. Let not this present life then deceive
you; neither let the deceiver deceive you concerning God.

Aye! God!–with Him is the knowledge of the Hour: and He sendeth down the
rain–and He knoweth what is in the wombs–but no soul knoweth what it shall
have gotten on the morrow: neither knoweth any soul in what land it shall
die. But God is knowing, informed of all.


1 Nothing certain is known concerning the history of this fabulist and
philosopher. The opinion most generally received is that Lokman is the same
person whom the Greeks, not knowing his real name, have called Æsop, i.e.,
Æthiops. This Sura shews the high degree of respect entertained for Lokman in
Arabia at the time of Muhammad, who doubtless aimed to promote the interests
of his new religion by connecting the Koran with so celebrated a name.

2 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

3 Beidh. and Itq. suppose this verse to have been revealed at Medina, on
account of the precept to pay the impost, required by Muhammad of his
followers as a religious duty, and different from the alms. The former is
usually coupled with the duty of observing prayer. Mar. renders, sacrum
censum in marg.

4 Nodhar Ibn El Hareth, who had purchased in Persia the romance of Roustem
and Isfendiar, two of the most famous heroes of that land, which he recited
to the Koreisch as superior to the Koran.

5 Comp. Ps. civ. 5.

6 This verse and the verse following would seem more naturally to follow
verse 18, where Wahl has placed them. See preceding Sura, v. 7.

7 Comp. Talm. Kethuboth, 60, 1, "A woman is to suckle her child two years."
Comp. Jos. Ant. ii. 9, 6.

8 Or, the seen and unseen, lit., outwardly and inwardly.

9 Or as rendered in verse 11, "the self-sufficient."

10 Wah. Omar ben Muhammad, Zam. and Beidh. suppose this and the three
following verses to have been revealed at Medina, in answer to the Jews, who
had affirmed that all knowledge was contained in their own Law. But the
accuracy of this supposition is very doubtful, if considered with regard to
the preceding and following context.

11 Between idolatry and Islam.


MECCA.–53 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HA. MIM. AIN. SIN. KAF.1 Thus unto thee as unto those who preceded thee doth
God, the Mighty, the Wise, reveal!

All that is in the Heavens and all that is in the Earth is His: and He is the
High, the Great!

Ready are the Heavens to cleave asunder from above for very awe: and the
angels celebrate the praise of their Lord, and ask forgiveness for the
dwellers on earth: Is not God the Indulgent, the Merciful?

But whose take aught beside Him as lords–God watcheth them! but thou hast
them not in thy charge.

It is thus moreover that we have revealed to thee an Arabic Koran, that thou
mayest warn the mother city2 and all around it, and that thou mayest warn
them of that day of the Gathering, of which there is no doubt–when part shall
be in Paradise and part in the flame.

Had God so pleased, He had made them one people and of one creed: but He
bringeth whom He will within His mercy; and as for the doers of evil, no
patron, no helper shall there be for them.

Will they take other patrons than Him? But God is man's only Lord: He
quickeneth the dead; and He is mighty over all things.

And whatever the subject of your disputes, with God doth its decision rest.
This is God, my Lord: in Him do I put my trust, and to Him do I turn in

Creator of the Heavens and of the Earth! he hath given you wives from among
your own selves, and cattle male and female–by this means to multiply you:
Nought is there like Him! the Hearer, the Beholder He!

His, the keys of the Heavens and of the Earth! He giveth with open hand, or
sparingly, to whom He will: He knoweth all things.

To you hath He prescribed the faith which He commanded unto Noah, and which
we have revealed to thee, and which we commanded unto Abraham and Moses and
Jesus, saying, "Observe this faith, and be not divided into sects therein."
Intolerable to those who worship idols jointly with God

Is that faith to which thou dost call them. Whom He pleaseth will God choose
for it, and whosoever shall turn to Him in penitence will He guide to it.

Nor were they divided into sects through mutual jealousy, till after that
"the knowledge" had come to them: and had not a decree from thy Lord gone
forth respiting them to a fixed time, verily, there had at once been a
decision between them.3 And they who have inherited "the Book" after them,
are in perplexity of doubt concerning it.

For this cause summon thou them to the faith, and go straight on as thou hast
been bidden, and follow not their desires: and SAY: In whatsoever Books God
hath sent down do I believe: I am commanded to decide justly between you: God
is your Lord and our Lord: we have our works and you have your works: between
us and you let there be no strife: God will make us all one: and to Him shall
we return.

And as to those who dispute about God, after pledges of obedience given to
Him,4 their disputings shall be condemned by their Lord, and wrath shall be
on them, and theirs shall be a sore torment.

It is God who hath sent down the Book with truth, and the Balance:5 but who
shall inform thee whether haply "the Hour" be nigh?

They who believe not in it, challenge its speedy coming:6 but they who
believe are afraid because of it, and know it to be a truth. Are not they who
dispute of the Hour, in a vast error?

Benign is God towards his servants: for whom He will doth He provide: and He
is the Strong, the Mighty.

Whoso will choose the harvest field of the life to come, to him will we give
increase in this his harvest field: and whoso chooseth the harvest field of
this life, thereof will we give him: but no portion shall there be for him in
the life to come.7

Is it that they have gods who have sanctioned for them aught in the matter of
religion which God hath not allowed? But had it not been for a decree of
respite till the day of severance, judgment had ere now taken place among
them; and assuredly the impious shall undergo a painful torment.

On that day thou shalt see the impious alarmed at their own works, and the
consequence thereof shall fall upon them: but they who believe and do the
things that are right, shall dwell in the meadows of paradise: whatever they
shall desire awaiteth them with their Lord. This, the greatest boon.

This is what God announceth to his servants who believe and do the things
that are right. SAY: For this ask I no wage of you, save the love of my kin.
And whoever shall have won the merit of a good deed, we will increase good to
him therewith; for God is forgiving, grateful.

Will they say he hath forged a lie of God? If God pleased,

He could then seal up thy very heart.8 But God will bring untruth to nought,
and will make good the truth by his word: for He knoweth the very secrets of
the breast.

He it is who accepteth repentance from his servants, and forgiveth their sins
and knoweth your actions:

And to those who believe and do the things that are right will he hearken,
and augment his bounties to them:9 but the unbelievers doth a terrible
punishment await.

Should God bestow abundance upon his servants, they might act wantonly on the
earth: but He sendeth down what He will by measure; for he knoweth, beholdeth
his servants.

He it is who after that men have despaired of it, sendeth down the rain, and
spreadeth abroad his mercy: He is the Protector, the Praiseworthy.

Among his signs is the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth, and the
creatures which he hath scattered over both: and, for their gathering
together when he will, He is allpowerful!

Nor happeneth to you any mishap, but it is for your own handy-work: and yet
he forgiveth many things.

Ye cannot weaken him on the earth: neither, beside God, patron or helper
shall ye have.

Among his signs also are the sea-traversing ships like mountains: if such be
his will, He lulleth the wind, and they lie motionless on the back of the
waves:–truly herein are signs to all the constant, the grateful;–

Or if, for their ill deserts, He cause them to founder, still He forgiveth

But they who gainsay our signs shall know that there will be no escape for

All that you receive is but for enjoyment in this life present: but better
and more enduring is a portion with God, for those who believe and put their
trust in their Lord;

And who avoid the heinous things of crime, and filthiness, and when they are
angered, forgive;

And who hearken to their Lord, and observe prayer, and whose affairs are
guided by mutual COUNSEL, and who give alms of that with which we have
enriched them;

And who, when a wrong is done them, redress themselves:

–Yet let the recompense of evil be only a like evil but he who forgiveth and
is reconciled, shall be rewarded by God himself; for He loveth not those who
act unjustly.

And there shall be no way open against those who, after being wronged, avenge

But there shall be a way open against those who unjustly wrong others, and
act insolently on the earth in disregard of justice. These! a grievous
punishment doth await them.

And whoso beareth wrongs with patience and forgiveth;–this verily is a
bounden duty;

But he whom God shall cause to err, shall thenceforth have no protector. And
thou shalt behold the perpetrators of injustice,

Exclaiming, when they see the torment, "Is there no way to return?"

And thou shalt see them when set before it, downcast for the shame: they
shall look at it with stealthy glances: and the believers shall say, "Truly
are the losers they who have lost themselves and their families on the day of
Resurrection! Shall not the perpetrators of injustice be in lasting torment?"

And no other protectors shall there be to succour them than God; and no
pathway for him whom God shall cause to err.

Hearken then to your Lord ere the day come, which none can put back when God
doth ordain its coming. No place of refuge for you on that day! no denying
your own works!

But if they turn aside from thee, yet we have not sent thee to be their
guardian. 'Tis thine but to preach. When we cause man to taste our gifts of
mercy, he rejoiceth in it; but if for their by-gone handy-work evil betide
them, then lo! is man ungrateful.

God's, the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth! He createth what He will!
and he giveth daughters to whom He will, and sons to whom He will:

Or He giveth them children of both sexes, and He maketh whom He will to be
childless; for He is Wise, Powerful!

It is not for man that God should speak with him but by vision, or from
behind a veil:

Or, He sendeth a messenger to reveal, by his permission, what He will: for He
is Exalted, Wise!

Thus have we sent the Spirit (Gabriel10) to thee with a revelation, by our
command. Thou knewest not, ere this, what "the Book" was, or what the faith.
But we have ordained it for a light: by it will we guide whom we please of
our servants. And thou shalt surely guide into the right way,

The way of God, whose is all that the Heaven and the Earth contain. Shall not
all things return to God?


1 See Sura lxviii. 1, p. 32.

2 Mecca.

3 Jews and Christians.

4 Or, nachdem ihm (Mohamed) die Lehre geworden. Ullm. Postquam responsum fuit
illi (id est, Mahumeto de Religione manifestanda). Mar.

5 The law contained in the Koran.

6 Isai. v. 19.

7 Comp. Gal. vi. 7, 8.

8 That is, deprive thee of the Prophetic mission; or, fortify thee with
patience against the calumny of forging lies of God. Thus Mar. If this latter
interpretation be adopted, the remainder of the verse must be rendered: And
God will abolish the lie and, etc.

9 Lit. he will increase them. Comp. Ps. cxv. 14.

10 Thus Beidhawi.


MECCA.–109 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. RA.1 These are the signs of the wise Book!

A matter of wonderment is it to the men of Mecca, that to a person among
themselves We revealed, "Bear warnings to the people: and, to those who
believe, bear the good tidings that they shall have with their Lord the
precedence merited by their sincerity." The unbelievers say, "Verily this is
a manifest sorcerer."

Verily your Lord is God who hath made the Heavens and the Earth in six days–
then mounted his throne to rule all things: None can intercede with him till
after his permission: This is God your Lord: therefore serve him: Will ye not

Unto Him shall ye return, all together: the promise of God is sure: He
produceth a creature, then causeth it to return again–that he may reward
those who believe and do the things that are right, with equity: but as for
the infidels!–for them the draught that boileth and an afflictive torment–
because they have not believed.

It is He who hath appointed the sun for brightness, and the moon for a light,
and hath ordained her stations that ye may learn the number of years and the
reckoning of time. God hath not created all this but for the truth.2 He
maketh his signs clear to those who understand.

Verily, in the alternations of night and of day, and in all that God hath
created in the Heavens and in the Earth are signs to those who fear Him.

Verily, they who hope not to meet Us, and find their satisfaction in this
world's life, and rest on it, and who of our signs are heedless;–

These! their abode the fire, in recompense of their deeds!

But they who believe and do the things that are right, shall their Lord
direct aright because of their faith. Rivers shall flow at their feet in
gardens of delight:

Their cry therein, "Glory be to thee, O God!" and their salutation therein,

And the close of their cry, "Praise be to God, Lord, of all creatures!"

Should God hasten evil on men as they fain would hasten their good, then were
their end decreed! So leave we those who hope not to meet Us, bewildered in
their error.

When trouble toucheth a man, he crieth to us, on his side, or sitting, or
standing; and when we withdraw his trouble from him, he passeth on as though
he had not called on us against the trouble which touched him! Thus are the
deeds of transgressors pre-arranged for them.

And of old destroyed we generations before you, when they had acted wickedly,
and their Apostles had come to them with clear tokens of their mission, and
they would not believe:–thus reward we the wicked.

Then we caused you to succeed them on the earth, that we might see how ye
would act.

But when our clear signs are recited to them, they who look not forward to
meet Us, say, "Bring a different Koran from this, or make some change in it."
SAY: It is not for me to change it as mine own soul prompteth. I follow only
what is revealed to me: verily, I fear, if I rebel against my Lord, the
punishment of a great day.

SAY: Had God so pleased, I had not recited it to you, neither had I taught it
to you. Already have I dwelt among you for years, ere it was revealed to me.
Understand ye not?

And who is more unjust than he who coineth a lie against God, or treateth his
signs as lies? Surely the wicked shall not prosper!

And they worship beside God, what cannot hurt or help them; and say, "These
are our advocates with God!" SAY: Will ye inform God of aught in the Heavens
and in the Earth which he knoweth not? Praise be to Him! High be He exalted
above the deities they join with Him!

Men were of one religion only:3 then they fell to variance: and had not a
decree (of respite) previously gone forth from thy Lord, their differences
had surely been decided between them!

They say: "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . ." But SAY:
The hidden is only with God: wait therefore: I truly will be with you among
those who wait.

And when after a trouble which you befallen them,4 we caused this people to
taste of mercy, lo! a plot on their part against our signs! SAY: Swifter to
plot is God! Verily, our messengers note down your plottings.

He it is who enableth you to travel by land and sea, so that ye go on board
of ships–which sail on with them, with favouring breeze in which they
rejoice. But if a tempestuous gale overtake them, and the billow come on them
from every side, and they think that they are encompassed therewith, they
call on God, professing sincere religion:–"Wouldst thou but rescue us from
this, then will we indeed be of the thankful."

But when we have rescued them, lo! they commit unrighteous excesses on the
earth! O men! assuredly your self-injuring excess is only an enjoyment of
this life present: soon ye return to us: and we will let you know what ye
have done!

Verily, this present life is like the water which we send down from Heaven,
and the produce of the earth, of which men and cattle eat, is mingled with
it, till the earth hath received its golden raiment, and is decked out: and
they who dwell on it deem that they have power over it! but, Our behest
cometh to it by night or by day, and we make it as if it had been mown, as if
it had not teemed only yesterday! Thus make we our signs clear to those who

And God calleth to the abode of peace;5 and He guideth whom He will into the
right way.

Goodness6 itself and an increase of it for those who do good! neither
blackness nor shame shall cover their faces! These shall be the inmates of
Paradise, therein shall they abide for ever.

And as for those who have wrought out evil, their recompense shall be evil of
like degree, and shame shall cover them–no protector shall they have against
God: as though their faces were darkened with deep murk of night! These shall
be inmates of the fire: therein they shall abide for ever.

And on that day will we gather them all together: then will we say to those
who added gods to God, "To your place, ye and those added gods of yours!"
Then we will separate between them: and those their gods shall say, "Ye
served us not:7

And God is a sufficient witness between us and you: we cared not aught for
your worship."

There shall every soul make proof of what itself shall have sent on before,
and they shall be brought back to God, their true lord, and the deities of
their own devising shall vanish from them.

SAY: Who supplieth you from the Heaven and the Earth? Who hath power over
hearing and sight? And who bringeth forth the living from the dead, and
bringeth forth the dead from the living? And who ruleth all things? They will
surely say, "God:" then SAY: "What! will ye not therefore fear him?

This God then is your true Lord: and when the truth is gone, what remaineth
but error? How then are ye so perverted?

Thus is the word of thy Lord made good on the wicked, that they shall not

SAY: Is there any of the gods whom ye add to God who produceth a creature,
then causeth it to return to him? SAY: God produceth a creature, then causeth
it to return to Him: How therefore are ye turned aside?

SAY: Is there any of the gods ye add to God who guideth into the truth? SAY:
God guideth into the truth. Is He then who guideth into the truth the more
worthy to be followed, or he who guideth not unless he be himself guided?
What then hath befallen you that ye so judge?

And most of them follow only a conceit:–But a conceit attaineth to nought of
truth! Verily God knoweth what they say.

Moreover this Koran could not have been devised by any but God: but it
confirmeth what was revealed before it, and is a clearing up of the
Scriptures–there is no doubt thereof–from the Lord of all creatures.

Do they say, "He hath devised it himself?" SAY: Then bring a Sura like it;
and call on whom ye can beside God, if ye speak truth.

But that which they embrace not in their knowledge have they charged with
falsehood, though the explanation of it had not yet been given them. So those
who were before them brought charges of imposture: But see what was the end
of the unjust!

And some of them believe in it, and some of them believe not in it. But thy
Lord well knoweth the transgressors.

And if they charge thee with imposture, then SAY: My work for me, and your
work for you! Ye are clear of that which I do, and I am clear of that which
ye do.

And some of them lend a ready ear to thee: But wilt thou make the deaf to
hear even though they understand not?

And some of them look at thee: But wilt thou guide the blind even though they
see not?

Verily, God will not wrong men in aught, but men will wrong themselves.

Moreover, on that day, He will gather them all together: They shall seem as
though they had waited but an hour of the day! They shall recognise one
another! Now perish they who denied the meeting with God, and were not guided

Whether we cause thee to see some of our menaces against them fulfilled, or
whether we first take thee to Ourself,8 to us do they return. Then shall God
bear witness of what they do.

And every people hath had its apostle.9 And when their apostle came, a
rightful decision took place between them, and they were not wronged.

Yet they say, "When will this menace be made good? Tell us if ye speak

SAY: I have no power over my own weal or woe, but as God pleaseth. Every
people hath its time: when their time is come, they shall neither retard nor
advance it an hour.

SAY: How think ye? if God's punishment came on you by night or by day, what
portion of it would the wicked desire to hasten on?

When it falleth on you, will ye believe it then? Yes! ye will believe it
then. Yet did ye challenge its speedy coming.

Then shall it be said to the transgressors, "Taste ye the punishment of
eternity! Shall ye be rewarded but as ye have wrought?"

They will desire thee to inform them whether this be true? SAY: Yes! by my
Lord it is the truth: and it is not ye who can weaken Him.

And every soul that hath sinned, if it possessed all that is on earth, would
assuredly ransom itself therewith; and they will proclaim their repentance
when they have seen the punishment: and there shall be a rightful decision
between them, and they shall not be unjustly dealt with.

Is not whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth God's? Is not then the
promise of God true? Yet most of them know it not.

He maketh alive and He causeth to die, and to Him shall ye return.

O men! now hath a warning come to you from your Lord, and a medicine for what
is in your breasts, and a guidance and a mercy to believers.

SAY: Through the grace of God and his mercy! and in this therefore let them
rejoice: better is this than all ye amass.

SAY: What think ye? of what God hath sent down to you for food, have ye made
unlawful and lawful? SAY: Hath God permitted you? or invent ye on the part of

But what on the day of Resurrection will be the thought of those who invent a
lie on the part of God? Truly God is full of bounties to man; but most of
them give not thanks.

Thou shalt not be employed in affairs, nor shalt thou read a text out of the
Koran, nor shall ye work any work, but we will be witnesses over you when ye
are engaged therein: and not the weight of an atom on Earth or in Heaven
escapeth thy Lord; nor is there aught that is less than this or greater, but
it is in the perspicuous Book.

Are not the friends of God, those on whom no fear shall come, nor shall they
be put to grief?

They who believe and fear God–

For them are good tidings in this life, and in the next! There is no change
in the words of God! This, the great felicity!

And let not their discourse grieve thee: for all might is God's: the Hearer,
the Knower, He!

Is not whoever is in the Heavens and the Earth subject to God? What then do
they follow who, beside God, call upon deities they have joined with Him?
They follow but a conceit, and they are but liars!

It is He who hath ordained for you the night wherein to rest, and the
lightsome day. Verily in this are signs for those who hearken.

They say, "God hath begotten children." No! by his glory! He is the self-
sufficient. All that is in the Heavens and all that is in the Earth is His!
Have ye warranty for that assertion? What! speak ye of God that which ye know

SAY: Verily, they who devise this lie concerning God shall fare ill.

A portion have they in this world! Then to us they return! Then make we them
to taste the vehement torment, for that they were unbelievers.

Recite to them the history of Noah,10 when he said to his people,–If, O my
people! my abode with you, and my reminding you of the signs of God, be
grievous to you, yet in God is my trust: Muster, therefore, your designs and
your false gods, and let not your design be carried on by you in the dark:
then come to some decision about me, and delay not.

And if ye turn your backs on me, yet ask I no reward from you: my reward is
with God alone, and I am commanded to be of the Muslims.

But they treated him as a liar: therefore we rescued him and those who were
with him in the ark, and we made them to survive the others; and we drowned
those who charged our signs with falsehood. See, then, what was the end of
these warned ones!

Then after him, we sent Apostles to their peoples, and they came to them with
credentials; but they would not believe in what they had denied aforetime:
Thus seal we up the hearts of the transgressors!

Then sent we, after them, Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh and his nobles with our
signs; but they acted proudly and were a wicked people:

And when the truth came to them from us, they said, "Verily, this is clear

Moses said: "What! say ye of the truth after it hath come to you, 'Is this
sorcery?' But sorcerers shall not prosper."

They said: "Art thou come to us to pervert us from the faith in which we
found our fathers, and that you twain shall bear rule in this land? But we
believe you not."

And Pharaoh said: "Fetch me every skilled magician." And when the magicians
arrived, Moses said to them, "Cast down what ye have to cast."

And when they had cast them down, Moses said, "Verily, God will render vain
the sorceries which ye have brought to pass: God prospereth not the work of
the evildoers.

And by his words will God verify the Truth, though the impious be averse to

And none believed on Moses but a race among his own people, through fear of
Pharaoh and his nobles, lest he should afflict them: For of a truth mighty
was Pharaoh in the land, and one who committed excesses.

And Moses said: "O my people! if ye believe in God, then put your trust in
Him–if ye be Muslims."

And they said: "In God put we our trust. O our Lord! abandon us not to trial
from that unjust people,

And deliver us by thy mercy from the unbelieving people."

Then thus revealed we to Moses and to his brother: "Provide houses for your
people in Egypt, and in your houses make a Kebla, and observe prayer and
proclaim good tidings to the believers."

And Moses said: "O our Lord! thou hast indeed given to Pharaoh and his nobles
splendour and riches in this present life: O our Lord! that they may err from
thy way! O our Lord! confound their riches, and harden their hearts that they
may not believe till they see the dolorous torment."

He said: "The prayer of you both is heard: pursue ye both therefore the
straight path, and follow not the path of those who have no knowledge."

And we led the children of Israel through the sea; and Pharaoh and his hosts
followed them in eager and hostile sort until, when the drowning overtook
him, he said, "I believe that there is no God but he on whom the children of
Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims."

"Yes, now," said God: "but thou hast been rebellious hitherto, and wast one
of the wicked doers.

But this day will we rescue thee with thy body that thou mayest be a sign to
those who shall be after thee:11 but truly, most men are of our signs

Moreover we prepared a settled abode for the children of Israel, and provided
them with good things: nor did they fall into variance till the knowledge
(the Law) came to them: Truly thy Lord will decide between them on the day of
Resurrection concerning that in which they differed.

And if thou art in doubt as to what we have sent down to thee, inquire at
those who have read the Scriptures before thee.12 Now hath the truth come
unto thee from thy Lord: be not therefore of those who doubt.

Neither be of those who charge the signs of God with falsehood, lest thou be
of those who perish.

Verily they against whom the decree of thy Lord is pronounced, shall not

Even though every kind of sign come unto them, till they behold the dolorous

Were it otherwise, any city, had it believed, might have found its safety in
its faith. But it was so, only with the people of JONAS. When they believed,
we delivered them from the penalty of shame in this world, and provided for
them for a time.

But if thy Lord had pleased, verily all who are in the earth would have
believed together. What! wilt thou compel men to become believers?

No soul can believe but by the permission of God: and he shall lay his wrath
on those who will not understand.

SAY: Consider ye whatever is in the Heavens and on the Earth: but neither
signs, nor warners, avail those who will not believe!

What then can they expect but the like of such days of wrath as befel those
who flourish before them? SAY: WAIT; I too will wait with you:

Then will we deliver our apostles and those who believe. Thus is it binding
on us to deliver the faithful.

SAY: O men! if ye are in doubt as to my religion, verily I worship not what
ye worship beside God; but I worship God who will cause you to die: and I am
commanded to be a believer.

And set thy face toward true religion, sound in faith, and be not of those
who join other gods with God:

Neither invoke beside God that which can neither help nor hurt thee: for if
thou do, thou wilt certainly then be one of those who act unjustly.

And if God lay the touch of trouble on thee, none can deliver thee from it
but He: and if He will thee any good, none can keep back his boons. He will
confer them on such of his servants as he chooseth: and He is the Gracious,
the Merciful!

SAY: O men! now hath the truth come unto you from your Lord. He therefore who
will be guided, will be guided only for his own behoof: but he who shall err
will err only against it; and I am not your guardian!

And follow what is revealed to thee: and persevere steadfastly till God shall
judge, for He is the best of Judges.


1 See Sura 1xviii. n. 3, p. 32.

2 That is, for a serious end, to manifest the Divine Unity.

3 Gen. xi. 1.

4 This refers to the seven years of scarcity with which Mecca had been

5 Paradise.

6 Verses 27, 28 are to be noted, as defining the proportion to be observed in
rewards and punishments, the severity of the latter being only in proportion
to the crime, the excellence of the former being above and beyond its strict

7 But rather your own lusts. The Muhammadans believe that idols will be
gifted with speech at the day of judgment.

8 The ordinary Arabic word for to die seems to be avoided in speaking of
Jesus and Muhammad.

9 This is the doctrine of the Rabbins. Comp. Midrasch Rabba, and Midr. Jalkut
on Numb. xxii. 2.

10 The preaching of Noah is mentioned by the Rabbins. Sanhedrin, 108. Comp.
Midr. Rabbah on Gen. Par. 30 and 33, on Eccl. ix. 14, and in the probably
sub. Apostolic 2 Pet. ii. 5.

11 This is in accordance with Talmudic legend. "Recognise the power of
repentance, in the case of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, who rebelled excessively
against the most High; Who is God that I should hearken to his voice? (Ex. v.
2). But with the same tongue that sinned he did penance: Who is like thee, O
Lord, among the Gods? (xv. 11). The Holy One, Blessed be He, delivered him
from the dead, . . . so that he should not die (ix. 15, 16).–For now have I
stretched forth my hand, and verily thee have I raised up from among the
dead, to proclaim my might." Ex. ix. 15, 16. A strange comment! Pirke R.
Eliezer, § 43. Comp. Midr. on Ps. cvi. Midr. Jalkut, ch. 238.

12 That is, whether thou art not foretold in the Law and Gospel, and whether
the Koran is not in unison with, and confirmatory of, them.


MECCA.–54 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

PRAISE be to God! to whom belongeth all that is in the Heavens and all that
is on the Earth; and to Him be praise in the next world: for he is the All-
wise, the All-informed!

He knoweth what entereth into the earth, and what proceedeth from it; and
what cometh down from heaven, and what goeth up into it: and He is the
Merciful, the Forgiving!

"Never," say the unbelievers, "will the Hour come upon us!" SAY: Yea, by my
Lord who knoweth the unseen, it will surely come upon you! not the weight of
a mote either in the Heavens or in the Earth escapeth him; nor is there aught
less than this or aught greater, which is not in the clear Book;–

To the intent that God may reward those who have believed and done the things
that are right: Pardon and a noble provision shall they receive:

But as for those who aim to invalidate our signs,–a chastisement of painful
torment awaiteth them!

And they to whom knowledge hath been given see that what hath been sent down
to thee from thy Lord is the truth, and that it guideth into the way of the
Glorious one, the Praiseworthy.

But the unbelievers say to those whom they fall in with, "Shall we shew you a
man who will foretell you that when ye shall have been utterly torn and rent
to pieces, ye shall be restored in a new form?

He deviseth a lie about God, or there is a djinn in him," but they who
believe not in the next life, shall incur the chastisement, and be lost in
the mazes of estrangement from God.

What! have they never contemplated that which is before them and behind them,
the Heaven and the Earth? If such were our pleasure, we could sink them into
that Earth, or cause a portion of that Heaven to fall upon them! herein truly
is a sign for our every returning servant.

Of old bestowed we on David a gift, our special boon:–"Ye mountains and ye
birds answer his songs of praise." And we made the iron soft for him:–"Make
coats of mail, and arrange its plates; and work ye righteousness; for I
behold your actions."

And unto Solomon did we subject the wind, which travelled in the morning a
month's journey, and a month's journey in the evening. And we made a fountain
of molten brass to flow for him. And of the Djinn were some who worked in his
presence, by the will of his Lord; and such of them as swerved from our
bidding will we cause to taste the torment of the flame.

They made for him whatever he pleased, of lofty halls, and images, and dishes
large as tanks for watering camels, and cooking pots that stood firmly.
"Work," said we, "O family of David with thanksgiving:" But few of my
servants are the thankful!

And when we decreed the death of Solomon, nothing shewed them that he was
dead but a reptile of the earth that gnawed the staff which supported his
corpse.2 And when it fell, the Djinn perceived that if they had known the
things unseen, they had not continued in this shameful affliction.3

A sign there was to SABA, in their dwelling places:–two gardens, the one on
the right hand and the other on the left:–"Eat ye of your Lord's supplies,
and give thanks to him: Goodly is the country, and gracious is the Lord!"

But they turned aside: so we sent upon them the flood of Irem;4 and we
changed them their gardens into two gardens of bitter fruit and tamarisk and
some few jujube trees.

Such was our retribution on them for their ingratitude: but do we thus
recompense any except the ungrateful?

And we placed between them and the cities which we have blessed, conspicuous
cities, and we fixed easy stages: "Travel ye through them by night and day,

But they said, "O Lord! make the distance between our journeys longer,"5–and
against themselves did they act unjustly: so we made them a tale, and
scattered them with an utter scattering. Truly herein are signs to everyone
that is patient, grateful.

And Eblis found that he had judged truly of them: and they all except a
remnant of the faithful, followed him:

Yet no power had he over them. Only we would discern him who believed in the
life to come, from him who doubted of it; for thy Lord watcheth all things.

SAY: Call ye upon those whom ye deem gods, beside God: their power in the
Heavens and in the Earth is not the weight of an atom–neither have they any
share in either; nor hath He a helper from among them.

No intercession shall avail with Him but that which He shall Himself allow.
Until when at last their hearts shall be relieved from terror, they shall
say, "What saith your Lord?" they shall say, "The Truth; and He is the High,
the Great."

SAY: Who supplieth you out of the Heavens and the Earth? SAY: God. And either
we or ye have guidance, or are in palpable error!

SAY: Not as to our faults shall ye be questioned; neither shall we be
questioned as to your actions.

SAY: Our Lord will gather us together: then will He judge between us in
justice; for He is the Judge, the Knowing!

SAY: Shew me those whom ye have united with Him as associates: Nay, rather,
He is God, the Mighty, the Wise!

And we have sent thee to mankind at large, to announce and to threaten. But
most men understand not.

And they say, "When will this threat come to pass? Tell us, if ye be men of

SAY: Ye are menaced with a day, which not for an hour shall ye retard or
hasten on.

The unbelievers say, "We will not believe in this Koran, nor in the Books
which preceded it." But couldst thou see when the wicked shall be set before
their Lord! With reproaches will they answer one another. The weak shall say
to the mighty ones, "But for you we had been believers:"

Then shall the mighty ones say to the weak, "What! was it we who turned you
aside from the guidance which had reached you? Nay, but ye acted wickedly

And the weak shall say to the mighty ones, "Nay, but there was a plot by
night and by day, when ye bad us believe not in God, and gave him peers." And
they shall proclaim their repentance after they have seen the punishment! And
yokes will we place on the necks of those who have not believed! Shall they
be rewarded but as they have wrought?

And never have we sent a warner to any city whose opulent men did not say,
"In sooth we disbelieve your message."

And they said, "We are the more abundant in riches and in children, nor shall
we be among the punished."

SAY: Of a truth my Lord will be liberal or sparing in his supplies to whom he
pleaseth: but the greater part of men acknowledge it not.

Neither by your riches nor by your children shall you bring yourselves into
nearness with Us; but they who believe and do the thing that is right shall
have a double reward for what they shall have done: and in the pavilions of
Paradise shall they dwell secure!

But they who shall aim to invalidate our signs, shall be consigned to

SAY: Of a truth my Lord will be liberal in supplies to whom he pleaseth of
his servants, or will be sparing to him: and whatever ye shall give in alms
he will return; and He is the best dispenser of gifts.

One day he will gather them all together: then shall he say to the angels,
"Did these worship you?"

They shall say, "Glory be to thee! Thou art our master, not these! But they
worshipped the Djinn: it was in them that most of them believed.

On this day the one of you shall have no power over others for help or hurt.
And we will say to the evil doers, "Taste ye the torment of the fire, which
ye treated as a delusion."

For when our distinct signs are recited to them, they say, "This is merely a
man who would fain pervert you from your father's Worship." And they say,
"This (Koran) is no other than a forged falsehood." And the unbelievers say
to the truth when it is presented to them, "Tis nothing but palpable

Yet have we given them no books in which to study deeply, nor have we sent
any one to them before thee, charged with warnings.

They also flourished before them, treated our apostles as impostors in like
sort: but not to the tenth part of what we bestowed on them,6 have these
attained. And yet when they charged my apostles with deceit, how terrible was
my vengeance:

SAY: One thing in sooth do I advise you:–that ye stand up before God two and
two, or singly,7 and then reflect that in your fellow citizen is no djinn:8
he is no other than your warner before a severe punishment.

SAY: I ask not any wage from you: keep it for yourselves: my wage is from God
alone. And He is witness over all things!

SAY: Truly my Lord sendeth forth the Truth:–Knower of things unseen!

SAY: Truth is come, and falsehood shall vanish and return no more.

SAY: If I err, verily to my own cost only shall I err: but if I have
guidance, it will be of my Lord's revealing, for He is the Hearer, the near
at hand.

Couldst thou see how they shall tremble and find no escape, and be taken
forth from the place that is so near;9

And shall say, "We believe in Him!" But how, in their present distance, shall
they receive the faith,

When they had before denied it, and aimed their shafts at the mysteries from

And a gulf shall be between them and that which they shall desire–

As was done unto their likes of old, who were lost in the questionings of


1 In Arabia Felix, three days' journey from Sanaa.

2 The Talmud mentions the worm Shameer, used by Solomon to cut the stones for
building the temple. Pirke Aboth. v. See Buxt. Lex. Talmud, p. 2456. Tr.
Gittin, fol. 68; and Midr. Jalkut on 1 Kings, vi. 7. This passage of
Scripture may have suggested the idea that Solomon built, etc., by the aid of
Spirits. 3 That is, in their difficult toils.

4 See M. Caussin de Perceval Hist. des Arabes, vol. iii., who, as well as M.
de Sacy, fix this event in the second century of our era.

5 The Saba, of verse 14 formed an important branch of the trading population
of Yemen. This whole passage, 14-18, alludes to the cessation of traffic
between them and Syria, which led to the desire to lengthen the stages and
diminish the expense of the journey. See Muir's Life of Muhammad, i. p.
cxxxix. Muhammad attributes this desire to covetousness.

6 That is, of strength and material prosperity.

7 That is, so as to form a judgment free from the influence of others.

8 It is very remarkable, that when the power of Muhammad became firmly
established, he never reverts to the insinuations against the soundness of
his mind which in the earlier Suras he so often rebuts.

9 That is, their graves. Mar. So called because there is but a step into it
from the surface of the earth. Ullm.

10 That is, when in this life.


MECCA.–45 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

PRAISE be to God, Maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! Who employeth the
ANGELS as envoys, with pairs of wings, two, three, and four: He addeth to his
creature what He will! Truly God hath power for all things.

The mercy which God layeth open for man, no one can keep back; and what He
shall keep back, none can afterwards send forth. And He is the Mighty, the

O men! bear in mind the favour of God towards you. Is there a creator other
than God, who nourisheth you with the gifts of heaven and earth? There is no
God but He! How then are ye turned aside from Him?

If they treat thee as an impostor, then before thee have apostles been
treated as impostors. But to God shall all things return.

O men! assuredly the promise of God is true: let not then the present life
deceive you: and let not the Deceiver deceive you as to God.

Yes, Satan is your foe. For a foe then hold him. He calleth his followers to
him that they may become inmates of the flame.

The unbelievers,–for them a terrible punishment!

But believers and doers of good works, for them is mercy, and a great reward!

Shall he, the evil of whose deeds are so tricked out to him that he deemeth
them good, be treated like him who seeth things aright? Verily God misleadeth
whom He will, and guideth whom He will. Spend not thy soul in sighs for them:
God knoweth their doings.

It is God who sendeth forth the winds which raise the clouds aloft: then
drive we them on to some land dead from drought,1 and give life thereby to
the earth after its death. So shall be the resurrection.

If any one desireth greatness, all greatness is in God. The good word riseth
up to Him, and the righteous deed will He exalt. But a severe punishment
awaiteth the plotters of evil things; and the plots of such will He render

Moreover, God created you of dust–then of the germs of life–then made you two
sexes: and no female conceiveth or bringeth forth without his knowledge; and
the aged ageth not, nor is aught minished from man's age, but in accordance
with the Book. An easy thing truly is this to God.

Nor are the two seas2 alike: the one fresh, sweet, pleasant for drink, and
the other salt, bitter; yet from both ye eat fresh fish, and take forth for
you ornaments to wear, and thou seest the ships cleaving their waters that ye
may go in quest of his bounties, and that ye may be thankful.

He causeth the night to enter in upon the day, and the day to enter in upon
the night; and He hath given laws to the sun and to the moon, so that each
journeyeth to its appointed goal: This is God your Lord: All power is His:
But the gods whom ye call on beside Him have no power over the husk of a date

If ye cry to them they will not hear your cry; and if they heard they would
not answer you, and in the day of resurrection they will disown your joining
them with God: and none can instruct thee like Him who is informed of all.

O men! ye are but paupers in need of God; but God is the Rich, the

If He please, He could sweep you away, and bring forth a new creation!

Nor will this be hard for God.

And the burdened soul shall not bear the burden of another: and if the heavy
laden soul cry out for its burden to be carried, yet shall not aught of it be
carried, even by the near of kin! Thou shalt warn those who fear their Lord
in secret, and observe prayer. And whoever shall keep himself pure, he
purifieth himself to his own behoof: for unto God shall be the final

And the blind and the seeing are not alike; neither darkness and light; nor
the shade and the hot wind;

Nor are the living and the dead the same thing! God indeed shall make whom He
will to hearken, but thou shalt not make those who are in their graves to
hearken; for only with warning art thou charged.

Verily we have sent thee with the truth; a bearer of good tidings and a
warner; nor hath there been a people unvisited by its warner.

And if they treat thee as a liar, so did those who were before them threat
their Apostles who came to them with the proofs of their mission, and with
the Scriptures and with the enlightening Book:3

Then chastised I the unbelievers: and how great was my vengeance!

Seest thou not how that God sendeth down water from the Heaven, and that by
it we cause the up-growth of fruits of varied hues, and that on the
mountains4 are tracks of varied hues, white and red, and others are of a
raven black? And of men and reptiles and animals, various likewise are the
hues. Such only of his servants as are possessed of knowledge fear God. Lo!
God is Mighty, Gracious!

Verily they who recite the Book of God, and observe prayer, and give alms in
public and in private from what we have bestowed upon them, may hope for a
merchandise that shall not perish:

God will certainly pay them their due wages, and of his bounty increase them:
for He is Gracious, Grateful.

And that which we have revealed to thee of the Book is the very Truth,
confirmatory of previous Scriptures: for God knoweth and beholdeth his

Moreover, we have made the Book an heritage to those of our servants whom we
have chosen. Some of them injure themselves by evil deeds; others keep the
midway between good and evil; and others, by the permission of God, outstrip
in goodness; this is the great merit!

Into the gardens of Eden shall they enter: with bracelets of gold and pearl
shall they be decked therein, and therein shall their raiment be of silk:

And they shall say, "Praise be to God who hath put away sorrow from us.
Verily our Lord is Gracious, Grateful,

Who of His bounty hath placed us in a manison that shall abide for ever:
therein no toil shall reach us, and therein no weariness shall touch us."

But for infidels is the fire of Hell; to die shall never be decreed them, nor
shall aught of its torment be made light to them. Thus reward we every

And therein shall they cry aloud, "Take us hence, O our Lord! righteousness
will we work, and not what we wrought of old."–"Prolonged we not your days
that whoever would be warned might be warned therein? And the preacher came
to you–

Taste it then."–There is no protector for the unjust.

God truly knoweth the hidden things both of the Heavens and of the Earth: for
He knoweth the very secrets of the breast.

He hath appointed you his vicegerents in the earth: And whoever believeth
not, on him shall be his unbelief; and their unbelief shall only increase for
the unbelievers, hatred at the hands of their Lord:–and their unbelief shall
only increase for the unbelievers their own perdition!

SAY: What think ye of the gods whom ye invoke beside God? Shew me what part
of the earth they have created? Had they a share in the creation of the
Heavens? Have we given them a Book in which they can find proofs that they
are to be called on? Nay, the wicked promise one another only deceits.

Verily God holdeth fast the Heavens and the Earth that they pass not away:
and if they were passing away none could hold them back but He: for He is
Kind, Gracious.

They swore by God with their mightiest oath that should a preacher come to
them they would yield to guidance more than any people: but when the preacher
came to them it only increased in them their estrangement,

Their haughtiness on earth and their plotting of evil! But the plotting of
evil shall only enmesh those who make use of it.5 Look they then for aught
but God's way6 of dealing with the peoples of old? Thou shalt not find any
change in the way of God,–

Yea, thou shalt not find any variableness in the way of God.

Have they never journeyed in the land and seen what hath been the end of
those who flourished before them, though mightier in strength than they? God
is not to be frustrated by aught in the Heavens or in the Earth; for He is
the All-knowing, the All-mighty.

If, moreover, God should chastise men according to their deserts, He would
not leave even a reptile on the back of the earth! But to an appointed time
doth He respite them.

And when their time shall come, then verily God's eye is on his servants.


1 See note at Sura [xcvii.] iii. 18. This is one of the passages said to have
originated with Zayd.

2 Not only seas, properly so called, but the great masses of fresh water in
the Nile, Tigris, inland lakes, etc. 3 The Gospel.

4 This idea was probably suggested by Muhammad's reminiscences of the view
from the Cave of Hira, to the north and west of which there is a prospect
thus described by Burckhardt (Travels, p. 176). "The country before us had a
dreary aspect, not a single green spot being visible; barren, black, and grey
hills, and white sandy valleys were the only objects in sight."

5 Lit. shall encompass its people.

6 Method of dealing, i.e., first warning, then punishing.


MECCA.–205 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. MIM. SAD.1 A Book hath been sent down to thee: therefore let there
be no difficulty in thy breast concerning it: to the intent that thou mayest
warn thereby, and that it may be a monition to the faithful.

Follow ye what hath been sent down to you from your Lord; and follow no
masters beside Him. How little will ye be monished!

How many cities have we destroyed! By night, or while they were in their
midday slumber, did our wrath reach them!

And what was their cry when our wrath reached them, but to say, "Verily, we
have been impious."

Surely, therefore, will we call those to account, to whom an Apostle hath
been sent, and of the sent ones themselves will we certainly demand a

And with knowledge will we tell them of their deeds, for we were not absent
from them.

The weighing2 on that day, with justice! and they whose balances shall be
heavy, these are they who shall be happy.

And they whose balances shall be light, these are they who have lost their
souls, for that to our signs they were unjust:

And now have we stabilished you on the earth, and given you therein the
supports of life. How little do ye give thanks!

We created you; then fashioned you; then said we to the angels, "Prostrate
yourselves unto Adam: and they prostrated them all in worship, save Eblis: He
was not among those who prostrated themselves.

To him said God: "What hath hindered thee from prostrating thyself in worship
at my bidding?" He said, "Nobler am I than he: me hast thou created of fire;
of clay hast thou created him."

He said, "Get thee down hence: Paradise is no place for thy pride: Get thee
gone then; one of the despised shalt thou be."

He said, "Respite me till the day when mankind shall be raised from the

He said, "One of the respited shalt thou be."

He said, "Now, for that thou hast caused me to err, surely in thy straight
path will I lay wait for them:

Then will I surely come upon them from before, and from behind, and from
their right hand, and from their left, and thou shalt not find the greater
part of them to be thankful."

He said, "Go forth from it, a scorned, a banished one! Whoever of them shall
follow thee, I will surely fill hell with you, one and all.

And, O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in Paradise, and eat ye whence ye will,
but to this tree approach not, lest ye become of the unjust doers."

Then Satan whispered them to shew them their nakedness, which had been hidden
from them both. And he said, "This tree3 hath your Lord forbidden you, only
lest ye should become angels, or lest ye should become immortals."

And he sware to them both, "Verily I am unto you one who counselleth aright."

So he beguiled them by deceits: and when they had tasted of the tree, their
nakedness appeared to them, and they began to sew together upon themselves
the leaves of the garden. And their Lord called to them, "Did I not forbid
you this tree, and did I not say to you, 'Verily, Satan is your declared
enemy.' "

They said, "O our Lord! With ourselves have we dealt unjustly: if thou
forgive us not and have pity on us, we shall surely be of those who perish."

He said, "Get ye down, the one of you an enemy4 to the other; and on earth
shall be your dwelling, and your provision for a season."

He said, "On it shall ye live, and on it shall ye die, and from it shall ye
be taken forth."

O children of Adam! now have we sent down to you raiment to hide your
nakedness, and splendid garments; but the raiment of piety–this is best. This
is one of the signs of God, that man haply may reflect.

O children of Adam! let not Satan bring you into trouble, as he drove forth
your parents from the Garden, by despoiling them of their raiment, that he
might cause them to see their nakedness: He truly seeth you, he and his
comrades, whence ye see not them. Verily, we have made the Satans tutelars of
those who believe not.

And when the wicked commit some filthy deed, they say, "We found our fathers
practising it, and to us hath God commanded it"–SAY: God enjoineth not filthy
deeds. Will ye speak of God ye know not what?

SAY: My Lord hath enjoined what is right. Turn your faces therefore towards
every place where he is worshipped5 and call upon him with sincere religion.
As he created you, to him shall ye return: some hath he guided, and some hath
he justly left in error, because they have taken the Satans as their tutelars
beside God, and have deemed that they were guided aright.

O children of Adam! wear your goodly apparel when ye repair to any mosque,6
and eat ye and drink; but exceed not, for He loveth not those who exceed.

SAY: Who hath prohibited God's goodly raiment, and the healthful viands which
He hath provided for his servants? SAY: These are for the faithful in this
present life, but above all on the day of the resurrection. Thus make we our
signs plain for people of knowledge.

SAY: Truly my Lord hath forbidden filthy actions whether open or secret, and
iniquity, and unjust violence, and to associate with God that for which He
hath sent down no warranty, and to speak of God that ye know not.

Every nation hath its set time. And when their time is come, they shall not
retard it an hour; and they shall not advance it.

O children of Adam! there shall come to you Apostles from among yourselves,
rehearsing my signs to you; and whoso shall fear God and do good works, no
fear shall be upon them, neither shall they be put to grief.

But they who charge our signs with falsehood, and turn away from them in
their pride, shall be inmates of the fire: for ever shall they abide therein.

And who is worse than he who deviseth a lie of God, or treateth our signs as
lies? To them shall a portion here below be assigned in accordance with the
Book of our decrees, until the time when our messengers,7 as they receive
their souls, shall say, "Where are they on whom ye called beside God?" They
shall say: "Gone from us." And they shall witness against themselves that
they were infidels.

He shall say, "Enter ye into the Fire with the generations of Djinn and men
who have preceded you. So oft as a fresh generation entereth, it shall curse
its sister, until when they have all reached it, the last comers shall say to
the former, 'O our Lord! these are they who led us astray: assign them
therefore a double torment of the fire:"' He will say, "Ye shall all have
double." But of this are ye ignorant.

And the former of them shall say to the latter, "What advantage have ye over
us? Taste ye therefore the torment for that which ye have done."

Verily, they who have charged our signs with falsehood and have turned away
from them in their pride, Heaven's gates shall not be opened to them, nor
shall they enter Paradise, until the camel8 passeth through the eye of the
needle. After this sort will we recompense the transgressors.

They shall make their bed in Hell, and above them shall be coverings of fire!
After this sort will we recompense the evil doers.

But as to those who have believed and done the things which are right (we
will lay on no one a burden beyond his power) These shall be inmates of
Paradise: for ever shall they abide therein;

And we will remove whatever rancour was in their bosoms: rivers shall roll at
their feet: and they shall say, "Praise be to God who hath guided us hither!
We had not been guided had not God guided us! Of a surety the Apostles of our
Lord came to us with truth." And a voice shall cry to them, "This is
Paradise, of which, as the meed of your works, ye are made heirs."

And the inmates of Paradise shall cry to the inmates of the fire, "Now have
we found what our Lord promised us to be true. Have ye too found what your
Lord promised you to be true?" And they shall answer, "Yes." And a Herald
shall proclaim between them: "The curse of God be upon the evil doers,

Who turn men aside from the way of God, and seek to make it crooked, and who
believe not in the life to come!"

And between them shall be a partition; and on the wall AL ARAF9 shall be men
who will know all,10 by their tokens, and they shall cry to the inmates of
Paradise, "Peace be on you!" but they shall not yet enter it, although they
long to do so.

And when their eyes are turned towards the inmates of the Fire, they shall
say, "O our Lord! place us not with the offending people."

And they who are upon Al Araf shall cry to those whom they shall know by
their tokens, "Your amassings and your pride have availed you nothing.

Are these they on whom ye sware God would not bestow mercy? Enter ye11 into
Paradise! where no fear shall be upon you, neither shall ye be put to grief."

And the inmates of the fire shall cry to the inmates of Paradise: "Pour upon
us some water, or of the refreshments12 God hath given you?" They shall say,
"Truly God hath forbidden both to unbelievers,

Who made their religion a sport and pastime, and whom the life of the world
hath deceived." This day therefore will we forget them, as they forgot the
meeting of this their day, and as they did deny our signs.

And now have we brought them the Book: with knowledge have we explained it; a
guidance and a mercy to them that believe.

What have they to wait for now but its interpretation? When its
interpretation13 shall come, they who aforetime were oblivious of it shall
say, "The Prophets of our Lord did indeed bring the truth; shall we have any
intercessor to intercede for us? or could we not be sent back? Then would we
act otherwise than we have acted." But they have ruined themselves; and the
deities of their own devising have fled from them!

Your Lord is God, who in six days created the Heavens and the Earth, and then
mounted the throne: He throweth the veil of night over the day: it pursueth
it swiftly: and he created the sun and the moon and the stars, subjected to
laws by His behest: Is not all creation and its empire His? Blessed be God
the Lord of the Worlds!

Call upon your Lord with lowliness and in secret, for He loveth not

And commit not disorders on the earth after it hath been well ordered; and
call on Him with fear and longing desire: Verily the mercy of God is nigh
unto the righteous.

And He it is who sendeth forth the winds as the heralds of his compassion,14
until they bring up the laden clouds, which we drive along to some dead land
and send down water thereon, by which we cause an upgrowth of all kinds of
fruit.–Thus will we bring forth the dead. Haply ye will reflect.

In a rich soil, its plants spring forth abundantly by the will of its Lord,
and in that which is bad, they spring forth but scantily. Thus do We
diversify our signs for those who are thankful.

Of old sent We Noah to his people,15 and he said, "O my people! worship God.
Ye have no God but Him: indeed I fear for you the chastisement of the great

The chiefs of his people said, "We clearly see that thou art in a palpable

He said, "There is no error in me, O my people! but I am a messenger from the
Lord of the Worlds.

I bring to you the messages of my Lord, and I give you friendly counsel; for
I know from God what ye know not.

Marvel ye that a Warning should come to you from your Lord through one of
yourselves, that he may warn you, and that ye may fear for yourselves, and
that haply ye may find mercy?"

But they treated him as a liar: so we delivered him and those who were with
him in the ark, and we drowned those who charged our signs with falsehood;
for they were a blind people.

And to Ad16 we sent their brother Houd.17 "O my people!" said he, "worship
God: ye have no other god than Him: Will ye not then fear Him?"

Said the unbelieving chiefs among his people, "We certainly perceive that
thou art unsound of mind; and we surely deem thee an impostor."

He said, "O my people! it is not unsoundness of mind in me, but I am an
Apostle from the Lord of the Worlds.

The messages of my Lord do I announce to you, and I am your faithful18

Marvel ye that a warning hath come to you from your Lord through one of
yourselves that He may warn you? Remember how he hath made you the successors
of the people of Noah, and increased you in tallness of stature. Remember
then the favours of God, that it may haply be well with you."

They said, "Art thou come to us in order that we may worship one God alone,
and leave what our fathers worshipped? Then bring that upon us with which
thou threatenest us, if thou be a man of truth."

He said, "Vengeance and wrath shall suddenly light on you from your Lord. Do
ye dispute with me about names that you and your fathers have given your
idols, and for which God hath sent you down no warranty? Wait ye then, and I
too will wait with you."

And we delivered him, and those who were on his side, by our mercy, and we
cut off, to the last man, those who had treated our signs as lies, and who
were not believers.

And to Themoud we sent their brother Saleh.19 He said, O my people! worship
God: ye have no other god than Him: now hath a clear proof of my mission come
to you from your Lord, this she-camel of God being a sign to you: therefore
let her go at large to pasture on God's earth: and touch her not to harm her,
lest a grievous chastisement seize you.

And remember how he hath made you successors to the Adites, and given you
dwellings on the earth, so that on its plains ye build castles, and hew out
houses in the hills. And bear in mind the benefits of God, and lay not the
earth waste with deeds of licence.

Said the chiefs of his people puffed up with pride, to those who were
esteemed weak, even to those of them who believed, "What! know ye for certain
that Saleh is sent by his Lord?" They said, "Truly we believe in that with
which he hath been sent."

Then said those proud men, "Verily, we reject that in which ye believe."

And they ham-strung the she-camel, and rebelled against their Lord's command,
and said, "O Saleh, let thy menaces be accomplished upon us if thou art one
of the Sent Ones."

Then the earthquake surprised them; and in the morning they were found dead
on their faces in their dwellings.

So he turned away from them, and said, "O my people! I did indeed announce to
you the message of my Lord: and I gave you faithful counsel, but ye love not
faithful counsellors.20

We also sent Lot, when he said to his people, commit ye this filthy deed in
which no creature hath gone before you?

Come ye to men, instead of women, lustfully? Ye are indeed a people given up
to excess.

But the only answer of his people was to say, "Turn them out of your city,
for they are men who vaunt them pure."

And we delivered him and his family, except his wife; she was of those who

And we rained a rain upon them: and see what was the end of the wicked!

And we sent to Madian21 their brother Shoaib. He said, "O my people! worship
God; ye have no other God than Him: now hath a clear sign come to you from
your Lord: give therefore the full in measures and weights; take from no man
his chattels, and commit no disorder on the earth after it has been made so
good. This will be better for you, if you will believe it.

And lay not in ambush by every road in menacing sort; nor mislead him who
believeth in God, from His way, nor seek to make it crooked; and remember
when ye were few and that he multiplied you, and behold what hath been the
end of the authors of disorder!

And if a part of you believe in that with which I am sent, and a part of you
believe not, then wait steadfastly until God shall judge between us, for He
is the best of judges."

Said the chiefs of his people puffed up with pride, "We will surely banish
thee, O Shoaib, and thy fellow-believers from our cities, unless indeed ye
shall come back to our religion." "What!" said he, "though we abhor it?

Now shall we have devised a lie concerning God, if after he hath delivered us
from your religion we shall return to it; nor can we return to it, unless by
the will of God our Lord: our Lord embraceth all things in his ken. In God
have we put our trust: O our Lord! decide between us and between our people,
with truth; for the best to decide art Thou."

And the chiefs of his people who believed not, said, "If ye follow Shoaib, ye
shall then surely perish."

An earthquake therefore surprised them, and they were found in the morning
dead on their faces, in their dwellings.

Those who had treated Shoaib as an impostor, became as though they had never
dwelt in them: they who treated Shoaib as an impostor, were they that

So he turned away from them and said, O my people! I proclaimed to you the
messages of my Lord, and I counselled you aright; but how should I be grieved
for a people who do not believe?

Nor did we ever send a prophet to any city without afflicting its people with
adversity and trouble, that haply they might humble them.22

Then changed we their ill for good, until they waxed wealthy, and said, "Of
old did troubles and blessings befall our fathers:" therefore did we seize
upon them suddenly when they were unaware.

But if that the people of these cities had believed and feared us, we would
surely have laid open to them blessings out of the Heaven and the Earth: but
they treated our signs as lies, and we took vengeance on them for their

Were the people, therefore, of those cities secure that our wrath would not
light on them by night, while they were slumbering?

Were the people of those cities secure that our wrath would not light on them
in broad day, while they were disporting themselves?

Did they, therefore, deem themselves secure from the deep counsel23 of God?
But none deem themselves secure from the deep counsel of God, save those who

Is it not proved to those who inherit this land after its ancient occupants,
that if we please we can smite them for their sins, and put a seal upon their
hearts, that they hearken not?

We will tell thee the stories of these cities. Their apostles came to them
with clear proofs of their mission; but they would not believe in what they
had before treated as imposture.–Thus doth God seal up the hearts of the

And we found not of their covenant in most of them; but we found most of them
to be perverse.

Then after them we sent Moses with our signs to Pharaoh and his nobles, who
acted unjustly in their regard. But see what was the end of the corrupt

And Moses said, "O Pharaoh! verily I am an apostle from the Lord of the

Nothing but truth is it right for me to speak of God. Now am I come to you
from your Lord with a proof of my mission; send away, therefore, the children
of Israel with me." He said, "If thou comest with a sign, shew it if thou art
a man of truth."

So he threw down his rod, and lo! it distinctly became a serpent.

Then drew he forth his hand, and lo! it was white24 to the beholders.

The nobles of Pharaoh's people said, "Verily, this is an expert enchanter:

Fain would he expel you from your land: what then do ye order to be done?"

They said, "Put25 him and his brother off awhile, and send round men to your
cities who shall muster

And bring to thee every skilled enchanter."

And the enchanters came to Pharaoh. Said they, "Shall we surely be rewarded
if we prevail?"

He said, "Yes; and ye certainly shall be near my person."

They said, "O Moses! either cast thou down thy rod first, or we will cast
down ours."

He said, "Cast ye down." And when they had cast them down they enchanted the
people's eyes, and made them afraid; for they had displayed a great

Then spake we unto Moses, "Throw down thy rod;" and lo! it devoured their
lying wonders.

So the truth was made strong, and that which they had wrought proved vain:

And they were vanquished on the spot, and drew back humiliated.

But the other enchanters prostrated themselves adoring:

Said they, "We believe on the Lord of the Worlds,

The Lord of Moses and Aaron."

Said Pharaoh, "Have ye believed on him, ere I have given you leave? This
truly is a plot which ye have plotted in this my city, in order to drive out
its people. But ye shall see in the end what shall happen.

I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides; then will I have
you all crucified."

They said, "Verily, to our Lord do we return;

And thou takest vengeance on us only because we have believed on the signs of
our Lord when they came to us. Lord! pour out constancy upon us, and cause us
to die Muslims."

Then said the chiefs of Pharaoh's people–"Wilt thou let Moses and his people
go to spread disorders in our land, and desert thee and thy gods?" He said,
"We will cause their male children to be slain and preserve their females
alive: and verily we shall be masters over them."

Said Moses to his people, "Cry unto God for help, and bear up patiently, for
the earth is God's: to such of His servants as He pleaseth doth He give it as
a heritage; and for those that fear Him is a happy issue."

"We have been oppressed," they said, "before thou camest to us, and since
thou hast been with us:" "Perhaps," said he, "your Lord will destroy your
enemy, and will make you his successors in the land, and He will see how ye
will act therein."

Already had we chastised the people of Pharaoh with dearth and scarcity of
fruits, that haply they might take warning:

And when good fell to their lot they said, "This is our due." But if ill
befel them, they regarded Moses and his partisans as (the birds) of evil
omen.26 Yet, was not their evil omen from God? But most of them knew it not.

And they said, "Whatever sign thou bring us for our enchantment, we will not
believe on thee."

And we sent upon them the flood and the locusts and the kummal (lice) and the
frogs and the blood,–clear signs27–but they behaved proudly, and were a
sinful people.

And when any plague fell upon them, they said, "O Moses! pray for us to thy
Lord, according to that which he hath covenanted with thee: Truly if thou
take off the plague from us, we will surely believe thee, and will surely
send the children of Israel with thee." But when we had taken off the plague
from them, and the time which God had granted them had expired,28 behold!
they broke their promise.

Therefore we took vengeance on them and drowned them in the sea, because they
treated our signs as falsehoods and were heedless of them.

And we gave to the people who had been brought so low, the eastern and the
western lands, which we had blessed as an heritage: and the good word of thy
Lord was fulfilled on the children of Israel because they had borne up with
patience: and we destroyed the works and the structures of Pharaoh and his

And we brought the children of Israel across the sea, and they came to a
people who gave themselves up to their idols. They said, "O Moses! make us a
god, as they have gods." He said, "Verily, ye are an ignorant people:

For the worship they practise29 will be destroyed, and that which they do, is

He said, "Shall I seek any other god for you than God, when it is He who hath
preferred you above all other peoples?"

And remember when we rescued you from the people of Pharaoh they had laid on
you a cruel affliction; they slew your sons, and let only your daughters
live, and in this was a great trial from your Lord.

And we appointed a meeting with Moses for thirty nights, which we completed
with ten other nights, so that his whole time with his Lord30 amounted to
forty nights. Then said Moses to his brother Aaron, "Take thou my place among
my people, and act rightly, and follow not the way of the corrupt doers."

And when Moses came at our set time and his Lord spake with him, he said, "O
Lord, shew thyself to me, that I may look upon thee." He said, "Thou shalt
not see Me; but look towards the mount, and if it abide firm in its place,
then shalt thou see Me." And when God manifested Himself to the mountain he
turned it to dust! and Moses fell in a swoon.

And when he came to himself, he said, "Glory be to thee! To thee do I turn in
penitence, and I am the first of them that believe."

He said, "O Moses! thee above all men have I chosen by my commissions, and by
my speaking to thee. Take therefore what I have brought thee, and be one of
those who render thanks.

And we wrote for him upon the tables a monition concerning every matter, and
said, "Receive them thyself with steadfastness, and command thy people to
receive them for the observance of its most goodly precepts:–I will shew you
the abode of the wicked."

The unjustly proud ones of the earth will I turn aside from my signs, for
even if they see every sign they will not believe them; and if they see the
path of uprightness, they will not take it for their path, but if they see
the path of error, for their path will they take it.

This,–for that they treated our signs as lies, and were heedless of them.

Vain will be the works of those who treated our signs, and the meeting of the
life to come, as lies! Shall they be rewarded but as they have wrought?

And the people of Moses took during his absence a calf made of their
ornaments, and ruddy like gold, and lowing.31 Saw they not that it could not
speak to them, nor guide them in the way?

Yet they took if for a God and became offenders!

But when they repented, and saw that they had erred, they said, Truly if our
Lord have not mercy on us, and forgive us, we shall surely be of those who

And when Moses returned to his people, wrathful, angered, he said, "Evil is
it that ye have done next upon my departure. Would ye hasten on the judgments
of your Lord?" And he threw down the tables, and seized his brother by the
head and dragged him unto him. Said he, "Son of my mother! the people thought
me weak, and had well nigh slain me. Make not mine enemies to rejoice over
me, and place me not among the wrong doers."

He said, "O Lord, forgive me and my brother, and bring us into thy mercy; for
of those who shew mercy thou art the most merciful."

Verily as to those who took the calf as a god, wrath from their Lord shall
overtake them, and shame in this present life: for thus recompense we the
devisers of a lie.

But to those who have done evil, then afterwards repent and believe, thy Lord
will thereafter be Lenient, Merciful.

And when the anger of Moses was stilled, he took up the tables; and in their
writing was guidance and mercy for those who dread their Lord.

And Moses chose seventy men of his people for a meeting appointed by us. And
when the earthquake overtook them, he said, "O my Lord! if it had been thy
pleasure, thou hadst destroyed them and me ere this! wilt thou destroy us for
what our foolish ones have done? It is nought but thy trial: thou wilt
mislead by it whom thou wilt, and guide whom thou wilt. Our guardian, thou!
Forgive us then and have mercy on us; for of those who forgive art thou the

And write down for us what is good in this world, as well as in the world to
come, for to thee are we guided." He said, "My chastisement shall fall on
whom I will, and my mercy embraceth all things, and I write it down for those
who shall fear me, and pay the alms, and believe in our signs,

Who shall follow the Apostle, the unlettered32 Prophet–whom they shall find
described with them in the Law and Evangel. What is right will he enjoin
them, and forbid them what is wrong, and will allow them healthful viands and
prohibit the impure, and will ease them of their burden, and of the yokes
which were upon them; and those who shall believe in him, and strengthen him,
and help him,33 and follow the light34 which hath been sent down with him,–
these are they with whom it shall be well."

SAY to them: O men! Verily I am God's apostle to you all;

Whose is the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth! Therefore believe on
God but He! He maketh alive and killeth! Therefore believe on God, and his
Apostle–the unlettered Prophet–who believeth in God and his word. And follow
him that ye may be guided aright.

And among the people of Moses there is a certain number35 who guide others
with truth, and practise what is right according to it.

And we divided the Israelites into twelve tribes, as nations; and we revealed
unto Moses when the people asked drink of him–"Strike the rock with thy
staff:" and there gushed forth from it twelve fountains–the men all knew
their drinking places. And we caused clouds to overshadow them, and sent down
upon them the manna and the quails. . . .  "Eat of the good things with which
we have supplied you." But it was not us whom they injured, but they injured
their own selves:

And when it was said to them, "Dwell in this city, and eat therefrom what ye
will, and say 'Hittat' (forgiveness), and enter the gate with prostrations;
then will we pardon your offences,–we will give increase to the doers of

But the ungodly ones among them changed that word into another than that
which had been told them:36 therefore sent we forth wrath out of Heaven upon
them for their wrong doings.

And37 ask them about the city that stood by the sea, when its inhabitants
broke the Sabbath; when their fish came to them on their Sabbath day
appearing openly, but came not to them on the day when they kept no Sabbath.
Thus did we make trial of them, for that they were evildoers.38

And when some of them said, why warn ye those whom God would destroy or
chastise with terrible chastisement? they said, For our own excuse with your
Lord; and that they may fear Him.

And when they forgot their warnings, we delivered those who had forbidden
evil; and we inflicted a severe chastisement on those who had done wrong, for
that they were evil doers.

But when they proudly persisted in that which was forbidden, we said to them,
"Become scouted apes;" and then thy Lord declared that until the day of the
resurrection, he would surely send against them39 (the Jews) those who should
evil entreat and chastise them: for prompt is thy Lord to punish; and He is
Forgiving, Merciful.

And we have divided them upon the Earth as peoples: some of them are upright
and some are otherwise; and by good things and by evil things have we proved
them, to the intent that they might return to us.

And they have had successors to succeed them: they have inherited the Book:
they have received the passing good things of this lower world,40 and say,
"It will be forgiven us." Yet if the like good things came to them again,
they would again receive them. But hath there not been received on their part
a covenant through the Scripture that they should speak nought of God but the
truth? And yet they study its contents. But the mansion of the next world
hath more value for those who fear God–Do ye not then comprehend?–

And who hold fast the Book, and observe prayer: verily, we will not suffer
the reward of the righteous to perish.

And when we shook the mount41 over them as if it had been a shadow, and they
thought it falling upon them, . . .  "Receive, said we, with steadfastness
what we have brought you, and remember what is therein to the end that ye may
fear God."

And when thy Lord brought forth their descendants from the reins of the sons
of Adam and took them to witness against themselves, "Am I not," said He,
"your Lord?" They said, "Yes, we witness it." This we did, lest ye should say
on the day of Resurrection, "Truly, of this were we heedless, because

Or lest ye should say, "Our fathers, indeed, aforetime joined other gods with
our God, and we are their seed after them: wilt thou destroy us for the
doings of vain men?"

Thus make we our signs clear: that haply they may return to God.

Recite to them42 the history of him43 to whom we vouchsafed our signs, and
who departed from them, so that Satan followed him, and he became one of the

Had we pleased, we had certainly thereby exalted him; but he crouched to the
earth and followed his own lust: his likeness, therefore, is as that of the
dog which lolls out his tongue, whether thou chase him away, or leave him
alone! Such is the likeness of those who treat our signs as lies. Tell them
this tale then, that they may consider.

Evil the likeness of those who treat our signs as lies! and it is themselves
they injure.

He whom God guideth is the guided, and they whom he misleadeth shall be the

Many, moreover, of the Djinn and men have we created for Hell. Hearts have
they with which they understand not, and eyes have they with which they see
not, and ears have they with which they hearken not. They are like the
brutes: Yea, they go more astray: these are the heedless.

Most excellent titles hath God:44 by these call ye on Him, and stand aloof
from those who pervert45 his titles. For what they have done shall they be

And among those whom we have created are a people who guide others with
truth, and in accordance therewith act justly.

But as for those who treat our signs as lies, we will gradually bring them
down by means of which they know not:

And though I lengthen their days, verily, my stratagem shall prove effectual.

Will they not bethink them that their companion Muhammad is not djinn-
possessed? Yes, his office is only that of plain warner.

Will they not look forth on the realms of the Heaven and of the Earth, and on
all things which God hath made, to see whether haply their end be not drawing
on? And in what other book will they believe46 who reject the Koran?

No other guide for him whom God shall mislead! He will leave them distraught
in their wanderings.

They will ask thee of the Hour–for what time is its coming fixed? SAY: The
knowledge of it is only with my Lord: none shall manifest it in its time but
He: it is the burden47 of the Heavens and of the Earth: not otherwise than on
a sudden will it come on you.48

They will ask thee as if thou wast privy to it: SAY: The knowledge of it is
with none but God. But most men know not this.

SAY: I have no control over what may be helpful or hurtful to me, but as God
willeth. Had I the knowledge of his secrets, I should revel in the good, and
evil should not touch me. But I am only a warner, and an announcer of good
tidings to those who believe.

He it is who hath created you from a single person, and from him brought
forth his wife that he might dwell with her: and when he had known her, she
bore a light burden, and went about with it; and when it became heavy, they
both cried to God their Lord, "If thou give us a perfect child we will surely
be of the thankful."

Yet when God had given them a perfect child,49 they50 joined partners with
Him in return for what he had given them. But high is God above the partners
they joined with Him!

What! Will they join those with Him who cannot create anything, and are
themselves created, and have no power to help them, or to help themselves?

And if ye summon them to "the guidance," they will not follow you! It is the
same to them whether ye summon them or whether ye hold your peace!

Truly they whom ye call on beside God, are, like yourselves, His servants!
Call on them then, and let them answer you, if what ye say of them be true!

Have they feet to walk with? Have they hands to hold with? Have they eyes to
see with? Have they ears to hear with? SAY: Call on these joint gods of
yours; then make your plot against me, and delay it not.

Verily, my Lord is God, who hath sent down "the Book;" and He is the
protector of the righteous.

But they whom ye call on beside Him, can lend you no help, nor can they help

And if ye summon them to "the guidance," they hear you not: thou seest them
look towards thee, but they do not see!

Make the best of things;51 and enjoin what is just, and withdraw from the

And if stirrings to evil from Satan stir thee, fly thou for refuge to God: He
verily heareth, knoweth!

Verily, they who fear God, when some phantom from Satan toucheth them,
remember Him, and lo! they see clearly.

Their Brethren52 will only continue them in error, and cannot preserve
themselves from it.

And when thou bringest not a verse (sign) of the Koran to them, they say,
"Hast thou not yet patched it up?53 SAY: I only follow my Lord's utterances
to me. This is a clear proof on the part of your Lord, and a guidance and a
mercy for those who believe.

And when the Koran is read, then listen ye to it and keep silence, that haply
ye may obtain mercy.

And think within thine own self on God, with lowliness and with fear and
without loud spoken words, at even and at morn; and be not one of the

Verily they who are round about thy Lord disdain not His service. They praise
Him and prostrate themselves before Him.


1 The initial letters, it has been conjectured, of (Amara li Muhammad
sahdiq), thus spake to me Muhammad the truthful. But see Sura 1xviii. p. 32.
The first part of this Sura was perhaps revealed when the Arabians were
assembled at the Pilgrimage. See verse 29.

2 A figure of frequent occurence in the Talmud. See Tr. Rosh. Haschana, 17a.

3 Comp. Sura xx. 118, p. 101.

4 Gen. iii. 15.

5 Lit. towards each Mosque, i.e. towards the kibla of each Mosque. The word
mosque, mesjid, however, is usually applied only to that of Mecca. The common
term in use for larger places of worship is djami, a word unknown, in that
sense, to the Koran.

6 For full information as to the clothing of the ancient Arabians see Freyt.
Einl. pp. 295 327. The Koreisch (we are told in Sirat Arrasul, fol. 26, and
Beidh.), in order to instil a deep respect for the Caaba and other holy
places into the minds of the Arabians, had forbidden all food during the
processions, and required that no clothes, except those borrowed from
Meccans, should be worn, or that those who wore their own should devote them
to God as holy vestments. The consequence was that most of the pilgrims
visited the holy places in perfect nudity. Hence the precept in the text.

7 The Angels of Death.

8 Comp. Matth. xix. 24; Mark x. 25; Luke xviii. 25. By the change of a single
vowel in the Arabic word for camel, we obtain the rendering, cable. In the
Rabbinic form of the proverb, however, the elephant is substituted for the
camel, which confirms the usual rendering and reading.

9 "On this wall (the name of which is derived from Arafa, 'to know,' with
allusion to the employment of those upon it) will stand those whose good and
evil works are equal, and are not, therefore, deserving of either Paradise or
Gehenna. The idea, which is analogous to that of Purgatory, may be derived
from the Talmud. Thus in the Midrasch on Eccl. vii. 14, 'How much space is
there between the two' (Paradise and Hell)? R. Jochanan saith, a wall; R.
Acha, a span: others hold them to be so close that a person may see from one
into the other." See Plato's Phaed. 62.

10 That is, they will know the inmates of Paradise by their whiteness, and
the people of Hell by the blackness of their faces.

11 That is, ye believers: to whom the speakers on Al Araf are supposed to

12 The fruits of Paradise. Comp. Luke xvi. 19.

13 The fulfilment of its promises and threats.

14 The rain. Thus, the Rabbins call the rain "the might and power of God,"
Comp. Tract Tanith, fol. I, and connect it with the Resurrection, Tract
Berachoth, fol. 33.

15 The Rabbins in like manner describe the mission of Noah. Comp. Sanhedr.
108. Midr. Rabbah on Gen. par. 30, 33; and on Eccl. 9, 14. See Sura [lxxv.]
xi. 40.

16 The two tribes of Ad and Themoud–the latter of whom is mentioned by Diod.
Sic. and Ptolemy–lay to the north of Mecca in the direct line of traffic
between the countries to the north and to the south, and both probably
disappeared with its cessation, when the Arabs were no longer held in check
by the Romans. The traditions adopted by Muhammad attribute this to the
divine vengeance, throughout the Koran, and were derived by him from the
popular legends of Arabia. See Freyt. Einl. p. 12.

17 On Houd, see Geiger, pp. 113 119. He supposes him to be the Eber of the
Bible. But Mr. Muir suggests that both Houd and Saleh may have been
persecuted Jewish or Christian emissaries and teachers, whose rejection was
thus recast by Muhammad. See note on verse 71.

18 Or, entrusted, i.e. with the office of apostle.

19 Saleh–according to Bochart, the Peleg of Gen. xi. 16. D'Herbelot, B. O.
740, makes him the Schelah of Gen. xi. 13. See v. 63, n. and p. 220, n.

20 It is just possible that the act of Koleib, chief of the Banu Taghlib
tribe, in killing the milch camel of Basûs, a female relative of his wife of
Bani-Bakr lineage–which led to a forty years' war between these two tribes,
A.D. 490–may have been worked up by Muhammad into this account of the
persecutions of Saleh.

21 See Sura xxiv. 176, p. 109.

22 This verse may contain an implied reference to the famine with which Mecca
had been visited, and fix the date of this part of the Sura. Comp. verse 127.

23 Lit. plot, stratagem.

24 Comp. the passage from Pirke R. Eliezer, c. 48, who makes Moses perform
this miracle in the presence of Pharaoh, which the Scripture (Ex. vii.)
account does not. The Muhammadan tradition is that Moses was a black.

25 Lit. cause him to hope, temporise with him.

26 Lit. male ominati sunt. Mar. They traced their calamities to Moses. So
Sale. Kas. But Ullmann. renders, they attributed their misfortunes to the
predictions of Moses.

27 In Suras [lxvii.] xvii. and [lxviii.] Muhammad speaks of nine plagues. The
flood is not mentioned in the Scripture.

28 Lit. when we removed from them the plague until a period at which they
should arrive.

29 Lit. that in which these are.

30 Lit. the set time of his Lord was fulfilled in forty nights.

31 Sale and others render having a body, corporeal, of which the commentators
give no satisfactory explanation. I have adopted that given by Freytag in v.
That the calf lowed in consequence of Sama‰l having entered into it, is one
of the traditions of the Talmud. Pirke R. Eliezer, c. 45.

32 Compare Sura [lxxxi.] xxix. 47, [xciv.] lxxii. 2, [xci.] ii. 73. The word
ummyy is derived from ummah, a nation, and means Gentile; it here refers to
Muhammad's ignorance, previous to the revelation of Islam, of the ancient
Scriptures. It is equivalent to the Gr. laic, ethnic, and to the term gojim,
as applied by the Jews to those unacquainted with the Scriptures. There can,
however, be no doubt that Muhammad–in spite of his assertions to the
contrary, with the view of proving his inspiration–was well acquainted with
the Bible histories. He wished to appear ignorant in order to raise the
elegance of the Koran into a miracle. For the passages of Scripture said to
foretel Muhammad, see Pocock's Sp. Hist. Ar. p. 188, ed. White.

33 If these words, as Nöldeke supposes, contain an allusion to the Ansars, it
is likely that this verse was added at Medina. The epithet Al-Ummy (the
unlettered) does not, thus, occur in Meccan Suras.

34 The Koran.

35 Pirke R. Eliezer, 45, explains Ex. xxxii. 26, of the tribe of Levi, as not
having been implicated with the other tribes in the sin of the golden calf.

36 The Jews changed hittat, absolution, indulgence, into habbat, corn.

37 This and the next six verses are supposed to have been added at Medina.

38 Comp. Sura [xci.] ii. 61. No trace of this legend is to be found in the
Talmudists. The city is said to have been Aila (Elath) on the Red Sea.

39 Perhaps in allusion to Deut. xxviii. 49, 50.

40 As bribes to pervert Scripture, etc.

41 Sinai–which, however, is not mentioned in the Koran as the place where the
law was given. Comp. "I will cover you with the mountain like a roof." Abodah
Sar. 2, 2. Thus also in Tract Sabbath, f. 88, 1, "R. Avdimi . . . saith,
These words teach us that the Holy One, blessed be He, turned the mountain
over them like a vessel, and said to them, If ye will receive the law, well;
but if not, there shall be your grave." This tradition is still held by the
Jews. See D. Lewis Pent. Prayers, fol. 150. Its origin is a misunderstanding
of Ex. xix. 17, rightly rendered in the E. version at the nether part of the

42 To the Jews.

43 Balaam. But according to others, a Jew who renounced his faith in

44 The 99 titles of God, taken from the Koran, are to be found in Maracci,
vol. 11, p. 414, or in Macbride's Religion of the Mohammedans, p. 121. To
facilitate the repetition of these names, the Muslims use a rosary.

45 In altering the names of God, changing allah into Allat, Elaziz into
Alozza, Mennan into Menat, etc.

46 Lit. and in what declaration after it will they believe?

47 That is, it weighs heavily on the hopes and fears of men, djinn, and

48 Probably the usual final clause, whence ye looked not for it, should here
be added to make good the rhyme, which is otherwise interrupted in the

49 Some render salihan, well made, rightly shaped; others, virtuous, morally

50 And their idolatrous posterity. Beidh.

51 Take or use indulgence; i.e. take men and their actions as they are, and
make all due allowances. Some understand it, of Muhammad's accepting such
voluntary and superfluous alms as the people could spare.

52 That is, those under Satanic influence.

53 Collected or sought it out. Beidh.


MECCA.–35 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

HA. MIM.1 The Revelation (sending down) of this Book is from the Mighty, the

We have not created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is between them
otherwise than in truth and for a settled term. But they who believe not,
turn away from their warning.

SAY: What think ye? As for those whom ye invoke beside God, shew me what part
of the earth it is which they have created? Had they a share in the Heavens?
Bring me a Book sent down by them before this Koran, or traces of their
knowledge;2–if ye are men of truth.

And who erreth more than he who, beside God, calleth upon that which shall
not answer him until the day of Resurrection? Yes, they regard not their

And when mankind shall be assembled together, they will become their enemies,
and ungratefully disown their worship.

And when our clear signs are recited to them, they who believe not say of the
truth when it cometh to them, "This is plain sorcery."

Will they say, "He hath devised It?" SAY: If I have devised the Koran, then
not one single thing shall ye ever obtain for me from God! He best knoweth
what ye utter in its regard! Witness enough is He between me and you! And He
is the Gracious, the Merciful.

SAY: I am no apostle of new doctrines: neither know I what will be done with
me or you. Only what is revealed to me do I follow, and I am only charged to
warn openly.

SAY: What think ye? If this Book be from God, and ye believe it not, and a
witness of the children of Israel3 witness to its conformity with the Law,
and believe, while ye proudly disdain it . . . ? Ah! God guideth not the
people guilty of such a wrong!

But the infidels say of the believers, "If it were a good Book they would not
have been before us in believing it:"4 And not having submitted to guidance,
they proceed to say, "It is an old lying legend!"

But before the Koran was the Book of Moses, a rule and a mercy; and this Book
confirmeth it (the Pentateuch)–in the Arabic tongue–that those who are guilty
of that wrong may be warned, and as glad tidings to the doers of good.

Assuredly they who say, "Our Lord is God," and take the straight way to Him–
no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be put to grief:

These shall be the inmates of Paradise to remain therein for ever,–the
recompense of their deeds!

Moreover, we have enjoined on man to shew kindness to his parents. With pain
his mother beareth him; with pain she bringeth him forth: and his bearing and
his weaning is thirty months; until when he attaineth his strength, and
attaineth to forty years,5 he saith, "O my Lord! stir me up to be grateful
for thy favours wherewith thou hast favoured me and my parents, and to do
good works which shall please thee: and prosper me in my offspring: for to
thee am I turned, and am resigned to thy will" (am a Muslim).

These are they from whom we will accept their best works, and whose evil
works we will pass by; among the inmates shall they be of Paradise:–a true
promise which they are promised.

But he who saith to his parents, "Fie on you both! Promise ye me that I shall
be taken forth from the grave alive, when whole generations have already
passed away before me?" But they both will implore the help of God, and say,
"Alas for thee! Believe: for the promise of God is true." But he saith, "It
is no more than a fable of the ancients."

These are they in whom the sentence passed on the nations, djinn and men, who
flourished before them, is made good. They shall surely perish.6

And there are grades for all, according to their works, that God may repay
them for their works; and they shall not be dealt with unfairly.

And they who believe not shall one day be set before the fire. "Ye made away
your precious gifts during your life on earth; and ye took your fill of
pleasure in them: This day, therefore, with punishment of shame shall ye be
rewarded, for that ye behaved you proudly and unjustly on the earth, and for
that ye were given to excesses."

Remember, too, the brother of Ad7 when he warned his people in AL AHKAF8–and
before and since his time there have been warners–"Worship none but God:
verily I fear for you the punishment of the great day."

They said, "Art thou come to us to turn us away from our Gods? Bring on us
now the woes which thou threatenest if thou speakest truth."

"That knowledge," said he, "is with God alone: I only proclaim to you the
message with which I am sent. But I perceive that ye are a people sunk in

So when they saw a cloud coming straight for their valleys, they said, "It is
a passing cloud that shall give us rain." "Nay, it is that whose speedy
coming ye challenged a blast wherein is an afflictive punishment:–

It will destroy everything at the bidding of its Lord!" And at morn nought
was to be seen but their empty dwellings! Thus repay we a wicked people.

With power had we endued them, even as with power have we endued you; and we
had given them ears and eyes and hearts: yet neither their eyes, nor their
ears, nor their hearts aided them at all, when once they gainsaid the signs
of God; but that punishment which they had mocked at enveloped them on all

Of old, too, did we destroy the cities which were round about you; and, in
order that they might return to us, we varied our signs before them.

But did those whom they took for gods beside God as his kindred deities, help
them?9 Nay, they withdrew from them. Such was their delusion, and their

And remember when we turned aside a company of the djinn to thee, that they
might hearken to the Koran: and no sooner were they present at its reading
than they said to each other, "Hist;" and when it was ended, they returned to
their people with warnings.

They said, "O our people! verily we have been listening to a book sent down
since the days of Moses, affirming the previous scriptures; it guideth to the
truth, and to the right way.

O our people! Obey the Summoner of God, and believe in him, that He may
forgive your sins, and rescue you from an afflictive punishment.

And he who shall not respond to God's preacher, yet cannot weaken God's power
on earth, nor shall he have protectors beside Him. These are in obvious

See they not that God who created the Heavens and the Earth, and was not
wearied with their creation, is of power to quicken the dead? Yea, he is for
all things Potent.

And a day is coming when the infidels shall be set before the fire. "Is not
this it in truth?" They shall say, "Aye, by our Lord." He said, "Taste then
the punishment for that ye would not believe."

Bear thou up, then, with patience, as did the Apostles endued with firmness,
and seek not to accelerate their doom. For, on the day when they shall see
that with which they have been menaced,

It shall be as though they had waited but an hour of the day. Enough! shall
any perish save they who transgress?


1 See Sura lxviii. p. 32.

2 Of a divine revelation, authorising the worship of other gods than God

3 Abdallah bin Salma, say the commentators.

4 Comp. John vii. 48.

5 Thus Mischn. Aboth, v. 21, "at forty years of age a man comes to
intelligence." This verse refers, it is said by the Sonnites, to Abu Bekr,
afterwards Chalif, who embraced Islam in his 40th year. But this
interpretation was probably invented after his accession to power.

6 Lit. suffer loss.

7 The Prophet Houd.

8 That is, Sandhills; at Taief, to which Muhammad had retired in consequence
of the opposition, etc., of the Meccans. Verses 20-31 are probably misplaced,
as they interrupt the connection between 19 and 32, but appear to belong to
the same period as the rest of the Sura.

9 Thus Ullm. als naheverwandte Götter. But Wahl, denen sie sich mit
gottesdienstlichen Opfer näherten. Ad appropinquandum (magis ipsi Deo), by
intercession. Mar. Beidh.


MECCA.–165 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

PRAISE be to God, who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, and ordained
the darkness and the light! Yet unto their Lord do the infidels give peers!

He it is who created you of clay then decreed the term of your life: and with
Him is another prefixed term for the resurrection. Yet have ye doubts

And He is God in the Heavens and on the Earth! He knoweth your secrets and
your disclosures! and He knoweth what ye deserve.

Never did one single sign from among the signs of their Lord come to them,
but they turned away from it;

And now, after it hath reached them, have they treated the truth itself as a
lie. But in the end, a message as to that which they have mocked, shall reach

See they not how many generations we have destroyed before them? We had
settled them on the earth as we have not settled you, and we sent down the
very heavens upon them in copious rains, and we made the rivers to flow
beneath their feet: yet we destroyed them in their sins, and raised up other
generations to succeed them.

And had we sent down to thee a Book written on parchment, and they had
touched it with their hands, the infidels had surely said, "This is nought
but plain sorcery."

They say, too, "Unless an angel be sent down to him. . . ." But if we had
sent down an angel, their judgment would have come on them at once,1 and they
would have had no respite:

And if we had appointed an angel, we should certainly have appointed one in
the form of a man, and we should have clothed him before them in garments
like their own.2

Moreover, apostles before thee have been laughed to scorn: but that which
they laughed to scorn encompassed the mockers among them!

SAY: Go through the land: then see what hath been the end of those who
treated them as liars.

SAY: Whose is all that is in the Heavens and the Earth?

SAY: God's. He had imposed mercy on Himself as a law. He will surely assemble
you on the Resurrection day; there is no doubt of it. They who are the
authors of their own ruin, are they who will not believe.

His, whatsoever hath its dwelling in the night and in the day! and He, the
Hearing, the Knowing!

SAY: Other than God shall I take as Lord, maker of the Heavens and of the
Earth, who nourisheth all, and of none is nourished? SAY: Verily, I am bidden
to be the first of those who surrender them to God (profess Islam): and, be
not thou of those who join gods with God.

SAY: Verily, I fear, should I rebel against my Lord, the punishment of the
great day.

From whomsoever it shall be averted on that day, He will have had mercy on
him: and this will be the manifest bliss.

If God touch thee with trouble, none can take it off but He: and if He visit
thee with good–it is He whose power is over all things;

And He is the Supreme over his servants; and He is the Wise, the Cognisant!

SAY: What thing is weightiest in bearing witness? SAY: God is witness between
me and you; and this Koran hath been revealed to me that I should warn you by
it, and all whom it shall reach. What! will ye really bear witness that there
are other gods with God? SAY: I bear no such witness. SAY: Verily, He is one
God, and truly am guiltless of what ye join with Him.

They to whom we have given the Book, recognise him (Muhammad) as they do
their own children:3 but they who are the authors of their own perdition are
they who will not believe.

And who more wicked than he who inventeth a lie concerning God, or who
treateth our signs as lies? Verily those wicked ones shall not prosper.4

And on "the Day" we will gather them all together: then will we say to those
who joined gods with God, "Where are those companion-gods of yours, as ye
supposed them?"

Then shall they find no other excuse than to say, "By God our Lord! we joined
not companions with Him."

Behold! how they lie against themselves–and the gods of their own inventing
desert them!

Some among them hearken unto thee: but we have cast veils over their hearts
that they should not understand the Koran, and a weight into their ears: and
though they should see all kinds of signs, they will refuse all faith in
them, until when they come to thee, to dispute with thee, the infidels say,
"Verily, this is nothing but fables of the ancients."

And they will forbid it, and depart from it:–but they are only the authors of
their own perdition, and know it not.

If thou couldst see when they shall be set over the fire, and shall say, "Oh!
would we might be sent back! we would not treat the signs of our Lord as
lies! we would be of the believers."

Aye! that hath become clear5 to them which they before concealed; but though
they should return, they would surely go back to that which was forbidden
them; for they are surely liars!

And they say, "There is no other than our life in this world, neither shall
we be raised again."

But if thou couldest see when they shall be set before their Lord! He shall
say to them, "Is not this it6 in truth?" They shall say, "Yea, by our Lord!"
"Taste then," saith He, "the torment, for that ye believed not!"

Lost are they who deny the meeting with God until "the Hour" cometh suddenly
upon them! Then will they say, "Oh, our sighs for past negligence of this
hour!" and they shall bear their burdens on their back! Will not that be evil
with which they shall be burdened?

The life in this world is but a play and pastime; and better surely for men
of godly fear will be the future mansion! Will ye not then comprehend?

Now know we that what they speak vexeth thee:7 But it is not merely thee whom
they charge with falsehood, but the ungodly gainsay the signs of God.

Before thee have apostles already been charged with falsehood: but they bore
the charge and the wrong with constancy, till our help came to them;–for none
can change the words of God. But this history of His Sent Ones hath already
reached thee.

But if their estrangement be grievous to thee, and if thou art able to seek
out an opening into the earth or a ladder into Heaven,8 that thou mightest
bring them a sign. . . .  Yes! But if God pleased, He would surely bring
them, one and all, to the guidance! therefore be not thou one of the

To those only who shall lend an ear will He make answer: as for the dead, God
will raise them up; then unto Him shall they return.

They say, "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . ."  SAY:
Verily, God is able to send down a sign; but the greater part of them know it

No kind of beast is there on earth nor fowl that flieth with its wings, but
is a folk9 like you: nothing have we passed over in the Book:10 then unto
their Lord shall they be gathered.

They who gainsay our signs are deaf, and dumb, in darkness: God will mislead
whom He pleaseth, and whom He pleaseth He will place upon the straight path.

SAY: What think ye? If the punishment of God were to come upon you, or "the
Hour" were to come upon you, will ye cry to any other than God? Tell me, if
ye speak the truth?

Yes! to Him will ye cry: and if He please He will deliver you from that ye
shall cry to Him to avert, and ye shall forget the partners ye joined with

Already have we sent apostles to nations that were before thee, and we laid
hold on them with troubles and with straits in order that they might humble

Yet, when our trouble came upon them, they did not humble themselves; but
their hearts were hardened, and Satan pre-arranged for them11 their course of

And when they had forgotten their warnings, we set open to them the gates of
all things, until, as they were rejoicing in our gifts, we suddenly laid hold
upon them, and lo! they were plunged into despair,

And the uttermost part of that impious people was cut off. All praise be to
God, the Lord of the Worlds!

SAY: What think ye? If God should take away your hearing and your sight and
set a seal upon your hearts, what god beside God would restore them to you?
See! how we vary our wondrous verses (signs)! yet they turn away from them!

SAY: What think ye? If the punishment of God come on you suddenly or
foreseen,12 shall any perish except the impious?

We send not our Sent Ones but as heralds of good news and warners; and whoso
shall believe and amend, on them shall come no fear, neither shall they be

But whoso shall charge our signs with falsehood, on them shall fall a
punishment for their wicked doings.

SAY: I say not to you, "In my possession are the treasures of God;" neither
say I, "I know things secret;" neither do I say to you, "Verily, I am an
angel:" Only what is revealed to me do I follow. SAY: Shall the blind and the
seeing be esteemed alike? Will ye not then reflect?

And warn those who dread their being gathered to their Lord, that patron or
intercessor they shall have none but Him,–to the intent that they may fear

And thrust not thou away those who cry to their Lord at morn and even,
craving to behold his face. It is not for thee in anything to judge of their
motives, nor for them in anything to judge of thee. If thou thrust them away
thou wilt be of the doers of wrong.

Thus have we made proof of some of them by others, that they may say, "Are
these they among us to whom God hath been gracious?" Doth not God best know
the thankful?

And when they who believe in our signs come to thee, SAY: Peace be upon you!
Your Lord hath laid down for himself a law of mercy; so that if any one of
you commit a fault through ignorance, and afterwards turn and amend, He
surely will be Gracious, Merciful.

Thus have we distinctly set forth our signs, that the way of the wicked might
be made known.

SAY: Forbidden am I to worship those whom ye call on beside God. SAY: I will
not follow your wishes; for then should I have gone astray, and should not be
of the guided.

SAY: I act upon proofs from my Lord, but ye treat them as falsehoods. That
punishment which ye desire to be hastened is not in my power; judgment is
with God only: He will declare the truth; and He is the best settler of

SAY: If what ye would hasten on, were in my power, the matter between me and
you had been decided: but God best knoweth the impious.

And with Him are the keys13 of the secret things; none knoweth them but He:
He knoweth whatever is on the land and in the sea; and no leaf falleth but He
knoweth it; neither is there a grain in the darknesses of the earth, nor a
thing green or sere, but it is noted in a distinct writing.14

It is He who taketh your souls at night,15 and knoweth what ye have merited
in the day: then he awaketh you therein, that the set life-term may be
fulfilled: then unto Him shall ye return; and then shall be declare to you
that which ye have wrought.

Supreme over his servants, He sendeth forth guardians who watch over you,
until, when death overtaketh any one of you, our messengers take his soul,
and fail not:

Then are they returned to God their Lord, the True. Is not judgment His?
Swiftest He, of those who take account!

SAY: Who rescueth you from the darkness of the land and of the sea, when
humbly and secretly ye cry to Him–"If thou rescue us from this, we will
surely be of the thankful?"

SAY: God rescueth you from them, and from every strait: yet afterwards ye
give Him companions!

SAY: It is He who hath power to send on you a punishment from above you, or
from beneath your feet, or to clothe you with discord,16 and to make some of
you to taste the violence of others. See how variously we handle the wondrous
verses, that haply they may become wise!

But thy people hath accused the Koran of falsehood, though it be the truth:
SAY: I am not in charge of you: To every prophecy is its set time, and bye-
and-bye ye shall know it!

And when thou seest those who busy themselves with cavilling at our signs,
withdraw from them till they busy themselves in some other subject: and if
Satan cause thee to forget this, sit not, after recollection, with the
ungodly people:17

Not that they who fear God are to pass any judgment upon them, but the object
of recollection is that they may continue to fear Him.

And quit those who make their religion a sport and a pastime, and whom this
present life hath deceived: warn them hereby that every soul will be
consigned to doom for its own works: patron or intercessor, beside God, shall
it have none: and could it compensate with fullest compensation, it would not
be accepted from it. They who for their deeds shall be consigned to doom–for
them are draughts of boiling water, and a grievous torment; for that they
believed not!

SAY: Shall we, beside God, call upon those who can neither help nor hurt us?
Shall we turn upon our heel after that God hath guided us? Like some
bewildered man whom the Satans have spell-bound in the desert, though his
companions call him to the true guidance, with, "Come to us!" SAY: Verily,
guidance from God, that is the true guidance; and we are commanded to
surrender ourselves to the Lord of the Worlds.

And observe ye the times of prayer, and fear ye God: for it is He to whom ye
shall be gathered.

And it is He who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, in truth, and when
He saith to a thing, "Be," it is.

His word is the truth: and His the kingdom, on the day when there shall be a
blast on the trumpet: He knoweth alike the unseen and the seen: and He is the
Wise, the Cognisant.

And remember when Abraham said to his father Azar,18 Takest thou images as
gods? Verily, I see that thou and thy people are in manifest error.

And thus did we shew Abraham the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth,19
that he might be stablished in knowledge.

And when the night overshadowed him, he beheld a star. "This," said he, "is
my Lord:" but when it set, he said, "I love not gods which set."

And when he beheld the moon uprising, "This," said he, "is my Lord:" but when
it set, he said, "Surely, if my Lord guide me not, I shall surely be of those
who go astray."

And when he beheld the sun uprise, he said, "This is my Lord; this is
greatest." But when it set, he said, "O my people! I share not with you the
guilt of joining gods with God;

I turn my face to him who hath created the Heavens and the Earth, following
the right religion:20 I am not one of those who add gods to God."

And his people disputed with him.–He said: "Dispute ye with me about God,
when He hath guided me? And I fear not the deities whom ye join with Him, for
only by the will of my Lord have they any power:21 My Lord embraceth all
things in His knowledge. Will ye not then consider?

And how should I fear what ye have joined with God, since ye fear not for
having joined with Him that for which He hath sent you down no warranty?
Which, therefore, of the two parties is more worthy of safety? Know ye that?

They who believe, and who clothe not their faith with error.22 theirs is
safety, and they are guided aright."

This is our reasoning with which we furnished Abraham against his people: We
uplift to grades of wisdom whom we will; Verily thy Lord is Wise, Knowing.

And we gave him Isaac and Jacob, and guided both aright; and we had before
guided Noah; and among the descendants of Abraham, David and Solomon, and Job
and Joseph, and Moses and Aaron: Thus do we recompense the righteous:

And Zachariah, John, Jesus, and Elias: all were just persons:

And Ismael and Elisha and Jonas and Lot: all these have we favoured above

And some of their fathers, and of their offspring, and of their brethren: and
we chose them, and guided them into the straight way.

This is God's guidance: He guideth by it such of his servants as he will: But
if they join others god with Him, vain assuredly shall be all their works.

These are they to whom we gave the Scripture and Wisdom and Prophecy: but if
these their posterity believe not therein, we will entrust these gifts to a
people who will not disbelieve therein.

These are they whom God hath guided: follow therefore their guidance. SAY: No
pay do I ask of you for this:23 Verily it is no other than the teaching for
all creatures.

No just estimate do they form of God when they say, "Nothing hath God sent
down to man." SAY: Who sent down the Book which Moses brought, a light and
guidance to man, which ye set down on paper, publishing part, but concealing
most: though ye have now been taught that which neither ye nor your fathers
knew? SAY: It is God: then leave them in their pastime of cavillings.24

And this Book which we have sent down is blessed, confirming that which was
before it; and in order that thou mightest warn the mother-city and those who
dwell round about it. They who believe in the next life will believe in It,
and will keep strictly to their Prayers.

But is any more wicked than he who deviseth a lie of God, or saith, "I have
had a revelation," when nothing was revealed to him?25 And who saith, "I can
bring down a book like that which God hath sent down"? But couldst thou see
when the ungodly are in the floods of death, and the angels reach forth their
hands, saying, "Yield up your souls:–this day shall ye be recompensed with a
humiliating punishment for your untrue sayings about God, and for proudly
rejecting his signs!"

"And now are ye come back to us, alone, as we created you at first, and ye
leave behind you the good things which we had given you, and we see not with
you your intercessors whom ye regarded as the companions of God among you.
There is a severance between you now, and those whom ye regarded as partners
with God have deserted you."

Verily God causeth the grain and the date stone to put forth: He bringeth
forth the living from the dead, and the dead from the living! This is God!
Why, then, are ye turned aside from Him?

He causeth the dawn to appear, and hath ordained the night for rest, and the
sun and the moon for computing time! The ordinance of the Mighty, the Wise!

And it is He who hath ordained the stars for you that ye may be guided
thereby in the darknesses of the land and of the sea! clear have we made our
signs to men of knowledge.

And it is He who hath produced you from one man, and hath provided for you an
abode and resting-place!26 Clear have we made our signs for men of insight.

And it is He who sendeth down rain from Heaven: and we bring forth by it the
buds of all the plants, and from them bring we forth the green foliage, and
the close growing grain, and palm trees with sheaths of clustering dates, and
gardens of grapes, and the olive and the pomegranate, like and unlike.27 Look
ye on their fruits when they fruit and ripen. Truly herein are signs unto
people who believe.

Yet have they assigned the Djinn to God as his associates, though He created
them; and in their ignorance have they falsely ascribed to him sons and
daughters. Glory be to Him! And high let Him be exalted above that which they
attribute to Him!

Sole maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! how, when He hath no consort,
should He have a son? He hath created everything, and He knoweth everything!

This is God your Lord. There is no God but He, the creator of all things:
therefore worship Him alone;–and He watcheth over all things.

No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision:28 and He is the
Subtile, the All-informed.

Now have proofs that may be seen, come to you from your Lord; whoso seeth
them, the advantage will be his own: and whoso is blind to them, his own will
be the loss: I am not made a keeper over you.

Thus variously do we apply our signs,29 that they may say, "Thou hast studied
deep:" and that to people of understanding we may make them clear.

Follow thou that which hath been revealed to thee by thy Lord: there is no
god but He! and withdraw from those who join other gods with Him.

Had God pleased, they had not joined other gods with Him: and we have not
made thee keeper over them, neither art thou a guardian over them.

Revile not those whom they call on beside God,30 lest they, in their
ignorance, despitefully revile Him. Thus have we planned out their actions
for every people; then shall they return to their Lord, and He will declare
to them what those actions have been.

With their most solemn oath have they sworn by God, that if a sign come unto
them they will certainly believe it; SAY: Signs are in the power of God
alone; and He teacheth you not thereby, only because when they were wrought,
ye did not believe.31

And we will turn their hearts and their eyes away from the truth, because
they did not believe therein at first, and we will leave them in their
transgressions, wandering in perplexity.

And though we had sent down the angels to them, and the dead had spoken to
them, and we had gathered all things about them in tribes, they had not
believed, unless God had willed it! but most of them do not know it.

Thus have we given an enemy to every prophet Satans among men and among
Djinn: tinsel discourses do they suggest the one to the other, in order to
deceive: and had thy Lord willed it, they would not have done it. Therefore,
leave them and their vain imaginings–

And let the hearts of those who believe not in the life to come incline
thereto, and let them find their content in this, and let them gain what they
are gaining.

What! shall I seek other judge than God, when it is He who hath sent down to
you the distinguishing Book? They to whom we have given the Book know that it
is sent down from thy Lord with truth. Be not thou then of those who doubt.

And the words of thy Lord are perfect in truth and in justice: none can
change his words: He is the Hearing, Knowing.

But if thou obey most men in this land, from the path of God will they
mislead thee: they follow but a conceit, and they are only liars.

Thy Lord! He best knoweth those who err from his path, and He knoweth the
rightly guided.

Eat32 of that over which the name of God hath been pronounced, if ye believe
in his signs.

And why eat ye not of that over which the name of God hath been pronounced,
since He hath made plain to you what He hath forbidden you, save as to that
which is forced upon you? But indeed many mislead others by their appetites,
through lack of knowledge. Verily, thy Lord! He best knoweth the

And abandon the semblance of wickedness, and wickedness itself.33 They,
verily, whose only acquirement is iniquity, shall be rewarded for what they
shall have gained.

Eat not therefore of that on which the name of God has not been named, for
that is assuredly a crime: the Satans will indeed suggest to their votaries
to wrangle with you; but if ye obey them, ye will indeed be of those who join
gods with God.

Shall the dead, whom we have quickened, and for whom we have ordained a light
whereby he may walk among men, be like him, whose likeness is in the
darkness, whence he will not come forth? Thus have the doings of the
unbelievers been prepared for them.

Even so have we placed in every city, ringleaders of its wicked ones, to
scheme therein: but only against themselves shall they scheme! and they know
it not.

And when a sign cometh to them they say, "We will not believe, till the like
of what was accorded to the apostles of God, be accorded to us." God best
knoweth where to place his mission. Disgrace with God, and a vehement
punishment shall come on the transgressors for their crafty plottings.

And whom God shall please to guide, that man's breast will He open to Islam;
but whom He shall please to mislead, strait and narrow will He make his
breast, as though he were mounting up into the very Heavens! Thus doth God
inflict dire punishment on those who believe not.

And this is the right way of thy Lord. Now have we detailed our signs unto
those who will consider.

For them is a dwelling of peace with their Lord! and in recompense for their
works, shall he be their protector.

On the day whereon God shall gather them all together . . .  "O race of
Djinn," will He say, "much did ye exact from mankind." And their votaries
from among men shall say, "O our Lord! we rendered one another mutual
services: but we have reached our set term, which thou hast set for us." He
will say, "Your abode the fire! therein abide ye for ever: unless as God
shall will." Verily, thy Lord is Wise, Knowing.

Even thus place we some of the wicked over others, as the meed of their

O race of Djinn and men! came not apostles to you from among yourselves,
rehearsing my signs to you, and warning you of the meeting of this your day?
They shall say, "We bear witness against ourselves." This world's life
deceived them; and they shall bear witness against themselves that they were

This,34 because thy Lord would not destroy the cities in their sin, while
their people were yet careless.

And for all, are grades of recompense as the result of their deeds; and of
what they do, thy Lord is not regardless.

And thy Lord is the Rich one, full of compassion! He can destroy you if He
please, and cause whom He will to succeed you, as he raised you up from the
offspring of other people:

Verily, that which is threatened you shall surely come to pass, neither shall
ye weaken its might.

SAY: O my people! Act as ye best can: I verily will act my part, and
hereafter shall ye know

Whose will be the recompense of the abode! Verily, the ungodly shall not

Moreover, they set apart a portion of the fruits and cattle35 which he hath
produced, and say, "This for God"–so deem they–"And this for his companions,
whom we associate with Him." But that which is for these companions of
theirs, cometh not to God; yet that which is for God, cometh to the
companions! Ill do they judge.

Thus have the companion-gods induced many of these, who join them with God,
to slay their children, that they might ruin them, and throw the cloak of
confusion over their religion. But if God had pleased, they had not done
this. Therefore, leave them and their devices.

They also say, "These cattle and fruits are sacred: none may taste them but
whom we please:" so deem they–"And there are cattle, whose backs should be
exempt from labour." And there are cattle over which they do not pronounce
the name of God: inventing in all this a lie against Him. For their
inventions shall He reward them.

And they say, "That which is in the wombs of these cattle is allowed to our
males, and forbidden to our wives;" but if it prove abortive, both partake of
it. God shall reward them for their distinctions! Knowing, Wise is He.

Lost are they who, in their ignorance, have foolishly slain their children,
and have forbidden that which God hath given them for food, devising an
untruth against God! Now have they erred; and they were not rightly guided.

He it is who produceth gardens of the vine trellised and untrellised, and the
palm trees, and the corn of various food, and olives, and pomegranates, like
and unlike. Eat of their fruit when they bear fruit, and pay the due thereof
on the day of its ingathering: and be not prodigal, for God loveth not the

And there are cattle for burdens and for journeys. Eat of what God hath given
you for food; and follow not the steps of Satan, for he is your declared

You have four sorts of cattle in pairs: of sheep a pair, and of goats a pair.
SAY: Hath He forbidden the two males or the two females; or that which the
wombs of the two females enclose? Tell me with knowledge, if ye speak the

And of camels a pair, and of oxen a pair. SAY: Hath He forbidden the two
males or the two females; or that which the wombs of the two females
enclose?36 Were ye witnesses when God enjoined you this? Who then is more
wicked than he who, in his ignorance, inventeth a lie against God, to mislead
men? God truly guideth not the wicked.

SAY: I find not in what hath been revealed to me aught forbidden to the eater
to eat, except it be that which dieth of itself, or blood poured forth, or
swine's flesh; for this is unclean or profane, being slain in the name of
other than God. But whoso shall be a forced partaker, if it be without
wilfulness, and not in transgression,–verily, thy Lord is Indulgent,

To the Jews did we forbid every beast having an entire hoof, and of both
bullocks and sheep we forbade them the fat, save what might be on their
backs, or their entrails, and the fat attached to the bone. With this have we
recompensed them, because of their transgression: and verily, we are indeed

If they treat thee as an impostor, then SAY: Your Lord is of all-embracing
mercy: but his severity shall not be turned aside from the wicked.

They who add gods to God will say, "If God had pleased, neither we nor our
fathers had given him companions, nor should we have interdicted anything."
Thus did they who flourished before them charge with imposture, until they
had tasted our severity! SAY: Have ye any knowledge that ye can produce to
us? Verily, ye follow only a conceit: ye utter only lies!

SAY: Peremptory proof is God's! Had He pleased He had guided you all aright.

SAY: Bring hither your witnesses who can witness that God hath forbidden
these animals; but if they bear witness, witness not thou with them, nor
witness to the conceits of those who charge our signs with falsehood, and who
believe not in the life to come, and give equals to our Lord.

SAY: Come, I will rehearse what your Lord hath made binding on you–that ye
assign not aught to Him as partner; and that ye be good to your parents; and
that ye slay not your children, because of poverty: for them and for you will
we provide:37 and that ye come not near to pollutions, outward or inward:38
and that ye slay not anyone whom God hath forbidden you, unless for a just
cause. This hath he enjoined on you, to the intent that ye may understand.

And come not nigh to the substance of the orphan, but to improve it, until he
come of age: and use a full measure, and a just balance: We will not task a
soul beyond its ability. And when ye give judgment, observe justice, even
though it be the affair of a kinsman, and fulfil the covenant of God. This
hath God enjoined you for your monition–

And, "this is my right way." Follow it then; and follow not other paths lest
ye be scattered from His path. This hath he enjoined you, that ye may fear

Then39 gave we the Book to Moses–complete for him who should do right, and a
decision for all matters, and a guidance, and a mercy, that they might
believe in the meeting with their Lord.

Blessed, too, this Book which we have sent down. Wherefore follow it and fear
God, that ye may find mercy:

Lest ye should say, "The Scriptures were indeed sent down only unto two
peoples before us, but we were not able to go deep into their studies:"40

Or lest ye should say, "If a book had been sent down to us, we had surely
followed the guidance better than they." But now hath a clear exposition come
to you from your Lord, and a guidance and a mercy. Who then is more wicked
than he who treateth the signs of God as lies, and turneth aside from them?
We will recompense those who turn aside from our signs with an evil
punishment, because they have turned aside.

What wait they for, but the coming of the angels to them, or the coming of
thy Lord Himself, or that some of the sings of the Lord should come to pass?
On the day when some of thy Lord's signs shall come to pass, its faith shall
not profit a soul which believed not before, nor wrought good works in virtue
of its faith. SAY: Wait ye. Verily, we will wait also.

As to those who split up their religion and become sects, have thou nothing
to do with them: their affair is with God only. Hereafter shall he tell them
what they have done.

He who shall present himself with good works shall receive a tenfold reward;
but he who shall present himself with evil works shall receive none other
than a like punishment: and they shall not be treated unjustly.

SAY: As for me, my Lord hath guided me into a straight path; a true religion,
the creed of Abraham, the sound in faith; for he was not of those who join
gods with God.

SAY: My prayers and my worship and my life and my death are unto God, Lord of
the Worlds. He hath no associate. This am I commanded, and I am the first of
the Muslims.

SAY: Shall I seek any other Lord than God, when He is Lord of all things? No
soul shall labour but for itself; and no burdened one shall bear another's
burden. At last ye shall return to your Lord, and he will declare that to you
about which you differ.

And it is He who hath made you the successors of others on the earth, and
hath raised some of you above others by various grades, that he may prove you
by his gifts. Verily thy Lord is swift to punish. But He is also Gracious,


1 Lit. their affair would have been decided. In that case there would no
longer have been an opportunity for the warnings of the prophets and for
repentance, but the angels would at once have executed the divine judgments.

2 See Sura xli. 13, p. 193.

3 See Sura [xc.] xiii. 36.

4 This denunciation is repeated in eleven other passages of the Koran, and
coupled with the known reverence of the early Muslims for what they
considered as the word of God, must have greatly tended to secure the
revelations of the Prophet from being in any way tampered with and corrupted.

5 They are self-convicted of their own hypocrisy and of the hollowness of
their professions.

6 The Resurrection, etc.

7 Abu Jahl had said: "Muhammad speaks truth, and he never said a falsehood;
but, if the Banu Chosai, who enjoy already the offices of bearing the
standard, of providing the pilgrims with water, and of keeping the keys of
the Kaaba, should also obtain the Prophetship, what would remain for the
other Koreisch." Kashaf in 1.

8 See Sura lii. 38, p. 65. These passages may allude to the ladder set up in
a tower by Wacih ben Salamah, one of the ancient doorkeepers of the Caaba, by
which he professed to mount up to God and receive divine Oracles. Freyt.
Einl. p. 371.

9 A community. Comp. Prov. xxx. 25, 26. Animals as well as mankind are under
the control of God, are held within the limits of his decrees, are
accountable to him, and will stand before him in the judgment.

10 Of the Eternal decrees.

11 Or, embellished, made it fair-seeming.

12 Lit. openly, i.e. preceded by some sign.

13 The Rabbins speak of the three keys in the hand of God. Tr. Tanith, fol.

14 On the preserved tablet, on which are written the decrees of God.

15 That is, during sleep. See Sura xxxix. 43, p. 258. Or, layeth to rest.
Mar. renders literally, defungi faciet vos, id est, obdormiscere. Thus also
Beidh. But see the use of the same word in the next verse.

16 Or, to perplex you (by dividing you into) sects.

17 Comp. Sura [cx.] 1x. 13.

18 Azar. This form is probably borrowed from Athar, as Terah is called by
Eusebius. See Maracci Prodr. iv. 90. Compare a similar narrative (Midr.
Rabbah on Gen. par. 17) in which Abraham is given over by his idolatrous
father Zarah to Nimrod, who says, "We will adore the Fire:" "Rather," said
Abraham, "the water which puts out fire." "The Water then"–"Rather the clouds
that bear the water." "The Clouds then"–"Rather the wind which scatters the
clouds." "The Wind then"–"Rather man who endures the wind." Whereupon Abraham
was thrown into the furnace. It is quite possible that in what follows,
Muhammad may have intended to imply that Abraham had renounced the Sabian
starworship of his fathers, and to vindicate him from the habit of consulting
the stars attributed to him by the Talmudists. Shabbath, fol. 156, col. 1.
"Abraham replied, I have consulted my Astrology." Comp. Rashi on Gen. xv. 5.
See Maim. Yad Hachaz. vii. 6.

19 Comp. Gen. xv. 5.

20 See Sura xxi. 52.

21 Lit. unless that my Lord shall will anything.

22 Or, confuse not their faith with wrong, injustice, i.e. idolatry.

23 Koran.

24 This verse and the following were probably added at Medina after the
Hejira; at least it is difficult to conceive that Muhammad would have
ventured thus to have written at Mecca.

25 This verse is said to have been revealed at Medina and to be aimed at the
false prophets Moseilama, Aswad and Amsi; also at Abdallah Ibn Saad,
Muhammad's secretary, who for corrupting the sacred text and apostacy, was
one of the ten proscribed at the taking of Mecca.

26 In the womb.

27 Of all sorts.

28 Lit. attaineth to.  Mr. Lane renders, "the eyes see not Him, but He seeth
the eyes."

29 The verses of the Koran.

30 Comp. Ex. xxii. 28.

31 Notwithstanding this disclaimer, the Muslim tradition, etc. speak of many
of their Prophet's miracles. See Maracci's Prodr. p. ii. p. 16, and 30 46.

32 Verses 118-121 seem misplaced, and should probably follow 154.

33 Lit. the outside of iniquity and its inside. Some understand these words
of open sins, and secret sins.

34 That is, God's method of dealing with the guilty was to send apostles
previous to the execution of his judgments.

35 It appears to have been the custom of the idolatrous Arabs to set apart
one portion of their fields for the Supreme God, and the other for the
inferior gods represented by their idols. If any of the fruit happened to
fall from the part consecrated to the idols into that consecrated to God,
they restored it, but if the reverse occurred, they gave it to the idols.
God, said they, is rich and can dispense with it. The secret, however, was
that the idols' portion was reserved for the priests, Beidhawi. Freytag
mentions the names of 73 idols worshipped by the Arab tribes, previous to
Islam (Einl. pp. 270 and 342 357) and generally with Allah, as Supreme God.

36 Comp. Sura [cxiv.] v. 102.

37 Comp. Sura xvii. 33, p. 167.

38 See verse 120 above.

39 This very abrupt transition to Jewish history seems to indicate that a
passage between this and the preceding verse is lost.

40 Lit. we were careless of their studies


MECCA.–43 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. MIM. RA.1 These, the signs of the Book! And that which hath been
sent down to thee from thy Lord is the very truth: But the greater part of
men will not believe.

It is God who hath reared the Heavens without pillars thou canst behold; then
mounted his throne, and imposed laws on the sun and moon: each travelleth to
its appointed goal. He ordereth all things. He maketh his signs clear, that
ye may have firm faith in a meeting with your Lord.

And He it is who hath outstretched the earth, and placed on it the firm
mountains, and rivers: and of every fruit He hath placed on it two kinds: He
causeth the night to enshroud the day. Verily in this are signs for those who

And on the earth hard by each other are its various portions: gardens of
grapes and corn, and palm trees single or clustered. Though watered by the
same water, yet some make we more excellent as food than other: Verily in all
this are signs for those who understand.

If ever thou dost marvel, marvellous surely is their saying, "What! when we
have become dust, shall we be restored in a new creation?"

These are they who in their Lord believe not: these! the collars shall be on
their necks; and these shall be inmates of the fire, to abide therein for

To hasten evil rather than good will they challenge thee: but, before their
time have been like examples. Full, truly, of mercy is thy Lord unto men,
despite their sins; but verily, thy Lord is right vehement to punish.

And they who believe not say: "If a sign from his Lord be not sent down to
him . . . !" Thou art a warner only. And every people hath its guide.

God knoweth the burden of every female, and how much their wombs lessen and
enlarge: with Him everything is by measure:

Knower of the Hidden and the Manifest! the Great! the Most High!

Alike to Him is that person among you who concealeth his words, and he that
telleth them abroad: he who hideth him in the night, and he who cometh forth
in the day.

Each hath a succession of Angels before him and behind him, who watch over
him by God's behest. Verily, God will not change his gifts to men, till they
change what is in themselves: and when God willeth evil unto men, there is
none can turn it away, nor have they any protector beside Him.

He it is who maketh the lightning to shine unto you; for fear and hope: and
who bringeth up the laden clouds.

And the THUNDER uttereth his praise, and the Angels also, for awe of Him: and
he sendeth his bolts and smiteth with them whom he will2 while they are
wrangling about God! Mighty is he in prowess.

Prayer is His of right: but these deities to whom they pray beside Him give
them no answer, otherwise than as he is answered who stretcheth forth his
hands to the water that it may reach his mouth, when it cannot reach it! The
prayer of the Infidels only wandereth, and is lost.

And unto God doth all in the Heavens and on the Earth bow down in worship,
willingly or by constraint: their very shadows also morn and even!

SAY: Who is Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth? SAY: God. SAY: Why then
have ye taken beside Him protectors, who even for their own selves have no
power for help or harm? SAY: What! shall the blind and the seeing be held
equal? Shall the darkness and the light be held equal? Or have they given
associates to God who have created as He hath created, so that their creation
appear to them like His? SAY: God is the Creator of all things! He is the
One! the Conquering!

He sendeth down the rain from Heaven: then flow the torrents in their due
measure, and the flood beareth along a swelling foam. And from the metals
which are molten in the fire for the sake of ornaments or utensils, a like
scum ariseth. In this way doth God depict (set forth) truth and falsehood. As
to the foam, it is quickly gone: and as to what is useful to man, it
remaineth on the earth. Thus doth God set forth comparisons! To those who
respond to their Lord shall be an excellent reward; but those who respond not
to his call, had they all that the earth containeth twice over, they would
surely give it for their ransom. Evil their reckoning! and Hell their home!
And wretched the bed!

Shall he then who knoweth that what hath been sent down to thee from thy Lord
is the truth, act like him who is blind? Men of insight only will bear this
in mind,

Who fulfil their pledge to God, and break not their compact:

And who join together what God hath bidden to be joined, and who fear their
Lord, and dread an ill reckoning;

And who, from desire to see the face of their Lord, are constant amid trials,
and observe prayer and give alms, in secret and openly, out of what we have
bestowed upon them, and turn aside evil by good: for these is the recompense
of that abode,

Gardens of Eden–into which they shall enter together with the just of their
fathers, and their wives, and their descendants: and the angels shall go in
unto them at every portal:

"Peace be with you!" say they, "because ye have endured all things!" Charming
the recompense of their abode!

But those who, after having contracted it, break their covenant with God, and
cut asunder what God hath bidden to be united, and commit misdeeds on the
earth, these, a curse awaiteth them, and an ill abode!

God is open-handed with supplies to whom he will, or is sparing. They rejoice
in the life that now is, but this present life is but a passing good, in
respect of the life to come!3

And they who believe not say, "Unless a sign be sent down to him from his
Lord. . . ." SAY: God truly will mislead whom he will; and He will guide to
Himself him who turneth to Him,

Those who believe, and whose hearts rest securely on the thought of God.
What! Shall not men's hearts repose in the thought of God? They who believe
and do the things that be right–blessedness awaiteth them, and a goodly home.

Thus have we sent thee to a people whom other peoples have preceded, that
thou mightest rehearse to them our revelations to thee. Yet they believe not
on the God of Mercy.4 SAY: He is my Lord. There is no God but He. In Him do I
put my trust. To Him must I return.

If there were a Koran by which the mountains could be set in motion, or the
earth cleft, or the dead be made to speak  ! But all sovereignty is in the
hands of God. Do then believers doubt5 that had He pleased God would
certainly have guided all men aright?

Misfortune shall not cease to light on the unbelievers for what they have
done, or to take up its abode hard by their dwellings, until the threat of
God come to pass. Verily, God will not fail his plighted word.

Before thee indeed have apostles been mocked at; but though I bore long with
the unbelievers, at last I seized upon them;–and how severe was my

Who is it then that is standing over every soul to mark its actions? Yet have
they set up associates with God. SAY: Name them. What! Would ye inform God of
that which He knoweth not on the Earth? Or are they not a mere empty name?
But prepared of old for the infidels was this fraud of theirs; and they are
turned aside from the path; and whom God causeth to err, no guide shall there
be for him!

Chastisement awaiteth them in this present life, and more grievous shall be
the chastisement of the next: and none shall screen them from God.

A picture of the Paradise which God hath promised to them that fear Him. The
rivers flow beneath its bowers: its food and its shades are perpetual. This
is the reward of those who fear God; but the reward of the unbelievers is the

They to whom we have given the Book rejoice6 in what hath been sent down to
thee; yet some are banded together who deny a part of it. SAY: I am commanded
to worship God, and not to associate any creature with Him. On Him do I call,
and to Him shall I return.

Thus, then, as a code in the Arabic tongue have we sent down the Koran; and
truly, if after the knowledge that hath reached thee thou follow their
desires, thou shalt have no guardian nor protector against God.

Apostles truly have we already sent before thee, and wives and offspring have
we given them. Yet no apostle had come with miracles unless by the leave of
God. To each age its Book.

What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm: for with Him is the source of

Moreover, whether we cause thee to see the fulfilment of part of our menaces,
or whether we take thee hence, verily, thy work is preaching only, and ours
to take account.

See they not that we come into their land and cut short its borders?8 God
pronounceth a doom, and there is none to reverse his doom. And swift is He to
take account.

Those who lived before them made plots: but all plotting is controlled by
God: He knoweth the works of every one, and the infidels shall know whose
will be the recompense of the abode.

The infidels, moreover, will say; Thou art not sent of God. SAY: God is
witness enough betwixt me and you, and, whoever hath knowledge of the Book.


1 See Sura 1xviii. p. 32.

2 This is said by the traditionists and commentators generally, to refer to
Amir and Arbad ben Kais, who in the year 9 or 10 conspired against Muhammad's
life, and were struck dead by lightning. See the authorities in Nöld. p. 120:
Weil, 256; Caussin, iii. 295. But this explanation may have been suggested by
the words of the text, which must, if the comment be correct, have been
revealed at Medina.

3 Thus, "one hour of bliss in the world to come is better than all life in
this world." Mischnah Aboth, iv. 17. Comp. Sura [cxiii.] ix. 38.

4 See Sura xvii. 109. This verse is said to have been occasioned by the
refusal of the Meccans at Hudaibiya to adopt the formula prescribed by
Muhammad–In the Name of the God of Mercy, the Merciful–declaring that they
knew not who the God of Mercy (Arrahman) was. This was in Hej. 6. See n. p.

5 Lit. despair.

6 That is, the Jews, who at this period of Muhammad's prophetic function,
must have been highly gratified at the strong leaning towards, and respect
for, their Scriptures and Histories, which shews itself increasingly in the
later Meccan Suras.

7 Lit. Mother, or Prototype of the Book. Either God's knowledge or
Prescience, or the fabled preserved tablet, on which is written the original
of the Koran, and all God's decrees. The Jews have a tradition that the Law
existed before the Creation. Midr. Jalkut, 7.

8 That is, the progressive conquests of the Muslims trench more and more on
the territories of the idolatrous Arabians.


MEDINA.–286 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. MIM.2 No doubt is there about this Book: It is a guidance to the

Who believe in the unseen,3 who observe prayer, and out of what we have
bestowed on them, expend for God;

And who believe in what hath been sent down to thee, and in what hath been
sent down before thee, and full faith have they in the life to come:

These are guided by their Lord; and with these it shall be well.

As to the infidels, alike is it to them whether thou warn them or warn them
not–they will not believe:

Their hearts and their ears hath God sealed up; and over their eyes is a
covering. For them, a severe chastisement!

And some4 there are who say, "We believe in God, and in the latter day:" Yet
are they not believers!

Fain would they deceive God and those who have believed; but they deceive
themselves only, and know it not.

Diseased are their hearts! And that disease hath God increased creased to
them. Their's a sore chastisement, for that they treated their prophet as a

And when it is said to them, "Cause not disorders in the earth:" they say,
"Nay, rather do we set them right."

Is it not that they are themselves the authors of disorder? But they perceive
it not!

And when it is said to them, "Believe as other men have believed;" they say,
"Shall we believe as the fools have believed?" Is it not that they are
themselves the fools? But they know it not!

And when they meet the faithful they say, "We believe;" but when they are
apart with their Satans5 they say, "Verily we hold with you, and at them we
only mock."

God shall mock at them, and keep them long in their rebellion, wandering in

These are they who have purchased error at the price of guidance: but their
traffic hath not been gainful, neither are they guided at all.

They are like one6 who kindleth a fire, and when it hath thrown its light on
all around him. . . .  God taketh away their light and leaveth them in
darkness–they cannot see!–

Deaf, dumb, blind: therefore they shall not retrace their steps from error!

Or like those who, when there cometh a storm-cloud out of the Heaven, big
with darkness thunder and lightning, thrust their fingers into their ears
because of the thunder-clap, for fear of death! God is round about the

The lightning almost snatcheth away their eyes! So oft as it gleameth on them
they walk on in it, but when darkness closeth upon them, they stop! And if
God pleased, of their ears and of their eyes would he surely deprive them:
verily God is Almighty! O men of Mecca7 adore your Lord, who hath created you
and those who were before you: haply ye will fear Him

Who hath made the earth a bed for you, and the heaven a covering, and hath
caused water to come down from heaven, and by it hath brought forth fruits
for your sustenance! Do not then wittingly give peers to God.

And if ye be in doubt as to that which we have sent down to our servant, then
produce a Sura like it, and summon your witnesses, beside God, if ye are men
of truth:

But if ye do it not, and never shall ye do it, then fear the fire prepared
for the infidels, whose fuel is men and stones:8

But announce to those who believe and do the things that are right, that for
them are gardens 'neath which the rivers flow! So oft as they are fed
therefrom with fruit for sustenance, they shall say, "This same was our
sustenance of old:" And they shall have its like given to them.9 Therein
shall they have wives of perfect purity, and therein shall they abide for

Verily God is not ashamed to set forth as well the instance of a gnat10 as of
any nobler object: for as to those who have believed, they know it to be the
truth from their Lord; but as to the unbelievers, they will say, "What
meaneth God by this comparison?" Many will He mislead by such parables and
many guide: but none will He mislead thereby except the wicked,

Who, after its establishment, violate the covenant of God,11 and cut in
sunder what God hath bidden to be joined, and act disorderly on the Earth.
These are they who shall suffer loss!

How can ye withhold faith from God? Ye were dead and He gave you life; next
He will cause you to die; next He will restore you to life: next shall ye
return to Him!

He it is who created for you all that is on Earth, then proceeded to the
Heaven, and into seven12 Heavens did He fashion it: and He knoweth all

When thy Lord said to the angels, "Verily, I am about to place one in my
stead on earth,"13 they said, "Wilt thou place there one who will do ill
therein and shed blood, when we celebrate thy praise and extol thy holiness?"
God said, "Verily, I know what ye know not."

And he taught Adam the names of all things, and then set them before the
angels,14 and said, "Tell me the names of these, if ye are endued with

They said, "Praise be to Thee! We have no knowledge but what Thou hast given
us to know. Thou! Thou art the Knowing, the Wise."

He said, "O Adam, inform them of their names." And when he had informed them
of their names, He said, "Did I not say to you that I know the hidden things
of the Heavens and of the Earth, and that I know what ye bring to light, and
what ye hide?"

And when we said to the angels, "Bow down and worship Adam," then worshipped
they all, save Eblis.16 He refused and swelled with pride, and became one of
the unbelievers.

And we said, "O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye
plentifully therefrom wherever ye list; but to this tree come not nigh, lest
ye become of the transgressors."

But Satan17 made them slip from it, and caused their banishment from the
place in which they were. And we said, "Get ye down, the one of you an enemy
to the other: and there shall be for you in the earth a dwelling-place, and a
provision for a time."

And words of prayer learned Adam from his Lord: and God turned to him; for He
loveth to turn, the Merciful.

We said, "Get ye down from it, all together: and if

Guidance shall come to you from me, whoso shall follow my guidance, on them
shall come no fear, neither shall they be grieved:

But they who shall not believe, and treat our signs as false-hoods, these
shall be inmates of the fire; in it shall they remain for ever."

O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I shewed favour upon you,
and be true to your covenant with me; I will be true to my covenant with you;
me therefore, revere me! and believe in what I have sent down confirming your
Scriptures, and be not the first to disbelieve it, neither for a mean price
barter my signs: me therefore, fear ye me!

And clothe not the truth with falsehood, and hide not the truth when ye know

And observe prayer and pay the legal impost, and bow down with those who bow.

Will ye enjoin what is right upon others, and forget yourselves? Yet ye read
the Book: will ye not understand?

And seek help with patience and prayer: a hard duty indeed is this, but not
to the humble,

Who bear in mind that they shall meet their Lord, and that unto Him shall
they return.

O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I shewed favour upon you;
for verily to you above all human beings have I been bounteous.

And fear ye the day when soul shall not satisfy for soul at all, nor shall
any intercession be accepted from them, nor shall any ransom be taken,
neither shall they be helped.

And remember when we rescued you from the people of Pharaoh, who had laid on
you a cruel chastisement. They slew your male children, and let only your
females live: and in this was a great trial from your Lord:

And when we parted the sea for you, and saved you, and drowned the people of
Pharaoh, while ye were looking on:

And when we were in treaty with Moses forty nights: then during his absence
took ye the calf and acted wickedly:

Yet after this we forgave you, that ye might be grateful:

And when we gave Moses the Book and the Illumination19 in order to your

And remember when Moses said to his people, "O my people! verily ye - have
sinned to your own hurt, by your taking the calf to worship it: Be turned
then to your creator, and slay the guilty among you;20 this will be best for
you with your creator:" Then turned He unto you, for He is the one who
turneth, the Merciful:

And when ye said, "O Moses! we will not believe thee until we see God
plainly;" the thunderbolt fell upon you while ye were looking on:

Then we raised you to life after ye had been dead,21 that haply ye might give

And we caused the clouds to overshadow you, and we sent down manna and quails
upon you;–"Eat of the good things we have give you for sustenance;"–and they
injured not us but they injured themselves.22

And when we said, "Enter this city,23 and eat therefrom plentifully, at your
will, and enter the gate with prostrations, and say, 'Forgiveness;' and we
will pardon you your sins, and give an increase to the doers of good:"–

But the evil-doers changed that word into another than that spoken to them,24
and we sent down upon those evil-doers wrath from heaven, for that they had
done amiss:

And when Moses asked drink for his people, we said, "Strike the rock with thy
rod;" and from it there gushed twelve fountains: each tribe25 knew their
drinking-place:–"Eat and drink," said we, "of what God hath supplied, and do
no wrong on the earth by licentious deeds:"

And when ye said, "O Moses! we will not put up with one sort of food: pray,
therefore, thy Lord for us, that He would bring forth for us of that which
the earth groweth, its herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils
and its onions:" He said, "What! will ye exchange that which is worse for
what is better? Get ye down into Egypt;–for ye shall have what ye have
asked:" Vileness and poverty were stamped upon them, and they returned with
wrath from God: This, for that they disbelieved the signs of God, and slew
the Prophets26 unjustly: this, for that they rebelled and transgressed!

Verily, they who believe (Muslims), and they who follow the Jewish religion,
and the Christians, and the Sabeites27–whoever of these believeth in God and
the last day, and doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with
their Lord: fear shall not come upon them, neither shall they be grieved.

Call to mind also when we entered into a covenant with you, and lifted up the
mountain28 over you:–"Take hold," said we, "on what we have revealed to you,
with resolution, and remember what is therein, that ye may fear:"

But after this ye turned back, and but for God's grace and mercy toward you,
ye had surely been of the lost! Ye know too those of you who transgressed on
the Sabbath, and to whom we said, "Be changed into scouted apes:"29

And we made them a warning to those of their day, and to those who came after
them, and a caution to the God-fearing:

And when Moses said to his people, "Verily, God bids you sacrifice a COW;"30
they said, "Makest thou a jest of us?" He said, "God keep me from being one
of the foolish." They said, "Call on thy Lord for us that He would make plain
to us what she is." He said, "God saith, 'She is a cow neither old nor young,
but of the middle age between the two:' do therefore what ye are bidden."

They said, "Call on your Lord for us, that he would make plain to us what is
her colour." He said, "God saith, 'She is a fawn-coloured cow; her colour is
very bright; she rejoiceth the beholders.' "

They said, "Call on they Lord for us that He would make plain to us what cow
it is–for to us are cows alike,–and verily, if God please, we shall be guided

He said, "God saith, 'She is a cow not worn by ploughing the earth or
watering the field, sound, no blemish in her.' " They said, "Now hast thou
brought the truth:" Then they sacrificed her; Yet nearly had they done it

And when ye slew a man, and strove among yourselves about him, God brought to
light what he had hidden:

For we said, "Strike the corpse with part of her." So God giveth life to the
dead, and sheweth you his signs, that haply ye may understand.

Then after that your hearts became hard like rocks, or harder still: for
verily, from rocks have rivers gushed; others, verily, have been cleft, and
water hath issued from them; and others, verily, have sunk down through fear
of God: And God is not regardless of your actions.

Desire ye then that for your sakes31 the Jews should believe? Yet a part of
them heard the word of God, and then, after they had understood it, perverted
it, and knew that they did so.

And when they fall in with the faithful, they say, "We believe;" but when
they are apart32 one with another, they say, "Will ye acquaint them with what
God hath revealed to you, that they may dispute with you about it in the
presence of your Lord?" Understand ye their aim?

Know they not that God knoweth what they hide, as well as what they bring to

But there are illiterates among them who are unacquainted with the Book,33
but with lies only, and have but vague fancies. Woe to those who with their
own hands transcribe the Book corruptly, and then say, "This is from God,"
that they may sell it for some mean price! Woe then to them for that which
their hands have written! and, Woe to them for the gains which they have

And they say, "Hell fire shall not touch us, but for a few days:"34 SAY: Have
ye received such a promise from God? for God will not revoke his promise: or,
Speak ye of God that which ye know not?

But they whose only gains are evil works, and who are environed by their
sins,–they shall be inmates of the fire, therein to abide for ever:

But they who have believed and done the things that be right, they shall be
the inmates of Paradise,–therein to abide for ever.

And when we entered into covenant with the children of Israel, we said,
"Worship none but God, and be good to your parents and kindred, and to
orphans, and to the poor, and speak with men what is right, and observe
prayer, and pay the stated alms." Then turned ye away, except a few of you,
and withdrew afar off.

And when we made a covenant with you that ye should not shed your own
blood,35 nor expel one another from your abodes, then ye ratified it and
yourselves were witnesses.

Then were ye the very persons who slew one another; and ye drove out a part
of your own people from their abodes; ye lent help against them with wrong
and hatred; but if they come captives to you, ye redeem them!–Yet it was
forbidden you to drive them out.36 Believe ye then part of the Book, and deny
part? But what shall be the meed of him among you who doth this, but shame in
this life? And on the day of the Resurrection they shall be sent to the most
cruel of torments, for God is not regardless of what ye do.

These are they who purchase this present life at the price of that which is
to come: their torment shall not be lightened, neither shall they be helped.

Moreover, to Moses gave we "the Book," and we raised up apostles after him;
and to Jesus, son of Mary, gave we clear proofs of his mission, and
strengthened him by the Holy Spirit.37 So oft then as an apostle cometh to
you with that which your souls desire not, swell ye with pride, and treat
some as impostors, and slay others?

And they say, "Uncircumcised are our hearts." Nay! God hath cursed them in
their infidelity: few are they who believe!

And when a Book had come to them from God, confirming that which they had
received already–although they had before prayed for victory over those who
believed not–yet when that Koran come to them, of which they had knowledge,
they did not recognise it. The curse of God on the infidels!

For a vile price have they sold themselves, by not believing what God hath
sent down, envious of God's sending down his grace on such of his servants as
he pleaseth:38 and they have brought on themselves wrath upon wrath. And for
the unbelievers is a disgraceful chastisement.

And when it is said to them, "Believe in what God hath sent down," they say,
"In that which hath been sent down to us we believe:" but what hath since
been sent down they disbelieve, although it be the truth confirmatory of
their own Scriptures. SAY: Why then have ye of old slain God's prophets,39 if
ye are indeed believers?

Moreover, Moses came unto you with proofs of his mission. Then in his absence
ye took the calf for your God, and did wickedly.

And when we accepted your covenant, and uplifted40 the mountain over you, we
said, "Take firm hold on what we have given you, and hearken." They said, "We
have hearkened and have rebelled:" then were they made to drink down the calf
into their hearts for their ingratitude. SAY: A bad thing hath your faith
commanded you, if ye be indeed believers.

SAY: If the future dwelling place with God be specially for you, but not for
the rest of mankind, then wish for death, if ye are sincere:

But never can they wish for it, because of that which their own hands have
sent on before them!41 And God knoweth the offenders.

And thou wilt surely find them of all men most covetous of life, beyond even
the polytheists. To be kept alive a thousand years might one of them desire:
but that he may be preserved alive, shall no one reprieve himself from the
punishment! And God seeth what they do.

SAY: Whoso is the enemy of Gabriel–For he it is who by God's leave hath
caused the Koran to descend on thy heart, the confirmation of previous
revelations, and guidance, and good tidings to the faithful–

Whoso is an enemy to God or his angels, or to Gabriel, or to Michael, shall
have God as his enemy: for verily God is an enemy to the Infidels.

Moreover, clear signs have we sent down to thee, and none will disbelieve
them but the perverse.

Oft as they have formed an engagement with thee, will some of them set it
aside? But most of them believe not.

And when there came to them an apostle from God, affirming the previous
revelations made to them, some of those to whom the Scriptures were given,
threw the Book of God behind their backs as if they knew it not:

And they followed what the Satans read42 in the reign of Solomon: not that
Solomon was unbelieving, but the Satans were unbelieving. Sorcery did they
teach to men, and what had been revealed to the two angels, Harut and Marut,
at Babel. Yet no man did these two teach until they had said, "We are only a
temptation. Be not then an unbeliever." From these two did men learn how to
cause division between man and wife: but unless by leave of God, no man did
they harm thereby. They learned, indeed, what would harm and not profit them;
and yet they knew that he who bought that art should have no part in the life
to come! And vile the price for which they have sold themselves,–if they had
but known it!

But had they believed and feared God, better surely would have been the
reward from God,–if they had but known it!

O ye who believe! say not to our apostle, "Raina"43 (Look at us); but say,
"Ondhorna" (Regard us). And attend to this; for, the Infidels shall suffer a
grievous chastisement.

The unbelievers among the people of the Book, and among the idolaters, desire
not that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord: but God will
shew His special mercy to whom He will, for He is of great bounty.

Whatever verses we cancel,44 or cause thee to forget, we bring a better or
its like. Knowest thou not that God hath power over all things?

Knowest thou not that the dominion of the Heavens and of the Earth is God's?
and that ye have neither patron nor helper, save God?

Would ye ask of your apostle what of old was asked of Moses? But he who
exchangeth faith for unbelief,45 hath already erred from the even way.

Many of the people of the Book desire to bring you back to unbelief after ye
have believed, out of selfish envy, even after the truth hath been clearly
shewn them. But forgive them, and shun them till God shall come in with His
working. Truly God hath power over all things.

And observe prayer and pay the legal impost:46 and whatever good thing ye
have sent on before for your soul's sake, ye shall find it with God. Verily
God seeth what ye do.

And they say, "None but Jews or Christians shall enter Paradise:" This is
their wish. SAY: Give your proofs if ye speak the truth.

But they who set their face with resignation Godward, and do what is right,–
their reward is with their Lord; no fear shall come on them, neither shall
they be grieved.

Moreover, the Jews say, "The Christians lean on nought:" "On nought lean the
Jews," say the Christians: Yet both are readers of the Book. So with like
words say they who have no knowledge.47 But on the resurrection day, God
shall judge between them as to that in which they differ.

And who committeth a greater wrong than he who hindereth God's name from
being remembered in his temples, and who hasteth to ruin them?48 Such men
cannot enter them but with fear. Their's is shame in this world, and a severe
torment in the next.

The East and the West is God's: therefore, whichever way ye turn, there is
the face of God:49 Truly God is immense and knoweth all.

And they say, "God hath a son:" No! Praise be to Him!  But–His, whatever is
in the Heavens and the Earth! All obeyeth Him,

Sole maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! And when He decreeth a thing, He
only saith to it, "Be," and it is.

And they who have no knowledge say, "Unless God speak to us, or thou shew us
a sign . . . !"  So, with like words, said those who were before them: their
hearts are alike: Clear signs have we already shewn for those who have firm

Verily, with the Truth have we sent thee, a bearer of good tidings and a
warner: and of the people of Hell thou shalt not be questioned.

But until thou follow their religion, neither Jews nor Christians will be
satisfied with thee. SAY: Verily, guidance of God,–that is the guidance! And
if, after "the Knowledge" which hath reached thee, thou follow their desires,
thou shalt find neither helper nor protector against God.

They to whom we have given the Book, and who read it as it ought to be read,–
these believe therein: but whoso believeth not therein, shall meet with

O children of Israel! remember my favour wherewith I have favoured you, and
that high above all mankind have I raised you:

And dread the day when not in aught shall soul satisfy for soul, nor shall
any ransom be taken from it, nor shall any intercession avail, and they shall
not be helped.

When his Lord made trial of Abraham by commands which he fulfilled, He said,
"I am about to make thee an Imâm to mankind:" he said, "Of my offspring
also:" "My covenant," said God, "embraceth not the evil doers."

And remember when we appointed the Holy House50 as man's resort and safe
retreat, and said, "Take ye the station of Abraham for a place of prayer:"
And we commanded Abraham and Ismael, "Purify my house for those who shall go
in procession round it, and those who shall abide there for devotion, and
those who shall bow down and prostrate themselves."

And when Abraham said, "Lord! make this secure land, and supply its people
with fruits, such of them as believe in God and in the last day:" He said,
"And whoso believeth not, for a little while will I bestow good things on
him; then will I drive him to the torment of the Fire!" An ill passage!

And when Abraham, with Ismael, raised the foundations51 of the House, they
said, "O our Lord! accept it from us; for thou art the Hearer, the Knower.

O our Lord! make us also Muslims, and our posterity a Muslim people; and
teach us our holy rites, and be turned towards us, for thou art He who
turneth, the Merciful.

O our Lord! raise up among them an apostle52 who may rehearse thy signs unto
them, and teach them 'the Book,' and Wisdom, and purify them: for thou art
the Mighty, the Wise."

And who but he that hath debased his soul to folly will mislike the faith of
Abraham, when we have chosen him in this world, and in the world to come he
shall be of the Just?

When his Lord said to him, "Resign thyself to me," he said, "I resign myself
to the Lord of the Worlds."

And this to his children did Abraham bequeath, and Jacob also, saying, "O my
children! truly God hath chosen a religion for you; so die not unless ye be
also Muslims."

Were ye present when Jacob was at the point of death?53 when he said to his
sons, "Whom will ye worship when I am gone?" They said, "We will worship thy
God and the God of thy fathers Abraham and Ismael and Isaac, one God, and to
Him are we surrendered (Muslims)."

That people have now passed away; they have the reward of their deeds, and ye
shall have the meed of yours: but of their doings ye shall not be questioned.

They say, moreover, "Become Jews or Christians that ye may have the true
guidance." SAY: Nay! the religion of Abraham, the sound in faith,54 and not
one of those who join gods with God!

Say ye: "We believe in God, and that which hath been sent down to us, and
that which hath been sent down to Abraham and Ismael and Isaac and Jacob and
the tribes: and that which hath been given to Moses and to Jesus, and that
which was given to the prophets from their Lord. No difference do we make
between any of them: and to God are we resigned (Muslims)."

If therefore they believe even as ye believe, then have they true guidance;
but if they turn back, then do they cut themselves off from you: and God will
suffice to protect thee against them, for He is the Hearer, the Knower.55

Islam is the Baptism of God,56 and who is better to baptise than God? And Him
do we serve.

SAY: Will ye dispute with us about God? when He is our Lord and your Lord! We
have our works and ye have your works; and we are sincerely His.

Will ye say, "Verily Abraham, and Ismael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the
tribes, were Jews or Christians?" SAY: Who knoweth best, ye, or God? And who
is more in fault than he who concealeth the witness which he hath from God?
But God is not regardless of what ye do.

That people have now passed away: they have the reward of their deeds, and
for you is the meed of yours; but of their doings ye shall not be questioned.

The foolish ones will say, "What hath turned them from the kebla which they
used?" SAY: The East and the West are God's. He guideth whom he will into the
right path.

Thus have we made you a central people,57 that ye may be witnesses in regard
to mankind, and that the apostle may be a witness in regard to you.

We appointed the kebla which thou formerly hadst, only that we might know him
who followeth the apostle, from him who turneth on his heels: The change is a
difficulty, but not to those whom God hath guided. But God will not let your
faith58 be fruitless; for unto man is God Merciful, Gracious.

We have seen thee turning thy face towards every part of Heaven; but we will
have thee turn to a kebla which shall please thee. Turn then thy face towards
the sacred Mosque,59 and wherever ye be, turn your faces towards that part.
They, verily, to whom "the Book" hath been given, know this to be the truth
from their Lord: and God is not regardless of what ye do.

Even though thou shouldest bring every kind of sign to those who have
received the Scriptures, yet thy kebla they will not adopt; nor shalt thou
adopt their kebla; nor will one part of them adopt the kebla of the other.
And if, after the knowledge which hath come to thee, thou follow their
wishes, verily then wilt thou become of the unrighteous.

They to whom we have given the Scriptures know him–the apostle–even as they
know their own children: but truly a part of them do conceal the truth,
though acquainted with it.60

The truth is from thy Lord. Be not then of those who doubt.

All have a quarter of the Heavens to which they turn them; but wherever ye
be, hasten emulously after good: God will one day bring you all together;
verily, God is all-powerful.

And from whatever place thou comest forth, turn thy face toward the sacred
Mosque; for this is the truth from thy Lord; and God is not inattentive to
your doings.

And from whatever place thou comest forth, turn thy face toward the sacred
Mosque; and wherever ye be, to that part turn your faces, lest men have cause
of dispute against you: but as for the impious among them, fear them not; but
fear me, that I may perfect my favours on you, and that ye may be guided

And we sent to you an apostle from among yourselves to rehearse our signs
unto you, and to purify you, and to instruct you in "the Book," and in the
wisdom, and to teach you that which ye knew not:

Therefore remember me: I will remember you; and give me thanks and be not

O ye who believe! seek help with patience and with prayer, for God is with
the patient.

And say not of those who are slain on God's path61 that they are Dead; nay,
they are Living! But ye understand not.

With somewhat of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, and lives, and fruits,
will we surely prove you: but bear good tidings to the patient,

Who when a mischance chanceth them, say, "Verily we are God's, and to Him
shall we return:"62

On them shall be blessings from their Lord, and mercy: and these!–they are
the rightly guided.

Verily, Safa and Marwah63 are among the monuments of God: whoever then maketh
a pilgrimage to the temple, or visiteth it, shall not be to blame if he go
round about them both. And as for him who of his own accord doeth what is
good–God is Grateful, Knowing.

They who conceal aught that we have sent down, either of clear proof or of
guidance, after what we have so clearly shewn to men in the Book,64 God shall
curse them, and they who curse shall curse them.

But as for those who turn to me, and amend and make known the truth, even
unto them will I turn me, for I am He who Turneth, the Merciful.

Verily, they who are infidels and die infidels,–these! upon them shall be the
malison of God and of angels and of all men:

Under it shall they remain for ever: their torment shall not be lightened,
and God will not even look upon them!

Your God is one God:65 there is no God but He, the Compassionate, the

Assuredly in the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth; and in the
alternation of night and day; and in the ships which pass through the sea
with what is useful to man; and in the rain which God sendeth down from
Heaven, giving life by it to the earth after its death, and by scattering
over it all kinds of cattle; and in the change of the winds, and in the
clouds that are made to do service between the Heaven and the Earth;–are
signs for those who understand.

Yet there are men who take to them idols along with God, and love them with
the love of God: But stronger in the faithful is the love of God. Oh! the
impious will see, when they see their chastisement, that all power is God's,
and that God is severe in chastising.

When those who have had followers66 shall declare themselves clear from their
followers after that they have seen the chastisement, and when the ties
between them shall be cut asunder;

The followers shall say, "Could we but return to life we would keep ourselves
clear from them, as they have declared themselves clear of us." So will God
shew them their works! Sighing is upon them! but, forth from the fire they
come not.

Oh men! eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, but follow not the
steps of Satan, for he is your avowed enemy:

He only enjoineth you evil and wickedness, and that ye should aver of God
that which ye know not.

And when it is said to them, "Follow ye that which God hath sent down;" they
say, "Nay, we follow the usages which we found with our fathers." What!
though their fathers were utterly ignorant and devoid of guidance?

The infidels resemble him who shouteth aloud to one who heareth no more than
a call and cry! Deaf, Dumb, blind: therefore they have no understanding.

O ye who believe! eat of the good things with which we have supplied you, and
give God thanks if ye are His worshippers.

But that which dieth of itself, and blood, and swine's flesh, and that over
which any other name than that of God hath been invoked, is forbidden you.
But he who shall partake of them by constraint, without lust or wilfulness,
no sin shall be upon him. Verily God is Indulgent, Merciful.

They truly who hide the Scriptures which God hath sent down, and barter them
for a mean price–these shall swallow into their bellies nought but fire. God
will not speak to them, or assoil them, on the day of the Resurrection: and
theirs shall be a grievous torment.

These are they who have bartered guidance for error, and pardon for torment;
But how great their endurance in fire!67

This shall be their doom, because God had sent down "the Book" with the very
truth. And verily they who dispute about that Book are in a far-gone
severance from it.

There is no piety in turning your faces toward the east or the west, but he
is pious who believeth in God, and the last day, and the angles, and the
Scriptures, and the prophets; who for the love of God disburseth his wealth
to his kindred, and to the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and
those who ask, and for ransoming; who observeth prayer, and payeth the legal
alms, and who is of those who are faithful to their engagements when they
have engaged in them, and patient under ills and hardships, and in time of
trouble: these are they who are just, and these are they who fear the Lord.

O believers! retaliation for bloodshedding is prescribed to you: the free man
for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the woman for the woman: but
he to whom his brother shall make any remission,68 is to be dealt with
equitably; and to him should he pay a fine with liberality.

This is a relaxation69 from your Lord and a mercy. For him who after his
shall transgress,70 a sore punishment!

But in this law of retaliation is your security for life, O men of
understanding! to the intent that ye may fear God.

It is prescribed to you, when any one of you is at the point of death, if he
leave goods, that he bequeath equitably to his parents and kindred. This is
binding on those who fear God. But as for him who after he hath heard the
bequest shall change it, surely the wrong of this shall be on those who
change it: verily, God Heareth, Knoweth.

But he who feareth from the testator any mistake or wrong, and shall make a
settlement between the parties–that shall be no wrong in him: verily, God is
Lenient, Merciful.

O believers! a Fast is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before
you, that ye may fear God,

For certain days. But he among you who shall be sick, or on a journey, shall
fast that same number of other days: and as for those who are able to keep it
and yet break it, the expiation of this shall be the maintenance of a poor
man. And he who of his own accord performeth a good work, shall derive good
from it: and good shall it be for you to fast if ye knew it.

As to the month Ramadhan in which the Koran was sent down to be man's
guidance, and an explanation of that guidance, and of that illumination,71 as
soon as any one of you observeth the moon, let him set about the fast; but he
who is sick, or upon a journey, shall fast a like number of other days. God
wisheth you ease, but wisheth not your discomfort, and that you fulfil the
number of days, and that you glorify God for his guidance, and that you be

And when my servants ask thee concerning me, then will I be nigh unto them. I
will answer the cry of him that crieth, when he crieth unto me: but let them
hearken unto me, and believe in me, that they may proceed aright.

You are allowed on the night of the fast to approach your wives: they are
your garment and ye are their garment.72 God knoweth that ye defraud
yourselves therein, so He turneth unto you and forgiveth you! Now, therefore,
go in unto them with full desire for that which God hath ordained for you;
and eat and drink until ye can discern a white thread from a black thread73
by the daybreak: then fast strictly till night, and go not in unto them, but
rather pass the time in the Mosques. These are the bounds set up by God:
therefore come not near them. Thus God maketh his signs clear to men that
they may fear Him.74

Consume not your wealth among yourselves in vain things, nor present it to
judges that ye may consume a part of other men's wealth unjustly, while ye
know the sin which ye commit.

They will ask thee of the new moons. SAY: They are periods fixed for man's
service and for the Pilgrimage. There is no piety in entering your houses at
the back,75 but piety consists in the fear of God. Enter your houses then by
their doors; and fear God that it may be well with you.

And fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you: but
commit not the injustice of attacking them first: God loveth not such

And kill them wherever ye shall find them, and eject them from whatever place
they have ejected you; for civil discord76 is worse than carnage: yet attack
them not at the sacred Mosque, unless they attack you therein; but if they
attack you, slay them. Such the reward of the infidels.

But if they desist, then verily God is Gracious, Merciful.

Fight therefore against them until there be no more civil discord, and the
only worship be that of God: but if they desist, then let there be no
hostility, save against the wicked.

The sacred month and the sacred precincts are under the safeguard of
reprisals:77 whoever offereth violence to you, offer ye the like violence to
him, and fear God, and know that God is with those who fear Him.

Give freely for the cause of God, and throw not yourselves with your own
hands into ruin;78 and do good, for God loveth those who do good.

Accomplish the Pilgrimage and the Visitation79 of the holy places in honour
of God: and if ye be hemmed in by foes, send whatever offering shall be the
easiest: and shave not your heads until the offering reach the place of
sacrifice. But whoever among you is sick, or hath an ailment of the head,
must satisfy by fasting, or alms, or an offering. And when ye are safe from
foes, he who contents himself with the Visitation of the holy places, until
the Pilgrimage, shall bring whatever offering shall be the easiest. But he
who findeth nothing to offer, shall fast three days in the Pilgrimage itself,
and seven days when ye return: they shall be ten days in all. This is binding
on him whose family shall not be present at the sacred Mosque. And fear God,
and know that God is terrible in punishing.

Let the Pilgrimage be made in the months already known:80 whoever therefore
undertaketh the Pilgrimage therein, let him not know a woman, nor transgress,
nor wrangle in the Pilgrimage. The good which ye do, God knoweth it. And
provide for your journey; but the best provision is the fear of God: fear me,
then, O men of understanding!

It shall be no crime in you if ye seek an increase from your Lord;81 and when
ye pour swiftly on from Arafat, then remember God near the holy monument; and
remember Him, because He hath guided you who before this were of those who
went astray:

Then pass on quickly82 where the people quickly pass, and ask pardon of God,
for God is Forgiving, Merciful.

And when ye have finished your holy rites, remember God as ye remember your
own fathers, or with a yet more intense remembrance! Some men there are who
say, "O our Lord! give us our portion in this world:" but such shall have no
portion in the next life:

And some say, "O our Lord! give us good in this world and good in the next,
and keep us from the torment of the fire."

They shall have the lot which they have merited: and God is swift to reckon.

Bear God in mind during the stated days: but if any haste away83 in two days,
it shall be no fault in him: And if any tarry longer, it shall be no fault in
him, if he fear God. Fear God, then, and know that to Him shall ye be

A man there is84 who surpriseth thee by his discourse concerning this life
present. He taketh God to witness what is in his heart; yet is he the most
zealous in opposing thee:

And when he turneth his back on thee, he runneth through the land to enact
disorders therein, and layeth waste the fields and flocks: but God loveth not
the disorder.

And when it is said to him, "Fear God," the pride of sin seizeth him: but he
shall have his fill of Hell; and right wretched the couch!

A man, too, there is85 who selleth his very self out of desire to please God:
and God is good to his servants.

O believers! enter completely into the true religion, and follow not the
steps of Satan, for he is your declared enemy.

But if ye lapse after that our clear signs86 have come to you, know that God
is Mighty, Wise.

What can such expect but that God should come down to them overshadowed with
clouds, and the angels also, and their doom be sealed? And to God shall all
things return.

Ask the children of Isreal how many clear signs we have given them. But if
any man shall alter the boon87 of God after it shall have reached him,
assuredly God will be vehement in punishing him.

This present life is prepared for those who believe not, and who mock at the
faithful. But they who fear God shall be above them on the day of
resurrection; and God is bounteous without measure to whom He will.

Mankind was but one people;88 and God sent prophets to announce glad tidings
and to warn; and He sent down with them the Book of Truth, that it might
decide the disputes of men; and none disputed but those to whom the Book had
been given, after the clear tokens had reached them,–being full of mutual
jealousy. And God guided those who believed to the truth of that about which,
by his permission, they had disputed; for God guideth whom he pleaseth into
the straight path.

Think ye to enter Paradise, when no such things have come upon you, as on
those who flourish before you? Ills and troubles tried them; and so tossed
were they by trials, that the Apostle and they who shared his faith, said,
"When will the help of God come?"–Is not the help of God nigh?

They will ask thee what they shall bestow in alms. SAY: Let the good which ye
bestow be for parents, and kindred, and orphans, and the poor, and the
wayfarer; and whatever good ye do, of a truth God knoweth.

War is prescribed to you: but from this ye are averse.

Yet haply ye are averse from a thing, though it be good for you, and haply ye
love a thing though it be bad for you: And God knoweth; but ye, ye know not.

They will ask thee concerning war in the Sacred Month. SAY: To war therein is
bad, but to turn aside from the cause of God, and to have no faith in Him,
and in the Sacred Temple, and to drive out its people, is worse in the sight
of God; and civil strife is worse than bloodshed. They will not cease to war
against you until they turn you from your religion, if they be able: but
whoever of you shall turn from his religion and die an infidel, their works
shall be fruitless in this world, and in the next: they shall be consigned to
the fire; therein to abide for aye.

But they who believe, and who fly their country, and fight in the cause of
God may hope for God's mercy: and God is Gracious, Merciful.

They will ask thee concerning wine89 and games of chance. SAY: In both is
great sin, and advantage also, to men; but their sin is greater than their
advantage. They will ask thee also what they shall bestow in alms:

SAY: What ye can spare. Thus God sheweth you his signs that ye may ponder

On this present world, and on the next. They will also ask thee concerning
orphans. SAY: Fair dealing with them is best;

But if ye mix yourselves up (in their affairs)–they are your brethren: God
knoweth the foul dealer from the fair: and, if God pleased, he could indeed
afflict you! Verily, God is Mighty, Wise.

Marry not idolatresses until they believe; a slave who believeth is better
than an idolatress, though she please you more. And wed not your daughters to
idolaters until they believe; for a slave who is a believer, is than better
an idolater, though he please you.

They invite to the Fire; but God inviteth to Paradise, and to pardon, if he
so will, and maketh clear his signs to men that they may remember.

They will also question thee as to the courses of women. SAY: They are a
pollution. Separate yourselves therefore from women and approach them not,
until they be cleansed. But when they are cleansed, go in unto them as God
hath ordained for you. Verily God loveth those who turn to Him, and loveth
those who seek to be clean.

Your wives are your field: go in, therefore, to your field as ye will; but do
first some act for your souls' good: and fear ye God, and know that ye must
meet Him; and bear these good tidings to the faithful.

Swear not by God, when ye make oath, that ye will be virtuous and fear God,
and promote peace among men; for God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.

God will not punish you for a mistake in your oaths: but He will punish you
for that which your hearts have done. God is Gracious, Merciful.

They who intend to abstain from their wives shall wait four months; but if
they go back from their purpose, then verily God is Gracious, Merciful:

And if they resolve on a divorce, then verily God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.

The divorced shall wait the result, until they have had their courses thrice,
nor ought they to conceal what God hath created in their wombs, if they
believe in God and the last day; and it will be more just in their husbands
to bring them back when in this state, if they desire what is right. And it
is for the women to act as they (the husbands) act by them, in all fairness;
but the men are a step above them. God is Mighty, Wise.

Ye may divorce your wives twice: Keep them honourably, or put them away with
kindness. But it is not allowed you to appropriate to yourselves aught of
what ye have given to them, unless both fear that they cannot keep within the
bounds90 set up by God. And if ye fear that they cannot observe the
ordinances of God, no blame shall attach to either of you for what the wife
shall herself give for her redemption. These are the bounds of God: therefore
overstep them not; for whoever oversteppeth the bounds of God, they are evil

But if the husband divorce her a third time, it is not lawful for him to take
her again, until she shall have married another husband; and if he also
divorce her, then shall no blame attach to them if they return to each other,
thinking that they can keep within the bounds fixed by God. And these are the
bounds of God; He maketh them clear to those who have knowledge.

But when ye divorce women, and the time for sending them away is come, either
retain them with generosity, or put them away with generosity: but retain
them not by constraint so as to be unjust towards them. He who doth so, doth
in fact injure himself. And make not the signs of God a jest; but remember
God's favour toward you, and the Book and the Wisdom which He hath sent down
to you for your warning, and fear God, and know that God's knowledge
embraceth everything.

And when ye divorce your wives, and they have waited the prescribed time,
hinder them not from marrying their husbands when they have agreed among
themselves in an honourable way. This warning is for him among you who
believeth in God and in the last day. This is most pure for you, and most
decent. God knoweth, but ye know not.

Mothers, when divorced, shall give suck to their children two full years,91
if the father desire that the suckling be completed; and such maintenance and
clothing as is fair for them, shall devolve on the father. No person shall be
charged beyond his means. A mother shall not be pressed unfairly for her
child, nor a father for his child: And the same with the father's heir. But
if they choose to wean the child by consent and by bargain, it shall be no
fault in them. And if ye choose to have a nurse for your children, it shall
be no fault in you, in case ye pay what ye promised her according to that
which is fair. Fear God, and know that God seeth what ye do.

If those of you who die leave wives, they must await their state during four
months and ten days; and when this their term is expired, you shall not be
answerable for the way in which they shall dispose of themselves fairly. And
God is cognisant of what ye do.

And then shall no blame attach to you in making proposals of marriage92 to
such women, or in keeping such intention to yourselves? God knoweth that ye
will not forget them. But promise them not in secret, unless ye speak
honourable words;

And resolve not on the marriage tie until the prescribed time be reached; and
know that God knoweth what is in your minds: therefore, beware of Him; and
know that God is Gracious, Mild!

It shall be no crime in you if ye divorce your wives so long as ye have not
consummated the marriage, nor settled any dowry on them. And provide what is
needful for them he who is in ample circumstances according to his means, and
he who is straitened, according to his means–with fairness: This is binding
on those who do what is right.

But if ye divorce them before consummation, and have already settled a dowry
on them, ye shall give them half of what ye have settled, unless they make a
release, or he make a release in whose hand is the marriage tie. But if ye
make a release, it will be nearer to piety. And forget not generosity in your
relations one towards another; for God beholdeth your doings.

Observe strictly the prayers, and the middle93 prayer, and stand up full of
devotion towards God.

And if you have any alarm, then pray on foot or riding: but when you are
safe, then remember God, how he hath made you to know what ye knew not.

And94 such of you as shall die and leave wives, shall bequeath their wives a
year's maintenance without causing them to quit their homes; but if they quit
them of their own accord, then no blame shall attach to you for any
disposition they may make of themselves in a fair way. And God is Mighty,

And for the divorced let there be a fair provision. This is a duty in those
who fear God.

Thus God maketh his signs clear to you that ye may understand.

Hast thou not thought on those who quitted their dwellings–and they were
thousands–for fear of death?95 God said to them, "Die:" then He restored them
to life, for full of bounty towards man is God. But most men give not thanks!

Fight for the cause of God; and know that God is He who Heareth, Knoweth.

Who is he that will lend to God a goodly loan? He will double it to him again
and again: God is close, but open handed also: and to Him shall ye return.

Hast thou not considered96 the assembly of the children of Israel after the
death of Moses, when they said to a prophet of theirs, "Set up for us a king;
we will do battle for the cause of God?" He said, "May it not be that if to
fight were ordained you, ye would not fight?" They said, "And why should we
not fight in the cause of God, since we and our children are driven forth
from our dwellings?" But when fighting was commanded them, they turned back,
save a few of them: But God knew the offenders!

And their prophet said to them, "Now hath God set (Talout) Saul king over
you." They said, "How shall he reign over us, when we are more worthy of the
kingdom than he, and of wealth he hath no abundance?" He said, "Verily God
hath chosen him to be over you, and hath given him increase in knowledge and
stature; God giveth his kingdom to whom he pleaseth; and God is Liberal,

And their prophet said to them, "Verily, the sign of his kingship shall be
that the Ark shall come to you: in it is a pledge of security97 from your
Lord and the relics98 left by the family of Moses, and the family of Aaron;
the angels shall bear it: Truly herein shall be a sign indeed to you if ye
are believers."

And when Saul marched forth with his forces, he said, "God will test you by a
river: He who drinketh of it shall not be of my band; but he who shall not
taste it, drinking a drink out of the hand excepted, shall be of my band."99
And, except a few of them, they drank of it. And when they had passed it, he
and those who believed with him, the former said, "We have no strength this
day against (Djalout) Goliath and his forces:" But they who held it as
certain that they must meet God, said, "How oft, by God's will, hath a small
host vanquished a numerous host! and God is with the steadfastly enduring."

And when they went forth against Goliath and his forces, they said, "O our
Lord! pour out steadfastness upon us, and set our feet firm, and help us
against the infidels!"

And by the will of God they routed them; and (Daood) David slew Goliath; and
God gave him the kingship and wisdom, and taught him according to His will:
and were it not for the restraint of one by means of the other, imposed on
men by God, verily the earth had been utterly corrupted. But God is bounteous
to his creatures.

Such are the signs of God: with truth do we rehearse them to thee, for one of
the Sent Ones art Thou.

Some of the apostles we have endowed more highly than others: Those to whom
God hath spoken, He hath raised to the loftiest grade, and to Jesus the Son
of Mary we gave manifest signs, and we strengthened him with the Holy
Spirit.100 And if God had pleased, they who came after them would not have
wrangled, after the clear signs had reached them. But into disputes101 they
fell: some of them believed, and some were infidels; yet if God had pleased,
they would not have thus wrangled: but God doth what he will.

O Believers! give alms of that with which we have supplied you, before the
day cometh when there shall be no trafficking, nor friendship, nor
intercession. And the infidels are the wrong-doers.

God! There is no God but He; the Living, the Eternal; Nor slumber seizeth
Him, nor sleep; His, whatsoever is in the Heavens and whatsoever is in the
Earth! Who is he that can intercede with Him but by His own permission? He
knoweth what hath been before them and what shall be after them; yet nought
of His knowledge shall they grasp, save what He willeth. His Throne reacheth
over the Heavens and the Earth, and the upholding of both burdeneth Him not;
and He is the High, the Great!

Let there be no compulsion in Religion.102 Now is the right way made distinct
from error. Whoever therefore shall deny Thagout103 and believe in God–he
will have taken hold on a strong handle that shall not be broken: and God is
He who Heareth, Knoweth.

God is the patron of believers: He shall bring them out of darkness into

As to those who believe not, their patrons are Thagout: they shall bring them
out of light into darkness: they shall be given over to the fire: they shall
abide therein for ever.

Hast thou not thought on him104 who disputed with Abraham about his Lord,
because God had given him the kingdom? When Abraham said, "My Lord is He who
maketh alive and cause to die:" He said, "It is I who make alive and cause to
die!" Abraham said, "Since God bringeth the sun from the East, do thou, then,
bring it from the West." The infidel was confounded; for God guideth not the
evil doers:

Or how he105 demeaned him who passed by a city which had been laid in
ruins.106 "How," said he, "shall God give life to this city, after she hath
been dead?" And God caused him to die for an hundred years, and then raised
him to life. And God said, "How long hast thou waited?" He said, "I have
waited a day or part of a day." He said, "Nay, thou hast waited an hundred
years. Look on thy food and thy drink; they are not corrupted; and look on
thine ass: we would make thee a sign unto men: And look on the bones of thine
ass, how we will raise them, then clothe them with flesh." And when this was
shewn to him, he said, "I acknowledge that God hath power to do all things."

When Abraham said, "O Lord, shew me how thou wilt give life to the dead!" He
said, "Hast thou not believed?"

He said, "Yes; but I have asked thee, that my heart may be well assured." He
said, "Take, then, four birds,107 and draw them towards thee, and cut them in
pieces; then place a part of them on every mountain; then call them and they
shall come swiftly to thee: and know thou that God is Might, Wise!"

The likeness of those who expend their wealth for the cause of God, is that
of a grain of corn which produceth seven ears, and in each ear a hundred
grains; and God will multiply to whom He pleaseth: God is Liberal, Knowing!

They who expend their wealth for the cause of God, and never follow what they
have laid out with reproaches or harm, shall have their reward with their
Lord; no fear shall come upon them, neither shall they be put to grief.

A kind speech and forgiveness is better than alms followed by injury. God is
Rich, Clement.

O ye who believe! make not your alms void by reproaches and injury, like him
who spendeth his substance to be seen of men, and believeth not in God and in
the latter day. The likeness of such an one is that of a rock with a thin
soil upon it, on which a heavy rain falleth but leaveth it hard: No profit
from their works shall they be able to gain; for God guideth not the
unbelieving people.

And the likeness of those who expend their substance from a desire to please
God, and for the stablishing of their souls, is as a garden on a hill, on
which the heavy rain falleth, and it yieldeth its fruits twofold; and even if
a heavy rain fall not on it, yet is there a dew: God beholdeth your actions.

Desireth any one of you a garden of palms and vines through which rivers
flow, in which he may have every fruit, and that old age should surprise him
there, and that his offspring should be weakly, and that then a fiery violent
wind shall strike it so that it shall be burned? Thus God maketh plain his
signs to you that ye may reflect.

O ye who believe! bestow alms of the good things which ye have acquired, and
of that which we have brought forth for you out of the earth, and choose not
the bad for almsgiving,

Such as ye would accept yourselves only by connivance: and know that God is
Rich, Praiseworthy.

Satan menaceth you with poverty,108 and enjoineth base actions: but God
promiseth you pardon from himself and abundance: God is All-bounteous,

He giveth wisdom to whom He will: and he to whom wisdom is given, hath had
much good given him; but none will bear it in mind, except the wise of heart.

And whatever alms ye shall give, or whatever vow ye shall vow, of a truth God
knoweth it: but they who act unjustly shall have no helpers. Give ye your
alms openly?109 it is well. Do ye conceal them and give them to the poor?
This, too, will be of advantage to you, and will do away your sins: and God
is cognisant of your actions.

Their guidance is not thine affair, O Muhammad; but God guideth whom he
pleaseth. And the good that ye shall give in alms shall redound unto
yourselves; and ye shall not give but as seeking the face of God; and
whatever good thing ye shall have given in alms, shall be repaid you, and ye
shall not be wronged. There are among you the poor, who being shut up to
fighting for the cause of God, have it not in their power to strike out into
the earth for riches. Those who know them not, think them rich because of
their modesty. By this their token thou shalt know them–they ask not of men
with importunity: and of whatever good thing ye shall give them in alms, of a
truth God will take knowledge.

They who give away their substance in alms, by night and day, in private and
in public, shall have their reward with their Lord: no fear shall come on
them, neither shall they be put to grief.

They who swallow down usury, shall arise in the resurrection only as he
ariseth whom Satan hath infected by his touch. This, for that they say,
"Selling is only the like of usury:" and yet God hath allowed selling, and
forbidden usury. He then who when this warning shall come to him from his
Lord, abstaineth, shall have pardon for the past, and his lot shall be with
God. But they who return to usury, shall be given over to the fire; therein
shall they abide for ever.

God will bring usury to nought, but will increase alms with usury, and God
loveth no infidel, or evil person. But they who believe and do the things
that are right, and observe the prayers, and pay the legal impost, they shall
have their reward with their Lord: no fear shall come on them, neither shall
they be put to grief.

O believers! fear God and abandon your remaining usury, if ye are indeed

But if ye do it not, then hearken for war on the part of God and his apostle:
yet if ye repent, ye shall have the principal of your money. Wrong not, and
ye shall not be wronged.

If any one find difficulty in discharging a debt, then let there be a delay
until it be easy for him: but if ye remit it as alms it will be better for
you, if ye knew it.

Fear the day wherein ye shall return to God: then shall every soul be
rewarded according to its desert, and none shall have injustice done to them.

O ye who believe! when ye contract a debt (payable) at a fixed date, write it
down, and let the notary faithfully note between you: and let not the notary
refuse to note, even as God hath taught him; but let him note it down, and
let him who oweth the debt dictate, and let him fear God his Lord, and not
diminish aught thereof. But if he who oweth the debt be foolish or weak, or
be not able to dictate himself, let his friend dictate for him with fairness;
and call to witness two witnesses of your people: but if there be not two
men, let there be a man, and two women of those whom ye shall judge fit for
witnesses: if the one of them should mistake, the other may cause her to
recollect. And the witnesses shall not refuse, whenever they shall be
summoned. And disdain not to put the debt in writing, be it large or small,
with its time of payment: this will be more just for you in the sight of God,
better suited for witnessing, and the best for avoiding doubt. But if the
goods be there present, and ye pass them from hand to hand–then it shall be
no fault in you not to write it down. And have witnesses when ye sell, and
harm not writer or witness: it will be a crime in you to do this. But fear
God and God will give you knowledge, for God hath knowledge of all things.

And if ye be on a journey and shall find no notary, let pledges be taken: but
if one of you trust the other, let him who is trusted, restore what he is
trusted with, and fear God his Lord. And refuse not to give evidence. He who
refuseth is surely wicked at heart: and God knoweth your deeds.

Whatever is in the Heavens and in the Earth is God's: and whether ye bring
forth to light what is in your minds or conceal it, God will reckon with you
for it; and whom He pleaseth will He forgive, and whom He pleaseth will He
punish; for God is All-powerful.

The apostle believeth in that which hath been sent down from his Lord, as do
the faithful also. Each one believeth in God, and His Angels, and His Books,
and His Apostles: we make no distinction between any of His Apostles.110 And
they say, "We have heard and we obey. Thy mercy, Lord! for unto thee must we

God will not burden any soul beyond its power. It shall enjoy the good which
it hath acquired, and shall bear the evil for the acquirement of which it
laboured. O our Lord! punish us not if we forget, or fall into sin; O our
Lord! and lay not on us a load like that which thou hast laid on those who
have been before us; O our Lord! and lay not on us that for which we have not
strength: but blot out our sins and forgive us, and have pity on us. Thou art
our protector: give us victory therefore over the infidel nations.


1 The greater part of this, the oldest of the Medina Suras, was revealed in
the early part of the second year of the Hejira and previously to the battle
of Bedr.–The Hejira took place in the beginning of Muharram, or middle of
April, A.D. 622. The numbers who emigrated with Muhammad at first, were about
150 persons. Medina is 250 miles north of Mecca, and ten days' journey.

2 Said to mean A mara li Muhammad, i.e. at the command of Muhammad; but see
Sura 1xviii. p. 32.

3 Death, Resurrection, Judgment, etc.

4 The Jews.

5 The Jews and Christians, hostile to the mission of Muhammad.

6 Lit. the similitude of them is as the similitude of, etc.

7 The people of Medina are generally addressed with "O ye who believe;" the
Meccans, with "O men." Hence it has been inferred that from verse 19 (O men)
to 37 inclusively, is of the Meccan period. The subjects treated of also lead
to this conclusion.

8 The statues of false gods.

9 It will be an agreeable surprise to the blessed to have fruits, which at
first sight resemble those of earth, but are infinitely more delicious,.

10 Muhammad had been reproached for having drawn illustrations from the Ant,
Bee, Spider, etc.

11 Concerning faith in Muhammad. See verse 39 below, note.

12 The number of the Heavens is borrowed from the Talmud, or traditions based
upon it; but the idea probably has its root in the Scriptural expression,
"Heaven of Heavens."

13 Lit. a caliph, vicegerent. "When the Holy One, Blessed be He, would create
man, He took counsel with the Angels and said to them, We will make man in
our image." Midr. Rabbah on Numb. iv. par. 19. Comp. Midr. on Gen. 1, par. 8,
17. Sanhedr. 38.

14 "God said to the Angels, 'His wisdom is greater than yours.' Then brought
he before them beasts, cattle, and birds, and asked for their names, but they
knew them not. But when he had created man," etc. Midr. as above.

15 Or, if ye are truthful, or can make good a better claim to the

16 In the name Eblis (diabolos) and in the honour claimed for Adam as a kind
of Godman, there are traces of a Christian original, as well as in the
identification of the serpent with Satan. Comp. Ps. civ. 4; Heb. i. 6. The
Talmudists also enlarge on the honour paid to Adam. "Adam sat in the garden
and the Angels brought him flesh and cooling wine." Sanhedr. 29. "In the hour
when the Holy One, Blessed be He, created man, the Angels went astray in
regard to him, and essayed to say before him, 'O Holy One!' then God
permitted sleep to fall on him, and all knew that he was of earth." Midr.
Rabbah on Gen. par. 8. It is possible that the Arabic word balas, a
profligate, wicked person, may have influenced Muhammad in the formation of
the word Eblis. See note, p. 185. Eblis is used in the Arabic version of the
New Testament, for the probable date of which, see Tischendorf, Prol. p. 78.

17 Observe the change from Eblis, the calumniator, to Satan, the hater.

18 Muhammad rarely accused the Jews and Christians of corrupting, but often
of misinterpreting, their Sacred Books, in order to evade his claims. His
charges, however, are always very vaguely worded, and his utterances upon
this subject are tantamount to a strong testimony in favour of the
unimpeachable integrity of the sacred books, both of the Jews and Christians,
so far as he knew them. See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 168, and v. 73 below.

19 See Sura [lxv.] xxi. 49.

20 Lit. slay one another.

21 The Talmudists relate how the Israelites who had died, on hearing the
divine voice, etc., were restored by the intercession of the Law itself.
Sanh. 5.

22 By storing them up in violation of God's command.

23 Jericho according to some commentators, Jerusalem according to others, but
see verse 58.

24 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 162.

25 Lit. all men. This incident is perhaps inadvertently borrowed from Ex. xv.

26 This passage (comp. xxvi. 59) is one of the numerous anachronisms which
abound in the Koran and prove the gross ignorance of the Arabian Prophet.

27 The Sabeites are identical with the Mendaites, or so-called Christians of
S. John, residing in the marshy district at the mouth of the Euphrates, but
are not the same with the star-worshipping Sabians of Harran in Mesopotamia.
See D'Herbelot, Bibl. Or. under the word Sabi; Assemani, Bibl. Or. iii. 2,
609. For curious details as to the elements of the Sabeite religion, see
Chwolson's SSabier and SSabaismus I.

28 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 170.

29 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 164.

30 Compare Numb. xix.; Deut. xxii. 1-9. The cow was to be sacrificed in order
that a murderer might be discovered through the miracle to be wrought on the
corpse by a piece of her flesh.

31 To please you, O Muslims.

32 This is one of the passages which shews great familiarity with the habits
of the Jews, on the part of Muhammad. See Maracci's Prodr. i. 44. Wahl's
Einleitung, xxx. xxxv.

33 The Pentateuch. This passage shews that the art of writing was known in
Medina shortly after the Hejira.

34 Forty days; the period during which they worshipped the calf.

35 The blood of those who are as your own flesh.

36 Two Jewish tribes (Koreidha and Nadhir) in alliance with certain Arab
tribes who were at war, destroyed one another's abodes, but redeemed the
Jewish captives, professing that they were commanded to do this by the Law.
So the commentators.

37 Gabriel. Muhammad either knowingly rejected the divinity of the Holy
Ghost, or confounded Gabriel announcing the conception, with the Holy Spirit
that overshadowed Mary. It is probable that Muhammad's ideas of the Spirit
were at first indefinite, but that the two expressions, Gabriel and the Holy
Spirit, became ultimately synonymous. See note on Sura [lxvii.] xvii. 87.
Geiger (p. 82) quotes an instance in which the Jewish expositors understand
the distinctly-speaking Spirit (Sanhedr. 44) of Gabriel.

38 The gift of the prophetic office, etc., to a pagan Arab and not to a Jew.

39 Matt. xxiii. 37.

40 See Sura vii. 170, p. 309.

41 Comp. 1 Tim. v. 24.

42 In Solomon's Books of Magic. This story has been supposed to be of Persian
origin. See Hyde de Rel. Vet. Pers. ch. xii. But from a passage in the Midr.
Abhkhir quoted in the Midr. Jalkut, ch. 44, and from a quotation in Maracci's
Prodr. iv. 82, Geiger infers that Muhammad has transferred to the time of
Solomon, the Rabbinic traditions concerning the influence of angels upon men
at the time of the Deluge. p. 106. "Babel is regarded by the Muslims as the
fountain head of the science of magic. They suppose Haroot and Maroot to be
two angels who, in consequence of their want of compassion for the frailties
of mankind, were sent down to earth to be tempted. They both sinned; and
being permitted to choose whether they would be punished now or hereafter,
chose the former, and are still suspended by the feet at Babel in a rocky
pit, and are the great teachers of magic." (Lane on ch. iii. note 14 of the
1001 Nights.)

43 Raina, as pronounced in Hebrew, "our bad one;" but in Arabic, "look upon
us," a kind of salutation of the same signification as ondhorna, which,
however, does not admit of any secondary bad sense like raina.

44 Comp. Sura xvi. 103; iv. 84. The Muslims admit that there are 225 verses
cancelled by later ones. The doctrine of "abrogation" is taught in the
Talmud. Thus Hilchoth Mamrim, ii. 1, 2, etc.

45 That is, does not weigh the evidence for Muhammad's mission already given,
but demands, as the Jews did, to see God himself.

46 In all Muhammadan countries the first time of prayer is the moghreb or
sunset, or rather, four minutes later; the second the eshe, when it has
become quite dark; the third the soobh or fegr, the daybreak; the fourth,
doohr, or a little after noon, when the sun has begun to decline; the fifth,
the asr, midway between noon and nightfall. The obligatory legal alms or
impost are called, as here, zekah (lit. purity), the voluntary, sudackah. It
is, however, left to the conscience of individuals to give and to apply them
as they think fit.

47 The idolatrous Arabs.

48 If this verse is aimed at the Meccans who, in the 6th year of the Hejira,
forbad Muhammad and his followers to enter the temple of Mecca in the
expedition of Hodeibiya, it is misplaced here.

49 Abrogated by verse 139 below.

50 The Caaba.

51 Freytag (Einl. p. 339) says that there is no good reason for doubting that
the Caaba was founded as stated in this passage. See note on Sura [xcvii.]
iii. 90.

52 Deut. xviii. 15.

53 "At the time when our father Jacob quitted this world, be summoned his
twelve sons and said to them, Hearken to your father Israel (Gen. xlix. 2).
Have ye any doubts in your hearts concerning the Holy One, Blessed be He!
They said, Hear, O Israel, our Father. As there is no doubt in thy heart, so
neither is there in ours. For the Lord is our God, and He is one." Midr.
Rabbah on Gen. par. 98, and on Deut. par. 2. Comp. also Targ. Jer. on Deut.
vi. 4. Tract. Pesachim, 56.

54 See Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 121, n., p. 209.

55 Ibn Batutah assures us (vol. ii. 10) that when in the 14th century he
visited Basra, he saw in the mosque the copy of the Koran which the Caliph
Othman had in his hands when murdered, and that the marks of his blood were
still visible at the words of this verse. Othman's originals are also said to
be preserved in Egypt, Morocco, Damascus, Mecca, and Medina. See M.
Quatremere in Journ. Asiatique, Juillet, 1838.

56 The original simply has Baptism of God. This may be understood either of
Islam generally, or, with Ullmann, in the more restricted sense of
circumcision. Perhaps Muhammad used the word advisedly as a hint to the
Christians of his land, that in the reception of his religion consisted the
true new birth.

57 Or, intermediate, i.e., according to the commentators, not addicted to
excess, just. Ullm. ein vermittelndes Volk, zwischen Juden und Christen die
Mitte haltend.

58 In having prayed towards Jerusalem.

59 Of Mecca. This change of the Kebla from Jerusalem to Mecca shows that this
part of the Sura was revealed at a time when the breach between Muhammad and
the Jews was past healing; i.c. in the first half of the second year of the
Hejira. See Thilo's. Cod. Apoc. p. 21, n.

60 That is, the Jews are really convinced of the truth of Muhammad's mission.

61 That is, warring with the infidels. The precise date of verses 148-152
depends upon whether this passage refers to the battle of Bedr or Ohod.

62 These words are constantly used by the pious Muslims when in any trouble.

63 Hills in the sacred territory of Mecca, which had long been objects of
superstitious reverence to the idolatrous Arabs, on which account the Muslims
were at first unwilling to include them among the sacred places.

64 The Pentateuch. See verse 141.

65 This and the three following verses are probably Meccan, as also verses

66 The ringleaders of infidelity and idolatrous faiths.

67 Freyt. Lex. vol. ii. p. 477 Quid eos agere coegit quemadmodum damnati
agunt? But Mar. Quanta erit sustinentia corum!

68 To whom his brother, that is, any Arab or believer, shall remit the
penalty of death.

69 Of the stricter Mosaic lex talionis, as well of the ante-Islamitic Arabian
custom, by which the killing of a slave was avenged by the death of a free
man, and the killing of a woman by taking the life of a man. See Freyt. Einl.
p. 193. Comp. Ex. xxi. 23.

70 That is, by killing the manslayer.

71 On the word Furquan, see Sura [1xv.] xxi. 49.

72 A mutual comfort to each other.

73 Thus Misch. Berachoth, 1, 2, "Prayer is to be said as soon as one can
distinguish between a blue and white thread."

74 Judging from the minuteness of the precepts laid down in this and the
following verses to 193, it would appear that they were added at a late
period of Muhammad's residence at Medina.

75 Such appears to have been the superstitious custom of the Arabs after
their return from pilgrimages to Mecca.

76 Their driving you out of Mecca; or, the temptation (to idolatry).

77 Lit. the sacred month for the sacred month, and the sacred precincts or
things (for) reprisals. The meaning of this difficult passage is that in wars
for the cause of religion, the sacred month and the temple of Mecca may be
made the time and scene of contests, which then and there are usually
prohibited. For the most accurate information as to the Pilgrimage, see
Freytag, Einl. 418.

78 This shows that Muhammad inculcated the doctrine of entire freedom of the

79 The greater Pilgrimage, which every Muslim is bound to perform once in his
life, is the Hadjat el Farz (the one obligatory Pilgrimage), or the Hadjat el
Islam. The Umrah, or little pilgrimage, may be performed at any time except
the pilgrimage season, and its ceremonies are much fewer. They are described
by Lieut. Burton in his "Pilgrimage," vol. iii. ch. xxviii.

80 Namely, Shawâl, Dhu'lkaada, and Dhu'lhajja.

81 By trading during the Hadj.

82 The pilgrims move on very rapidly when in the immediate neighbourhood of
the Holy Places.

83 From the valley of Mina.

84 Said to have been one Al Akhnas Ibn Shoraik, a dissembler with Muhammad.

85 Sohaib, when he joined the standard of Muhammad, left all his property in
the hands of the infidels.

86 Verses 204-210 are probably addressed to those Muslims who were desirous
to observe certain parts of the Jewish law.

87 The Koran.

88 That is, there was originally but one religion in the world.

89 Comp. Sura [c.] iv. 42, and [cxiv.] v. 99, 100.

90 Limits, fences. The word is Talmudic. Thus Pirke Aboth, i. "The men of the
great synagogue said . . . Make a fence for the law;" and iii. 13, "Tradition
is a fence to the law."

91 Comp. Sura [lxxxii.] xxxi. 13.

92 Within the four months and ten days.

93 Either the asr, midway between noon and nightfall (see verse 104 above) or
the prayer immediately after midday. See note on Sura [c.] iv. 46.

94 This verse is certainly older than the commencement of Sura iv. which
alters the law here laid down.

95 Comp. Ezek. xxxvii. 1-10. These Jews are said by some commentators to have
abandoned their dwellings through fear of a pestilence (comp. Talmud Sanhed.
92); by others, for fear of being compelled to serve in the wars of God.

96 This and the seven following verses shew that Muhammad, foreseeing an open
rupture with the people of Medina at no distant period, felt it necessary to
stimulate the zeal and courage of his partisans by examples from Jewish

97 Ar. Shechinah. See Freytag Lex. in v. This word, as well as the Arabic
word for ark (p. 95, n.) betray in their form a Rabbinic origin.

98 The shoes and rod of Moses, the mitre of Aaron, the vase of manna, the
fragments of the two tables of the law.

99 Observe the confusion between Gideon and Saul.

100 See verse 81.

101 The drift of these words, which are of such frequent recurrence in the
Koran, is, that the former revelations had been abused, and instead of
leading them to Islam broke them up into sects and dissentient parties.

102 This verse must have been revealed before Muhammad felt himself secure in
his new position at Medina.

103 A name applied to an idol or idols especially Allat and Ozza, the ancient
idols of the Meccans. The termination of the word Thagout is more Hebraic
than pure Arabic, and literally means error.

104 Nimrod.

105 Ozair or Esdras doubted whether Jerusalem could be rebuilt after its
destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, and the miracle here narrated, was wrought for
his assurance. The fable has its origin in the circuit made by Nehemiah
around the ruined city. Neh. ii. 13.

106 Lit. it was falling on its roofs.

107 Comp. Gen. xv. 9.

108 That is, Satan would dissuade you from liberal contributions by
instilling the fear of poverty.

109 Comp. Matt. vi. 3, 4. 110 This contradicts verse 254, as well as several
verses in Sura [1viii.] xix.


MEDINA.–8 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

THE unbelievers among the people of the Book, and the Polytheists, did not
waver, until the CLEAR EVIDENCE had come to them;

A messenger from God, reciting to them the pure pages wherein are true

Neither were they to whom the Scriptures were given divided into sects, till
after this clear evidence had reached them!

Yet was not aught enjoined on them but to worship God with sincere religion,
sound in faith; and to observe prayer and pay the stated alms. For this is
true religion.

But the unbelievers among the people of the Book, and among the Polytheists,
shall go into the fire of Gehenna to abide therein for aye. Of all creatures
are they the worst!

But they who believe and do the things that are right–these of all creatures
are the best!

Their recompense with their Lord shall be gardens of Eden, 'neath which the
rivers flow, in which they shall abide for evermore.

God is well pleased in them and they in Him! This, for him who feareth his


MEDINA.1–18 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ALL that is in the Heavens, and all that is in the Earth, praiseth God: His
the Kingdom and His the Glory! And He hath power over all things!

It is He who hath created you all; yet some of you are infidel and others
believers: but God beholdeth all your actions.

He hath created the Heavens and the Earth in Truth; and He hath fashioned you
and given you goodly forms; and to Him must ye all return.

He knoweth all that passeth in the Heavens and in the Earth; and He knoweth
what ye hide and what ye bring to light; and God knoweth the very secrets of
men's breasts.

Hath not the story reached you of those who disbelieved of yore, and
therefore tasted the evil consequences of their doings? And a sore punishment
doth await them.

This, for that when their apostles came to them with the clear tokens, they
said, "What! shall men be our guides?" And they believed not and turned their
backs. But God can dispense with them; for God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy!

The infidels pretend that they shall not be raised from the dead. SAY: Yea,
by my Lord, ye shall surely be raised; then shall ye surely be told of your
deeds! And easy is this for God.

Believe then in God and his apostle and in the light which we have sent down;
for God is fully aware of all ye do.

The day when He shall gather you together for the day of mutual gathering,
will be the day of MUTUAL DECEIT,2 and whoso shall have believed in God and
done what is right, for him will He cancel his deeds of evil; and He will
bring him into the gardens beneath whose shades the rivers flow, to abide
therein for evermore. This will be the great bliss!

But the unbelieving–those who gave the lie to our signs–shall be the inmates
of the fire, wherein they shall remain for ever. And a wretched passage

No mischance chanceth but by God's permission; and whoso believeth in God,
that man's heart will he guide: and God knoweth all things.

Obey God then and obey the apostle: but if ye turn away, our apostle is not
to blame, for he is only charged with plain preaching.

God! there is no God but He! On God, then, let the faithful trust.

O ye who believe! Verily, in your wives and your children ye have an enemy:
wherefore beware of them. But if ye pass it3 over and pardon, and are
lenient, then God too is Lenient, Merciful.

Your wealth and your children are only a source of trial! but God! with Him
is the great recompense.

Fear God, then, with all your might, and hear and obey: and give alms for
your own weal; for such as are saved from their own greed, shall prosper.

If ye lend God a generous loan, He will double it to you and will forgive
you, for God is Grateful, Long-suffering.

He knoweth alike the Hidden and the Manifest: the Mighty, the Wise!


1 The first verse of this Sura, and the phrase obey God and the Apostle
(verses 8, 12), which usually occurs only in Medina Suras, the phrases in
verse 16 compared with Sura [cii.] lix. 9, as well as the subject matter,
incline me to follow those Muslim commentators who are of opinion that the
whole Sura was revealed at Medina. Weil and Muir suppose it to be Meccan.

2 That is, the day on which it will be found that if the just had been wicked
they would have taken the place of the reprobates, while the reprobates will
see that if they had been just persons they would have gone to Paradise.

3 Their occasionally beguiling you from your duty, especially that of
contending for the faith. Comp. 1 Cor. vii. 32.



In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ALL that is in the Heavens, and all that is on the Earth, uttereth the Praise
of God, the King! the Holy! the Mighty! the Wise!

It is He who hath sent to the pagan folk (Arabs) an Apostle from among
themselves, to rehearse His signs to them, and to purify them, and to impart
to them a knowledge of "the Book" and wisdom; for aforetime were they in
manifest error.

And others among them have not yet overtaken those who preceded them in the
faith. But He is the Mighty, the Wise!

This is the goodness of God: He bestoweth it on whom He will: God is of
immense goodness!

They on whom the burden of the law was laid, and would not bear it, are like
an ass beneath a load of books. A sorry likeness this, for the people who
give the lie to the signs of God! God guideth not the people who do this

SAY: O ye Jews, if ye profess that ye rather than other men are the friends
of God, then wish for death if ye are men of truth.

But never on account of their previous handywork will they wish for it, and
God knoweth the wrong doers.

SAY: Verily the death from which ye flee will surely meet you. Then shall ye
be brought back to Him who knoweth alike the things done in secret and
openly: and He will tell you of your actions.

O ye who believe! When ye are summoned to prayer on the day of THE ASSEMBLY,1
haste to the commemoration of God, and quit your traffic. This, if ye knew
it, will be best for you.

And when the Prayer is ended, then disperse yourselves abroad and go in quest
of the bounties of God; and, that it may be well with you, oft remember God.

But when they get a sight of merchandise or sport, they disperse after it,
and leave thee standing alone.2 SAY: God hath in reserve what is better than
sport or wares. And God is the best provider!


1 Friday; the day on which Muhammad made his first entry into Medina, and the
day on which creation was finished.

2 It is said that when Muhammad was preaching, Dahya Alkalbi, while yet a
heathen, came, on a Friday, into Medina at the head of a caravan, and that
all the congregation, attracted by the music of the tambours which preceded
it, left the sermon for the spectacle. Muquâtil ap. Alfarrâ. If this account
be accurate, we may approximate to the date of this Sura as in Hej. 5
(towards the close). Dahya is known to have fought in the ranks of the
Muslims at the battle of the Ditch. And as the former part is aimed at the
Jews, it is probably of the same period as Sura [xci.] ii.


MEDINA.–76 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

THEY will question thee about THE SPOILS. SAY: The spoils are God's and the
apostle's. Therefore, fear God, and settle this among yourselves; and obey
God and his apostle, if you are believers.

Believers are they only whose hearts thrill with fear when God is named, and
whose faith increaseth at each recital of his signs, and who put their trust
in their Lord;

Who observe the prayers, and give alms out of that with which we have
supplied them;

These are the believers: their due grade awaiteth them in the presence of
their Lord, and forgiveness, and a generous provision.

Remember how thy Lord caused thee to go forth from thy home2 on a mission of
truth, and part of the believers were quite averse to it:

They disputed with thee about the truth3 which had been made so clear, as if
they were being led forth to death, and saw it before them:

And remember when God promised you that one of the two troops4 should fall to
you, and ye desired that they who had no arms should fall to you: but God
purposed to prove true the truth of his words, and to cut off the uttermost
part ofthe infidels;

That he might prove his truth to be the truth, and bring to nought that which
is nought,5 though the impious were averse to it:

When ye sought succour of your Lord, and he answered you, "I will verily aid
you with a thousand6 angels, rank on rank:"

And God made this promise as pure good tidings, and to assure your hearts by
it: for succour cometh from God alone! Verily God is Mighty, Wise.

Recollect when sleep, a sign of security from Him, fell upon you, and he sent
down upon you water from Heaven that he might thereby cleanse you, and cause
the pollution of Satan to pass from you, and that he might gird up your
hearts, and stablish your feet by it:

When thy Lord spake unto the angels, "I will be with you: therefore stablish
ye the faithful. I will cast a dread into the hearts of the infidels." Strike
off their heads then, and strike off from them every finger-tip.

This, because they have opposed God and his apostle: And whoso shall oppose
God and his apostle. . . .  Verily, God will be severe in punishment.

"This for you! Taste it then! and for the infidels is the torture of the

O ye who believe! when ye meet the marshalled hosts of the infidels, turn not
your backs to them:

Whoso shall turn his back to them on that day, unless he turn aside to fight,
or to rally to some other troop, shall incur wrath from God: Hell shall be
his abode and wretched the journey thither!

So it was not ye who slew them, but God slew them; and those shafts were
God's, not thine!7 He would make trial of the faithful by a gracious trial
from Himself: Verily, God Heareth, Knoweth.

This befel, that God might also bring to nought the craft of the infidels.

O Meccans! if ye desired a decision, now hath the decision come to you.8 It
will be better for you if ye give over the struggle. If ye return to it, we
will return; and your forces, though they be many, shall never avail you
aught, for God is with the faithful.

O ye faithful! obey God and his apostle, and turn not away from Him, now that
ye hear the truth;

And be not like those who say "We hear," when they hear not;

For the vilest beasts in God's sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who understand

Had God known any good in them, he would certainly have made them hear. But
even if He had made them hear, they would certainly have turned back and
withdrawn afar.

O ye faithful! make answer to the appeal of God and his apostle when he
calleth you to that which giveth you life. Know that God cometh in between a
man and his own heart, and that to him shall ye be gathered.

And be afraid of temptation: the evil doers among you will not be the only
ones on whom it will light: And know ye that God is severe in punishment.

And remember when ye were few, and reputed weak in the land:9 ye feared lest
men should pluck you away; then was it that He took you in and strengthened
you with his help, and supplied you with good things, that haply ye might
give thanks.

O ye who believe! deal not falsely with God and his apostle; and be not false
in your engagements, with your own knowledge:

And know that your wealth and your children are a temptation; and that God!
with Him is a glorious recompense.

O ye who believe! if ye fear God he will make good your deliverance, and will
put away your sins from you, and will forgive you. God is of great

And call to mind when the unbelievers plotted against thee, to detain thee
prisoner, or to kill thee, or to banish thee: They plotted–but God plotted:
and of plotters is God the best!

And oft as our signs were rehearsed to them, they said, "Now have we heard:
if we pleased we could certainly utter its like! Yes, it is mere tales of the

And when they said, "God! if this be the very truth from before thee, rain
down stones upon us from Heaven, or lay on us some grievous chastisement."

But God chose not to chastise them while thou wast with them, nor would God
chastise them when they sued for pardon.

But because they debarred the faithful from the holy temple, albeit they are
not its guardians, nothing is there on their part why God should not chastise
them. The Godfearing only are its guardians; but most of them know it not.

And their prayer at the house of God is no other than whistling through the
fingers and clapping of the hands–"Taste then the torment, for that ye have
been unbelievers."

The infidels spend their riches10 with intent to turn men aside from the way
of God: spend it they shall; then shall sighing be upon them, and then shall
they be overcome.

And the infidels shall be gathered together into Hell,

That God may separate the bad from the good, and put the bad one upon the
other, and heap them all up and put them into Hell! These are they who shall
be lost.

SAY to the infidels: If they desist from their unbelief, what is now past
shall be forgiven them; but if they return to it, they have already before
them11 the doom of the ancients!

Fight then against them till strife be at an end, and the religion be all of
it God's. If they desist, verily God beholdeth what they do:

But if they turn their back, know ye that God is your protector: Excellent
protector! excellent helper!

And know ye, that when ye have taken any booty, a fifth12 part belongeth to
God and to the Apostle, and to the near of kin, and to orphans, and to the
poor, and to the wayfarer, if ye believe in God, and in that which we have
sent down to our servant on the day of the victory,13 the day of the meeting
of the Hosts. Over all things is God potent.

When ye were encamped on the near side of the valley, and they were on the
further side, and the caravan was below you, if ye had made an engagement to
attack ye would have failed the engagement; but ye were led into action
notwithstanding, that God might accomplish the thing destined to be done:

That he who should perish might perish with a clear token14 before him, and
that he who liveth might live with it. And verily, God Heareth, Knoweth.

Remember when God shewed them to thee in thy dream, as few: Had he shown them
numerous, ye would certainly have become fainthearted, and would certainly
have disputed about the matter–But from this God kept you–He knoweth the very
secrets of the breast–

And when, on your meeting, he made them to appear to your eyes as few, and
diminished you in their eyes, that God might carry out the thing that was to
be done.15 To God do all things return.

Believers! when ye confront a troop, stand firm and make frequent mention of
the name of God, that it may fare well with you:

And obey God and his Apostle; and dispute not, lest ye become fainthearted
and your success go from you; but endure with steadfastness, for God is with
the steadfastly enduring.

And be not like those Meccans who came out of their houses insolently and to
be seen of men, and who turn others from the way of God: God is round about
their actions.

When Satan prepared their works for them, and said, "No man shall conquer you
this day; and verily I will be near to help you:" But when the two armies
came in sight, he turned on his heel and said, "Ay, I am clear of you: ay, I
see what ye see not:16 ay, I fear God; for God is severe in punishing."

When the hypocrites and the diseased of heart said, "Their Religion hath
misled the Muslims:17 But whoso putteth his trust in God. , , ,  Yes, verily
God is Mighty, Wise!

If thou didst see, when the angels cause the infidels to die! They smite
their faces and their backs, and–"Taste ye the torture of the burning:

This, for what your hands have sent on before you:"–and God is not unjust to
his servants.

Their state is like that of the people of Pharaoh and of those before them
who believed not in the signs of God: therefore God seized upon them in their
sin! God is Mighty, severe in punishing.

This, because God changeth not the favour with which he favoureth a people,
so long as they change not what is in their hearts; and for that God Heareth,

Their state is like that of the people of Pharaoh, and of those before them
who treated their Lord's signs as lies. We therefore destroyed them in their
sins, and we drowned the people of Pharaoh; for they were all doers of wrong.

The worst beasts truly in the sight of God are the thankless who will not

They with whom thou hast leagued, and who are ever breaking their league, and
who fear not God!

If thou take them in war, then, by the example of their fate, scatter those
who shall follow them–that they may be warned:

Or if thou fear treachery from any people, throw back their treaty to them as
thou fairly mayest,18 for God loveth not the treacherous.

And think not that the infidels shall escape Us! They shall not weaken God.

Make ready then against them what force ye can, and strong squadrons whereby
ye may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy, and into others
beside them whom ye know not, but whom God knoweth. All that you shall expend
for the cause of God shall be repaid you; and ye shall not be wronged.

And if they lean to peace, lean thou also to it; and put thy trust in God:
for He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

But if they seek to betray thee, God will be all-sufficient for thee. He it
is who hath strengthened thee with His help, and with the faithful, and hath
made their hearts one. Hadst thou spent all the riches of the earth, thou
couldst not have united their hearts; but God hath united them, for He is
Mighty, Wise.

O prophet! God, and such of the faithful as follow thee, will be all-
sufficient for thee.

O prophet! stir up the faithful to the fight. Twenty of you who stand firm
shall vanquish two hundred: and if there be a hundred of you they shall
vanquish a thousand of the infidels, for they are a people devoid of

Now hath God made your work easy, for he knoweth how weak ye are. If there be
an hundred of you who endure resolutely, they shall vanquish two hundred; and
if there be a thousand of you, they shall vanquish two thousand19 by God's
permission; for God is with those who are resolute to endure.

No prophet hath been enabled to take captives until he had made great
slaughter in the earth. Ye desire the passing fruitions of this world, but
God desireth the next life for you. And God is Mighty, Wise.

Had there not been a previous ordinance20 from God, a severe chastisement had
befallen you, for the ransom which ye took.

Eat therefore of the spoils ye have taken what is lawful and good; and fear
God: God is Gracious, Merciful.

O prophet! say to the captives who are in your hands, "If God shall know
good21 to be in your hearts, He will give you good beyond all that hath been
taken from you, and will forgive you: for God is Forgiving, Merciful."

But if they seek to deal treacherously with you–they have already dealt
treacherously22 with God before! Therefore hath He given you power over them.
God is Knowing, Wise.

Verily, they who have believed and fled their homes and spent their substance
for the cause of God, and they who have taken in the prophet and been helpful
to him, shall be near of kin the one to the other. And they who have
believed, but have not fled their homes, shall have no rights of kindred with
you at all, until they too fly their country. Yet if they seek aid from you
on account of the faith, your part it is to give them aid, except against a
people between whom and yourselves there shall be a treaty. And God beholdeth
your actions.

The infidels lend one another mutual help. Unless ye do the same, there will
be discord in the land and great corruption.

But as for those who have believed and fled their country, and fought on the
path of God, and given the prophet an asylum, and been helpful to him, these
are the faithful; Mercy is their due and a noble provision.

And they who have believed and fled their country since, and have fought at
your side, these also are of you. Those who are united by ties of blood23 are
the nearest of kin to each other. This is in the Book of God. Verily, God
knoweth all things.


1 On this Sura, which relates mainly to the battle of Bedr, see Weil's M. der
Prophet, p. 268.

2 At Medina.

3 The necessity for the combat and its probable result.

4 Muhammad had conceived the design of attacking an unarmed caravan belonging
to the Koreisch on its way from Syria to Mecca. Abu Sofian, who had charge of
it, sent to Mecca for succour, whence a body of nearly 1000 armed men at once
set out to his assistance. Some of the Muslims were anxious to attack the
caravan: others, notwithstanding the disparity of numbers, proposed to throw
themselves upon the succours.

5 Idolatry.

6 In Sura [xcvii.] iii. the angels are said to be 3000.

7 Lit. thou didst not cast when thou didst cast, but God cast. This is
explained of the miracle of the gravelstones and sand cast by God into the
eyes of the Meccans at Bedr.

8 That is, by our victory over you.

9 Muhammad specially addresses the Mohadjers in this verse, i.e. those who
had fled with him to Medin.

10 Twelve of the Koreisch had given camels and a large sum of money in aid of
the Meccan succours.

11 Lit. hath preceded.

12 Before Islam it had been the custom among the Arabians to assign a fourth
part of the booty to the leader of an expedition. See Freyt. Einl. p. 266.

13 That is, on the day of the battle of Bedr. See Sura xxi. 49, p. 154.

14 The mission of Gabriel to Muhammad with the promise of victory.

15 Compare the different account in Sura [xcvii.] iii. II. The commentators,
however, get over the discropancy by explaining the apparent diminution of
the Muslims at the commencement only of the battle, which had the effect of
drawing on the enemy in self-confidence.

16 The angels fighting for the Muslims.

17 By inducing them to attack so greatly superior a force.

18 Thus Beidh. Or, more simply, render them the like.

19 Comp. Lev. xxvi. 8; Josh. xxiii. 10.

20 Authorising the ransom of captives.

21 That is, a disposition to become Muslims.

22 That is, on account of their infidelity.

23 See Weil. Life of M. p. 84, n.


MEDINA.–40 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHOSO believe not, and prevent others from the way of God–their works will He
cause to miscarry;2

But whoso believe, and do things that are right, and believe in what hath
been sent down to MUHAMMAD–for it is the truth from their Lord–their sins
will He cancel, and dispose their hearts aright.

This–because the infidels followed vanity, while those who believe, followed
the truth from their Lord. Thus to men doth God set forth their likenesses.

When ye encounter the infidels,3 strike off their heads till ye have made a
great slaughter among them, and of the rest make fast the fetters.

And afterwards let there either be free dismissals or ransomings, till the
war hath laid down its burdens. Thus do. Were such the pleasure of God, he
could himself take vengeance upon them: but He would rather prove the one of
you by the other. And whoso fight for the cause of God, their works he will
not suffer to miscarry;

He will vouchsafe them guidance, and dispose their hearts aright;

And he will bring them into the Paradise, of which he hath told them.

Believers! if ye help God, God will help you, and will set your feet firm:

But as for the infidels, let them perish: and their works shall God bring to

This–because they were averse from the command which God sent down;
Fruitless, therefore, shall their works become!

Have they not journeyed through the land, and seen what hath been the end of
those who flourished before them? God brought destruction on them: and the
like of this doth await the infidels.

This–because God is the protector of those who believe, and because the
infidels have no protector.

Verily God will bring those who believe, and do the things that are right,
into the Gardens, beneath whose shades the rivers flow: but they who believe
not, take their fill, and eat as the beasts eat! And their dwelling-place the

And how many cities were mightier in strength than thy city, which hath
thrust thee forth!4 We destroyed them, and there was none to help them.

Shall he who followeth the clear teaching of his Lord be as he, the evil of
whose doings hath been made to seem good to him, or like those who follow
their own lusts?

A picture of the Paradise which is promised to the God-fearing! Therein are
rivers of water, which corrupt not: rivers of milk, whose taste changeth not:
and rivers of wine, delicious to those who quaff it;

And rivers of honey clarified: and therein are all kinds of fruit for them
from their Lord! Is this like the lot of those who must dwell for ever in the
fire? and shall have draughts of boiling water forced on them which will rend
their bowels asunder?

Some of them indeed hearken to thee, until when they go out from thee, they
say with sneers to those to whom "the knowledge" hath been given, "What is
this he said?" These are they whose hearts God hath sealed up, and who follow
their own lusts.

But as to those who have the guidance, He will increase their guidance, and
He will teach them what to fear.

For what do the infidels wait, but that the Hour come suddenly on them?
Already are its signs come,5 and when it hath come on them indeed, how can
they be warned then?

Know, then, that there is no god but God: and ask pardon for thy sin, and for
believers, both men and women. God knoweth your busy movements, and your
final resting-places.

The believers say, "Oh, would that a Sura were sent down!"6 but when a
peremptory Sura is revealed, whose burden is war, thou mayest see the
diseased of heart look toward thee, with a look of one on whom the shadows of
death have fallen! But better in them would be obedience and becoming

And if, when the command for war is issued, they are true to God, it will be
assuredly best for them.

Were ye not ready, if ye had turned back from Him, to spread disorder in the
land, and violate the ties of blood?

These are they whom God hath cursed, and made deaf, and blinded their eyes!

Will they not then meditate on the Koran? Are locks upon their hearts?

But as to those who return to their errors after "the guidance" hath been
made plain to them, Satan shall beguile them, and fill them with his

This–because they say to those who abhor what God hath sent down, "We will
comply with you in part of what ye enjoin." But God knoweth their secret

But how? When the angels, in causing them to die, shall smite them on the
face and back!

This because they follow that which angereth God, and abhor what pleaseth
Him: therefore will He make their works fruitless.

Think these men of diseased hearts, that God will not bring out their malice
to light?

If such were our pleasure, we could point them out to thee, and thou surely
know them by their tokens: and know them thou shalt, by the strangeness of
their words.7 God knoweth your doings.

And we will surely test you, until we know the valiant and the steadfast
among you: and we will test the reports of your conduct.

Verily they who believe not, and turn others from the way of God, and
separate from the Apostle after that "the guidance" hath been clearly shewn
them, shall in no way injure God: but their works shall he bring to nought.

Believers! obey God and the Apostle: and render not your works vain.

Verily those who believe not, and who pervert others from the way of God, and
then die in unbelief, God will not forgive.

Be not fainthearted then; and invite not the infidels to peace when ye have
the upper hand: for God is with you, and will not defraud you of the
recompense of your works.

Surely this present life is only a play, and pastime! but if ye believe, fear
God; He will give you your rewards: but He will not ask all your riches of

Should He ask them of you, and urge you, ye would shew yourself niggards: and
He would bring your grudges to light.

Lo! ye are they, who are called to expend for the cause of God: and some of
you are niggards: but whoso is niggardly shall be niggard only to his own
loss; for God is the Rich, and ye are the poor: and if ye turn back, He will
change you for another people,8 and they shall not be your like!


1 This Sura was revealed at a period after the victory at Bedr, when there
was still some hesitation on the part of Muhammad's followers to take decided
steps for securing their position. See 37.

2 Lit. will He cause to wander, that is, from their proper aim and end, the
rewards of Paradise. See verse 5 ad f.

3 The Meccans and other unbelievers of Muhammad's time. The Hanefites suppose
this law to apply only to the battle of Bedr. The Shiites take it as of
universal obligation.

4 This verse is said (by Omar b. Muhammad, and Itq. 43) to be the expression
of Muhammad's feelings at the injuries inflicted on Mecca. He is reported to
have wept over it.

5 The first sign being the mission of Muhammad; the second, the splitting of
the moon; the third, the smoke mentioned in Sura xliv. p. 89.

6 That is, commanding war against the infidels.

7 Unintelligible or affected words, applied to the new religion in contempt.
See Sura [xci.] ii. 56, p. 343.

8 Matt. xxi. 43.


MEDINA.–200 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ELIF. LAM. MIM.2 God! there is no god but He, the Living, the Merciful!

In truth hath He sent down to thee "the Book," which confirmeth those which
precede it: For He had sent down the Law, and the Evangel aforetime, as man's
Guidance; and now hath He sent down the "Illumination."3 (Furkan.)

Verily for those who believe not in the signs of God, is a severe
chastisement! And God is Mighty, the Avenger!

God! nought that is in Earth or that is in Heaven, is hidden unto Him. He it
is who formeth you in your mothers' wombs. There is no god but He; the
Mighty, the Wise!

He it is who hath sent down to thee "the Book." Some of its signs are of
themselves perspicuous;–these are the basis4 of the Book–and others are
figurative. But they whose hearts are given to err, follow its figures,
craving discord, craving an interpretation; yet none knoweth its
interpretation but God. And the stable in knowledge say, "We believe in it:
it is all from our Lord." But none will bear this in mind, save men endued
with understanding.

O our Lord! suffer not our hearts to go astray after that thou hast once
guided us, and give us mercy from before thee; for verily thou art He who

O our Lord! For the day of whose coming there is not a doubt, thou wilt
surely gather mankind together. Verily, God will not fail the promise.

As for the infidels, their wealth, and their children, shall avail them
nothing against God. They shall be fuel for the fire.

After the wont of the people of Pharaoh, and of those who went before them,
they treated our signs as falsehoods. Therefore God laid hold of them in
their sins; and God is severe in punishing!

Say to the infidels: ye shall be worsted, and to Hell shall ye be gathered
together; and wretched the couch!

Ye have already had a sign5 in the meeting of the two hosts. The one host
fought in the cause of God, and the other was infidel. To their own eyesight,
the infidels saw you twice as many as themselves: And God aided with his
succour whom He would: And in this truly was a lesson for men endued with

Fair-seeming to men is the love of pleasures from women and children, and the
treasured treasures of gold and silver, and horses of mark, and flocks, and
cornfields! Such the enjoyment of this world's life. But God! goodly the home
with Him.

SAY: Shall I tell you of better things than these, prepared for those who
fear God, in His presence? Theirs shall be gardens, beneath whose pavilions
the rivers flow, and in which shall they abide for aye: and wives of
stainless purity, and acceptance with God: for God regardeth his servants–

Who say, "O our Lord! we have indeed believed; pardon us our sins, and keep
us from the torment of the fire;"–

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

God witnesseth that there is no god but He: and the angels, and men endued
with knowledge, stablished in righteousness, proclaim "There is no god but
He, the Mighty, the Wise!"

The true religion with God is Islam: and they to whom the Scriptures had been
given, differed not till after "the knowledge"6 had come to them, and through
mutual jealousy. But as for him who shall not believe in the signs of God–God
will be prompt to reckon with him!

If they shall dispute with thee, then SAY: I have surrendered myself to God,
as have they who follow me.

SAY to those who have received the Book, and to the common folk, Do ye
surrender yourselves unto God?7 If they become Muslims, then are they guided
aright: but if they turn away–thy duty is only preaching; and God's eye is on
His servants.

But to those who believe not in the signs of God, and unjustly slay the
prophets, and slay those men who enjoin uprightness,–announce an afflictive

These are they whose works come to nought in this world, and in the next; and
none shall they have to help them!

Hast thou not marked those who have received a portion of the Scriptures,
when they are summoned to the Book of God, that it may settle their
differences? Then did a part of them turn back, and withdrew far off.

This–because they said, "The fire shall by no means touch us, but for certain
days:"–Their own devices have deceived them in their religion.

But how, when we shall assemble them together for the day of (which) whose
coming there is no doubt, and when every soul shall be paid what it hath
earned, and they shall not be wronged?

SAY: O God, possessor of all power,8 thou givest power to whom thou wilt, and
from whom thou wilt, thou takest it away! Thou raisest up whom thou wilt, and
whom thou wilt thou dost abase! In thy hand is good; for thou art over all
things potent.

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

Let not believers take infidels for their friends rather than believers:
whoso shall do this hath nothing to hope from God–unless, indeed, ye fear a
fear from them: But God would have you beware of Himself; for to God ye
return. SAY: Whether ye hide what is in your breasts, or whether ye publish
it abroad, God knoweth it: He knoweth what is in the heavens and what is in
the earth; and over all things is God potent.

On that day shall every soul find present to it, whatever it hath wrought of
good: and as to what it hath wrought of evil, it will wish that wide were the
space between itself and it! But God would have you beware of Himself; for
God is kind to His servants.

SAY: If ye love God, then follow me: God will love you, and forgive your
sins, for God is Forgiving, Merciful. SAY: Obey God and the Apostle; but if
ye turn away, then verily, God loveth not the unbelievers.

Verily above all human beings did God choose Adam, and Noah, and the family
of Abraham, and the family of IMRAN, the one the posterity of the other: And
God Heareth, Knoweth.

Remember when the wife of Imran9 said, "O my Lord! I vow to thee what is in
my womb, for thy special service. Accept it from me, for thou Hearest,
Knowest!" And when she had given birth to it, she said, "O my Lord! Verily I
have brought forth a female,"–God knew what she had brought forth; a male is
not as a female10–"and I have named her Mary, and I take refuge with thee for
her and for her offspring, from Satan the stoned."11

So with goodly acceptance did her Lord accept her, and with goodly growth did
he make her grow.12 Zacharias reared her. So oft as Zacharias went in to Mary
at the sanctuary, he found her supplied with food.13 "Oh, Mary!" said he,
"whence hast thou this?" She said, "It is from God; for God supplieth whom He
will, without reckoning!"

There did Zacharias call upon his Lord: "O my Lord!" said he, "vouchsafe me
from thyself good descendants,14 for thou art the hearer of prayer." Then did
the angels call to him, as he stood praying in the sanctuary:15

"God announceth John (Yahia) to thee, who shall be a verifier of the word
from God, and a great one, chaste, and a prophet of the number of the just."

He said, "O my Lord! how shall I have a son, now that old age hath come upon
me, and my wife is barren?" He said, "Thus will God do His pleasure."

He said, "Lord! give me a token." He said, "Thy token shall be, that for
three days thou shalt speak to no man but by signs: But remember thy Lord
often, and praise him at even and at morn:"

And remember when the angels said, "O Mary! verily hath God chosen thee,16
and purified thee, and chosen thee above the women of the worlds!

O Mary! be devout towards thy Lord,17 and prostrate thyself, and bow down
with those who bow."

This is one of the announcements of things unseen by thee: To thee, O
Muhammad! do we reveal it; for thou wast not with them when they cast lots
with reeds18 which of them should rear Mary; nor wast thou with them when
they disputed about it.

Remember when the angel said, "O Mary! Verily God announceth to thee the Word
from Him: His name shall be, Messiah Jesus the son of Mary,19 illustrious in
this world, and in the next, and one of those who have near access to God;

And He shall speak to men alike when in the cradle and when grown up; And he
shall be one of the just."

She said, "How, O my Lord! shall I have a son, when man hath not touched me?"
He said, "Thus: God will create what He will; When He decreeth a thing, He
only saith, 'Be,' and it is."

And he will teach him the Book, and the Wisdom, and the Law, and the Evangel;
and he shall be an apostle to the children of Israel. "Now have I come," he
will say, "to you with a sign from your Lord: Out of clay will I make for
you, as it were, the figure of a bird: and I will breathe into it, and it
shall become, by God's leave, a bird.20 And I will heal the blind, and the
leper; and by God's leave will I quicken the dead; and I will tell you what
ye eat, and what ye store up in your houses! Truly in this will be a sign for
you, if ye are believers.

And I have come to attest the law which was before me; and to allow you part
of that which had been forbidden you; and I come to you with a sign from your
Lord: Fear God, then, and obey me; of a truth God is my Lord, and your Lord:
Therefore worship Him. This is a right way."

And when Jesus perceived unbelief on their part, He said, "Who my helpers
with God?"20-21 The apostles21 said, "We will be God's helpers! We believe in
God, and bear thou witness that we are Muslims.

O our Lord! we believe in what thou hast sent down, and we follow the
apostle; write us up, then, with those who bear witness to him."

And the Jews plotted, and God plotted: But of those who plot is God the best.

Remember when God said, "O Jesus! verily I will cause thee to die,22 and will
take thee up to myself and deliver thee from those who believe not; and I
will place those who follow thee above those who believe not, until the day
of resurrection. Then, to me is your return, and wherein ye differ will I
decide between you.

And as to those who believe not, I will chastise them with a terrible
chastisement in this world and in the next; and none shall they have to help

But as to those who believe, and do the things that are right, He will pay
them their recompense. God loveth not the doers of evil.

These signs, and this wise warning do we rehearse to thee.

Verily, Jesus is as Adam in the sight of God.23 He created him of dust: He
then said to him, "Be"–and he was.

The truth from thy Lord! Be not thou, therefore, of those who doubt.

As for those 24 who dispute with thee about Him, after "theknowledge" hath
come to thee, SAY: Come,25 let us summon our sons and your sons, our wives
and your wives, and ourselves and yourselves. Then will we invoke and lay the
malison of God on those that lie!

This recital is very truth, and there is no god but God; and verily God is
the Mighty, the Wise.

But if they turn away, then verily God hath knowledge of the corrupt doers.

SAY: O people of the Book! come ye to a just judgment between us and you–That
we worship not aught but God, and that we join no other god with Him, and
that the one of us take not the other for lords,26 beside God. Then if they
turn their backs, SAY: Bear ye witness that we are Muslims.

O people of the Book! Why dispute about Abraham,27 when the Law and the
Evangel were not sent down till after him? Do ye not then understand?

Lo! ye are they who dispute about that in which ye have knowledge; 28 but why
dispute ye about that of which ye have no knowledge? God hath knowledge, but
ye know nothing.

Abraham was neither Jew nor Christian; but he was sound in the faith,29 a
Muslim; and not of those who add gods to God.

They among men, who are nearest of kin to Abraham, are surely those who
follow him, and this prophet Muhammad, and they who believe on him. And God
is the protector of the faithful.

A party among the people of the Book would fain mislead you: but they only
mislead themselves, and perceive it not.

O people of the Book! why disbelieve the signs of God, of which yourselves
have been witnesses?

O people of the Book! why clothe ye the truth with falsehood? Why wittingly
hide the truth?

Others of the people of the Book say: "Believe in what hath been sent down to
the believers, at daybreak, and deny it at its close"–Thus do they go back–

"And believe in those only who follow your Religion." SAY: True guidance is
guidance from God–that to others may be imparted the like of what hath been
imparted to you. Will they wrangle then with you in the presence of their
Lord? SAY: Plenteous gifts are in the hands of God: He imparteth them unto
whom He will, and God is Bounteous, Wise.

He will vouchsafe His mercy to whom He will, for God is of great

Among the people of the Book are some, to one of whom if thou entrust a
thousand dinars, he will restore them to thee: And there is of them to whom
if thou entrust a dinar, he will not restore it to thee, unless thou be ever
instant with him.

This–because they say, "We are not bound to keep faith with the ignorant
(Pagan) folk, and they utter a lie against God, and know they do so:"

But whoso is true to his engagement, and feareth God,–verily God loveth those
that fear Him.

Verily they who barter their engagement with God, and their oaths, for some
paltry price–These! no portion for them in the world to come! and God will
not speak to them, and will not look on them, on the day of resurrection, and
will not assoil them! for them, a grievous chastisement!

And some truly are there among them who torture the Scriptures with their
tongues, in order that ye may suppose it to be from the Scripture, yet it is
not from the Scripture. And they say, "This is from God;" yet it is not from
God: and they utter a lie against God, and they know they do so.

It beseemeth not a man, that God should give him the Scriptures and the
Wisdom, and the gift of prophecy, and that then he should say to his
followers, "Be ye worshippers of me, as well as of God;" 30 but rather, "Be
ye perfect in things pertaining to God, since ye know the Scriptures, and
have studied deep."

God doth not command you to take the angels or the prophets as lords.31 What!
would he command you to become infidels after ye have been Muslims?

When God entered into covenant with the prophets,32 he said, "This is the
Book and the Wisdom which I give you. Hereafter shall a prophet came unto you
to confirm the Scriptures already with you. Ye shall surely believe on him,
and ye shall surely aid him. Are ye resolved?" said he, "and do ye accept the
covenant on these terms?" They said, "We are resolved;" "Be ye then the
witnesses," said he, "and I will be a witness as well as you.

And whoever turneth back after this, these are surely the perverse."

Other religion than that of God desire they? To him doth everything that is
in the Heavens and in the Earth submit, in willing or forced obedience! and
to Him do they return.

SAY: We believe in God, and in what hath been sent down to us, and what hath
been sent down to Abraham, and Ismael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes,
and in what was given to Moses, and Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord.
We make no difference between them. And to Him are we resigned (Muslims).

Whoso desireth any other religion than Islam, that religion shall never be
accepted from him, and in the next world he shall be among the lost.

How shall God guide a people who, after they had believed and bore witness
that the apostle was true, and after that clear proofs of his mission had
reached them, disbelieved? God guideth not the people who transgress.

These! their recompense, that the curse of God, and of angels, and of all
men, is on them!

Under it shall they abide for ever; their torment shall not be assuaged! nor
shall God even look upon them!–

Save those who after this repent and amend; for verily God is Gracious,

As for those who become infidels, after having believed, and then increase
their infidelity–their repentance shall never be accepted. These! they are
the erring ones.

As for those who are infidels, and die infidels, from no one of them shall as
much gold as the earth could contain be accepted, though he should offer it
in ransom. These! a grievous punishment awaiteth them; and they shall have
none to help them.

Ye shall never attain to goodness till ye give alms of that which ye love;
and whatever ye give, of a truth God knoweth it.

All food was allowed to the children of Israel, except what Jacob forbad
himself, ere the law was sent down; SAY: Bring ye then the law and read it,
if ye be men of truth.

And whoso after this inventeth the lie about God: These are evil doers.

SAY: God speaketh truth. Follow, therefore, the religion of Abraham, the
sound in faith, who was not one of those who joined other gods to God.

The first temple that was founded for mankind, was that in Becca,33–Blessed,
and a guidance to human beings.

In it are evident signs, even the standing-place34 of Abraham: and he who
entereth it is safe. And the pilgrimage to the temple, is a service due to
God from those who are able to journey thither.

And as to him who believeth not–verily God can afford to dispense with all

SAY: O people of the Book! why disbelieve ye the signs of God? But God is
witness of your doings.

SAY: O people of the Book! why repel believers from the way of God? Ye fain
would make it crooked, and yet ye are its witnesses! But God is not
regardless of what ye do.

O believers! if ye obey some amongst those who have received the Scripture,
after your very Faith will they make you infidels!

But how can ye become infidels, when the signs of God are recited to you, and
his prophet is among you? Whoever holdeth fast by God, is already guided to a
straight path.

O ye believers! fear God as He deserveth to be feared! and die not till ye
have become Muslims.

And hold ye fast by the cord 35 of God, all of you, and break not loose from
it; and remember God's goodness towards you, how that when ye were enemies,
He united your hearts, and by his favour ye became brethren;

And when ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, he drew you back from it.
Thus God clearly sheweth you his signs that ye may be guided;

And that there may be among you a people who invite to the Good, and enjoin
the Just, and forbid the Wrong. These are they with whom it shall be well.

And be ye not like those who have formed divisions, and fallen to variance
after the clear proofs have come to them. These! a terrible chastisement doth
await them,

On THE DAY when faces shall turn white, and faces shall turn black! And as to
those whose faces shall have turned black ". . . .What! after your belief
have ye become infidels? Taste then the chastisement, for that ye have been

And as to those whose faces shall have become white, they shall be within the
mercy of God: therein shall they abide for ever.

These are the signs of God: we recite them to thee in truth: And God willeth
not injustice to mankind.

Whatever is in the Heavens, and whatever is on the Earth, is God's. And to
God shall all things return.

Ye are the best folk that hath been raised up unto mankind. Ye enjoin the
Just, and ye forbid the Evil, and ye believe in God: And if the people of the
Book had believed, it had surely been better for them! Believers there are
among them, but most of them are perverse.

They will never inflict on you but a trifling damage; and if they do battle
with you, they shall turn their backs to you: then they shall not be

Shame shall be stamped upon them36 wherever found, unless they ally them with
God and men! And the wrath of God will they incur, and poverty shall be
stamped upon them! This–for that they believed not in the signs of God, and
slew the prophets unjustly: This–because they rebelled, and became

Yet all are not alike: Among the people of the Book is an upright folk, who
recite the signs of God in the night-season, and adore:

They believe in God and in the latter day, and enjoin justice, and forbid
evil, and speed on in good works. These are of the righteous.

And of whatever good ye do, ye shall not be denied the meed. God knoweth
those who fear Him.

But as for the infidels, their wealth, and their children shall avail them
nothing against God. They shall be the inmates of the fire, to abide therein

The alms which they bestow in this present life, are like a freezing wind,
which falleth upon and destroyeth the cornfields of a people who have been to
themselves unjust. God doeth them no injustice, but to themselves are they

O ye who have believed! form not intimacies among others than yourselves.
They will not fail to corrupt you. They long for your ruin. Hatred hath
already shewn itself out of their mouths, but more grievous is what their
breasts conceal. The tokens thereof we have already made plain to you, if ye
will comprehend.

See now! ye love them, but they love not you. Ye believe the entire Book. And
when they meet you, they say, "We believe;" but when they are apart, they
bite their fingers' ends at you, out of wrath. SAY: "Die in your wrath!" God
truly knoweth the very recesses of your breasts.

If good befalleth you it grieveth them, and when ill lighteth on you, they
rejoice in it. But if ye be steadfast and fear God, their craft shall in no
way harm you. For God is round about their doings.

And remember when thou didst leave thy household at early morn, that thou
mightest prepare the faithful a camp for the war;37–God heard, knew it–

When two troops of you became full of anxious thoughts, and lost heart, and
when God became the protector of both! In God, then, let the faithful trust.

God had already succoured you at Bedr, when ye were the weaker! Fear God,
then, that ye may be thankful.

Then thou didst say to the faithful, "Is it not enough for you that your Lord
aideth you with three thousand angels sent down from on high?"

Aye: but ye if be steadfast and fear God, and the foe come upon you in hot
haste, your Lord will help you with five thousand angels in their

This, as pure good tidings for you, did God appoint, that your hearts might
be assured–for only from God, the Mighty, the Wise, cometh the Victory–and
that He might cut off the uttermost part of those who believed not, or cast
them down so that they should be overthrown, defeated without resource.

It is none of thy concern whether He be turned unto them in kindness or
chastise them: for verily they are wrongful doers.

Whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth is God's! He forgiveth whom He will,
and whom He will, chastiseth: for God is Forgiving, Merciful.

O ye who believe! devour not usury, doubling it again and again! But fear
God, that ye may prosper.

And fear the fire which is prepared for them that believe not; and obey God
and the apostle, that ye may find mercy:

And vie in haste for pardon from your Lord, and a Paradise, vast as the
Heavens and the Earth, prepared for the God-fearing.

Who give alms, alike in prosperity and in success, and who master their
anger, and forgive others! God loveth the doers of good.

They who, after they have done a base deed or committed a wrong against their
own selves, remember God and implore forgiveness of their sins–and who will
forgive sins but God only?–and persevere not in what they have wittingly done

As for these! Pardon from their Lord shall be their recompense, and gardens
'neath which the rivers flow; for ever shall they abide therein: And goodly
the reward of those who labour!

Already, before your time, have examples been made! Traverse the earth, then,
and see what hath been the end of those who treat prophets as liars.

This Koran is a manifest to man, and a guidance, and a warning to the God-

And be not fainthearted, and be not sorrowful: For ye shall gain the upper
hand if ye be believers.39

If a wound hath befallen you, a wound like it hath already befallen others:
we alternate these days of successes and reverses among men, that God may
know those who have believed, and that He may take martyrs from among you,–
but God loveth not the wrongful doers–

And that God may test those who believe, and destroy the infidels.

Thought ye that ye should enter Paradise ere God had taken knowledge of those
among you who did valiantly, and of those who steadfastly endure?

Ye had desired death ere ye met it. But ye have now seen it–and ye have
beheld it–and fled from it!

Muhammad is no more than an apostle; other apostles have already passed away
before him: if he die, therefore,40 or be slain, will ye turn upon your
heels?41 But he who turneth on his heels shall not injure God at all: And God
will certainly reward the thankful!

No one can die except by God's permission, according to the Book that fixeth
the term of life.42 He who desireth the recompense of this world, we will
give him thereof; And he who desireth the recompense of the next life, we
will give him thereof! And we will certainly reward the thankful.

How many a prophet hath combated those who had with them many myriads! Yet
were they not daunted at what befel them on the path of God, nor were they
weakened, nor did they basely submit! God loveth those who endure with

Nor said they more than this:43 "O our Lord! forgive us our sins and our
mistakes in this our work; and set our feet firm; and help us against the
unbelieving people." And God gave them the recompense of this world, and the
excellence of the recompense of the next. For God loveth the doers of what is

O ye who have believed! if ye obey the infidels, they will cause you to turn
upon your heels,44 and ye will fall back into perdition:

But God is your liege lord, and He is the best of helpers.

We will cast a dread into hearts of the infidels because they have joined
gods with God without warranty sent down; their abode shall be the fire; and
wretched shall be the mansion of the evil doers.

Already had God made good to you His promise, when by His permission ye
destroyed your foes, until your courage failed you, and ye disputed about the
order,45 and disobeyed, after that the Prophet had brought you within view of
that for which ye longed.46

Some of you were for this world, and some for the next.47 Then, in order to
make trial of you, He turned you to flight from them,–yet hath He now
forgiven you; for all-bounteous is God to the faithful–

When ye came up the height48 and took no heed of any one, while the Prophet
in your rear was calling you to the fight! God hath rewarded you with trouble
upon trouble, that ye might learn not to be chagrined at your loss of booty,
or at what befel you! God is acquainted with your actions.

Then after the trouble God sent down security upon you. Slumber fell upon a
part of you: as to the other part–their own passions stirred them up to think
unjustly of God with thoughts of ignorance! They said–What gain we by this
affair? SAY: Verily the affair resteth wholly with God. They hid in their
minds what they did not speak out to thee, saying, "Were we to have gained
aught in this affair, none of us had been slain at this place." SAY: Had ye
remained in your homes, they who were decreed to be slain would have gone
forth to the places where they lie:–in order that God might make trial of
what was in your breasts, and might discover what was in your hearts, for God
knoweth the very secrets of the breast.

Of a truth it was Satan alone who caused those of you to fail in duty who
turned back on the day when the hosts met, for some of their doings! But now
hath God pardoned them; For God is Forgiving, Gracious.

O ye who believe! be not like the infidels, who said of their brethren when
they had travelled by land or had gone forth to war, "Had they kept with us,
they had not died, and had not been slain!" God purposed that this affair
should cause them heart sorrow! God maketh alive and killeth; and God
beholdeth your actions.

And if ye shall be slain or die on the path of God, then pardon from God and
mercy is better than all your amassings;

For if ye die or be slain, verily unto God shall ye be gathered.

Of the mercy of God thou hast spoken to them in gentle terms. Hadst thou been
severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from thee. Therefore,
forgive and ask for pardon for them, and consult them in the affair of war,
and when thou art resolved, then put thou thy trust in God, for God loveth
those who trust in Him.

If God help you, none shall overcome you; but if He abandon you, who is he
that shall help you when He is gone? In God, then, let the faithful trust.

It is not the Prophet who will defraud you;49–But he who shall defraud, shall
come forth with his defraudings on the day of the resurrection: then shall
every soul be paid what it hath merited, and they shall not be treated with

Shall he who hath followed the good pleasure of God be as he who hath brought
on himself wrath from God, and whose abode shall be Hell? and wretched the
journey thither!

There are varying grades with God: and God beholdeth what ye do.

Now hath God been gracious to the faithful, when he raised up among them an
apostle out of their own people, to rehearse unto them his signs, and to
cleanse them, and to give them knowledge of the Book and of Wisdom: for
before they were in manifest error.

When a reverse hath befallen you,50 the like of which ye had before
inflicted, say ye, "Whence is this?" SAY: It is from yourselves. For God hath
power over all things.

And that which befel you on the day when the armies met, was certainly by the
will of God, and that he might know the faithful, and that he might know the
hypocrites! And when the word was "Advance, fight on the path of God, or
drive back the foe,"–they said, "Had we known how to fight, we would have
followed you." Nearer were some of them on that day to unbelief, than to

They said with their lips what was not in their hearts! But God knew what
they concealed,

Who said of their brethren while themselves sat at home,

"Had they obeyed us, they had not been slain." SAY: Keep back death from
yourselves if ye speak truth.

And repute not those slain on God's path to be dead.51 Nay, alive with their
Lord, are they richly sustained;

Rejoicing in what God of his bounty hath vouchsafed them, filled with joy for
those who follow after them, but have not yet overtaken them, that on them
nor fear shall come, nor grief;

Filled with joy at the favours of God, and at his bounty: and that God
suffereth not the reward of the faithful to perish.

As to those who after the reverse52 which befel them, respond to God and the
Apostle–such of them as do good works and fear God, shall have a great

Who, when men said to them, "Now are the Meccans mustering against you;
therefore fear them!" it only increased their faith, and they said, "Our
sufficiency is God, and He is an excellent protector."

They returned, therefore, with the favour of God, enriched by Him, and
untouched by harm; and they followed what was well pleasing to God. And God
is of great Munificence.

Only would that Satan53 instil the fear of his adherents: Fear them not, but
fear me if ye are believers.

Let not those who vie in haste after infidelity grieve thee: Verily not one
whit shall they injure God! God will refuse them all part in the life to
come: a severe chastisement shall be their lot.

They truly who purchase infidelity at the price of their faith, shall not
injure God one whit! and a grievous chastisement shall be their lot.

Let not the infidels deem that the length of days we give them is good for
them! We only give them length of days that they may increase their sins! and
a shameful chastisement shall be their lot.

It is not in God to leave the faithful in the State in which they are, until
he sever the bad from the good:

Nor is God minded to lay open the secret things to you, but God chooseth whom
he will of his apostles to know them.54 Believe, therefore, in God and his
apostles: and if ye believe and fear God, a great reward awaiteth you.

And let not those who are niggard of what God hath vouchsafed them in his
bounty, think that this will be good for them–Nay, it will be bad for them–

That of which they have been niggard shall be their collar on the day of the
resurrection. God's, the heritage of the Heavens and of the Earth! And God is
well-informed of all ye do.

Now hath God heard the saying of those who said: "Aye, God is poor and we are
rich."55 We will surely write down their sayings, and their unjust slaughter
of the prophets; and and we will say, "Taste ye the torment of the burning.

This, for what your hands have sent before you; and because God will not
inflict a wrong upon his servants!"

To those who say, "Verily, God hath enjoined us that we are not to credit an
apostle until he present us a sacrifice which fire out of Heaven shall

SAY: Already have apostles before me come to you with miracles, and with that
of which ye speak. Wherefore slew ye them? Tell me, if ye are men of truth.

And if they treat thee as a liar, then verily apostles have been treated as
liars before thee, though they came with clear proofs of their mission, and
with Scriptures, and with the light-giving Book.

Every soul shall taste of death: and ye shall only receive your recompenses
on the day of resurrection. And whoso shall scape the fire, and be brought
into Paradise, shall be happy. And the life of this world is but a cheating

Ye shall assuredly be tried in your possessions and in yourselves. And many
hurtful things shall ye assuredly hear from those to whom the Scriptures were
given before you, and from those who join other gods with God. But if ye be
steadfast, and fear God this verily is needed in the affairs of life.

Moreover, when God entered into a convenant with those to whom the Scriptures
had been given, and said, "Ye shall surely make it known to mankind and not
hide it," they cast it behind their backs, and sold it for a sorry price! But
vile is that for which they have sold it.

Suppose not that they who rejoice in what they have brought to pass, and love
to be praised for what they have not done56–suppose not they shall escape the
chastisement. An afflictive chastisement doth await them,

For the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth is God's, and God hath power
over all things.

Verily, in the creation of the Heavens and of the Earth, and in the
succession of the night and of the day, are signs for men of understanding

Who standing, and sitting, and reclining, bear God in mind, and muse on the
creation of the Heavens and of the Earth. "O our Lord!" say they, "thou hast
not created this in vain. No. Glory be to Thee! Keep us, then, from the
torment of the fire.

O our Lord! surely thou wilt put him to shame whom thou shalt cause to enter
into the Fire, and the wrong-doers shall have none to help them.

O our Lord! we have indeed heard the voice of one that called. He called us
to the faith–’Believe on your Lord’–and we have believed.

O our Lord! forgive us then our sin, and hide away from us our evil deeds,
and cause us to die with the righteous.

O our Lord! and give us what thou hast promised us by thine apostles, and put
us not to shame on the day of the resurrection. Verily, Thou wilt not fail
thy promise."

And their Lord answereth them, "I will not suffer the work of him among you
that worketh, whether of male or female, to be lost. The one of you is the
issue of the other.57

And they who have fled their country and quitted their homes and suffered in
my cause, and have fought and fallen, I will blot out their sins from them,
and I will bring them into gardens beneath which the streams do flow."

A recompense from God! and God! with His is the perfection of recompense!

Let not prosperity in the land58 on the part of those who believe not,
deceive thee. 'Tis but a brief enjoyment! Then shall Hell be their abode; and
wretched the bed!

But as to those who fear their Lord–for them are the gardens 'neath which the
rivers flow: therein shall they abide for aye. Such their reception with God–
and that which is with God is best for the righteous.

Among the people of the Book are those who believe in God, and in what He
hath sent down to you, and in what He hath sent down to them, humbling
themselves before God. They barter not the signs of God for a mean price.

These! their recompense awaiteth them with their Lord: aye! God is swift to
take account.

O ye who believe! be patient, and vie in patience, and be firm, and fear God,
that it may be well with you.


1 Verses 1-87 probably belong to the period between the battle of Bedr and
Hej. 6.–Muhammad supposed Imran or Amran to be the father of the Virgin Mary
(Sura [cix.] lxvi. 12)–Mary and Elizabeth to be sisters; who, with Jesus,
John, and Zacharias, make up the family of Imran. It is difficult to avoid
the conclusion that Muhammad is guilty of the anachronism of confounding
Miriam with the Virgin Mary. On the other hand is the difficulty of
conceiving that as the sequence of time and fact is observed with tolerable
accuracy in regard to the main features of Jewish and Christian History, he
should have fallen into so serious an error, or have so inadvertently
adopted, as Mr. Muir supposes, the phraseology of his Jewish informants
(amongst whom the only well-known Mary (Miriam) was the daughter of Imran and
the sister of Moses) as to have overlooked the discrepancy in their
respective dates. But it is possible that Muhammad believed, as some Muslim
writers assert, that Miriam's soul and body were miraculously preserved till
the time of Jesus in order to become Mary his mother. Certainly the
Talmudists fabled that the Angel of Death and the worm of corruption had no
power over Miriam. Comp. Babha Bathra, 17. Jos. Ant. iv. 4, 6.

2 See note, p. 32.

3 See Sura xxi. 49, p. 154, n.

4 Lit. mother.

5 In the battle of Bedr, Muhammad, with 319 followers routed 1000 Meccans,
A.H. 2.

6 That is, knowledge, or revelation, became the cause of disputings.

7 That is, will ye receive Islam? The Ummiin, or common folk, the heathen
Arabians destitute of Revelation. In the earliest extant biography of
Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq, we find these words addressed by Zaid, previous to the
assumption of the prophetic office by Muhammad, to the Koreisch. This is one
of the facts which shew that the way was to a great extent prepared for
Islam. This whole address of Zaid's–which contains not less than six passages
afterwards repeated in the Koran–may be seen in Dr. Sprenger's Life of M. p.
42. The instances of others who had learned to disbelieve in idolatry, and
had either become Jews or Christians, or held their minds in suspense, might
easily be multiplied. Comp. Sharastani, p. 437. Masudi, ch. 6.

8 The King of the Kingdom, or, Lord of Might. This verse and the following
are either fragments of some lost Sura, or belonging to one of the Meccan
Suras. At any rate, they are misplaced, interrupting as they do the
connection of the preceding and subsequent verses.

9 The wife of Imran is Hannah or Anne. Comp. Protev. Jac. iv. [greek text].–
Evang. de Nat. Mar. 1: Voverunt tamen (Mari‘ parentes) si forte donaret eis
Deus sobolem, eam se Dni servitio mancipaturos.–Although Muhammad had no
direct access to the Apocryphal Gospels, yet these may have influenced, or at
any rate, contained much in common with, the ordinary traditions of S. Syria.
And of this, the Immaculate Conception of the B. V. Mary, supposed by Gibbon
(ch. 50) to have been "borrowed from the Koran," probably formed a part.

10 That is, the female could not become a priest.

11 See note, p. 114.

12 According to a tradition of Muhammad every new-born child is touched by
Satan, with the exception of Mary and her Son, between whom and Satan God
interposed a veil. (Djelal. Beidh.) Hence this passage may imply the
Immaculate Conception of the B. V. Mary. See v. 37 below.

13 Evang. de Nat. Mar. 7: Quotidie ab angelis frequentabatur, quotidie divinâ
visione fruebatur, queam a malis omnibus custodiebat et bonis omnibus
redundare faciebat. Protev. Jac. 8: [greek text]. Hist. Nativ. Mar. 6:
Quotidie escâ, quam de manu angeli accipiebat, ipsâ tantum reficiebatur.

14 The word rendered descendants is a collective noun. Gerock (p. 20) thinks
that Zacharias' prayer was not for a son of his own, but for an adopted son–
as, for instance, the future husband of Mary who might become his heir, and
hence accounts for his surprise and unbelief at the announcement of John.

15 Lit. chamber. By this may be meant an [greek text] of the Temple Comp.
Luke i. 21.

16 Luke i. 28.

17 Hist. de Nativ. Mar. 6: Abierunt simul Joachim et Anna uxor ejus ad
templum domini, et . . . tradiderunt . . . Mariam in contubernio virginum qu‘
die noctuque in Dei laudibus manebant.

18 These reeds, say the commentators, were written over with passages from
the law, and cast into Jordan. That of Zacharias alone swam, and was the
token that the charge of Mary was to devolve on him. Others render, their
divining arrows. See a detailed account of the manner in which this matter
was settled by [greek text], virgae, in Protev. Jac. Thilo. p. 204. Hist.
Nat. Mar. ib. p. 359 sqq.

19 Ar. El-Mesich Isa ben Mariam, illustrious in this world as a Prophet, in
the next as an Intercessor. Beidh.

20 Evang. Thom‘, ch. 2 (Thilo. p. 281) and Evang. Infantiæ Arab. ch. 36, 46.
(Thilo. p. 111, 123.)

20-21a (0) Addenda: Lit. who my helpers unto God?  i.e., helpers of his
religion (Beidh).  If Muhammad had become, by any means, acquainted with the
use of the Æth. radeh, helper or disciple, we have herein a probable
interpretation of this passage, as well as of the word Ansar.

21 See Sura [cxiv.] v. 111.

22 Muhammad probably believed that God took the dead body of Jesus to Heaven–
for three hours according to some–while the Jews crucified a man who
resembled him. Sura [c.] iv. 156. The word motewaffika (comp. Sura [lxxx.]
xxxix. 156) means, in speaking of God, to cause to die, take to himself. It
would also seem from Sura [lviii.] xix. 34, that Muhammad supposed Jesus to
have died a natural death, though it is nowhere said how long he continued in
that state. The Muhammadans believe that Jesus on his return to earth at the
end of the world will slay the Antichrist, die, and be raised again. A vacant
place is reserved for his body in the Prophet's tomb at Medina. See Lieut.
Burton's Pilgrimage, vol. ii.

23 Lit. verily the similitude or analogy of Isa is as the similitude or
analogy of Adam, i.e. neither of them had a human father.

24 This refers to an embassy from the Christians in Nedjran in Arabia, with
their Bishop, Abu Hareth, at their head, to Muhammad at Medina, who had now
acquired political power. The embassy declined to be parties to the strange
mode of settling the dispute here proposed, but consented to pay tribute on
condition of not being molested in their religion or lands.

25 If this be not a mere figure of speech, it must mean let us call over and
curse the names, the persons being at a distance.

26 As the Christians do their Bishops and Priests.

27 Whether he were a Jew or Christian.

28 About Moses and Jesus, and their respective faiths.

29 See Sura xvi. 121, p. 209, note.

30 Muhammad insinuates that the claim to be equal with God could never have
been made by Jesus himself, but by his followers, in ignorance of the
Scriptures and of his true nature.

31 That is, to call them rabb–a title due only to God.

32 Assembled on Mount Sinai. Compare the Jewish legend, that all the
prophets, even those who were not yet born, were present on Mount Sinai, when
God gave the law to Moses. See Shemoth Rabba. Parashah 28, according to
which, not only the Prophets but the Rabbis of every generation, were present
at the giving of the Law.

33 Becca, place of crowding, i.e. Mecca. This sentence, together with other
Suras–the Cave, Mary, Imran, Repentance, T, H, are woven into the Kiswah or
covering of the Caaba, which is renewed annually.

34 The Makam Ibrahim (praying place of Abraham) is a small building supported
by six pillars about 8 ft. high, four of which are surrounded from top to
bottom by a fine iron railing, while they leave the space between the two
hind pillars open; within the railing is a frame about 5 ft. square, said to
contain the sacred stone on which Ibrahim stood when he built the Caaba.
Burckhardt. Lieut. Burton (Pilgrimage, iii. 336) says that as the Arab
tradition speaks clearly and consistently as to the fact of Abraham having
visited Mecca to build the Caaba, it may be considered an open question. Thus
also Dr. G. W. Freytag (Einl.).

35 The Koran.

36 Or, they are smitten with. Sale. S'etendra comme une tente. Kas.

37 This probably refers to the battle of Ohod.

38 The Arabic word occurs at verse 13 of horses as known by certain marks. So
here these angels would be known by their accoutrements, etc.

39 This and the following verses to 154 were probably revealed shortly after
the reverse of Ohod.

40 This verse and xxxix. 31 (p.257) were recited at Muhammad's death by Abu
Bekr, in order to convince Omar and the other Muslims of the possibility of
that event. It has been supposed that these passages were invented by Abu
Bekr on this occasion, and inserted into the Koran. But this is more than
doubtful. See Nöldeke, pp. 199-201.

41 That is, return to idolatry. A report had been spread in the battle of
Ohod that Muhammad had been slain.

42 Lit. according to a writing (i.e. of God) definite. The Rabbins also teach
(Com. Tract. Rosch. Haschanah) that there are books in which God has written
down the lifetime of every individual. Lit. No soul can die.

43 Lit. and their saying was no other than that they said.

44 To relapse into infidelity. The Koreisch attempted to seduce the Muslims
to renounce their faith after the battle of Ohod.

45 The command to abstain from taking the spoils. This disobedience turned
the scale of victory against the Muslims.

46 Victory and plunder.

47 Some took to flight, others stood firm, and were not careful of their

48 That is, in confused rout.

49 Muhammad had been accused of having secretly appropriated a portion of the

50 At Ohod.

51 See Sura [xci.] ii. 149.

52  At Ohod; lit. wound.

53 Lit. that Satan. Said to refer to Noaim, or Abu Sofian, the leader of the

54 This is an answer to the taunt that Muhammad could not distinguish true
believers from hypocrites.

55 This was the taunt of the Jews of the tribe of Kainoka, when Muhammad
demanded tribute of them in the name of God.

56 That is, who rejoice in their successful corruptions of their own sacred
books, especially the testimony of Moses to Muhammad, and in their own
fancied righteousness. Thus some of the commentators.

57 Lit. some of you are from others. These words were occasioned by one of
the Prophet's wives having told him that God often praised the men, but not
the women, who had fled their country for the faith. Beidh.

58 Lit. their movements, their comings and goings. Hence, the success of the
Meccans in their trading journeys. This may point to the comparative freedom
from trade and general independence of the Meccans after the affair at Ohod.


MEDINA.–14 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ALL that is in the Heavens and all that is on the Earth praiseth God. He is
the Mighty, the Wise!

Believers! why profess ye that which ye practise not?1

Most hateful is it to God that ye say that which ye do not.

Verily God loveth those who, as though they were a solid wall, do battle for
his cause in serried lines!

And bear in mind when Moses said to his people, "Why grieve ye me, O my
people, when ye know that I am God's apostle unto you?" And when they went
astray, God led their hearts astray; for God guideth not a perverse people:

And remember when Jesus the son of Mary said, "O children of Israel! of a
truth I am God's apostle to you to confirm the law which was given before me,
and to announce an apostle that shall come after me whose name shall be
Ahmad!"2 But when he (Ahmad) presented himself with clear proofs of his
mission, they said, "This is manifest sorcery!"

But who more impious than he who when called to Islam deviseth a falsehood
concerning God? God guideth not the wicked!

Fain would they put out the light of God with their mouths! but though the
Infidels hate it, God will perfect his light.

He it is who hath sent his apostle with guidance and the religion of truth,
that, though they hate it who join other gods with God, He may make it
victorious over every other religion.

O ye who believe! shall I shew you a merchandise that shall deliver you from
the sore torment?

Believe in God and his apostle, and do valiantly in the cause of God with
your wealth and with your persons! This, did ye but know it, will be best for

Your sins will He forgive you, and He will bring you into gardens beneath
whose shades the rivers flow–into charming abodes in the gardens of Eden:
This shall be the great bliss.–

And other things which ye desire will he bestow, Help from God and speedy
conquest!3 Bear thou these tidings to the faithful.

O ye who believe! be helpers (ansars) of God; as said Jesus the son of Mary
to his apostles, "Who will come to the help of God?" "We," said the apostles,
"will be helpers of God." And a part of the children of Israel believed, and
a part believed not. But to those who believed gave we the upperhand over
their foes, and soon did they prove victorious.


1 Addressed to the Muslims who had turned their backs to the enemy at Ohod.

2 Muhammad had no doubt heard that Jesus had promised a Paracletos, John xvi.
7. This title, understood by him, probably from the similarity of sound, as
equivalent to Periclytos, he applied to himself with reference to his own
name Muhammad (i.e. praised, glorified) from the same root and of the same
meaning as Ahmad, also one of the Prophet's names. It may be here remarked
that the name Muhammad, if pronounced Muhammed, "might be understood by an
Arab in an active instead of a passive sense." (Lane, Kor. p. 52.) Other
passages of Scripture understood by Muslims of their Prophet are Deut.
xxxiii. 2, where Paran is said to mean Islam; Isai. xxi. 6, where the "rider
on the ass" is Jesus, the "rider on the camel" Muhammad; Matt. xx. 1-16,
where the morning, noon, and even are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; John
iv. 21; 1 John iv. 2, 3, where Muhammad is said to be "the spirit that is of
God," because he proclaimed that Jesus was a true man and not God.

3 If this allude to a meditated attack on the Banu Nadir (see Sura [cii.]
lix.) we have a clue to the probable date of the Sura. The promise, however,
may be general. But the tone of verse 9 evidently points to a period when, as
at Medina, the prospects of Islam were becoming hopeful.


MEDINA.1–29 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ALL that is in the Heavens and in the Earth praiseth God, and He is the
Mighty, the Wise!

His the Kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth; He maketh alive and killeth;
and He hath power over all things!

He is the first and the last; the Seen and the Hidden;2 and He knoweth all

It is He who in six days created the Heavens and the Earth, then ascended His
throne. He knoweth that which entereth the earth, and that which goeth forth
from it, and what cometh down from Heaven, and what mounteth up to it; and
wherever ye are, He is with you; and God beholdeth all your actions!

His the kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth; and to God shall all things

He causeth the night to pass into the day, and He causeth the day to pass
into the night: and He knoweth the very secrets of the bosom!

Believe in God and his apostle, and bestow in alms of that whereof God hath
made you heirs: for whoever among you believe and give alms–their's shall be
a great recompense.

What hath come to you that ye believe not in God, although the apostle
exhorteth you to believe in your Lord, and He hath accepted your alliance–if
ye are true believers?

He it is who hath sent down clear tokens upon His servant, that He may bring
you out of darkness into light; and truly, Kind, Merciful to you is God.

And what hath come to you that ye expend not for the cause of God? since the
heritage of the Heavens and of the Earth is God's only! Those among you who
contributed before the victory, and fought, shall be differently treated from
certain others among you! Such shall have a nobler grade than those who
contributed and fought after it. But a goodly recompense hath God promised to
all; and God is fully informed of your actions.

Who is he that will lend a generous loan to God? So will He double it to him,
and he shall have a noble reward.

One day thou shalt see the believers, men and women, with their light running
before them, and on their right hand.3 The angels shall say to them, "Good
tidings for you this day of gardens beneath whose shades the rivers flow, in
which ye shall abide for ever!" This the great bliss!

On that day the hypocrites, both men and women, shall say to those who
believe, "Tarry for us, that we may kindle our light at yours." It shall be
said, "Return ye back, and seek light for yourselves." But between them shall
be set a wall with a gateway, within which shall be the Mercy, and in front,
without it, the Torment. They shall cry to them, "Were we not with you?" They
shall say, "Yes! but ye led yourselves into temptation, and ye delayed, and
ye doubted, and the good things ye craved deceived you, till the doom of God
arrived:–and the deceiver deceived you in regard to God."

On that day, therefore, no ransom shall be taken from you or from those who
believe not:–your abode the fire!–This shall be your master!4 and wretched
the journey thither!

Hath not the time come, for those who believe, to humble their hearts at the
warning of God and at the truth which he hath sent down? and that they be not
as those to whom the Scriptures were given heretofore, whose lifetime was
prolonged, but whose hearts were hardened, and many of them were perverse?

Know that God quickeneth the earth after its death! Now have we made these
signs clear to you, that ye may understand.

Verily, they who give alms, both men and women, and they who lend a generous
loan to God,–doubled shall it be to them–and they shall have a noble

And they who believed in God and his apostle are the men of truth, and the
witnesses in the presence of their Lord;5 They shall have their recompense
and their light: But as for the infidels, and those who give the lie to our
signs, these shall be the inmates of Hell.

Know ye that this world's life is only a sport, and pastime, and show, and a
cause of vainglory among you! And the multiplying of riches and children is
like the plants which spring up after rain–Their growth rejoiceth the
husband-man; then they wither away, and thou seest them all yellow; then they
become stubble. And in the next life is a severe chastisement,

Or else pardon from God and His satisfaction: and this world's life is but a
cheating fruition.6

Vie in hasting after pardon from your Lord, and Paradise–whose outspread is
as the outspread of the Heaven and of the Earth: Prepared is it for those who
believe in God and His apostles: Such is the bounty of God: to whom He will
He giveth it: and of immense bounty is God!

No mischance chanceth either on earth or in your own persons, but ere we
created them, it was in the Book;7–for easy is this to God–

Lest ye distress yourselves if good things escape you, and be over joyous for
what falleth to your share. God loveth not the presumptuous, the boaster,

Who are covetous themselves and incite others to covetousness. But whose
turneth away from almsgiving–Ah! God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy.

We have sent our apostles with the clear tokens, and we have caused the Book
and the balance8 to descend with them, that men might observe fairness. And
we have sent down IRON. Dire evil9 resideth in it, as well as advantage, to
mankind! God would know who will assist Him and his apostle in secret.
Verily, God is Powerful, Strong.

And of old sent we Noah and Abraham, and on their seed conferred the gift of
prophecy, and the Book; and some of them we guided aright; but many were evil

Then we caused our apostles to follow in their footsteps; and we caused Jesus
the son of Mary to follow them; and we gave him the Evangel,10 and we put
into the hearts of those who followed him kindness and compassion: but as to
the monastic life, they invented it themselves. The desire only of pleasing
God did we prescribe to them, and this they observed not as it ought to have
been observed: but to such of them as believed gave we their reward, though
many of them were perverse.

O ye who believe! fear God and believe in his apostle: two portions of his
mercy will He give you. He will bestow on you light to walk in, and He will
forgive you: for God is Forgiving, Merciful;

That the people of the Book may know that they have no control over aught of
the favours of God, and that these gifts of grace11 are in the hands of God,
and that He vouchsafeth them to whom he will; for God is of immense bounty.


1 The general tone of this Sura shews it to have been revealed at Medina, and
from verse 22 it may be inferred that its true date lies between the battle
of Ohod and the battle of the Ditch.

2 Lit. the exterior and the interior.

3 To guide them on their route to paradise.

4 Patronus. Mar. Beschutzer. Ullm. Or, what ye have deserved.

5 Against the infidels.

6 Supellex deceptionis. Mar.

7 Of our eternal decrees.

8 Brought by Gabriel to Noah, who imparted its use to his posterity. So say
the commentators. But the expression seems rather to be figurative. Comp.
Sura lv. 6, p. 74.

9 Or, mighty warlike strength, but the antithesis requires the rendering
given in the text. Comp. Gen. iv. 22, and Michna Tr. Aboth, 5, 9.

10 We are not to understand by the word Evangel the actual volume of the New
Testament, or any one of its component parts, but rather the revelation made
to Jesus by God himself, which Muhammad may have imagined to have been
committed to writing subsequently, in the same way as his own Koran.

11 The word in the original is the same for favours, gifts of grace, bounty.
The reference is to the gift of prophecy (Beidh.) mentioned verse 27.


MEDINA.–175 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

O MEN! fear your Lord, who hath created you of one man (nafs, soul), and of
him created his wife, and from these twain hath spread abroad so many men and
WOMEN. And fear ye God, in whose name ye ask mutual favours,–and reverence
the wombs that bare you. Verily is God watching over you!

And give to the orphans their property; substitute not worthless things of
your own for their valuable ones, and devour not their property after adding
it to your own; for this is a great crime.

And if ye are apprehensive that ye shall not deal fairly with orphans, then,
of other women who seem good in your eyes, marry but two, or three, or four;2
and if ye still fear that ye shall not act equitably, then one only; or the
slaves whom ye have acquired: this will make justice on your part easier.
Give women their dowry freely; but if of themselves they give up aught
thereof to you, then enjoy it as convenient, and profitable:

And entrust not to the incapable the substance which God hath placed with you
for their support; but maintain them therewith, and clothe them, and speak to
them with kindly speech.

And make trial of orphans until they reach the age of marriage; and if ye
perceive in them a sound judgment, then hand over their substance to them;
but consume ye it not wastefully, or by hastily entrusting it to them;

Because they are growing up. And let the rich guardian not even touch it; and
let him who is poor use it for his support (eat of it) with discretion.

And when ye make over their substance to them, then take witnesses in their
presence: God also maketh a sufficient account.

Men ought to have a part of what their parents and kindred leave; and women3
a part of what their parents and kindred leave: whether it be little or much,
let them have a stated portion.

And when they who are of kin are present at the division, and the orphans and
the poor, let them too have a share; and speak to them with kindly speech.

And let those be afraid to wrong the orphans, who, should they leave behind
them weakly offspring, would be solicitous on their account. Let them,
therefore, fear God, and let them propose what is right.

Verily they who swallow the substance of the orphan wrongfully, shall swallow
down only fire into their bellies, and shall burn in the flame!

With regard to your children, God commandeth you to give the male the portion
of two females; and if they be females more than two, then they shall have
two-thirds of that which their father hath left: but if she be an only
daughter, she shall have the half; and the father and mother of the deceased
shall each of them have a sixth part of what he hath left, if he have a
child; but if he have no child, and his parents be his heirs, then his mother
shall have the third: and if he have brethren, his mother shall have the
sixth, after paying the bequests he shall have bequeathed, and his debts. As
to your fathers, or your children, ye know not which of them is the most
advantageous to you. This is the law of God. Verily, God is Knowing, Wise!

Half of what your wives leave shall be your's, if they have no issue; but if
they have issue, then a fourth of what they leave shall be your's, after
paying the bequests they shall bequeath, and debts.

And your wives shall have a fourth part of what ye leave, if ye have no
issue; but if ye have issue, then they shall have an eighth part of what ye
leave, after paying the bequests ye shall bequeath, and debts.

If a man or a woman make a distant relation their heir, and he or she have a
brother or a sister, each of these two shall have a sixth; but if there are
more than this, then shall they be sharers in a third, after payment of the
bequests he shall have bequeathed, and debts,

Without loss to any one. This is the ordinance of God, and God is Knowing,

These are the precepts of God; and whoso obeyeth God and his prophet, him
shall God bring into gardens beneath whose shades the rivers flow, therein to
abide for ever: and this, the great blessedness!

And whoso shall rebel against God and his apostle, and shall break His
bounds, him shall God place in the fire to abide therein for ever; and his
shall be a shameful torment.

If any of your women be guilty of whoredom, then bring four witnesses against
them from among yourselves; and if they bear witness to the fact, shut them
up within their houses till death release them,4 or God make some way for

And if two men among you commit the same crime, then punish them both; but if
they turn and amend, then let them be: for God is He who turneth, Merciful!

With God himself will the repentance of those who have done evil ignorantly,
and then turn speedily unto Him, be accepted. These! God will turn unto
them:for God is Knowing, Wise!

But no place of repentance shall there be for those who do evil, until, when
death is close to one of them, he saith, "Now verily am I turned to God;" nor
to those who die unbelievers. These! we have made ready for them a grievous

O believers! it is not allowed you to be heirs of your wives against their
will; nor to hinder them from marrying, in order to take from them part of
the dowry you had given them, unless they have been guilty of undoubted
lewdness; but associate kindly with them: for if ye are estranged from them,
haply ye are estranged from that in which God hath placed abundant good.

And if ye be desirous to exchange one wife for another, and have given one of
them a talent, make no deduction from it. Would ye take it by slandering her,
and with manifest wrong?

How, moreover, could ye take it, when one of you hath gone in unto the other,
and they have received from you a strict bond of union?

And marry not women whom your fathers have married: for this is a shame, and
hateful, and an evil way: though what is past5 may be allowed.

Forbidden to you are your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and
your aunts, both on the father and mother's side, and your nieces on the
brother and sister's side, and your foster-mothers, and your foster-sisters,
and the mothers of your wives, and your step-daughters who are your wards,
born of your wives to whom ye have gone in: (but if ye have not gone in unto
them, it shall be no sin in you to marry them;) and the wives of your sons
who proceed out of your loins; and ye may not have two sisters; except where
it is already done. Verily, God is Indulgent, Merciful!

Forbidden to you also are married women, except those who are in your hands
as slaves: This is the law of God for you. And it is allowed you, beside
this, to seek out wives by means of your wealth, with modest conduct, and
without fornication. And give those with whom ye have cohabited their dowry.
This is the law. But it shall be no crime in you to make agreements over and
above the law. Verily, God is Knowing, Wise!

And whoever of you is not rich enough to marry free believing women, then let
him marry such of your believing maidens as have fallen into your hands as
slaves; God well knoweth your faith. Ye are sprung the one from the other.
Marry them, then, with the leave of their masters, and give them a fair
dower: but let them be chaste and free from fornication, and not entertainers
of lovers.

If after marriage they commit adultery, then inflict upon them half the
penalty enacted for free married women. This law is for him among you who is
afraid of doing wrong:6 but if ye abstain,7 it will be better for you. And
God is Lenient, Merciful.

God desireth to make this known to you, and to guide you into the ways of
those who have been before you, and to turn Him unto you in mercy. And God is
Knowing, Wise!

God desireth thus to turn him unto you: but they who follow their own lusts,
desire that with great swerving should ye swerve! God desireth to make your
burden light: for man hath been created weak.

O believers! devour not each other's substance in mutual frivolities;8 unless
there be a trafficking among you by your own consent: and commit not
suicide:–of a truth God is merciful to you.

And whoever shall do this maliciously and wrongfully, we will in the end cast
him into the fire; for this is easy with God.

If ye avoid the great sins which ye are forbidden, we will blot out your
faults, and we will cause you to enter Paradise with honourable entry.

Covet not the gifts by which God hath raised some of you above others. The
men shall have a portion according to their deserts, and the women a portion
according to their deserts. Of God, therefore, ask his gifts. Verily, God
hath knowledge of all things.

To every one have we appointed kindred, as heirs of what parents and
relatives, and those with whom ye have joined right hands in contract, leave.
Give therefore, to each their portion. Verily, God witnesseth all things.

Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God hath
gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from
their substance for them. Virtuous women are obedient, careful, during the
husband's absence, because God hath of them been careful.9 But chide those
for whose refractoriness ye have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart,
and scourage them: but if they are obedient to you, then seek not occasion
against them: verily, God is High, Great!

And if ye fear a breach between man and wife, then send a judge chosen from
his family, and a judge chosen from her family: if they are desirous of
agreement, God will effect a reconciliation between them; verily, God is
knowing, apprised of all!

Worship God, and join not aught with Him in worship. Be good to parents,10
and to kindred, and to orphans, and to the poor, and to a neighbour, whether
kinsman or new-comer, and to a fellow traveller, and to the wayfarer, and to
the slaves whom your right hands hold; verily, God loveth not the proud, the
vain boaster,

Who are niggardly themselves, and bid others be niggards, and hide away what
God of his bounty hath given them. We have made ready a shameful chastisement
for the unbelievers,

And for those who bestow their substance in alms to be seen of men, and
believe not in God and in the last day. Whoever hath Satan for his companion,
an evil companion hath he!

But what blessedness would be theirs, if they should believe in God and in
the last day, and bestow alms out of what God hath vouchsafed them; for God
taketh knowledge of them!

God truly will not wrong any one of the weight of a mote; and if there be any
good deed, he will repay it doubly; and from his presence shall be given a
great recompense.

How! when we shall bring up against them witnesses from all peoples, and when
we shall bring thee up as witness against these? On that day they who were
Infidels and rebelled against the prophet, shall wish that the earth were
levelled with them! But nothing shall they hide from God.

O ye true believers,11 come not to prayer when ye are drunken, but wait till
ye can understand what ye utter; nor when ye are polluted, unless ye be
travelling on the road, until ye have washed you. If ye be sick, or on a
journey, or have come from the unclean place, or have touched a woman, and ye
find not water, then rub pure sand, and bathe your face and your hands with
it: verily, God is Lenient, Merciful.

Hast thou not remarked those12 to whom a part of the Scriptures hath been
given? Vendors are they of error, and are desirous that ye go astray from the
way. But God knoweth your enemies; and God is a sufficient patron, and God is
a sufficient helper!

Among the Jews are those who displace the words of their Scriptures, and say,
"We have heard, and we have not obeyed. Hear thou, but as one that heareth
not; and LOOK AT US;"13 perplexing with their tongues, and wounding the Faith
by their revilings.

But if they would say, "We have heard, and we obey; hear thou, and REGARD
US;" it were better for them, and more right. But God hath cursed them for
their unbelief. Few only of them are believers!

O ye to whom the Scriptures have been given! believe in what we have sent
down confirmatory of the Scripture which is in your hands, ere we efface your
features, and twist your head round backward, or curse you as we cursed the
sabbath-breakers:14 and the command of God was carried into effect.

Verily, God will not forgive the union of other gods with Himself! But other
than this will forgive to whom He pleaseth. And He who uniteth gods with God
hath devised a great wickedness.

Hast thou not marked those who hold themselves to be righteous? But God
holdeth righteous whom He will; and they shall not be wronged the husk of a
date stone.

Behold how they devise a lie of God! Therein is wickedness manifest enough!

Hast thou not observed those to whom a part of the Scriptures hath been
given?15 They believe in Djibt and Thagout, and say of the infidels, "These
are guided in a batter path than those who hold the faith."

These are they whom God hath cursed: and for him whom God hath cursed, thou
shalt by on means find a helper.

Shall they have a share in the kingdom who would not bestow on their fellow
men even the speck in a date stone?

Envy they other men what God of his bounty hath given them? We gave of old
the Scriptures and wisdom to the line of Abraham, and we gave them a grand

–Some of them believe on the prophet and some turn aside from him:–the flame
of Hell is their sufficing punishment!

Those who disbelieve our signs we will in the end cast into the fire: so oft
as their skins shall be well burnt,16 we will change them for fresh skins,
that they may taste the torment. Verily God is Mighty, Wise!

But as for those who have believed, and done the things that are right, we
will bring being them into gardens 'neath which the rivers flow therein to
abide eternally;–therein shall they have wives of stainless purity: and we
will bring them into aye-shadowing shades.

Verily, God enjoineth you to give back your trusts to their owners, and when
ye judge between men, to judge with fairness. Excellent is the practice to
which God exhorteth you. God Heareth, Beholdeth!

O ye who believe! obey God and obey the apostle, and those among you invested
with authority; and if in aught ye differ, bring it before God and the
apostle, if ye believe in God and in the latter day. This is the best and
fairest way of settlement.

Hast thou not marked those who profess that they believe in what hath been
sent down to thee, and what hath been sent down before thee? Fain would they
be judged before Thagout, though commanded not to believe in him; and fain
would Satan make them wander with wanderings wide of truth.

And when it is said to them, "Accede to that which God hath sent down, and to
the apostle," thou seest the hypocrites avert them from thee with utter

But how, when some misfortune shall fortune them, for their previous
handywork? Then will they come to thee, swearing by God, "We desire nothing
but to promote good and concord!"

These are they whose hearts God knoweth. Therefore break off from them, and
warn them, speak words that may penetrate their souls.

We have not sent any apostle but to be obeyed, it God so will: but if they,
after they have sinned to their own hurt by unbelief, come to thee and ask
pardon of God, and the apostle ask pardon for them, they shall surely find
that God is He who turneth unto man, Merciful.

And they will not–I swear by thy Lord–they will not believe, until they have
set thee up as judge between them on points where they differ. Then shall
they not find in their own minds any difficulty in thy decisions, and shall
submit with entire submission.

Had we laid down such a law for them as "Kill yourselves, or abandon your
dwellings," but few of them would have done it. But had they done that to
which they were exhorted, better and it been for them, and stronger for the
confirmation of their faith.

In that case we had surely given them from ourself a great recompense, and on
the straight path should we surely have guided them.

And whoever shall obey God and the Apostle, these shall be with those of the
Prophets, and of the Sincere, and of the Martyrs, and of the Just, to whom
God hath been gracious. These are a goodly band!

This is the bounty of God; and in knowledge doth God suffice.

O ye who believe! make use of precautions; and advance in detachments, or ,
advance in a body.

There is of you who will be a laggard: and if a reverse befall you he saith,
"Now hath God dealt graciously with me, since I was not with you in the

But if a success from God betide you, he will say, as if there had never been
any friendship between you and him, "Would I had been with them! a rich prize
should I have won!"

Let those then fight on the path of God, who barter this present life for
that which is to come; for whoever fighteth on God's path, whether he be
slain or conquer, we will in the end give him a great reward.

But what hath come to you that ye fight not on the path of God, and for the
weak among men, women and children, who say, "O our Lord! bring us forth from
this city17 whose inhabitants are oppressors; give us a champion from thy
presence; and give us from thy presence a defender."

They who believe, fight on the path of God; and they who believe not, fight
on the path of Thagout: Fight therefore against the friends of Satan. Verily
craft of Satan shall be powerless!

Hast thou not marked those to whom it was said, "Withhold your hands awhile
from war; and observe prayer, and pay the stated alms." But when war is
commanded them, lo! a portion of them fear men as with the fear of God, or
with a yet greater fear, and say: "O our Lord! why hast thou commanded us
war? Couldst thou not have given us respite till our not distant end?" SAY:
Small the fruition of this world; but the next life is the true good for him
who feareth God! and ye shall not be wronged so much as the skin of a date

Wherever ye be, death will overtake you–although ye be in lofty towers! If
good fortune betide them, they say, "This is from God;" and if evil betide
them, they say, "This is from thee." SAY: All is from God: But what hath come
to these people that they are not near to understanding what is told them?

Whatever good betideth thee is from God, and whatever betideth thee of evil
is from thyself; and we have sent thee to mankind as an apostle: God is thy
sufficing witness.

Whoso obeyeth the Apostle, in so doing obeyeth God: and as to those who turn
back from thee, we have not sent thee to be their keeper.

Moreover, they say: "Obedience!" but when they come forth from thy presence,
a party of them brood by night over other than thy words; but God writeth
down what they brood over: therefore separate thyself from them, and put thou
thy trust in God. is a sufficient protector!

Can they not consider the Koran? Were it from any other than God, they would
surely have found in it many contradictions.

And when tidings, either of security or alarm, reach them, they tell them
abroad; but if they would report them to the apostle, and to those who are in
authority among them, those who desire information would learn it from them.
But for the goodness and mercy of God towards you, ye would have followed
Satan except a few!

Fight, therefore, on God's path: lay not burdens on any but thyself; and stir
up the faithful. The might of the infidels haply will god restrain, for God
is the stronger in prowess, and the stronger to punish.

He who shall mediate between men for a good purpose shall be the gainer by
it. But he who shall mediate with an evil mediation shall reap the fruit of
it. And God keepeth watch over everything.

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

God! there is no god but He! He will certainly assemble you on the day of
resurrection. There is no doubt of it. And whose word is more true than

Why are ye two parties on the subject of the hypocrites, when God hath cast
them off for their doings? Desire ye to guide those whom god hath led astray?
But for him whom God leadeth astray, thou shalt by no means find a pathway.

They desire that ye should be infidels as they are infidels, and that ye
should be alike. Take therefore none of them for friends, till they have fled
their homes for the cause of God. If they turn back, then seize them, and
slay them wherever ye find them; but take none of them as friends or helpers,

Except those who shall seek and asylum among your allies, and those who come
over to you–their hearts forbidding them to make war on you, or to make war
on their own people. Had God pleased, he would have given them power against
you, and they would have made war upon you! But, if they depart from you, and
make not war against you and offer you peace, the God alloweth you no
occasion against them.

Ye will find others who seek to gain your confidence as well as that of their
own people: So oft as they return to sedition, they shall be overthrown in
it: But if they leave you not, nor propose terms or peace to you nor withhold
their hands, then seize them, and slay them, wherever ye find them. Over
these have we given you undoubted power.

A believer killeth not a believer but by mischance: and whoso killeth a
believer by mischance shall be bound to free a believer from slavery; and the
blood-money shall be paid to the family of the slain, unless they convert it
into alms. But if the slain believer be of a hostile people, then let him
confer freedom on a slave who is a believer; and if he be of a people between
whom and yourselves there is an alliance, then let the blood-money be paid to
his family, and let him set free a slave who is a believer: and let him who
hath not the means, fast two consecutive months. This is the penance enjoined
by God; and God is Knowing, Wise!

But whoever shall kill a believer of set purpose, his recompense shall be
hell; for ever shall he abide in it; God shall be wrathful with him, and
shall curse him, and shall get ready for him a great torment.

O believers! when ye go forth to the fight for the cause of God, be
discerning, and say not to every one who meeteth you with a greeting, "Thou
art not a believer"18 in your greed after the chance good things of this
present life! With God are abundant spoils. Such hath been your wont in times
past; but god hath been gracious to you. Be discerning, then, for God well
knoweth what ye do.

Those believers who sit at home free from trouble, and those who do valiantly
in the cause of God with their substance and their persons, shall not be
treated alike. God hath assigned to those who contend earnestly with their
persons and with their substance, a rank above those who sit at home. Goodly
promises hath He made to all. But God hath assigned to the strenuous a rich
recompense, above those who sit still at home,

Rank of his own bestowal, and forgiveness, and mercy; for God is Indulgent,

The angels,19 when they took the souls of those who had been unjust to their
own weal, demanded, "What hath been your state?"20 They said, "We were the
weak ones21 of the earth." They replied, "Was not God's earth broad enough
for you to flee away in?" These! their home shall be Hell, and evil the
passage to it–

Except the men and women and children who were not able, through their
weakness, to find the means of escape, and were not guided on their way.
These haply God will forgive: for God is Forgiving, Gracious.

Whoever flieth his country for the cause of God, will find in the earth many
under like compulsion, and abundant resources; and if any one shall quit his
home and fly to God and his apostle, and then death overtake him,–his reward
from God is sure: for God is Gracious, Merciful!

And when ye go forth to war in the land, it shall be no crime in you to cut
short your prayers,22 if ye fear lest the infidels come upon you; Verily, the
infidels are your undoubted enemies!

And when thou, O apostle! shalt be among them, and shalt pray with them, then
let a party of them rise up with thee, but let them take their arms; and when
they shall have made their prostrations, let them retire to your rear: then
let another party that hath not prayed come forward, and let them pray with
you; but let them take their precautions and their arms. Pleased would the
infidels be for you to neglect your arms and your baggage, that they might
turn upon you at once! And it shall be no crime in you to lay down your arms
if rain annoy you, or if ye be sick. But take your precautions.23 Verily, God
hath made ready a shameful torment for the infidels.

And when ye shall have ended the prayer, make mention of God, standing, and
sitting, and reclining: and as soon as ye are secure, observe prayer; for to
the faithful, prayer is a prescribed duty, and for stated hours.

Slacken not in pursuit of the foe. If ye suffer, assuredly they suffer also
as ye suffer; but ye hope from God for what they cannot hope! And God is
Knowing, Wise!

Verily, we have sent down the Book to thee with the truth, thou that mayest
judge between men according as God hath given thee insight: But with the
deceitful ones dispute not: and implore pardon of God. Verily, God is
Forgiving, Merciful.24

And plead not with us for those who are self-deceivers; for God loveth not
him who is deceitful, criminal.

From men they hide themselves; but they cannot hide themselves from God: and
when they hold nightly discourses which please Him not, He is with them. God
is round about their doings!

Oh! ye are they who plead in their favour in this present life; but who shall
plead with God for them on the day of the resurrection? Who will be the
guardian over them?

Yet he who doth evil, or shall have acted against his own weal, and then
shall ask pardon of God, will find God Forgiving, Merciful:

And whoever committeth a crime, committeth it to his own hurt. And God is
Knowing, Wise!

And whoever committeth an involuntary fault or a crime, and then layeth it on
the innocent, shall surely bear the guilt of calumny and of a manifest crime.

But for the grace and mercy of God upon thee, a party among them had resolved
to mislead thee, but they shall only mislead themselves; nor in aught shall
they harm thee. God hath caused the Book and the wisdom to descend upon thee:
and what thou knowest not He hath caused thee to know: and the grace of God
toward thee hath been great.

In most of their secret talk is nothing good; but only in his who enjoineth
almsgiving, or that which is right, or concord among men. Whoso doth this,
out of desire to please God, we will give him at the last a great reward:

But whoso shall sever himself from the prophet after that "the guidance" hath
been manifested to him, and shall follow any other path than that of the
faithful, we will turn our back on him as he hath turned his back on us, and
we will cast him into Hell;–an evil journey thither!

God truly will not forgive the joining other gods with Himself. Other sins He
will forgive to whom He will: but he who joineth gods with God, hath erred
with far-gone error.

They call, beside Him, upon mere goddesses! they invoke a rebel Satan!

On them is the malison of God. For he said, "A portion of thy servants will I
surely take, and will lead them astray, and will stir desires within them,
and will command them and they shall cut the ears of animals;25 and I will
command them, and they shall alter the creation of God."26 He who taketh
Satan rather than God for his patron, is ruined with palpable ruin:

He hath made them promises, and he hath stirred desires within them; but
Satan promiseth, only to beguile!

These! their dwelling Hell! no escape shall they find from it!

But they who believe and do the things that are right, we will bring them
into gardens beneath which the rivers flow; For ever shall they abide
therein. Truly it is the promise of God: And whose word is more sure than

Not according to your wishes, or the wishes of the people of the Book, shall
these things be. He who doth evil shall be recompensed for it. Patron or
helper, beside God, shall he find none.

But whoso doth the things that are right, whether male or female, and he or
she a believer,–these shall enter Paradise, nor shall they be wronged the
skin of a date stone.

And who hath a better religion than he who resigneth himself to God, who doth
what is good, and followeth the faith of Abraham in all sincerity? And God
took Abraham for his friend.

All that is in the Heavens and all that is on the Earth is God's: and God
encompasseth all things!

Moreover, they will consult thee in regard to women: SAY: God hath instructed
you about them; and His will is rehearsed to you, in the Book, concerning
female orphans to whom ye give not their legal due, and whom ye refuse to
marry; also with regard to weak children; and that ye deal with fairness
towards orphans. Ye cannot do a good action, but verily God knoweth it.

And if a wife fear ill usage or aversion on the part of her husband, then
shall it be no fault in them if they can agree with mutual agreement, for
agreement is best. Men's souls are prone to avarice; but if ye act kindly and
fear God, then, verily, your actions are not unnoticed by God!

And ye will not have it at all in your power to treat your wives alike, even
though you fain would do so; but yield not wholly to disinclination, so that
ye leave one of them as it were in suspense; if ye come to an understanding,
and fear God, then, verily, God is Forgiving, Merciful;

But if they separate, God can compensate both out of His abundance; for God
is Vast, Wise;

And whatever is in the Heavens and in the Earth is God's! We have already
enjoined those to whom the Scriptures were given before you, and yourselves,
to fear God. But if ye become unbelievers, yet know that whatever is in the
Heavens and in the Earth is God's: and God is Rich, Praiseworthy.

All that is in Heaven and all that is in Earth is God's! God is a sufficient

If he pleased, he could cause you to pass away, O mankind! and create others
in your stead: for this hath God power.

If any one desire the reward of this world, yet with God is the reward of
this world and of the next! And God Heareth, Beholdeth.

O ye who believe! stand fast to justice, when ye bear witness before God,
though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kindred, whether
the party be rich or poor. God is nearer than you to both. Therefore follow
not passion, lest ye swerve from truth. And if ye wrest your testimony or
stand aloof, God verily is well aware of what ye do.

O ye who believe! believe in God and his Apostle, and the Book which he hath
sent down to his Apostle, and the Book which he hath sent down aforetime.
Whoever believeth not on God and his Angels and his Books and his Apostles,
and in the last day, he verily hath erred with far-gone error.

Verily, they who believed, then became unbelievers, then believed, and again
became unbelievers, and then increased their unbelief–it is not God who will
forgive them or guide them into the way.

Announce27 to the hypocrites that a dolorous torment doth await them.

Those who take the unbelievers for friends besides the faithful–do they seek
honour at their hands? Verily, all honour belongeth unto God!

And already hath He sent this down to you in the Book28 "WHEN YE SHALL HEAR
not therefore with such, until they engage in other discourse; otherwise, ye
will become like them. Verily God will gather the hypocrites and the infidels
all together in Hell.

They watch you narrowly. Then if God grant you a victory, they say, "Are we
not with you?" and if the infidels meet with a success, they say to them,
"Were we not superior to you: and did we not defend you from those
believers?" God shall judge betwixt ye on the day of the resurrection, and
God will by no means make a way for the infidels over the believers.

The hypocrites would deceive God, but He will deceive them! When they stand
up for prayer, they stand carelessly, to be seen of men, and they remember
God but little:

Wavering between the one and the other–belonging neither to these nor those!
and by no means shalt thou find a path for him whom God misleadeth.

O believers! take not infidels for friends rather than believers. Would ye
furnish God with clear right to punish you?

Verily the hypocrites shall be in the lowest abyss of the fire: and, by no
means shalt thou find a helper for them;

Save for those who turn and amend, and lay fast hold on God, and approve the
sincerity of their religion to God; these shall be numbered with the
faithful, and God will at last bestow on the faithful a great reward.

Why should God inflict a chastisement upon you, if ye are grateful, and
believe? God is Grateful, Wise!

God loveth not that evil be matter of public talk, unless any one hath been
wronged: God it is who Heareth, Knoweth!

Whether ye publish what is good, or conceal it, or pardon evil, verily God is
Pardoning, Powerful!

Of a truth they who believe not on God and his Apostles, and seek to separate
God from his Apostles, and say, "Some we believe, and some we believe not,"
and desire to take a middle way;

These! they are veritable infidels! and for the infidels have we prepared a
shameful punishment.

And they who believe on God and his Apostles, and make no difference between
them these! we will bestow on them their reward at last. God is Gracious,

The people of the Book will ask of thee to cause a Book to come down unto
them out of Heaven. But a greater thing than this did they ask of Moses! for
they said, "Shew us God plainly!" and for this their wickedness did the fire-
storm lay hold on them. Then took they the calf as the object of their
worship, after that our clear tokens had come to them; but we forgave them
this, and conferred on Moses undoubted power.

And we uplifted the mountain 29 over them when we made a covenant with them,
and we said to them, "Enter the gate adoring:"and we said to them,
"Transgress not on the Sabbath," and we received from them a strict covenant.

So, for that they have broken their covenant, and have rejected the signs of
God, and have put the prophets to death unjustly, saying the while, "Our
hearts are uncircumcised,"–Nay, but God hath sealed them up for their
unbelief, so that but few believe.

And for their unbelief,–and for their having spoken against Mary a grievous

And for their saying, "Verily we have slain the Messiah, Jesus the son of
Mary, an Apostle of God." Yet they slew him not, and they crucified him not,
but they had only his likeness.30 And they who differed about him were in
doubt concerning him: No sure knowledge had they about him, but followed only
an opinion, and they did not really slay him, but God took him up to Himself.
And God is Mighty, Wise!

There shall not be one of the people of the Book but shall believe in Him
before his death, and in the day of resurrection, He will be a witness
against them.

For the wickedness of certain Jews, and because they turn many from the way
of God, we have forbidden them goodly viands which had been before allowed

And because they have taken usury, though they were forbidden it, and have
devoured men's substance in frivolity, we have got ready for the infidels
among them a grievous torment.

But their men of solid knowledge, and the believers who believe in that which
hath been sent down to thee, and in what hath been sent down before thee, and
who observe prayer, and pay the alms of obligation, and believe in God and
the latter day,–these! we will give them a great reward.

Verily we have revealed to thee as we revealed to Noah and the Prophets after
him, and as we revealed to Abraham, and Ismaël, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the
tribes, and Jesus, and Job, and Jonah, and Aaron, and Solomon; and to David
gave we Psalms.

Of some apostles we have told thee before: of other apostles we have not told
thee–And discoursing did God discourse with Moses–

Apostles charged to announce and to warn, that men, after those apostles,
might have no plea against God. And God is Mighty, Wise!

But God is himself witness of what He hath sent down to thee: In His
knowledge hath He sent it down to thee. The angels are also its witnesses:
but God is a sufficient witness!

Verily, they who believe not and pervert from the way of God, have indeed
erred with error wide of truth.

Verily, those who believe not, and act wrongfully, God will never pardon, and
never will he guide them on path,

Than the path to Hell, in which they shall abide for ever! And this is easy
for God.

O men! now hath an apostle come to you with truth from your Lord. Believe
then, it will be better for you. But if ye believe not, then, all that is in
the Heavens and the Earth is God's; and God is Knowing, Wise!

O ye people of the Book! overstep not bounds in your religion;31 and of God,
speak only truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God,
and his Word which he conveyed into Mary, and a Spirit32 proceeding from
himself. Believe therefore in God and his apostles, and say not, "Three:"
(there is a Trinity)–Forbear–it will be better for you. God is only one God!
Far be it from His glory that He should have a son! His, whatever is in the
Heavens, and whatever is in the Earth! And God is a sufficient Guardian.

The Messiah disdaineth not to be a servant of God, nor do the angels who are
nigh unto Him.

And whoso disdaineth His service, and is filled with pride, God will gather
them all to Himself.

And to those who believe and do the things that are right, will He pay them
their due recompense, and out of His bounty will He increase them: but as for
those who are disdainful and proud, with a grievous chastisement will He
chastise them;

And none beside God shall they find to protect or to help them.

O men! now hath a proof come to you from your Lord, and we have sent down to
you a clear light. As to those who believe in God and lay fast hold on Him,
these will He cause to enter into his mercy and grace, and along the straight
way unto Himself will He guide them.

They will consult thee. SAY: God instructeth you as to distant kindred. If a
man die childless, but have a sister, half what he shall have shall be her's;
and if she die childless he shall be her heir. But if there be two sisters,
two-third parts of what he shall have shall be theirs; and if there be both
brothers and sisters, the male shall have the portion of two females. God
teacheth you plainly, that ye err not! God knoweth all things.


1 Most of the events alluded to in this Sura fall between the end of the
third and the close of the fifth year after the Flight to Medina.

2 Muhammad assumed to himself the privilege of having a yet greater number of
wives. But in doing so, he was probably actuated by a desire for male
offspring. Chadijah was his only wife until quite a late period of his
career. Comp. Arbah Turim. Ev. Hazaer 1, "A man may marry many wives, for
Rabba saith it is lawful to do so, if he can provide for them. Nevertheless,
the wise men have given good advice, that a man should not marry more than
four wives." See also Yad Hachazakah Hilchoth Ishuth. 14, 3.

3 Verses 8 and 12 are said by the commentators to have been revealed in
consequence of the complaints of Omm Kuhha that, in accordance with the ante-
Islamitic custom, she had been excluded from any portion of her deceased
husband's property. The unsatisfactory nature of the Muhammadan traditions
may be inferred from the fact, that no less than six different names are
assigned to him. It is, however, probable that these and similar laws
relative to inheritances were given at a time when many heads of families had
fallen, as at Ohod, in battle. This remark applies to verses 33-45.

4 Women found guilty of adultery and fornication were punished at the first
rise of Islam, by being literally immured. But this was exchanged, in the
case of a maiden, for one year's banishment and 100 stripes; and in the case
of a married woman, for stoning.

5 What took place in the times of ignorance, previous to the revelation of
the Koran. See Freytag's Einl. p. 201, as to the incestuous nature of the
ante-Islamitic Arabian marriages.

6 By marrying without means adequate to the support of a free wife, or by
remaining single.

7 From marrying slaves.

8 Games of chance, usury, etc.

9 By providing for them a home and the protection of a husband. Or, of that
which God would have them care for.

10 An undutiful child is very seldom heard of among the Egyptians, or the
Arabs in general. Sons scarcely ever sit, or sit, or eat, or smoke, in the
presence of the father unless bidden to do so; and they often wait upon him
and upon his guests at meals and on other occasions: they do not cease to act
thus when they have become men. Lane's Mod. Egypt. vol. i. p. 69.

11 The Koranic precepts as to prayer savour of Jewish origin. Thus, "Prayer
should be said standing" is a Rabbinic precept.–Comp. Sura [xci.] ii. 240.–
Misch.Berachoth 10–may be shortened in dangerous places, ib. iv. 10–is
forbidden to the drunken, ib. 31, 2. Erubin, 64–and to the polluted;
Berachoth iii. 4–and is to be preceded, in this case, by washings with water
or sand. See Sura xvii. 110, note 2, p. 173. 1 Cor. xi. 21.

12 The Jews and their Rabbis.

13 See Sura [xci.] ii. 98.

14 Lit. the companions of the sabbath. See [xci.] ii. 61.

15 This refers to certain renegade Jews, who out of hatred against Muhammad,
went over to the Koreisch. See Nöldeke. p. 149.

16 Lit. ripened.

17 Mecca.

18 And therefore a fit subject for plunder.

19 Some of the Meccans after embracing Islam did not thoroughly break with
the infidels and fly their country. These persons were miraculously slain by
angels at Bedr. Others suppose the angels to be Nakir and Monkir, who examine
the dead in the grave.

20 That is, to what religion did ye belong?

21 And therefore could not resist the unbelievers.

22 Thus the Rabbins Tr. Berachoth, iv. 4, "He that goeth in a dangerous place
may pray a short prayer."

23 See Mischna Tr. Berachoth, 10.

24 This verse is said to have been revealed when Muhammad was about to acquit
a Muslim who had committed theft, and laid the guilt at the door of a Jew.
But the particulars are given in a very contradictory manner. See Nöldeke, p.

25 In allusion to an idolatrous and superstitious custom of the old Arabians.

26 By the mutilation of slaves, branding their bodies, filing the teeth, etc.

27 See Sura lxxxiv. 24, p. 47, note.

28 Sura vi.

29 See Sura [xci.] ii.7.

30 Lit. one was made to appear to them like (Jesus). Comp. [xcvii.] iii.48.
Photius, Bibl. Cod. cxiv.says that the Apocr. Book, [Greek text]–This
individual according to the Basilidans was-Simon of Cyrene; according to the
Evang. Barnab‘, Judas.–Mani, Ep. Fund. ap. Evodium: "Princeps itaque
tenebrarum cruci est affixus, idemque coronam spineam portavit."

31 By believing too much, like the Christians who regarded Jesus as God; or
too little, like the Jews who would not believe on Muhammad.

32 That is, a Being possessing a Spirit.


MECCA.–12 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

O PROPHET! when ye divorce women, divorce them at their special times. And
reckon those times exactly, and fear God your Lord. Put them not forth from
their houses, nor allow them to depart, unless they have committed a proven
adultery. This is the precept of God; and whoso transgresseth the precept of
God, assuredly imperilleth his own self. Thou knowest not whether, after
this, God may not cause something new to occur which may bring you together

And when they have reached their set time, then either keep them with
kindness, or in kindness part from them. And take upright witnesses from
among you, and bear witness as unto God. This is a caution for him who
believeth in God and in the latter day. And whoso feareth God, to him will He
grant a prosperous issue, and will provide for him whence he reckoned not
upon it.

And for him who putteth his trust in Him will God be all-sufficient. God
truly will attain his purpose. For everything hath God assigned a period.

As to such of your wives as have no hope of the recurrence of their times, if
ye have doubts in regard to them, then reckon three months, and let the same
be the term of those who have not yet had them. And as to those who are with
child, their period shall be until they are delivered of their burden. God
will make His command easy to him who feareth Him.

This is God's command which He hath sent down to you: Whoso feareth God, his
evil deeds will He cancel and will increase his reward.

Lodge the divorced wherever ye lodge, according to your means; and distress
them not by putting them to straits. And if they are pregnant, then be at
charges for the them till they are delivered of their burden; and if they
suckle your children, then pay them their hire and consult among yourselves,
and act generously: And if herin ye meet with obstacles, then let another
female suckle for him.

Let him who hath abundance of his abundance; let him, too, whose store is
scanty, give of what God hath vouchsafed to him. God imposeth burdens only
according to the means which He hath given. God will cause ease to succeed

How many cities have turned aside from the command of their Lord and of his
apostles! Therefore did we reckon with them in a severe reckoning, and
chastised them with a stern chastisement;

And they tasted the harmfulness of their own conduct: and the end of their
conduct was ruin.

A vehement chastisement hath God prepared for them! Fear God, then, O ye men
of understanding!2

Believers! Now hath God sent down to you a warning! a prophet, who reciteth
to you the clear signs of God, that he may bring those who believe, and do
the things that are right, out of the darkness into the light. And-whoso
believeth in God, and doeth the things that are right, God will cause them to
enter the gardens beneath which the rivers flow, to remain therein for aye! A
goodly provision now hath God made for him.

It is God who hath created seven heavens and as many earths.3 The Divine
command cometh down through them all, that ye may know that God hath power
over all things, and that God in his knowledge embraceth all things!


1 Comp. Sura [xci.] ii. 228, which this Sura is perhaps intended to
supplement. Wahidi and Beidhawi state that it was revealed on account of Ibn
Omar who had divorced his wife at improper time, and was obliged to take her

2 In order to make good the rhyme, verse 10 ought to be continued to the end
of the first clause of verse II.

3 Lit. and of the earth, their likes. The style of this verse resembles that
of the Meccan Suras. Hence, probably; a tradition in Omar ben Muhammad makes
the whole Sura Meccan.


MEDINA.–24 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

ALL that is in the Heavens and all that is on the Earth praiseth God! He, the
Mighty, the Wise!

He it is who caused the unbelievers among the people of the Book to quit
their homes and join those who had EMIGRATED previously.1 Ye did not think
that they would quit them; and they on their part thought that their
fortresses would protect them against God: But God came upon them whence they
looked not for Him, and cast such fear into their hearts that by their own
hands as well as by the hands of the victorious believers they demolished
their houses! Profit by this example ye who are men of insight!

And were it not that God had decreed their exile, surely in this world would
he have chastised them: but in the world to come the chastisement of the fire
awaiteth them.

This because they set them against God and his apostle; and whoso setteth him
against God. . . . ! God truly is vehement in punishing.

Your cutting down some of their palm trees and sparing others was by God's
permission, and to put the wicked to shame.

After the spoils of these Jews which God hath assigned to his apostle, ye
pressed not with horse or camel.2 But God giveth his apostles power over what
he will. God is Almighty.

The spoil taken from the people of the towns and assigned by God to his
apostle, belongeth to God, and to the apostle, and to his kindred, and to the
orphan, and to the poor, and to the wayfarer, that none of it may circulate
among such of you only as are rich: What the apostle hath given you, take:
What he hath refused you, refuse: And fear ye God, for God is severe in

To the poor refugees (Mohadjerin) also doth a part belong, who have been
driven from their homes and their substance, and who seek favour from God and
his goodwill, and aid God and his apostle. These are the men of genuine

They of Medina who had been in possession of their abodes and embraced the
faith before them, cherish those who take refuge with them; and they find not
in their breasts any desire for what hath fallen to their share: they prefer
them before themselves, though poverty be their own lot. And with such as are
preserved from their own covetousness shall it be well.

And they who have come after them into the faith say, "O our Lord! forgive us
and our brethren who have preceded us in the faith, and put not into our
hearts ill-will against those who believe. O our Lord! thou verily art Kind,

Hast thou not observed the disaffected saying to their unbelieving brethren3
among the people of the Book, "If ye be driven forth, we will go forth with
you; and in what concerneth you, never will we obey any one; and if ye be
attacked we will certainly come to your help." But God is witness that they
are liars.

No! if they were driven forth, they would not share their banishment; if they
were attacked they would not help them, or if they help them they will surely
turn their backs: then would they remain unhelped.

Assuredly the fear of you is more intense in their hearts than the fear of
God! This because they are a people devoid of discernment.

They (the Jews) will not fight against you in a body except in fenced towns
or from behind walls. Mighty is their valour among themselves! thou thinkest
them united–but their hearts are divided. This for that they are a people who
understand not.

They act like those who lately preceded them,4 who also tasted the result of
their doings; and a grievous chastisement awaiteth them–

Like Satan when he saith to a man, "Be an infidel:" and when he hath become
an infidel, he saith, "I share not thy guilt:5 verily, I fear God the Lord of
the Worlds."

Of both, therefore, shall the end be that they dwell for ever in the fire:
This is the recompense of the evil doers.

O ye who believe! fear God. And let every soul look well to what it sendeth
on before for the morrow. And fear ye God: Verily, God is cognisant of what
ye do.

And be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to
forget their proper selves. Such men are the evil doers.

The inmates of the Fire and the inmates of Paradise are not to be held equal.
The inmates of Paradise only shall be the blissful.

Had we sent down this Koran on some mountain, thou wouldst certainly have
seen it humbling itself6 and cleaving asunder for the fear of God. Such are
the parables we propose to men in order that they may reflect.

He is God beside whom there is no god. He knoweth things visible and
invisible: He is the Compassionate, the Merciful.

He is God beside whom there is no god: He is the King, the Holy, the
Peaceful, the Faithful, the Guardian, the Mighty, the Strong, the Most High!
Far be the Glory of God from that which they unite with Him!

He is God, the Producer, the Maker, the Fashioner! To Him are ascribed
excellent titles. Whatever is in the Heavens and in the Earth praiseth Him.
He is the Mighty, the Wise!


1 The Jews of Nadhir, three miles from Medina, had broken a treaty made with
Muhammad, and in the month RabΠof the fourth year of the Hejira were
besieged by him and driven first to the Jews of Kainoka, who had emigrated
previously, under compulsion, after the battle of Bedr, and subsequently out
of Arabia. Weil, Life of M. p.137.n.

2 On which account these spoils were entirely assigned to Muhammad, and not
divided in the usual manner. See Sura [xcv.] viii. 42. Weil, p. 138, 184.

3 To the Jews of the tribe of Nadhir.

4 The idolaters slain at Bedr (Djal.) or the Jews of Kainoka, who had been
plundered previously to those of Nadhir.

5 Lit. I am clear of thee.

6 This may be derived from the Rabbinical idea that Mount Sinai was chosen,
on account of its lowness, to be the scene of the revelation to Moses, in
order to shew that God loves the humble.


MEDINA.–73 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

O PROPHET, fear thou God, and obey not the unbelievers and the hypocrites;–
Truly God is Knowing, Wise:

But follow what is revealed to thee from thy Lord: Cognisant truly is He of
all your actions–

And put thou thy trust in God, for a sufficient guardian is God.

God hath not given a man two hearts within him; neither hath he made your
wives whom ye divorce2 to be as your mothers; nor hath he made your adopted
sons to be as your own sons. Such words are indeed in your mouths; but God
speaketh the truth, and in the right way He guideth.

Name them after their fathers: this will be more right before God. But if ye
know not who their fathers are, then let them be your brethren in the faith,
and your comrades. And unless made with intent of heart, mistakes in this
matter shall be no crime in you: for God is Lenient, Merciful.

Nearer of kin to the faithful is the Prophet, than they are to their own
selves. His wives are their mothers. According to the Book of God, they who
are related by blood, are nearer the one to the other than other believers,
and than those who have fled their country3 for the cause of God: but
whatever kindness ye shew to your kindred, shall be noted down in the Book.

And remember that we have entered into covenant with the Prophets, and with
thee, and with Noah, and Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus, Son of Mary: and we
formed with them a strict covenant,

That God may question the men of truth as to their truth.4 But a sore torment
hath He prepared for the unbelievers.

O believers!5 remember the goodness of God towards you, when the armies came
against you, and we sent against them a blast, and hosts that ye saw not; for
the eye of God was upon your doings:

When they assailed you from above you, and from below you,6 and when your
eyes became distracted, and your hearts came up into your throat, and ye
thought divers thoughts of God:

Then were the faithful tried, and with strong quaking did they quake:

And when the disaffected and the diseased7 of heart said, "God and his
Apostle have made us but a cheating promise:"

And when a party of them said, "O people of Yathrib!8 there is no place of
safety for you here;9 therefore return into the city." And another party of
you asked the prophet's leave to return, saying, "Our houses are left
defenceless." No! they were not left defenceless: but their sole thought was
to flee away.

If the enemy had effected an entry at all points, and they (the disaffected)
had been asked to promote confusion, they would have done so; but only a
short time would they have remained in it.–(Medina).10

They had before pledged themselves to God that they would not turn their
backs; and a pledge given to God must be enquired of.

SAY: Flight shall not profit you; if ye have fled the death or the slaughter,
yet even then, but a little while shall ye enjoy your good things!

SAY: Who is he that will screen you from God, whether He choose to bring evil
on you, or to shew you mercy? None beside God shall they find to be their
patron or helper.

God well knoweth those among you who cause hindrances, and those who say to
their brethren, "Come hither to us;" and who come not to the fight except a

It is out of covetousness in your regard: for when an alarm cometh, thou
mayest see them look to thee, and roll their eyes like him on whom the
shadows of death have fallen! Yet, when the alarm is passed, with sharp
tongues will they assail you, covetous of the best of the spoil. No faith
have these! God will make their doings of no avail! And easy is this with

They thought that the CONFEDERATES would never retire:11 and were the
confederates to come again, they would fain be dwelling among the Arabs of
the desert, and there ask news about you! for though they were with you, they
fought not except a little.

A noble pattern had ye in God's Apostle, for all who hope in God, and in the
latter day, and oft remember God!

And when the faithful saw the confederates, they said, "This is what God and
His Apostle promised us,12 and God and His Apostle spoke truly:" and it only
increased their faith and self-devotion.

Some were there among the faithful who made good what they had promised to
God. Some have fulfilled their course, and others await its fulfilment, and
have not been changelings who change–

That God may reward the faithful for their faithfulness, and may punish the
hypocrites, if He so please, or be turned unto them: for God is Forgiving,

And God drove back the infidels in their wrath; they won no advantage; God
sufficed the faithful in the fight: for God is Strong, Mighty!

And He caused those of the people of the Book (the Jews), who had aided the
confederates, to come down out of their fortresses, and cast dismay into
their hearts: some ye slew, others ye took prisoners.13

And He gave you their land, and their dwellings, and their wealth, for an
heritage–even a land on which ye had never set foot: for the might of God is
equal to all things.

O Prophet! say to thy wives,14 If ye desire this present life and its
braveries, come then, I will provide for you, and dismiss you with an
honourable dismissal.

But if ye desire God and His Apostle, and a home in the next life, then,
truly, hath God prepared for those of you who are virtuous, a great reward.

O wives of the Prophet! should any of you be guilty of a proven lewdness,
doubly shall her chastisement be doubled: and with God this is easy.

But whoever of you shall obey God and His Apostle, and shall do that which is
right, twice over will we give her her reward, and we have prepared for her a
noble provision.

O wives of the Prophet! ye are not as other women. If ye fear God, be not too
complaisant of speech, lest the man of unhealthy heart should lust after you,
but speak with discreet speech.

And abide still in your houses, and go not in public decked as in the days of
your former ignorance,15 but observe prayer, and pay the impost, and obey God
and the Apostle: for God only desireth to put away filthiness from you16 as
his household, and with cleansing to cleanse you.

And recollect what is rehearsed to you in your houses of the Book of God, and
of wisdom: for God is keen-sighted, cognisant of all.

Truly the men who resign themselves to God (Muslims), and the women who
resign themselves, and the believing men and the believing women, and the
devout men and the devout women, and the men of truth, and the women of
truth, and the patient men and the patient women, and the humble men and the
humble women, and the men who give alms and the women who give alms, and the
men who fast and the women who fast, and the chaste men and the chaste women,
and the men and the women who oft remember God: for them hath God prepared
forgiveness and a rich recompense.

And it is not for a believer, man or woman, to have any choice in their
affairs, when God and His Apostle have decreed a matter: and whoever
disobeyeth God and His Apostle, erreth with palpable error.

And, remember, when thou saidst to him unto whom God had shewn favour,17 and
to whom thou also hadst shewn favour, "Keep thy wife to thyself, and fear
God;" and thou didst hide in thy mind what God would bring to light.18 and
thou didst fear man; but more right had it been to fear God. And when Zaid
had settled concerning her to divorce her, we married her to thee, that it
might not be a crime in the faithful to marry the wives of their adopted
sons, when they have settled the affair concerning them. And the behest of
God is to be performed.

No blame attacheth to the prophet where God hath given him a permission. Such
was the way of God with those prophets who flourished before thee; for God's
behest is a fixed decree–

Who fulfilled the mission with which God had charged them,19 and feared Him,
and feared none but God. And God taketh a sufficient account.

Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Apostle of
God, and the seal of the prophets: and God knoweth all things.

O Believers! remember God with frequent remembrance, and praise Him morning
and evening.

He blesseth you, and His angels intercede for you, that He may bring you
forth out of darkness into light: and Merciful is He to the Believers.

Their greeting on the day when they shall meet Him shall be "Peace!" And He
hath got ready for them a noble recompense.

O Prophet ! we have sent thee to be a witness, and a herald of glad tidings,
and a warner;

And one who, through His own permission, summoneth to God, and a light-giving

Announce, therefore, to believers, that great boons do await them from God;

And obey not the Infidels and Hypocrites–yet abstain from injuring them: and
put thou thy trust in God, for God is a sufficient guardian.

O Believers! when ye marry believing women, and then divorce them before ye
have consummated the marriage, ye have no term prescribed you, which ye must
fulfil towards them: provide for them, and dismiss them with a reputable

O Prophet! we allow thee thy wives whom thou hast dowered, and the slaves
whom thy right hand possesseth out of the booty which God hath granted thee,
and the daughters of thy uncle, and of thy paternal and maternal aunts who
fled with thee to Medina, and any believing woman who hath given herself up
to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to wed her–a Privilege for thee above
the rest of the Faithful.

We well know what we have settled for them, in regard to their wives and to
the slaves whom their right hands hold, that there may be no fault on thy
part:20 and God is Indulgent, Merciful!

Thou mayst decline for the present whom thou wilt of them, and thou mayest
take to thy bed her whom thou wilt, and whomsoever thou shalt long for of
those thou shalt have before neglected; and this shall not be a crime in
thee. Thus will it be easier to give them the desire of their eyes, and not
to put them to grief, and to satisfy them with what thou shalt accord to each
of them. God knoweth what is in your hearts, and God is Knowing, Gracious.

It is not permitted thee to take other wives hereafter,21 nor to change thy
present wives for other women, though their beauty charm thee, except slaves
whom thy right hand shall possess.22 And God watcheth all things.

O Believers! enter not into the houses of the Prophet,23 save by his leave,
for a meal, without waiting his time. When ye are invited then enter, and
when ye have eaten then disperse at once.24 And engage not in familiar talk,
for this would cause the Prophet trouble, and he would be ashamed to bid you
go; but God is not ashamed to say the truth. And when ye would ask any gift
of his wives, ask it from behind a veil. Purer will this be for your hearts
and for their hearts. And ye must not trouble the Apostle of God, nor marry
his wives, after him, for ever. This would be a grave offence with God.

Whether ye bring a matter to the light or hide it, God truly hath knowledge
of all things.

No blame shall attach to them (your wives) for speaking to their fathers
unveiled, or to their sons, or to their brothers, or to their brothers' sons,
or to their sisters' sons, or to their women, or to the slaves whom their
right hands hold. And fear ye God: for God witnesseth all things.

Verily, God and His Angels bless the Prophet! Bless ye Him, O Believers, and
salute Him with salutations of Peace.

Verily, they who affront God and His Apostle, the curse of God is on them in
this world, and in the world to come: and He hath prepared for them a
shameful chastisement.

And they who shall affront believing men and believing women, for no fault of
theirs, they shall surely bear the guilt of slander, and of a clear wrong.

O Prophet! speak to thy wives and to thy daughters,25 and to the wives of the
Faithful, that they let their veils fall low. Thus will they more easily be
known, and they will not be affronted. God is Indulgent, Merciful!

If the Hypocrites, and the men of tainted heart, and the stirrers of sedition
in Medina desist not, we will surely stir thee up against them. Then shall
they not be suffered to dwell near thee therein, but a little while:

Cursed wherever they are found; they shall be seized and slain with

Such hath been the way of God with those who lived before them; and no change
canst thou find in the way of God.

Men will ask thee of "the Hour." SAY: The knowledge of it is with God alone:
and who can tell thee whether haply the Hour be not nigh at hand?

Verily, God hath cursed the Infidels, and hath got ready for them the flame:

For aye shall they abide therein; none to befriend them, no helper shall they

On the day when their faces shall be rolled in the fire, they shall cry: "Oh!
would that we had obeyed God, and obeyed the Apostle!"

And they shall say: "Oh our Lord! indeed we obeyed our chiefs and our great
ones, and they misled us from the way of God–

O our Lord! give them a double chastisement, and curse them with a heavy

O Believers! be not like those who affronted Moses.26 But God cleared him
from what they said of him, and of God was he highly esteemed.

O Believers! fear God, and speak with well-guided speech.

That God may bless your doings for you, and forgive you your sins. And whoso
obeyeth God and His Apostle with great bliss shall be blessed.

Verily, we proposed to the Heavens, and to the Earth, and to the Mountains to
receive the Faith, but they refused the burden, and they feared to receive
it. Man undertook to bear it, but hath proved unjust, senseless!

Therefore will God punish the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women,
and the men and the women who join gods with God; but to the believing men
and women will God turn him: for God is Indulgent, Merciful!


1 Medina was besieged, when this Sura was revealed, by certain confederate
tribes at the instigation of the Jews, an. Hej. 5. The first nine verses,
however, have no immediate reference to this event, but to Muhammad's
cotemporary marriage with Zeinab. See below, verse 37.

2 The Arabians had been accustomed, before the time of Muhammad, to divorce
their wives with the words,–thy back be to me as the back of my mother. The
drift and motive of this passage is explained by verse 37 below. It had also
been the custom to hold adopted sons to be as nearly related to them as their
natural ones. See Sura lviii. 2, p. 451.

3 The Mohadjers–those who had emigrated with Muhammad from Mecca. This verse
abrogates Sura [xcv.] viii. 73.

4 How they have discharged their prophetic functions.

5 Verses 9-33 have reference to the events of the year Hej. 5, towards the
close. See next note. His. 688; Waq. 4 f.

6 In the engagement which took place under the walls of Medina, some of the
enemy were posted on a height to the east of the city, others in a valley on
the west. The besiegers were 12,000, the Muslims 3,000 strong, when a violent
storm, which upset the tents, put out the camp fires, and blinded the eyes of
the confederates with sand, turned the scale of victory against them.
Muhammad ascribes the storm to angelic agency.

7 That is, with infidelity.

8 The ancient name of El-Medina.

9 In the trenches which had been dug around the city by the advice of Salmân,
the Persian.

10 They would speedily have quitted the city to attack the faithful in the

11 That is, raise the siege.

12 That is, that through trials we should attain to Paradise, v. 29.

13 After the siege of Medina had been raised, Muhammad made a successful
expedition against the Jews of Koreidha, for their treason and violation of

14 Muhammad's wives having caused him much annoyance by demands of rich
dresses, etc., he gave them the choice of continuing with him as before, or
of divorce. They chose the former. See Abulfeda's Hist. Moh. p. 77, and
Gagnier's Vie de Moh. i. 4, chap. ii.

15 That is, Idolatry. Acts xvii. 30. Freytag (Einl. p. 453) thinks that
previous to Islam, the Arabian women went in public unveiled.

16 The pronoun is in the pl. masc., whereas the pl. fem. is used in the
previous part of the verse. The partisans of Ali quote this passage to prove
the intimate union of Ali and his posterity with the Prophet.

17 That is, to Zaid. The favour of God to Zaid consisted in having caused him
to become a Muslim: the favour of Muhammad in adopting him as his son. Zaid
and Abu Lahab (Sura cxi. p. 29) are the only contemporaries of Muhammad
mentioned by name in the Koran.

18 Thy plan to obtain Zeinab, or Zenobia, Zaid's wife, as thy wife.

19 Lit, who brought the messages of God.

20 If thou makest use of the special prerogative (conferred in verse 49).

21 He had nine wives at this period, beside slaves. The number of wives
allowed to the faithful is four. See note, p. 411. 22 The first slave whom
Muhammad took to wife was Raihana, at the conquest of the Banu Koreidha. His.
693. Weil, 170.

23 Verses 53-55 refer to the conduct of the guests at Muhammad's house after
his marriage with Zeinab. Albuhari passim. Muslim i. 824 ff. Wah. Comp.
Caussir, iii. 151.

24 Ullmann, p. 263, quotes a similar precept from the Talmud, "Do all that
the master of the house biddeth, but wait not to be asked to depart."

25 This verse cannot be of later date than Hej. 8, when Muhammad's daughter
Omm Kulthum died. leaving only Fatima.

26 This may refer to the charge of adultery said by the Rabbins to have been
brought by Korah against Moses. Comp. Tr. Sanhedrin, fol. 110a. and Numbers
xii. 1. The verse is said to have been revealed on account of aspersions
thrown on Muhammad for unfairly dividing spoils, whereupon he said, "God be
merciful to my brother Moses. He was wronged more than this, and bore it with


MEDINA.–11 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

WHEN the Hypocrites come to thee, they say, "We bear witness that thou art
the Sent One of God." God knoweth that thou art His Sent One: but God beareth
witness that the HYPOCRITES do surely lie.

Their faith2 have they used as a cloak, and they turn aside others from the
way of God! Evil are all their doings.

This, for that they believed, then became unbelievers!Therefore hath a seal
been set upon their hearts, and they understand not.

When thou seest them, their persons make thee marvel; and if they speak, thou
listenest with pleasure to their discourse. Like timbers are they leaning
against a wall!3 They think that every shout is against them. They are
enemies–Beware of them then–God do battle with them! How false are they!

And when it is said to them, "Come, the Apostle of God will ask pardon for
you," they turn their heads aside, and thou seest them withdraw in their

Alike shall it be to them whether thou ask forgiveness for them, or ask it
not. By no means will God forgive them: God hath no guidance for a perverse

These are they who say to you of Medina, "Spend not aught upon those who are
with the Apostle of God, and they will be forced to quit him." Yet the
treasures of the Heavens and of the Earth are God's! But the Hypocrites have
no understanding.

They say: "If we return to the city, the mightier will assuredly drive out
the weaker from it." But might is with God, and with the Apostle, and with
the Faithful! Yet the Hypocrites understand not.

O ye who believe! let not your wealth and your children delude you into
forgetfulness of God. Whoever shall act thus, shall surely suffer loss.

And expend in the cause of God out of that with which we have supplied you,
ere death surprise each one of you, and he say, "O Lord! wilt thou not
respite me to a term not far distant, that I may give alms, and become one of
the just?"

And by no means will God respite a soul when its hour hath come! And God is
fully cognisant of what ye do.


1 Revealed shortly after the expedition against the Banu 'l Mustaliq in Hej.
6. See Nöld. p. 156 n. The "Hypocrites" mentioned in the later Suras are the
disaffected portion of the population of Medina, who covertly opposed the
claims of Muhammad to temporal authority over that city. They were gradually
absorbed, as the authority of Islam increased.

2 Or, in accordance with another reading, oaths. Comp. Ps. cix. 18.

3 Like timbers or joists supported in a wall or leaned against it, i.e.,
their persons are bulky, but their hearts so hypocritical and cowardly that
they are afraid of the slightest noise. In the original, saïkat is perhaps an
allusion to the shout of Gabriel, that is to exterminate the wicked.


MEDINA.–64 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

A SURA which we have sent down and sanctioned! Clear signs have we sent down
therein, that ye may take warning.

The whore and the whoremonger–scourge each of them with an hundred stripes;
and let not compassion keep you from carrying out the sentence of God, if ye
believe in God and the last day: And let some of the faithful witness their

The whoremonger shall not marry other than a whore or an idolatress; and the
whore shall not marry other than a whoremonger or an idolater. Such alliances
are forbidden to the faithful.

They who defame virtuous women,2 and bring not four witnesses, scourge them
with fourscore stripes, and receive ye not their testimony for ever, for
these are perverse persons–

Save those who afterwards repent and live virtuously; for truly God is
Lenient, Merciful!

And they who shall accuse their wives, and have no witnesses but themselves,
the testimony of each of them shall be a testimony by God four times
repeated, that he is indeed of them that speak the truth.3

And the fifth time that the malison of God be upon him, if he be of them that

But it shall avert the chastisement from her if she testify a testimony four
times repeated, by God, that he is of them that lie;

And a fifth time to call down the wrath of God on her, if he have spoken the

And but for the goodness and mercy of God towards you, and that God is He who
loveth to turn, Wise . . . . !

Of a truth, they who advanced that lie4 were a large number of you; but
regard it not as an evil to you. No, it is an advantage to you.5 To every man
among them shall it be done according to the offence he hath committed; and
as to that person6 among them who took on himself to aggravate it, a sore
punishment doth await him.

Did not the faithful of both sexes, when ye heard of this, form a favourable
judgment in their own minds, and say,

"This is a manifest lie?"

Have they brought four witnesses of the fact? If they cannot produce the
witnesses, they are the liars in the sight of God.

And but for the goodness of God towards you, and His mercy in this world and
in the next, a severe punishment had come upon you for that which ye spread
abroad, when ye uttered with your tongues, and spake with your mouths that of
which ye had no knowledge. Ye deemed it to be a light matter, but with God it
was a grave one.

And did ye say when ye heard it, "It is not for us to talk of this affair! O
God! By thy Glory, this is a gross calumny?"

God hath warned you that ye go not back to the like of this for ever, if ye
be believers:

And God maketh His signs clear to you: for God is Knowing, Wise.

But as for those who love that foul calumnies should go forth against those
who believe, a grievous chastisement awaits them

In this world and in the next. And God hath knowledge, but ye have not.

And but for the goodness of God towards you and His Mercy, and that God is
Kind, Merciful . . . !

O ye who believe! follow not the steps of Satan, for whosoever shall follow
the steps of Satan, he will enjoin on him what is base and blameworthy; and
but for the goodness of God towards you,7 and His mercy, no one of you had
been cleansed for ever: but God maketh whom He will to be clean, and God
Heareth, Knoweth.

And let not persons of wealth and means among you swear that they will not
give to their kindred, to the poor, and to those who have fled their homes in
the cause of God; let them rather pardon and pass over the offence.8 Desire
ye not that God should forgive you? And God is Gracious, Merciful!

Verily, they who throw out charges against virtuous but careless women, who
yet are believers, shall be cursed in this world and in the world to come;
and a terrible punishment doth await them.

Their own tongues, and hands, and feet, shall one day bear witness against
them of their own doings.9

On that day will God pay them their just due, and they shall know that God is
the clear Truth itself.

Bad women for bad men, and bad men for bad women; but virtuous women for
virtuous men, and virtuous men for virtuous women! These shall be cleared
from calumnies; theirs shall be forgiveness and an honourable provision.

O ye who believe! enter not into other houses10 than your own, until ye have
asked leave, and have saluted its inmates. This will be best for you: haply
ye will bear this in mind.

And if ye find no one therein, then enter it not till leave be given you; and
if it be said to you, "Go ye back," then go ye back. This will be more
blameless in you, and God knoweth what ye do.

There shall be no harm in your entering houses in which no one dwelleth, for
the supply of your needs: and God knoweth what ye do openly and what ye hide.

Speak unto the believers that they restrain their eyes and observe
continence. Thus will they be more pure. God is well aware of what they do.

And speak to the believing women that they refrain their eyes, and observe
continence; and that they display not their ornaments, except those which are
external; and that they throw their veils over their bosoms, and display not
their ornaments, except to their husbands or their fathers, or their
husbands' fathers, or their sons, or their husbands' sons, or their brothers,
or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or their
slaves, or male domestics who have no natural force, or to children who note
not women's nakedness. And let them not strike their feet together, so as to
discover their hidden ornaments.11 And be ye all turned to God, O ye
Believers! that it may be well with you.

And marry those among you who are single, and your good servants, and the
handmaidens. If they are poor, God of His bounty will enrich them. God is
all-bounteous, Knowing.

And let those who cannot find a match12 live in continence till God of His
bounty shall enrich them. And to those of your slaves who desire a deed of
manumission, execute it for them, if ye know good in them, and give them a
portion of the wealth of God which He hath given you.13 Force not your female
slaves into sin, in order that ye may gain the casual fruitions of this
world, if they wish to preserve their modesty. Yet if any one compel them,
then Verily to them, after their compulsion, will God be Forgiving, Merciful.

And now have we sent down to you clear signs, and an instance from among
those who flourished before you, and a caution for the God-fearing.14

God is the LIGHT of the Heavens and of the Earth. His Light is like a niche
in which is a lamp–the lamp encased in glass–the glass, as it were, a
glistening star. From a blessed tree is it lighted, the olive neither of the
East nor of the West, whose oil would well nigh shine out, even though fire
touched it not! It is light upon light. God guideth whom He will to His
light, and God setteth forth parables to men, for God knoweth all things.

In the temples which God hath allowed to be reared, that His name may therein
be remembered, do men praise Him morn and even.

Men whom neither merchandise nor traffic beguile from the remembrance of God,
and from the observance of prayer, and the payment of the stated alms,
through fear of the day when hearts shall throb and eyes shall roll:

That for their most excellent works may God recompense them, and of His
bounty increase it to them more and more: for God maketh provision for whom
He pleaseth without measure.

But as to the infidels, their works are like the vapour in a plain which the
thirsty dreameth to be water, until when he cometh unto it, he findeth it not
aught, but findeth that God is with him; and He fully payeth him his account:
for swift to take account is God:

Or like the darkness on the deep sea when covered by billows riding upon
billows, above which are clouds: darkness upon darkness. When a man reacheth
forth his hand, he cannot nearly see it! He to whom God shall not give light,
no light at all hath he!

Hast thou not seen how all in the Heavens and in the Earth uttereth the
praise of God?–the very birds as they spread their wings? Every creature
knoweth its prayer and its praise! and God knoweth what they do.

God's, the Kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth: and unto God the final

Hast thou not seen that God driveth clouds lightly forward, then gathereth
them together, then pileth them in masses? And then thou seest the rain
forthcoming from their midst; and He causeth clouds like mountains charged
with hail, to descend from the heaven, and He maketh it to fall on whom He
will, and from whom He will He turneth it aside.–The brightness of His
lightning all but taketh away the sight!

God causeth the day and the night to take their turn. Verily in this is
teaching for men of insight. And God hath created every animal of water.15
Some go upon the belly; some go upon two feet; some go upon four feet. God
hath created what He pleased. Aye, God hath power over all things.

Now have we sent down distinct signs.–And God guideth whom He will into the
right path:

For there are who say "We believe on God and on the Apostle, and we obey;"
yet, after this, a part of them turn back.16 But these are not of the

And when they are summoned before God and His Apostle that He may judge
between them, lo! a part of them withdraw:

But had the truth been on their side, they would have come to Him, obedient.

What! are they diseased of heart? Do they doubt? Are they afraid that God and
His Apostles will deal unfairly with them? Nay, themselves are the unjust

The words of the believers, when called to God and His Apostle that He may
judge between them, are only to say, "We have heard, and we obey:" these are
they with whom it shall be well.

And whoso shall obey God, and His Apostle, and shall dread God and fear Him,
these are they that shall be the blissful.

And they have sworn by God, with a most solemn oath, that if thou give them
the word, they will certainly march forth. Say: swear ye not: of more worth
is obedience. Verily, God is well aware of what ye do.

SAY: Obey God and obey the Apostle. Suppose that ye turn back, still the
burden of his duty is on him only, and the burden of your duty rests on you.
If ye obey Him, ye shall have guidance: but plain preaching is all that
devolves upon the Apostle.

God hath promised to those of you who believe and do the things that are
right, that He will cause them to succeed others in the land, as He gave
succession to those who were before them, and that He will establish for them
that religion which they delight in, and that after their fears He will give
them security in exchange. They shall worship Me: nought shall they join with
Me: And whoso, after this, believe not, they will be the impious.

But observe prayer, and pay the stated alms, and obey the Apostle, that haply
ye may find mercy.

Let not the Infidels think that they can weaken God on His own Earth: their
dwelling place shall be the Fire! and right wretched the journey!

O ye who believe! let your slaves, and those of you who have not come of age,
ask leave of you, three times a day, ere they come into your presence;–before
the morning prayer, and when ye lay aside your garments at mid-day, and after
the evening prayer. These are your three times of privacy. No blame shall
attach to you or to them, if after these times, when ye go your rounds of
attendance on one another, they come in without permission. Thus doth God
make clear to you His signs: and God is Knowing, Wise!

And when your children come of age, let them ask leave to come into your
presence, as they who were before them asked it. Thus doth God make clear to
you his signs: and God is Knowing, Wise.

As to women who are past childbearing, and have no hope of marriage, no blame
shall attach to them if they lay aside their outer garments, but so as not to
shew their ornaments. Yet if they abstain from this, it will be better for
them: and God Heareth, Knoweth.

No crime17 shall it be in the blind, or in the lame, or in the sick, to eat
at your tables: or in yourselves, if ye eat in your own houses, or in the
houses of your fathers, or of your mothers, or of your brothers, or of your
sisters, or of your uncles on the father's side, or of your aunts on the
father's side, or of your uncles on the mother's side, or of your aunts on
the mother's side, or in those of which ye possess the keys, or in the house
of your friend. No blame shall attach to you whether ye eat together or

And when ye enter houses, salute one another with a good and blessed greeting
as from God. Thus doth God make clear to you His signs, that haply ye may
comprehend them.

Verily, they only are believers who believe in God and His Apostle, and who,
when they are with him upon any affair of common interest, depart not until
they have sought his leave. Yes, they who ask leave of thee, are those who
believe in God and His Apostle. And when they ask leave of Thee on account of
any affairs of their own, then grant it to those of them whom thou wilt, and
ask indulgence for them of God: for God is Indulgent, Merciful.

Address not the Apostle as ye address one another.18 God knoweth those of you
who withdraw quietly from the assemblies, screening themselves behind others.
And let those who transgress his command beware, lest some present trouble
befall them, or a grievous chastisement befall them, hereafter.

Is not whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth God's? He knoweth your state;
and one day shall men be assembled before Him, and He will tell them of what
they have done: for God knoweth all things.


1 With this verse commences the reference to the scandal against Ayesha, to
which verses 6-9 read like a later addition. See His. 731 ff. Albuhari,
passim. Muslim ii. 628 ff. Tirm. 524. Tabari and Weil, p. 151.

2 Said to refer to Hilal ben Umaiya (Muslim i. 886. Tirm. 523. Annasai, 409
f. Assamarq.) who had accused his wife of adultery. Two of these
commentators, however, give the name of another Muslim as the person

3 Comp. Numb. v. ii, 31, with which Muhammad must have been acquainted.

4 The rumour of improper intimacy between Ayesha and Safwan Ibn El Moattal,
during Muhammad's return from the expedition against the tribe of Mostaliq
(an. Hej. 9), in which he was separated from her for an entire day, which she
passed in the company of Safwan, who had found her when accidentally left
behind. Verses 4-26 were revealed shortly after the return.

5 Whose characters are cleared.

6 Abdallah Ibn Obba. (Abulf. p. 83.)

7 Comp. verse 10, 11 (n.).

8 Abubekr had been desirous to punish one of his relatives, Mestah, who had
propagated the scandal against Ayesha, by refusing him gifts or alms.

9 "The very members of a man shall testify against him, for thus we read
(Jer. xliii. 12), Ye are yourselves my witnesses saith the Lord." Chagiga,
16. Thaanith, 11a.

10 It was the custom in Arabia, before Islam, to enter houses without
permission. Freyt. Einl. p. 216.

11 That is, the anklets. Comp. Isai. iii. 16, 18

12 On account of poverty.

13 Comp. Deut. xv. 12 15.

14 The meaning probably is, that the scandal raised against Ayesha resembled
the scandal in the case of Joseph in Egypt, and of the Virgin Mary, detailed
in previous suras.

15 An idea perhaps derived from Gen. i. 20, 21. Comp. Tr. Cholin, fol. 27a.

16 Verses 46-56 obviously refer to a period, perhaps that between the battle
of Ohod and the end of the war of the Ditch, when Muhammad's prospects were
overclouded and the confidence of his followers shaken.

17 This verse was intended to relieve the scruples of the Muslims, who.
following the superstitious customs of the Arabs, thought that they ought not
to admit the blind, etc. to their tables, to eat alone, or in a house of
which they were entrusted with the key, etc.

18 Lit. make not the calling of the Apostle among you, like the calling of
some of you to others, i.e., address him by some respectful and honourable
title. Thus in the Talmud, "It is forbidden to a disciple to call his Rabbi
by name even when he is not in his presence;" and again: "Neither is he to
salute his Rabbi, nor to return his salutation, in the same way that
salutations are given and returned among friends." "Whoever despises the wise
men hath no portion in the world to come." See Hilchoth Torah, c.5.


MEDINA.–22 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

God hath heard the words of HER1 WHO PLEADED with thee against her husband,
and made her plaint to God; and God hath heard your mutual intercourse: for
God Heareth, Beholdeth.

As to those of you who put away their wives by saying, "Be thou to me as my
mother's back" their mothers2 they are not; they only are their mothers who
gave them birth! they certainly say a blameworthy thing and an untruth:

But truly, God is Forgiving, Indulgent.

And those who thus put away their wives, and afterwards would recall their
words, must free a captive before they can come together again. To this are
ye warned to conform: and God is aware of what ye do.

And he who findeth not a captive to set free, shall fast two months in
succession before they two come together. And he who shall not be able to do
so, shall feed sixty poor men. This, that he may believe in God and His
Apostle. These are the statutes of God: and for the unbelievers is an
afflictive chastisement!

Truly they who oppose God and His Apostle shall be brought low, as those who
were before them were brought low. And now have we sent down demonstrative
signs: and, for the Infidels is a shameful chastisement.

On the day when God shall raise them all to life, and shall tell them of
their doings. God hath taken count of them, though they have forgotten them!
and God is witness over all things.

Dost thou not see that God knoweth all that is in the Heavens and all that is
in the Earth? Three persons speak not privately together, but He is their
fourth; nor five, but He is their sixth; nor fewer nor more, but wherever
they be He is with them. Then on the day of resurrection He will tell them of
their deeds: for God knoweth all things.

Hast thou not marked those who have been forbidden secret talk, and return to
what they have been forbidden, and talk privately together with wickedness,
and hate, and disobedience towards the Apostle? And when they come to thee,
they greet thee not as God greeteth thee:3 and they say among themselves,
"Why doth not God punish us for what we say?" Hell shall be their meed:4 they
shall be burned at its fire: and a wretched passage thither!

O Believers! when ye hold private converse together, let it not be with
wickedness, and hate, and disobedience towards the Apostle; but let your
private talk be with justice and the fear of God: aye, fear ye God unto whom
ye shall be gathered!

Only of Satan is this clandestine talk, that he may bring the faithful to
grief: but, unless by God's permission, not aught shall he harm them! in God
then let the faithful trust.

O ye who believe! when it is said to you, "Make room in your assemblies,"
then make ye room. God will make room for you in Paradise! And when it is
said to you, "Rise up," then rise ye up. God will uplift those of you who
believe, and those to whom "the Knowledge" is given, to lofty grades! and God
is cognisant of your actions.

O ye who believe! when ye go to confer in private with the Apostle, give alms
before such conference. Better will this be for you, and more pure. But if ye
have not the means, then truly God is Lenient, Merciful.

Do ye hesitate to give alms previously to your private conference? Then if ye
do it not (and God will excuse it in you), at least observe prayer, and pay
the stated impost, and obey God and His Apostle: for God is cognisant of your

Hast thou not remarked those who make friends of that people with whom God is
angered? They are neither of your party nor of theirs; and they swear to a
lie,5 knowing it to be such.

God hath got ready for them a severe torment: for, evil is that they do.

They make a cloak of their faith, and turn others aside from the way of God:
wherefore a shameful torment awaiteth them.

Not at all shall their wealth or their children avail them aught against God.
Companions shall they be of the fire: they shall abide therein for ever.

On the day when God shall raise them all, they will swear to Him as they now
swear to you, deeming that it will avail them.  Are they not–yes they–the

Satan hath gotten mastery over them, and made them forget the remembrance of
God. These are Satan's party. What! shall not verily the party of Satan be
for ever lost.

Verily, they who oppose God and His Apostle shall be among the most vile. God
hath written this decree: "I will surely prevail, and my Apostles also."
Truly God is Strong, Mighty.

Thou shalt not find that any of those who believe in God, and in the last
day, love him who opposeth God and His Apostle, even though they be their
fathers, or their sons, or their brethren, or their nearest kin. On the
hearts of these hath God graven the Faith, and with His own Spirit hath He
strengthened them; and He will bring them into gardens, beneath whose shades
the rivers flow, to remain therein eternally. God is well pleased in them,
and they in Him. These are God's party! Shall not, of a truth, a party of God
be for ever blessed?


1 Khaula, daughter of Thalaba, who had been divorced by the formula in verse
2, which was understood among the Arabs to imply perpetual separation. This
Muhammad had asserted in her case; but in consequence of the woman's prayers,
etc., a relaxation of the law, on fulfilment of the conditions mentioned in
verses 4, 5, was hereby allowed. None of the earlier traditions fix any date
for this Sura, though later authorities (Weil, 184) fix the end of Hej. 6, or
the beginning of Hej. 7.–The subject matter is in part similar to that of
Sura xxiv.

2 See Sura [ciii.] xxxiii. 4.

3 Instead of saying, Es-salam aleika, "Peace be on thee," the Infidels and
Jews said, Es-sam aleika, "a plague, or poison on thee." See Geiger, p. 18.

4 Lit. sufficiency.

5 The Jews swear that they are Muslims.


MEDINA.1–78 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

O MEN of Mecca, fear your Lord. Verily, the earthquake of the last Hour will
be a tremendous thing!

On the day when ye shall behold it, every suckling woman shall forsake her
sucking babe; and every woman that hath a burden in her womb shall cast her
burden; and thou shalt see men drunken, yet are they not drunken: but it is
the mighty chastisement of God!

There is a man2 who, without knowledge, wrangleth about God, and followeth
every rebellious Satan;

Concerning whom it is decreed, that he shall surely beguile and guide into
the torment of the Flame, whoever shall take him for his Lord.

O men! if ye doubt as to the resurrection, yet, of a truth, have We created
you of dust, then of the moist germs of life, then of clots of blood, then of
pieces of flesh shapen and unshapen, that We might give you proofs of our
power! And We cause one sex or the other, at our pleasure, to abide in the
womb until the appointed time; then We bring you forth infants; then permit
you to reach your age of strength; and one of you dieth, and another of you
liveth on to an age so abject that all his former knowledge is clean
forgotten!3 And thou hast seen the earth dried up and barren: but when We
send down the rain upon it, it stirreth and swelleth, and groweth every kind
of luxuriant herb.

This, for that God is the Truth, and that it is He who quickeneth the dead,-
and that He hath power over everything:

And that "the Hour" will indeed come–there is no doubt of it–and that God
will wake up to life those who are in the tombs.

A man there is who disputeth about God without knowledge or guidance or
enlightening Book,

Turning aside in scorn to mislead others from the way of God! Disgrace shall
be his in this world; and on the day of the resurrection, We will make him
taste the torment of the burning:–

"This, for thy handywork of old! for God is not unjust to His servants."

There are some who serve God in a single point. If good come upon one of
them, he resteth in it; but if trial come upon him, he turneth him round (to
infidelity) with the loss both of this world and of the next! This same is
the clear ruin!

He calleth upon that beside God which can neither hurt him nor profit him.
This same is the far-gone error!

He calleth on him who would sooner hurt than profit him. Surely, bad the
lord, and, surely, bad the vassal!

But God will bring in those who shall believe and do the things that are
right, into gardens 'neath which the rivers flow: for God doth that which He

Let him who thinketh that God will not help His Apostle in this world and in
the next, stretch a cord aloft as if to destroy himself; then let him cut it,
and see whether his devices can bring that4 to nought at which he was angry!

Thus send we down the Koran with its clear signs (verses): and because God
guideth whom He pleaseth.

As to those who believe, and the Jews, and the Sabeites,5 and the Christians,
and the Magians, and those who join other gods with God, of a truth, God
shall decide between them on the day of resurrection: for God is witness of
all things.

Seest thou not that all in the Heavens and all on the Earth adoreth God? the
sun and the moon and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the
beasts, and many men? But of many is chastisement the due:

And whom God shall disgrace there shall be none to honour: God doth that
which pleaseth Him.

These, the Faithful and the Infidels, are the two disputants who dispute
concerning their Lord: but for those who have disbelieved, garments of fire
shall be cut out; the boiling water shall be poured down upon their heads:

All that is in their bowels, and their skins, shall be dissolved: and there
are maces of iron for them!

So oft as they, for very anguish, would fain come forth thence, back shall
they be turned into it: and–"Taste ye the torment of the burning."

But God will bring in those who shall have believed, and done the things that
are right, into gardens 'neath which the rivers flow. Adorned shall they be
therein with golden bracelets and with pearls, and their raiment therein
shall be of silk;

For they were guided to the best of words; guided to the glorious path!

But those who believe not, and seduce others from the way of God, and from
the Holy Mosque which we have appointed to all men, alike for those who abide
therein, and for the stranger;

And those who seek impiously to profane it, we will cause to taste a grievous

And call to mind when we assigned the site of the House6 to Abraham and said:
"Unite not aught with Me in worship, and cleanse My House for those who go in
procession round it, and who stand or bow in worship:"–

And proclaim to the peoples a PILGRIMAGE: Let them come to thee on foot and
on every fleet7 camel, arriving by every deep defile:

That they may bear witness of its benefits to them, and may make mention of
God's name on the appointed days,8 over the brute beasts with which He hath
supplied them for sustenance: Therefore eat thereof yourselves, and feed the
needy, the poor:

Then let them bring the neglect of their persons to a close,9 and let them
pay their vows, and circuit the ancient House.

This do. And he that respecteth the sacred ordinances of God, this will be
best for him with his Lord. The flesh of cattle is allowed you, save of those
already specified to you. Shun ye, therefore, the pollutions of idols; and
shun ye the word of falsehood;

Sound in faith Godward, uniting no god with Him; for whoever uniteth gods
with God, is like that which falleth from on high, and the birds snatch it
away, or the wind wafteth it to a distant place.

This do. And they who respect the rites of God, perform an action which
proceedeth from piety of heart.

Ye may obtain advantages from the cattle up to the set time for slaying them:
then, the place for sacrificing them is at the ancient House.

And to every people have we appointed rites, that they may commemorate the
name of God over the brute beasts which He hath provided for them. And your
God is the one God. To Him, therefore, surrender yourselves: and bear thou
good tidings to those who humble them,–

Whose hearts, when mention is made of God, thrill with awe; and to those who
remain steadfast under all that be-falleth them, and observe prayer, and give
alms of that with which we have supplied them.

And the camels have we appointed you for the sacrifice to God: much good have
ye in them. Make mention, therefore, of the name of God over them when ye
slay them, as they stand in a row; and when they are fallen over on their
sides, eat of them, and feed him who is content and asketh not, and him who
asketh. Thus have We subjected them to you, to the intent ye should be

By no means can their flesh reach unto God, neither their blood; but piety on
your part reacheth Him. Thus hath He subjected them to you, that ye might
magnify God for His guidance: moreover, announce to those who do good deeds–

That God will ward off mischief from believers: for God loveth not the false,
the Infidel.

A sanction is given to those who, because they have suffered outrages, have
taken up arms; and verily, God is well able to succour them:

Those who have been driven forth from their homes wrongfully, only because
they say "Our Lord is the God." And if God had not repelled some men by
others, cloisters, and churches, and oratories, and mosques, wherein the name
of God is ever commemorated, would surely have been destroyed. And him who
helpeth God will God surely help:11 for God is right Strong, Mighty:–

Those who, if we establish them in this land, will observe prayer, and pay
the alms of obligation, and enjoin what is right, and forbid what is evil.
And the final issue of all things is unto God.

Moreover, if they charge thee with imposture, then already, before them, the
people of Noah, and Ad and Themoud, and the people of Abraham, and the people
of Lot, and the dwellers in Madian, have charged their prophets with
imposture! Moses, too, was charged with imposture! And I bore long with the
unbelievers; then seize on them: and how great was the change I wrought!

And how many cities which had been ungodly, and whose roofs are now laid low
in ruin, have We destroyed! And wells have been abandoned and lofty castles!

Have they not journeyed through the land? Have they not hearts to understand
with, or ears to hear with? It is not that to these sights their eyes are
blind, but the hearts in their breasts are blind!

And they will bid thee to hasten the chastisement. But God cannot fail His
threat. And verily, a day with thy Lord is as a thousand years,12 as ye
reckon them!

How many cities have I long borne with, wicked though they were, yet then
laid hold on them to chastise them! Unto Me shall all return.

SAY: O men! I am only your open warner:

And they who believe and do the things that are right, shall have forgiveness
and an honourable provision;

But those who strive to invalidate our signs shall be inmates of Hell.

We have not sent any apostle or prophet before thee, among whose desires
Satan injected not some wrong desire, but God shall bring to nought that
which Satan had suggested. Thus shall God affirm His revelations13 for God is
Knowing, Wise!

That He may make that which Satan hath injected, a trial to those in whose
hearts is a disease, and whose hearts are hardened.–Verily, the wicked are in
a far-gone severance from the truth!–

And that they to whom "the Knowledge" hath been given, may know that the
Koran is the truth from thy Lord, and may believe in it, and their hearts may
acquiesce in it: for God is surely the guider of those who believe, into the
straight path.

But the Infidels will not cease to doubt concerning it, until "the Hour" come
suddenly upon them, or until the chastisement of the day of desolation come
upon them.

On that day the Kingdom shall be God's: He shall judge between them: and they
who shall have believed and done the things that are right, shall be in
gardens of delight:

But they who were Infidels and treated our signs as lies–these then–their's a
shameful chastisement!

And as to those who fled their country for the cause of God, and were
afterwards slain, or died, surely with goodly provision will God provide for
them! for verily, God! He, surely, is the best of providers!

He will assuredly bring them in with an in-bringing that shall please them
well: for verily, God is right Knowing, Gracious.

So shall it be. And whoever in making exact reprisal for injury done him,
shall again be wronged, God will assuredly aid him: for God is most Merciful,

So shall it be; for that God causeth the night to enter in upon the day, and
He causeth the day to enter in upon the night: and for that God Heareth,

So shall it be, for that God is the truth; and because what they call on
beside Him is vanity: and because God is the Lofty, the Mighty!

Seest thou not that God sendeth down water from Heaven, and that on the
morrow the earth is clad with verdure? for God is benignant, cognisant of

His, all in the Heavens and all on Earth: and verily, God! He assuredly is
the Rich, the Praiseworthy!

Seest thou not that God hath put under you whatever is in the earth; and the
ships which traverse the sea at His bidding? And He holdeth back the heaven
that it fall not on the earth, unless He permit it! for God is right Gracious
to mankind, Merciful.

And He it is who hath given you life, then will cause you to die, then will
give you life–of a truth man is all ungrateful.

To every people have we appointed observances which they observe. Therefore,
let them not dispute this matter with thee, but bid them to thy Lord, for
thou art on the right way:

But if they debate with thee, then Say: God best knoweth what ye do!

God will judge between you on the day of resurrection, as to the matters
wherein ye differ.

Knowest thou not that God knoweth whatever is in the Heaven and on the Earth?
This truly is written in the Book: this truly is easy for God.

They worship beside God, that for which He hath sent down no warranty, and
that of which they have no knowledge: but for those who commit this wrong, no

And when our clear signs are rehearsed to them, thou mayst perceive disdain
in the countenances of the Infidels. Scarce can they refrain from rushing to
attack those who rehearse our signs to them! SAY: Shall I tell you of worse
than this? The fire which God hath threatened to those who believe not!
Wretched the passage thither!

O men! a parable is set forth to you, wherefore hearken to it. Verily, they
on whom ye call beside God, cannot create a fly, though they assemble for it;
and if the fly carry off aught from them, they cannot take it away from it!
Weak the suppliant and the supplicated!

Unworthy the estimate they form of God!14 for God is right Powerful, Mighty!

God chooseth messengers from among the angels and from among men: verily, God
Heareth, Seeth.

He knoweth what is before them and what is behind them; and unto God shall
all things return.

Believers! bow down and prostrate yourselves and worship your Lord, and work
righteousness that you may fare well.

And do valiantly in the cause of God as it behoveth you to do for Him. He
hath elected you, and hath not laid on you any hardship in religion, the
Faith of your father Abraham. He hath named you the Muslims

Heretofore and in this Book, that the Apostles may be a witness against you,
and that ye may be witnesses against the rest of mankind. Therefore observe
prayer, and pay the legal impost, and cleave fast to God. He is your liege
Lord–a goodly Lord, and a goodly Helper!


1 This Sura is generally said to have been revealed at Mecca,–but this is
probably only the case with verses 1-24; 43-56; 60-65; 67-75. Mr. Muir places
it at the close of the Meccan Suras of the fifth period. See Nöld, p. 158.

2 Said to be Abu Jahl. See Sura xcvi. p. 20, n. 2.

3 Lit. so that after knowledge he knoweth not aught.

4 The teachings and progress of Islam.

5 See Sura [xci.] ii. 59. The Sabeites were probably Hanyfs. See Pref.

6 The Kaaba. Sharastani informs us that there was an opinion prevalent among
the Arabs, that the walking round the Kaaba, and other ceremonies, were
symbolic of the motion of the planets and of other astronomical facts.
Watwat, Mabahij al Fikr., Lib. i., c. 2, says that "most Arabic tribes were
originally star-worshippers, Sabeans. The people of Saba worshipped the Sun,
the tribes of Asad and Kaninah the Moon, etc. etc. At a later period they all
sunk into idolatry, and in the time of Muhammad, the idols round the Kaaba
amounted to 360."

7 Lit. thin, with the implied sense of fleet.

8 The ten first days of the Dhu'lhajja. For the ceremonies, see Freytag's
Einleitung, p. 418; Burton's Pilgrimage, vol. iii.; Sale's Notes and Prelim.

9 That is, the uncut beards, nails, etc.

10 Offerings of animals are by no means confined to Mecca and the Pilgrimage.
"It is not uncommon," says Mr. Lane, "without any definite view but that of
obtaining general blessings, to make vows (of animals): and sometimes a
peasant vows that he will sacrifice, for the sake of a saint, a calf which he
possesses, as soon as it is grown and fatted. It is let loose, by consent of
all his neighbours, to pasture where it will, even in fields of young wheat;
and at last, after it has been sacrificed, a public feast is made of its
meat. Many a large bull is thus given away." Modern Egyptians, i. 307.
Compare Dr. Gobat's Abyssinia, p. 294, 7, for similar customs among
Christians of probably Arabian extraction. Five or six thousand animals are
said to have been slain in the valley of Mina by the pilgrims of the year
1854. (See Lieut. Burton's Pilgrimage, iii. p. 313.) The victim is considered
by the devout as an expression of their conviction that death is their desert
at the hands of God.

11 See Ibn Batoutah, iv. 106. (Par. ed.)

12 Comp. Sur. xxxii. 4, p. 190.

13 The ayats, signs or verses of the Koran. It is said by tradition that
Muhammad was consoled by this revelation for the Satanic suggestion mentioned
Sur. liii. 20, p. 70 (n.). But in this view of the text, for among whose
desires, or affections, we should render when he recited.

14 Lit. they measure not God with truth of His measurement.


MEDINA.–29 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Verily, We have won for thee an undoubted VICTORY1–

In token that God forgiveth thy earlier and later faults, and fulfilleth His
goodness to thee, and guideth thee on the right way,

And that God succoureth thee with a mighty succour.

He it is who sendeth down a spirit of secure repose into the hearts of the
faithful that they might add faith to their faith; (for God's are the armies
of the Heavens and of the Earth: and God is Knowing, Wise:)

And that He may bring the believing men and the believing women into gardens
'neath whose trees the rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever, and that He
may cancel their evil deeds: for this is the great bliss with God:

And that He may punish the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women, and
the men and women who join other gods with God, and think evil thoughts of
Him. Theirs shall be a round of evil; and God is angry with them and curseth
them, and hath prepared Hell for them: and, an evil journey thither!

The armies of the Heavens and of the Earth are God's, and God is Mighty,

Verily, we have sent thee to be a witness and a herald of good (an
announcer), and a warner,

That ye may believe on God and on His Apostle; and may assist Him, and honour
Him, and praise him, morning and evening.

In truth, they who plighted fealty to thee, really plighted that fealty to
God: the hand of God was over their hands! Whoever, therefore, shall break
his oath shall only break it to his own hurt; but whoever shall be true to
his engagement with God, He will give him a great reward.

The Arabs who took not the field with you,2 will say to thee,3 "We were
engaged with our property and our families; therefore ask thou pardon for
us." They speak with their tongues what is not in their hearts. SAY: And who
can have any power over God in your behalf, whether he will you some loss, or
whether he will you an advantage? Yes, God is acquainted with your doings.

But ye thought that the Apostle and the faithful could never more come back
to their families; and your hearts were pleased at this; and ye thought an
evil thought of this expedition, and ye became an undone people:

For, whoso believeth not in God, and His Apostle. . . .  Verily, we have got
ready the flame for the Infidels!

And God's is the kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth: Whom He will He
forgiveth, and whom He will He punisheth: and God is Gracious, Merciful!

They who took not the field with you will say, when ye go forth to the spoil
to take it, "Let us follow you." Fain would they change the word of God.4
SAY: Ye shall by no means follow us: thus hath God said already. They will
say, "Nay, ye are jealous of us." Nay! they are men of little understanding.

SAY to those Arabs of the desert, who took not the field, ye shall be called
forth against a people of mighty valour. Ye shall do battle with them, or
they shall profess Islam. If ye obey, a goodly recompense will God give you;
but if ye turn back, as ye turned back aforetime, He will chastise you with a
sore chastisement.

It shall be no crime on the part of the blind, the lame, or the sick, if they
go not to the fight. But whoso shall obey God and His Apostle, he shall bring
him into the gardens 'neath which the rivers flow: but whoso shall turn back,
He will punish him with a sore punishment.

Well pleased now hath God been with the believers when they plighted fealty
to thee under the tree;5 and He knew what was in their hearts: therefore did
He send down upon them a spirit of secure repose, and rewarded them with a
speedy victory,

And with the rich booty which they took: for God is Mighty, Wise!

God promised you the taking of a rich booty6 and sped it to you; and He
withheld men's hands from you, for a sign to the faithful, and that He might
guide you along the right way:–

And other booty, over which ye have not yet had power: but now hath God
compassed them for you; for God is over all things Potent.

If the Infidels shall fight against you, they shall assuredly turn their
backs; then, neither protector nor helper shall they find!

Such is God's method carried into effect of old; no change canst thou find in
God's mode of dealing.

And He it was who held their hands from you and your hands from them in the
valley of Mecca,7 after that He had given you the victory over them: for God
saw what ye did.

These are they who believed not, and kept you away from the sacred Mosque, as
well as the offering which was prevented from reaching the place of
sacrifice. And had it not been that ye would have trodden down believers,
both men and women, whom ye knew not, so that a crime might have lighted on
you without your knowledge on their account, and that God would bring whom He
will within His mercy, this would have been otherwise ordered. Had they been
apart,8 we had surely punished such of them as believed not, with a sore

When the unbelievers had fostered rage in their hearts–the rage of ignorance
(of heathens)–God sent down His peace on His Apostle and on the faithful, and
stablished in them the word of piety, for they were most worthy and deserving
of it: and God knoweth all things.

Now hath God in truth made good to His Apostle the dream9 in which he said,
"Ye shall surely enter the sacred Mosque, if God will, in full security,
having your heads shaved and your hair cut: ye shall not fear; for He knoweth
what ye know not; and He hath ordained you, beside this, a speedy victory."

It is He who hath sent His Apostle with "the Guidance," and the religion of
truth, that He may exalt it above every religion. And enough for thee is this
testimony on the part of God.

Muhammad is the Apostle of God; and his comrades are vehement against the
infidels, but full of tenderness among themselves. Thou mayst see them bowing
down, prostrating themselves, imploring favours from God, and His acceptance.
Their tokens10 are on their faces, the marks of their prostrations. This is
their picture in the Law, and their picture in the Evangel:11 they are as the
seed which putteth forth its stalk; then strengtheneth it, and it groweth
stout, and riseth upon its stem,12 rejoicing the husbandman–that the infidels
may be wrathful at them. To such of them as believe and do the things that
are right, hath God promised forgiveness and a noble recompense.


1 This Sura was probably revealed shortly after the peace of Hudaibiya. Ann.
Hej. 6. Some commentators, however, understand the Victory of the taking of
Mecca two years–later the preterite being used in the prophetic style for the
future–others of the taking of Chaibar, or Muta (?), a town of the Roman

2 Lit. were left behind.

3 On the return to Medina. See Weil's Leben M. p. 173 (n.).

4 The law relative to booty, viz. that those who were not at Hudaibiya should
have no share in the booty to be obtained from the Jews at Chaibar. Muhammad
marched against them in Hej. 7.

5 When the rumour reached Muhammad at Hudaibiya that Othman Ibn Affan, whom
he had sent to inform the Meccans that he was merely coming to visit their
temple, and with peaceable intentions, had been slain by them.

6 At Chaibar.

7 The valley of Mecca may mean Hudaibiya. But the commentators explain this
verse of different events. It probably, however, refers to the 50 (according
to Djalalein 80) prisoners whom Muhammad dismissed freely at Hudaibiya.

8 Had the believers been separate from the infidels.

9 This dream Muhammad had at Medina, before he set out for