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Abstract of the Contents of the Qur'an . 

I. The Opening Chapter (Mecca) 

II. The Chapter of the Heifer (Medinah) . 

III. The Chapter of Imran's Family (Medinah) 

IV. The Chapter of Women (Medinah). 

V. The Chapter of the Table (Medinah) . 

VI. The Chapter of Cattle (Mecca) 

VII. The Chapter of Al Aar&f (Mecca) . 

VIII. The Chapter of the Spoils (Medinah) . 

IX. The Chapter of Repentance or Immunity (Medinah) 

X. The Chapter of Jonah (Mecca) 

XI. The Chapter of Hud (Mecca) 

XII. The Chapter of Joseph (Mecca) 

XIII. The Chapter of Thunder (Mecca) . 

XIV. The Chapter of Abraham (Mecca) . 

XV. The Chapter of El 'ffagr (Mecca) . 

XVI. The Chapter of the Bee (Mecca) . 





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BEFORE entering upon an intelligent study of the Qur'an 
it is necessary to make oneself acquainted with the circum- 
stances of the people in whose midst it was revealed, with 
the political and religious aspects of the period, and with 
the personal history of the prophet himself. 

Arabia or Gazirat el 'Arab, ' the Arabian Peninsula,' as 
it is called by native writers, is bounded on the west by the 
Red Sea ; on the east by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of 
Oman ; on the south by the Indian Ocean ; and on the 
north it extends to the confines of Babylonia and Syria. 

The Arabs were divided into those of the desert and 
those of the towns. 

The first were settled in the sterile country of the Higaz, 
and the no less barren highlands of Ne^d. 

The principalities bordering on Syria and Persia were 
vassals of the Roman and Persian empires ; the kingdom 
of Himyar in Yemen, to the south of the Peninsula, was in 
free communication with the rest of the world ; but the 
Hig-az, ' the barrier,' had effectually resisted alike the 
curiosity and the attacks of the nations who fought 
around it for the empire of the world. Persia, Egypt, 
Rome, Byzantium had each unsuccessfully essayed to pene- 
trate the country and conquer its hardy inhabitants. 

The Hjg-az consists of the barren ranges of hills which 
lead up from the lowlands on the Eastern coast of the Red 
Sea to the highlands of Ne^d. In its valleys lie the holy 
cities of Mecca and Medinah, and here was the birthplace of 
el Islam. 

The Arabs of the desert preserved almost intact the 
manners, customs, and primeval simplicity of the early 

They lived in tents made of hair or woollen cloth, and 

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their principal wealth consisted in their camels, horses, and 
male and female slaves. 

They were a nomad race, changing their residence to the 
various places within their own territory, which afforded 
the best pasturage as the seasons came round. 

Brave and chivalrous, the Arab was always ready to 
defend the stranger who claimed his protection, while he 
would stand by a member of his own clan and defend him 
with his life, whether he were right or wrong. This devo- 
tion to the tribe was one of the strongest characteristics of 
the Arabs, and must be borne in mind if we would under- 
stand aright the early history of Islam. 

They were generous and hospitable to a fault, and many 
a tale is told of a chief who gave away his last camel, or 
slew his favourite horse to feed a guest, while he and his 
family were well-nigh left to starve. 

Pride of birth was their passion, and poetry their great- 
est delight ; their bards recited the noble pedigrees and 
doughty deeds of their tribes, — as their own proverb has it, 
' the registers of the Arabs are the verses of their bards,' — 
and in the numerous ancient poems still extant we have 
invaluable materials for the history of the race. 

But their vices were as conspicuous as their virtues, and 
drunkenness, gambling, and the grossest immorality were 
very prevalent amongst them; Robbery and murder were 
their ordinary occupations, for an Arab looked on work or 
agriculture as beneath his dignity, and thought that he had a 
prescriptive right to the property of those who condescended 
to such mean offices. The death of an Arab, however, was 
revenged with such rigour and vindictiveness by the fierce 
laws of the blood feud, that a certain check was placed 
upon their bloodthirsty propensities even in their wars ; 
and these were still further tempered by the institution of 
certain sacred months, during which it was unlawful to 
fight or pillage. Cruel, and superstitious too, they were, 
and amongst the inhuman customs which Mohammed 
swept away, none is more revolting than that, commonly 
practised by them, of burying their female children alive. 

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The position of women amongst them was not an ele- 
vated one, and although there are instances on record of 
heroines and poetesses who exalted ©r celebrated the 
honour of their clan, they were for the most part looked 
on with contempt. The marriage knot was tied in the 
simplest fashion and untied as easily, divorce depending 
only on the option and caprice of the husband. 

As for government they had, virtually, none ; the best born 
and bravest man was recognised as head of the tribe, and 
led them to battle ; but he had no personal authority over 
them, and no superiority but that of the admiration which 
his bravery and generosity gained for him. 

The religion of the Arabs was Sabaeanism, or the worship 
of the hosts of heaven, Seth and Enoch being considered 
as the prophets of the faith. 

This cult no doubt came from Chaldea, and the belief in 
the existence of angels, which they also professed, is trace- 
able to the same source. Their practice of making the 
circuit of the holy shrines, still continued as part of the 
'Hagg ceremonies, probably also arose from this planetary 

The comparatively simple star-worship of the Sabaeans 
was, however, greatly corrupted ; and a number of fresh 
deities, superstitious practices^ and: meaningless rites had 
been introduced. 

The strange sounds that often break the terrible stillness 
of the desert ; the sudden storms of sand or rain that in 
a moment cover the surface of a plain, or change a dry 
valley into a roaring torrent ; these and a thousand other 
such causes naturally produce a strong effect upon an 
imagination quickened by the keen air and the freedom of 
the desert. 

The Arab, therefore, peopled the vast solitudes amidst 
which he dwelt with supernatural beings, and fancied that 
every rock, and tree, and cavern had its £inn or presiding 
genius. These beings were conceived to be both beneficent 
and malevolent, and were worshipped to propitiate their help 
or avert their harm. From the worship of these personifi- 

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cations of the powers of nature to that of the presiding 
genius of a tribe or of a place, is an easy transition, and 
we accordingly find that each tribe had its patron deity 
with the cult of which their interests were intimately 
bound up. The chief god of this vague national cult was 
Allah, and most tribes set up a shrine for him as well as 
for their own particular deity. The offerings dedicated to 
the former were set apart for the advantage of the poor 
and of strangers, while those brought to the local idol were 
reserved for the use of the priests. If Allah had by any 
chance anything better than the inferior deity, or a portion 
of his offerings fell into the lot of the local idol, the priests 
at once appropriated it ; this practice is reprehended by 
Mohammed in the Qur'an (VI, ver. 137). 
The principal deities of the Arab pantheon were — 
Allah ta'alah, the God most high. 

Hubal, the chief of the minor deities ; this was in the 
form of a man. It was brought from Syria, and was sup- 
posed to procure rain. 

Wadd, said to have represented the heaven, and to have 
been worshipped under the form of a man. 

Suwa'h, an idol in the form of a woman, and believed 
to be a relic of antediluvian times. 
Ya^uTH, an idol in the shape of a lion. 
Ya'uq, worshipped under the figure of a horse. 
Nasr, which was, as the name implies, worshipped under 
the semblance of an eagle. 

El 'Huzza, identified with Venus, but it appears to have 
been worshipped under the form of an acacia tree, cf. 
note a, p. 13a. 

Allat, the chief idol of the tribe of THaqif at Ta'if, 
who endeavoured to make it a condition of surrender to 
Mohammed that he should not destroy it for three years, 
and that their territory should be considered sacred like 
that of Mecca, a condition which the prophet peremptorily 
refused. The name appears to be the feminine of Allah. 

Manat, worshipped in the form of a large sacrificial stone 
by several tribes, including that of HuDHeil. 

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Duwar, a favourite idol with the young women, who 
used to go in procession round it, whence its name. 
Isaf, an idol that stood on Mount Zafa. 
Nalla, an image on mount Marwa. 

The last two were such favourite objects of worship that, 
although Mohammed ordered them to be destroyed, he was 
not able entirely to divert the popular regard from them, and 
the visitation of Zafa and Marwa are still an important part 
of the 'Ha^g - rites. 

'Hab'hab was a large stone upon which camels were 

El 'Huzza, Allat, and Manat are mentioned by name in 
the Qur'an, see Chapter LIII, vers. 19-20. 

The Kaabah, or chief shrine of the faith, contained, be- 
sides these, images representing Abraham and Ishmael, 
each with divining arrows in his hand, and a statue or 
picture representing the virgin and child. 

There were altogether 365 idols there in Mohammed's 

Another object of worship then, and of the greatest 
veneration now, is the celebrated black stone which is 
inserted in the wall of the Kaabah, and is supposed to 
have been one of the stones of Paradise, originally white, 
though since blackened by the kisses of sinful but believing 

The worship of stones is a very old form of Semitic cult, 
and it is curious to note that Jacob ' took the stone that he 
had put for his pillow, and set it up for a pillar, and poured 
oil on the top of it ; and he called the name of the place 
Bethel 1 :' and that at Mecca the principal object of sacred 
interest is a stone, and that the Kaabah has been known, 
from time immemorial, as Bait allah, 'the house of God.' 

The^inn, like the angels, were held by the ancient Arabs 
to be the daughters of Allah ; they were supposed to be 
created out of fire instead of clay, but in all other respects 
to resemble mankind, and to be subject to the same laws of 
procreation and decease. 

1 Genesis xxviii. 18-19. 

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Mohammed believed that he was sent as an apostle to 
both men and^inns, and Surah LXXII contains an allusion 
to a vision in which he beheld a multitude of the ^inns 
bowing in adoration and listening to the message which 
man had disdainfully refused. 

Witches and wizards were also believed to exist, that is, 
persons who had contrived to subject one or more of these 
supernatural powers by spells, of which the holy name 
was the most powerful. 

Two fallen angels, Harut and Marut, confined in a pit 
at Babylon, where they are hung by their heels in chains 
until the judgment day, are always ready to instruct men 
in the magical art 

The belief in Allah himself was little more than a remini- 
scence, and as he had no priesthood, and was not the patron 
of any particular tribe, his supremacy was merely nominal. 

The belief in a future life had not as yet taken a definite 
hold on the people, and the few who, following the old 
savage plan, buried a camel with its master or tied it up to 
die of hunger at his grave, so that he might not be obliged 
to enter the next world on foot, probably did it rather from 
custom than from a belief in its real significance. 

In short, the Arab of Mohammed's time was what the 
Bedawi of to-day i6, indifferent to religion itself, but using 
a few phrases and practising, in a merely perfunctory man- 
ner, a few observances which his forefathers had handed 
down to him. 

Christianity had already established itself in Arabia. In 
Yemen, the city of Na^ran had become the seat of a 
Christian bishopric, and some of the more important tribes, 
like Kindeh and Ghassan, had embraced Christianity, which 
was also the religion of most of the Arabs of Syria. 

But it had not penetrated deeply into their hearts, and 
its miracles, its doctrine of the Trinity, and the subtle dis- 
putes of monophysites and monothelites were absolutely 
incomprehensible to them. 

Judaism was more in accordance with their habits and 
traditions : a number of Jews had found their way into the 

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country after the repression of the revolt against the 
emperor Adrian, and had made numerous converts. Their 
creed, however, being based on the idea that they alone 
are the chosen people, was too exclusive for the majority of 
the Arabs, while the numerous and vexatious restrictions of 
its ritual and regulations for every-day life were but ill 
suited to the free and restless spirit of the sons of the 

At the time of Mohammed's appearance the national 
religion of the Arabs had so far degenerated as to have 
scarcely any believers. The primeval Sabaeanism was all 
but lost, and even the worship of the powers of nature 
had become little more than a gross fetishism ; as one of 
Mohammed's contemporaries said, when they found a fine 
stone they adored it, or, failing that, milked a camel over a 
heap of sand and worshipped that. 

But by far the greater number had ceased to believe in 
anything at all ; the pilgrimages, sacrifices, and worship of 
the tribal idols were still kept up, but rather for political 
and commercial reasons than as a matter of faith or con- 
viction. Some, indeed, did consult the oracles, or vow an 
offering to their god in case of some desired event coming 
to pass ; but, if their hopes were disappointed, the deity was 
assailed with childish abuse, while, if they succeeded, the 
vow was evaded by some less expensive sacrifice. 

Yet the mere existence amongst them of Christians and of 
Jews caused the monotheistic idea to attract the attention 
of some of the more earnest and enquiring minds. 

Amongst those who had endeavoured to search for the 
truth among the mass of conflicting dogmas and supersti- 
tions of the religions that surrounded them were Waraqah, 
the prophet's cousin, and Zeid ibn 'Amr, surnamed ' the 

These enquirers were known as 'Hanifs, a word which 
originally meant ' inclining one's steps towards anything,' 
and therefore signified either convert or pervert. 

They did not constitute a united party, but each for him- 
self investigated the truth. There was, however, another 

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sect who professed to have found the truth, and who 
preached the faith of their father Abraham, nothing more 
nor less, in fact, than the doctrine of the unity of God. 
These also called themselves 'Hanifs, and Mohammed 
himself at first adopted the title as expressing the faith of 
Abraham \ but subsequently changed it to Muslim. 

The chief seat of the cult of the deities of Arabia was 
Mecca, also called Bekka, both names signifying a place of 
concourse ; another name of the city is Umm el Qura, ' the 
mother of cities,' or metropolis. It was built about the 
middle of the fifth century of our era by the QuraLr on 
their obtaining possession of the Kaabah, the most ancient 
shrine in the country. It is situated in a narrow sandy 
valley shut in by bare mountains. The soil around the 
city is stony and unproductive, and the inhabitants are 
obliged to import their own provisions. To furnish this 
supply with more regularity Hashim, Mohammed's grand- 
father, appointed two caravans, one in winter and the other 
in summer, to set out yearly ; they are mentioned in the 
Qur'an, Chapter CVI. 

The territory of Mecca was held sacred ; it was a sanctuary 
for man and beast, since it was unlawful to take any life 
there save those of the animals brought thither for sacrifice, 
at the time of the great gatherings of pilgrims who flocked 
yearly to the shrine. 

The Kaabah is mentioned by Diodorus as a famous 
temple whose sanctity was even then revered by all the 
Arabians ; its origin must therefore be ascribed to a very 
remote period. 

The name, which simply means 'a cube,' was given it 
on account of its shape, it being built square of unhewn 
stones. It was supposed to have been built by Adam from 
a model brought from heaven, and to have been sub- 
sequently restored by Seth, and later on by Abraham and 

The stone on which Abraham stood when rebuilding the 

1 See Qur'an II, 129. 

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Kaabah is still shown there ; it is called the maqam Ibrahim 
or Abraham's station, and is mentioned several times in the 

The well Zemzem, amongst the most venerated objects 
in the sacred precincts of Mecca, is believed to be the 
spring which Hagar discovered when she fled out into 
the wilderness with her son Ishmael. It was a small stream 
flowing from one of the surrounding hills, and this having 
in course of time dried up, Abd al MuWalib, Mohammed's 
grandfather, caused the well to be dug on the spot whence 
the spring originally issued. 

The Kaabah, so far as the dim legends of antiquity throw 
any light on the subject, remained for a long period in the 
hands of the descendants of Ishmael, and on their migrating 
to other parts of the peninsula its guardianship became 
vested in their kinsmen, the Jorhamites. These were driven 
out by the Amalekites, who were in turn defeated by 
the combined forces of the Ishmaelites and Jorhamites, the 
latter of whom again became masters of the temple. The 
Jorhamites were defeated and deposed by a coalition of 
the Benu Bakr and Benu '//uza'hah, and the charge of the 
Kaabah remained with the last-mentioned tribe. 

'Amr ibn La'hy, a chief of the Benu 'i/uza'hah, now 
assumed the political and religious chieftainship of Mecca, 
and it was in his reign that the idols were placed in the 
Kaabah. The result of this was vastly to increase the 
importance of the city and its temple, as the various objects 
to which individual tribes paid worship were then all con- 
centrated within its precincts. 

Quzai, an ancestor of the prophet, making common cause 
with the Benu Kenanah, defeated the Benu Bakr and Benu 
'//uza'hah and restored the custody of the Kaabah to his 
own tribe, the Quratr. 

From Quzai it descended to his eldest son 'Abd ed 
Dar, from whom the principal offices were however trans- 
ferred to his brother 'Abd Menaf. These were the privilege 
of supplying the pilgrims with water and food at the time 
of the 'Ha^y ; the command of the army and civic head- 
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ship of the town ; and the custody of the Kaabah before 
alluded to. 

'Abd Menaf left four sons, 'Abd Shems, Hashim, al 
Muttalib, and Naufel. To Hashim was entrusted the 
guardianship of the Kaabah and the right of supplying food 
to the pilgrims, together with the princedom of Mecca, 
while to the descendants of 'Abd ed Dar was left only the 
office of supplying them with water. 

Hashim and his son 'Abd al Mu/*alib filled' the office 
with so much liberality that the wealth of the family, 
though considerable, was nearly all dissipated, and the 
rival family of Ommaiyeh, son of 'Abd Shems, took over 
the more expensive offices with the prestige which they 
naturally carried. It was during the reign of 'Abd al Mut- 
/alib that the invasion of Mecca by the Abyssinian army 
under Ashram the Abraha took place ; they were however 
repulsed with great loss. This year was afterwards known 
as the ' Year of the Elephant,' from the fact of these animals 
having been employed against the holy city. 'Abd al 
Mu#alib's youngest son, Abd allah, married a kinswoman 
settled at YaTHrib (Medinah), by whom he had one post- 
humous child Mohammed, the future prophet. 

The exact date generally given of Mohammed's birth is 
April ao, 571 A. D., but all that is absolutely certain; is that 
he was born in the Year of the Elephant. All that the 
child inherited from his father was five camels and a slave 

According to the fashion of the country he was provided 
with a Bedawi wet nurse, one 'Haltmah, who took him with 
her to the tents of her people and reared him amidst the 
invigorating surroundings of desert life. 

At the age of six Mohammed lost his mother, Amtnah. 

The orphan was taken care of by his grandfather 'Abd 
al Mu#alib, who showed for him very great affection, and 
at his death, which happened two years later, left him to 
the guardianship of his son Abu Talib, afterwards one of the 
most prominent persons in Muslim history. 

To support himself the young Mohammed was obliged 

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to tend the sheep and goats of the Meccans, an occupation 
which, even at the present day, is considered by the Bedawin 
as derogatory to the position of a male. Of this part of his 
life we know but little, for although Muslim historians relate 
innumerable legends about him, they are for the most part 
obviously false, and quite unimportant to the real under- 
standing of his life and character. 

At the age of twenty-four he was employed by a rich 
widow, named '//adi^ah, to drive the caravans of camels 
with which she carried on an extensive trade. 

So well did Mohammed ingratiate himself with his 
employer, who was also his kinswoman, that she offered 
him her hand, and although she was forty years of age and 
he barely twenty-five, their union was eminently a happy 

Long after her death his love for '//ad^ah remained 
fresh in Mohammed's heart ; he would never lose an oppor- 
tunity of extolling her virtues, and would often kill a sheep 
and distribute its flesh to the poor in honour of her memory. 

'Ayeshah, daughter of Abu Bekr, whom he married three 
years after '/fa.d\gah's decease, was in the habit of saying 
that she was never jealous of any of his wives except ' the 
toothless old woman.' 

Six children were the issue of this marriage, four girls 
and two boys ; both of the latter died at an early age. 

But of this portion of his career, too, we have no authentic 
information; all that is certain is that he was an honest, 
upright man, irreproachable in his domestic relations and 
universally esteemed by his fellow-citizens, who bestowed 
upon him the sdbriquet of El Amin, 'the trusty.' 

Mohammed was a man of middle height, but of com- 
manding presence; rather thin, but with broad shoulders 
and a wide chest ; a massive head, a frank oval face with a 
clear complexion, restless black eyes, long heavy eyelashes, 
a prominent aquiline nose, white teeth, and a full thick 
beard are the principal features of the verbal portraits 
historians have drawn of him. 

He was a man of highly nervous organization, thoughtful, 


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restless, inclined to melancholy, and possessing an extreme 
sensibility, being unable to endure the slightest unpleasant 
odour or the least physical pain. 

Simple in his habits, kind and courteous in his demeanour, 
and agreeable in conversation, he gained many over to his 
side, as much by the charm of his manners as by the 
doctrine which he preached. 

Mohammed had already reached his fortieth year when 
the first revelations came to him. They were the almost 
natural outcome of his mode of life and habit of thought, 
and especially of his physical constitution. From youth 
upwards he had suffered from a nervous disorder which 
tradition calls epilepsy, but the symptoms of which more 
closely resemble certain hysterical phenomena well known 
and diagnosed in the present time, and which are almost 
always accompanied with hallucinations, abnormal exercise 
of the mental functions, and not unfrequently with a certain 
amount of deception, both voluntary and otherwise. 

He was also in the habit of passing long periods in 
solitude and deep thought; and he was profoundly im- 
pressed with the falsehood and immorality of the religion 
of his compatriots and with horror at their vicious and 
inhuman practices, and had for his best friends men, such 
as his cousin Waraqah and Zaid ibn Amr, who had, pro- 
fessedly, been long seeking after the truth and who had 
publicly renounced the popular religion. 

At length, during one of his solitary sojournings on Mount 
'Hira, a wild and lonely mountain near Mecca, an angel 
appeared to him and bade him ' READ 1 V 'I am no 
reader!' Mohammed replied in great trepidation, whereon 
the angel shook him violently and again bade him read. 

1 In Arabic iqra' ; a great difference of opinion exists even among Moham- 
medans about the exact meaning of this word. I have followed the most gene- 
rally accepted tradition that it has its ordinary signification of ' reading,' and 
this is supported by the reference immediately afterwards to writing ; others 
take it to mean 'recite!' Sprenger imagines it to mean 'read the Jewish and 
Christian scriptures,' which, however ingenious, is, as an Arab would say, band, 
singularly frigid and foreign to the spirit of the language. 

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This was repeated three times, when the anger uttered the 
five verses which commence the 96th chapter : 

' READ ! in the name of thy Lord, who did create — 
Who did create man from congealed blood. 
READ ! for thy Lord is the most generous, 
Who has taught the use of the pen, — 
Has taught man what he did not know.' 

Terribly frightened, he hastened home to his faithful wife 
'i/adi^ah, who comforted him. The vision of the angel was 
not repeated, but his hallucinations and mental excitement 
continued to such an extent that a new fear took hold of 
him, and he began to wonder whether he were not, after all, 
possessed by a ^inn, one of those dread supernatural beings 
of which I have before spoken. 

Persons afflicted with epileptic or hysterical symptoms 
were supposed by the Arabs, as by so many other nations, 
to be possessed, and we find the constant complaint in the 
Qur'an that he was regarded as such by his fellow-citizens. 
Poetic frenzy was evidently recognised by them as nearly 
akin to demoniacal possession, and of this charge, too, the 
prophet frequently endeavours to clear himself. His habit 
of fasting and watching throughout the night would and no 
doubt did increase his tendency to mental excitement and 
visionary hallucinations. 

The celebrated ' night journey ' or ' ascent into heaven,' 
which many of the Muslims allow to have been merely a 
dream, was doubtless the result of one of these fits of 
mental exaltation. It must be remembered, however, that 
to an Eastern mind the reducing it to a dream by no means 
detracts either from its reality or its authority, dreams being 
supposed to be direct revelations from God ; see the Story of 
Joseph, Chapter XII, and the same as recorded in the Old 

That he himself thoroughly believed in- the reality of his 
revelations there can be no doubt, especially during the 
early part of his prophetic career. The chapters which 
belong to this period abound in passages which were 

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evidently uttered in a state of complete ecstasy ; but the 
later portions of the Qur*an, in which more consecutive 
stories are told, and in which ordinances are propounded for 
the general guidance of the believers, or for individual cases, 
are of course couched in more sober language, and show 
traces of being composed in a calmer frame of mind. 

The thought that he might be, after all, mad or possessed 
(ma^nun) was terrible to Mohammed. 

He struggled for a long time against the idea, and en- 
deavoured to support himself by belief in the reality of the 
divine mission which he had received upon Mount 'Hira; but 
no more revelations came, nothing occurred to give him 
further confidence and hope, and Mohammed began to feel 
that such a life could be endured no longer. The Fat rah 
or ' intermission,' as this period without revelation was 
called, lasted for two and a half or three years. 

Dark thoughts of suicide presented themselves to his 
mind, and on more than one occasion he climbed the steep 
sides of Mount 'Hira, or Mount Thabir, with the desperate 
intention of putting an end to his unquiet life by hurling 
himself from one of the precipitous cliffs. But a mysterious 
power appeared to hold him back, and at length the long 
looked-for vision came, which was to confirm him in his 
prophetic mission. 

At last the angel again appeared in all his glory, 
and Mohammed in terror ran to Ihis wife '/fadi^ah and 
cried daTHTHiruni, ' wrap me up !' and lay down entirely 
enwrapped in his cloak as was his custom when attacked 
by the hysterical fits (which were always accompanied, as 
we learn from the traditions, with violent hectic fever), 
partly for medical reasons and partly to screen himself 
from the gaze of evil spirits. m 

As he lay there the angel again spake to him : ' O thou 
covered ! Rise up and warn ! and thy Lord magnify ! 
and thy garments purify; and abomination shun! and 
grant not favours to gain increase ; and for thy Lord 
await 1 1' 

1 SflrahLXXIV.i-7. 

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And now the revelations came in rapid succession. He 
no longer doubted the reality of the inspiration, and his 
conviction of the unity of God and of his divine commission 
to preach it were indelibly impressed upon his mind. 

His only convert was at first his faithful wife 'Hadigah ; 
she was always at his side to comfort him when others 
mocked at him, to cheer him when dispirited, and to en- 
courage him when he wavered. 

Well, indeed, did she deserve the title by which after- 
ages knew her of Umm el Mu'minin, ' the mother of the 

His daughters next believed ; his cousin Ali, Abu 
Talib's youngest son, whom Mohammed had adopted to 
relieve his uncle of some portion of his family cares, soon 
followed; then came Ziid, his freedman, favourite com- 
panion and fellow-seeker after truth ; and ere long the little 
band of believers was joined by Abu Bekr, a rich merchant, 
and man of the most upright character, who had also been 
his confidant during that period of doubt and mental strife. 
Mohammed was wont to say that, ' all the world had hesi- 
tated more or less to recognise him as the Apostle of God, 
except Abu Bekr alone.' Abu Bekr enjoyed immense in- 
fluence with his fellow-citizens, and had by his probity 
earned the appellation of el Ziddtq, ' the true.' 

The next converts to the new faith were two young men, 
Zobeir and Sa'ad ibn Waqqaz, both relations of the prophet. 
Abd er Rahman ibn Auf and Tal'hah, men of mark and 
military prowess, then joined the Muslim ranks. Othman 
ibn Affin, afterwards the third Caliph, a young Arab beau, 
also embraced Islam for the sake of obtaining the hand of 
Mohammed's daughter, Rukaiyah. The accession of these 
personages opened the eyes of the QuraLy to the importance 
of the movement, but the number of the faithful was still 
but small. 

His other converts were only women and slaves, the 
former being won over by the influence of '//adi^ah. 
Amongst the latter was an Abyssinian slave named Bilal, 
who subsequently underwent cruel persecutions for the 

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faith, and on the establishment of the religion became the 
first mu'ezzin or ' crier,' who called to prayer in Islam. 

In the fifth year of his ministry Mohammed made another 
important convert, Omar ibn el 'H&ttab, a fierce soldier, 
who had been one of the bitterest opponents of the new 
religion, but who afterwards proved its chief support. 

His conversion carried with it so great weight that the 
Mohammedan traditions relate it with miraculous attendant 
details. Omar and" Abu Bekr supplied, the one by his 
vigour and promptitude in action, and the other by his 
persuasive eloquence and address, the want of the practical 
element in Mohammed's character. So thoroughly did he 
rely upon them and seek support from their companionship, 
that it was always his custom to say, ' I and Abu Bekr and 
Omar have been to such and such a place, or have done 
such and such a thing/ 

To the great mass of the citizens of Mecca the new 
doctrine was simply the 'Hanifism to which they had be- 
come accustomed, and they did not at first trouble them- 
selves at all about the matter. Mohammed's claim, how- 
ever, to be the Apostle of God called forth more opposition, 
causing some to hate him for his presumption and others to 
ridicule him for his pretensions ; some, as we have seen 
above, regarded him in the light of one possessed, while 
another class looked upon him as a mere vulgar soothsayer. 

But in preaching the unity of Allah, Mohammed was 
attacking the very existence of the idols, in the guardian- 
ship of which consisted not only the supremacy of Mecca, 
but the welfare and importance of the state. The chiefs of 
the QuraLr therefore began to look with no favourable eye 
upon the prophet, whom they regarded as a dangerous 
political innovator. 

But Mohammed himself came of the most noble family 
in Mecca, and could not be attacked or suppressed without 
calling down upon the aggressors the certain vengeance of 
his protector Abu Talib and his clan. A deputation of 
the chiefs therefore waited upon Abu Talib and begged 
him to enforce silence upon his nephew, or to withdraw his 

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protection, which latter alternative was equivalent to hand- 
ing him over to the summary vengeance of his foes. This 
Abu Talib firmly but politely refused to do, and it was not 
until they added threats to their entreaties that he con- 
sented even to remonstrate with his nephew. 

Mohammed, though deeply grieved at losing, as he 
feared, his uncle's protection and goodwill, exclaimed in 
reply, ' By Allah ! if they placed the sun on my right hand 
and the moon on my left, to persuade me, yet while God 
bids me, I will not renounce my purpose ! ' and bursting 
into tears turned to leave the place. But the kind old Abu 
Talib, moved at his nephew's tears, recalled him and as- 
sured him of his continued protection. 

From his fellow-citizens Mohammed met with nothing 
but raillery, insults, and actual injuries, when he ventured 
to announce his mission in public. 

In return he could only threaten them with punishment 
in this world and the next, setting before them the fate of 
those who had rejected the prophets of old, of the people 
of Noah and Lot, of the destruction of Pharaoh and other 
contumacious folk ; and painting in vivid colours the dread- 
ful torments of the future life. But the one threat seemed 
little likely to be realised, and in an existence after death 
they had no belief. So the prophet's warnings went for 
naught, and he himself was forced to bear with patience 
the contumely heaped upon him and the still deeper pain 
of disappointment and the sense of failure. 

In proportion as the new faith incurred the open hostility 
of the Meccans, the position of its converts became more 
embarrassing. Those who had powerful protectors could 
still weather the storm, but the weaker ones, especially the 
slaves and women, had to endure the severest persecutions, 
and in some cases suffered martyrdom for their belief. 

Some of the slaves were bought off by Abu Bekr, Mo- 
hammed's own financial position not allowing him to do 
this himself ; others having no resource apostatized to save 
their lives. 

Under these circumstances the prophet advised his little 

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band of followers to seek safety in flight, and a few of the 
most helpless of them accordingly emigrated to the Chris- 
tian country of Abyssinia. The next year others joined 
them, until the little colony of Muslim emigrants numbered 
a hundred souls. 

The Quratj were much annoyed at the escape of the 
Muslims, as they had hoped and determined to suppress 
the movement completely: they therefore sent a deputation 
to the Na^aji or king of Abyssinia, demanding the sur- 
render of the fugitives. The Najg-arf called his bishops 
around him, and summoning the refugees to the conference 
bade them answer for themselves. They told him how 
they had been plunged in idolatry and crime, and how 
their prophet had called them to belief in God and to the 
practice of a better life ; then they quoted the words of the 
Qur'an concerning Jesus, and finally begged the monarch 
not to give them up to these men, who would not only 
persecute them, but force them back into unbelief and sin. 
The Na^lri granted their request and sent the messengers 
back. The failure of this attempt increased the hostility 
of the Quraij towards the small remnant of the Muslims 
who were left in Mecca. 

Almost alone, exposed to hourly danger and annoyance, 
it is not to be wondered at that Mohammed should for a 
moment have conceived the idea of a compromise. 

The chiefs of Mecca cared little for their own idols, but 
they cared greatly for their traffic and their prestige. If 
the gods in the Kaabah were false and their service vain 
and wicked, who would visit the holy shrine ? and where 
would then be the commercial advantages that flowed into 
Mecca from the pilgrims who crowded yearly to the town ? 
Again, if they allowed the favourite deities of the neigh- 
bouring powerful tribes to be insulted or destroyed, how 
could they expect that these latter would accord safe con- 
duct to their caravans or even allow them to pass through 
the territories unmolested ? 

Al 'Huzza, Allat, and Manat were the idols of the most 
important of these neighbouring tribes, and the QuraLy pro- 

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posed to Mohammed that he should recognise the divinity 
of these three deities, and promised in their turn that they 
would then acknowledge him to be the Apostle of Allah. 

One day, therefore, he recited before an assembly of the 
Qurau the words of the Qur'an, Chapter LIII, vers. 1 9, 20, 
and when he came to the words, ' Have ye considered Allat 
and Al Huzza and Manat the other third ?' he added, ' They 
are the two high-soaring cranes, and, verily, their interces- 
sion may be hoped for ! ' When he came to the last words 
of the chapter, 'Adore God then and worship !' the Meccans 
prostrated themselves to the ground and worshipped as 
they were bidden. 

A great political triumph was achieved, the proud and 
mocking Meccans had acknowledged the truth of the 
revelations, the city was converted, Mohammed's dream 
was realised, and he was himself the recognised Apostle of 

But at what a sacrifice ! politically he had gained the 
position at which he aimed, but it was at the expense of 
his honesty and his conviction ; he had belied and stul- 
tified the very doctrine for which he and his had suffered 
so much. The delusion did not last long ; and on the 
morrow he hastened to recant in the most uncompromising 
manner, and declared, no doubt with the fullest belief in 
the truth of what he was saying, that Satan had put the 
blasphemous words in his mouth. The passage was recited 
afresh, and this time it read : ' Have ye considered Allat 
and Al 'Huzza and Manat the other third ? Shall there be 
male offspring for Him and female for you ? That, then, 
were an unfair division ! They are but names which ye 
have named, ye and your fathers ! God has sent down no 
' authority for them ! Ye do but follow suspicion and what 
your souls lust after ! And yet there has come to them 
guidance from their Lord t ' 

This incident is denied by many of the Muslim writers, 
but not only are the most trustworthy histories very ex- 
plicit on the subject, but it is proved by the collateral 
evidence that some of the exiles returned from Abyssinia 

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on the strength of the report that a reconciliation had been 
effected with the QuraLr. 

His recantation brought upon Mohammed redoubled 
hate and opposition, but his family still stood firmly by 
him, and his life was therefore safe, for it was no light thing 
to incur the dread responsibility of the blood feud. 

The QuraL? revenged themselves by placing the family 
under a ban, engaging themselves in writing to contract 
no marriage or commercial relations with any of them, to 
accord them no protection, and, in short, to hold no com- 
munication whatever with them. This document was 
solemnly suspended in the Kaabah itself. 

The result of this was more than mere social disqualifica- 
tion, for as they could not join the Meccan caravans, and were 
not rich or powerful enough to equip one of their own, they 
lost their very means of livelihood, and were reduced to the 
greatest penury and distress. 

Unable to contend openly with so many and such power- 
ful foes, the whole of the Hajimi family, pagan as well as 
Muslim, took refuge in the .ri'b or 'ravine' of Abu Talib, 
a long and narrow defile in the mountains to the east 
of Mecca. One man only kept aloof, and that was Abu 
Laheb, the uncle of the prophet, the bitterest enemy of El 

For two years the Hajimis lay under the ban, shut up in 
their ravine and only able to sally forth when the 'Ha^g - 
pilgrimage came round and the sacred months made their 
persons and their property for the time inviolable. 

At length the QuraLy began themselves to tire of the 
restriction which they had imposed upon the Hajimt 
clan, and were glad of an excuse for removing it. It was 
found that the deed on which it had been engrossed had 
become worm-eaten and illegible, and this being taken as 
an evidence of the divine disapproval of its contents, they 
listened to the appeal of the venerable Abu Talib and 
allowed the prisoners to come forth and mix once more 
freely with the rest of the world. The permission came none 
too soon, for their stores were gone and they were on the 

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brink of actual starvation. During the two weary years of 
suffering and distress Mohammed had of course made no 
converts amongst the people of Mecca, and few, if any, 
members of his own clan had joined him during their 
seclusion, so that his prospects were gloomier than ever. 

To add to his troubles, he lost his faithful wife '//adt^-ah 
not long after this. Shortly afterwards he married a widow 
named Sauda ; and later on he was betrothed to 'Ayeshah, 
daughter of Abu Bekr, then a mere child, but whom he 
married in three years time. This woman gained a wonder- 
ful ascendancy over the prophet, and exercised considerable 
influence on Islam, both during and after his lifetime. On 
one occasion, when the party were on the move, 'Ayeshah 
was left behind with a young Arab under circumstances 
which gave rise to some very unpleasant rumours affecting 
her, and a special revelation was necessary to clear her 
character *. Two other women were presently added to his 
harim, 'Hafza, daughter of 'Omar, and Zainab, widow of 
a Muslim who had been slain at Bedr. 

Another marriage that he contracted gave great scandal 
to the faithful, namely, that with the wife, also called 
Zainab, of his adopted son Zaid, whom her husband divorced 
and offered to surrender to Mohammed on finding that the 
latter admired her. This also required a revelation to 
sanction it 2 . 

His uncle and protector Abu Talib died not long after 

This last loss left him without a protector, and his life 
would certainly have been in imminent danger had it not 
been that his uncle Abu Laheb, although one of the most 
determined opponents of the new religion, accorded him 
his formal protection for the sake of the family honour. 
This, however, was shortly afterwards withdrawn, and 
Mohammed was left more alone and more exposed to 
danger than ever. 

In the desperate hope of finding help elsewhere he set 

' See Part I, p. 74, note 2. • See Chapter XXXIII, ver. 36, note. 

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out for Za'if, accompanied by his freedman and adopted 
son Zaid. 

From T&'tf he was driven forth by the populace, who 
stoned him as he fled away. Wounded and exhausted, he 
lay down to rest in an orchard, the proprietor of which 
refreshed him with some grapes, and as he retraced his steps 
to Mecca he had a vision by the way. It appeared to him 
that the hosts of the ^inn crowded round him, adoring God, 
and eager to learn from him the truths of Islam. Ten 
years had rolled by and the number of the believers was 
still very few and the prospects of Islam darker than they 
were at first, when the prophet found an unexpected 
support in the two tribes of El 'Aus and El 'H&zrag, who 
had towards the end of the fifth century wrested the city of 
YaTHrib from the Jewish tribes who held it. 

Some of these Arabs had embraced the Jewish religion, 
and many of the former masters of the city still dwelt there 
in the position of clients of one or other of the conquering 
tribes, so that it contained in Mohammed's time a con- 
siderable Jewish population. 

Between the inhabitants of YaTHrib and those of Mecca 
there existed a strong feeling of animosity ; but Mohammed, 
though sharing the prejudices of his compatriots, was not 
in a position to refuse help from whatever quarter it pre- 
sented itself. 

The Arab inhabitants of YaTHrib had on their part a 
good reason for looking with a more favourable eye upon 
the new prophet. 

Imbued with the superstition of the Jews amongst whom 
they lived, they looked for the coming of a Messiah with 
no small apprehension of his restoring the Jewish supremacy 
and of their own consequent downfall. 

Mohammed, after all, might be the expected Messiah ; 
he was of their own race and it was at any rate prudent to 
treat with him before he should cast in his lot, as he 
possibly might, with their disaffected Jewish subjects. 

Lastly, YaTHrib was a prey to incessant agitations and 
internal discords, and anything that was likely to bind the 

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conflicting parties together by a tie of common interest 
could not but prove a boon to the city. 

The inhabitants of YaTHrib then were, for many reasons, 
inclined to acknowledge the mission of Mohammed ; and 
after sundry negotiations between the prophet and the 
chiefs of the city, he agreed to meet them at a part of the 
road between Mecca and YaTHrib, where the valley sud- 
denly makes an abrupt descent, from which the spot was 
known as Akabeh. 

A deputation, consisting of twelve men of the Aus and 
'Hazra.g tribes, accordingly met him at the appointed spot 
and pledged him their word to obey his teaching. 

The twelve men returned to their native city and preached 
the doctrine of Islam, which was eagerly accepted by the 
majority of the pagan inhabitants. The Jews of YaTHrib, 
struck by this sudden renunciation of idolatry by their 
fellow-citizens, sent to beg Mohammed to send them a 
teacher who should instruct them in the new creed that 
had worked so wonderful a change. 

At Mecca things were stationary, and Mohammed could 
do little more than wait until the time for pilgrimage 
should again come round and he should get fresh news 
from YaTHrib. 

It was during this year of waiting that the celebrated 
night journey occurred, which has been the occasion of so 
much dispute to Mohammedan theologians, and has afforded 
such a handle to the hostile criticism of European historians. 
It was, as Mohammed himself persistently asserted, a vision 
in which he saw himself transported to heaven and brought 
face to face with that God who had always filled his 
thoughts. The story is so overlaid with spurious traditional 
details as to have lost, to a great extent, its real significance. 
It is referred to obscurely in the Qur'an in the following 
passages : 

' Celebrated be the praises of Him who took His servant 
a journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Remote 
Mosque, the precinct of which we have blessed, to show 
him of our signs!' (XVII, ver. i.) 

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' And we made the vision which we showed thee only a 
cause of sedition unto men.' (XVII, ver. 62.) 

' By the star when it falls, your comrade errs not, nor is 
he deluded ! nor speaks he out of lust ! It is but an inspir- 
ation inspired ! One mighty in power taught him, endowed 
with sound understanding, and appeared, he being in the 
loftiest tract. 

' Then drew he near and hovered o'er ! until he was two 
bows' length off or nigher still! Then he inspired his 
servant what he inspired him ; the heart belies not what it 
saw ! What, will ye dispute with him on what he saw ? 

'And he saw him another time, by the lote tree none may 
pass ; near which is the garden of the Abode ! When there 
covered the lote tree what did cover it ! The sight swerved 
not nor wandered. He saw then the greatest of the signs 
of his Lord.' (LHI, vers. 1-18.) 

At length the wished-for time arrived and Mohammed, 
who had been told by his envoy Muz'hab of the success of 
his mission, repaired once more to the Akabeh. Here he 
was met at night by seventy men from YaTHrib, who had 
come to the rendezvous clandestinely by twos and threes, 
so as not to attract attention and incur the hostility of the 

His uncle 'Abbas, though an unbeliever accompanied 
him, explained to them his nephew's position, and asked 
them seriously to consider the proposition which it was 
understood they were about to make. They declared that 
they were quite earnest in their desire to have Mohammed 
amongst them, and swore that they would defend him and 
his cause with their very lives. Mohammed then addressed 
them, recited to them some portions of the Qur'an in which 
the most essential points of his doctrine were set forth, and 
asked them for a pledge of their good faith. This they 
gave in simple Bedawi fashion, one after another placing 
his palm in that of the prophet and taking the oath of 
fealty. So enthusiastic were their protestations that 'Abbas 
himself was obliged to bid them be silent and urge upon 
them the danger and imprudence of their noisy demon- 

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stration. The treaty being thus ratified, Mohammed chose 
twelve naqibs or leaders, after the number of the disciples 
of Jesus, and the voice of some stranger being heard close 
by the assembly hastily but quietly dispersed. 

The Meccans, who had got a hint of the affair, taxed the 
YaTHrib pilgrims with having conspired with Mohammed 
against them, but being unable to prove the accusation, 
the new band of Muslims was enabled to return home in 

So hostile was now the attitude of the Qurau that the 
believers of Mecca prepared for flight, and at last there 
were only left in Mecca three members of the community, 
Mohammed himself, Abu Bekr, and Ali. 

The QuraLr now held a solemn council of war, at which, on 
the suggestion of Abu Gahl, it was determined that eleven 
men, each a prominent member of one of the noble families 
of the town, should simultaneously attack and murder 
Mohammed, and by thus dividing the responsibility should 
avoid the consequences of the blood feud ; for, as they rightly 
judged, the Hlrimts, aot being sufficiently powerful to take 
the blood revenge on so many families, would be obliged 
to accept the blood moaey instead. 

Mohammed had timely warning of this design, and giving 
Ali his mantle bade him pretend to sleep on the couch 
usually occupied by himself, and so divert the attention of 
the would-be murderers who were watching around his 
house. In the meantime Mohammed and Abu Bekr escaped 
by a back window in the house of the latter, and the two 
hid themselves in a cavern on Mount THaur, an hour and a 
half distant from Mecca, before the Qurais- had discovered 
the ruse and heard of their flight. A hot pursuit was 
immediately organized. 

For three days they lay concealed, their enemies once 
coming so near that Abu Bekr, trembling, said, 'We are 
but two.' ' Nay,' said Mohammed, ' we are three ; for God 
is with us.' The legend tells us that a spider had woven its 
web across the mouth of the cave, so that the Qurau, thinking 
that no one had entered in, passed it over in their search. 
[6] c 

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At length they ventured once more to set out, and, 
mounted on fleet camels, reached YaTHrib in safety. 
Three days after they were joined by AH, who had been 
allowed to leave after a few hours' imprisonment. 

This was the celebrated Hi^rah or ' flight,' from which the 
Mohammedan era dates. It took place on June 16, in 
the year of our Lord 62a. The city of YaTHrib was 
henceforth known as Madinat en Nebi, 'the city of the 
prophet,' or simply El Medinah. 

Once established at El Medinah, Mohammed proceeded 
to regulate the rites and ceremonies of his religion, built a 
mosque to serve as a place of prayer and hall of general 
assembly, and appointed Bilal, the Abyssinian slave who 
had been so faithful throughout the former persecutions, 
as crier to call the believers to the five daily prayers. 

His next care was to reconcile, as far as possible, the 
various opposing parties of the city, and this was by no 
means an easy task. The two tribes of El 'Aus and El 
'Hazrag could not be made entirely to lay aside their 
ancient rivalry, but they united so far as to make his their 
common cause. For this they were honoured with the 
title of Ansar or 'helpers of the prophet.' The refugees 
from Mecca were called Muha^-erun, and to prevent any 
ill feeling rising up between these two classes, each of the 
Meccan immigrants was made to take to himself one of 
the Medinah Muslims, to whom he bound himself by an 
oath of brotherhood. This institution was, however, abolished 
a year and a half later, after the battle of Bedr. Of the 
inhabitants of Medinah, who had not joined in the invitation 
to Mohammed to sojourn amongst them, some left the 
town and went over to the Meccans ; others remained 
behind, and though they yielded to the tide of popular 
opinion, and gave in their formal allegiance to the prophet, 
they were not completely won over to Islam, but waited to 
see how matters would go, ready, as they did on several 
critical occasions, to desert him should his fortune show 
signs of a reverse. This disaffected class is spoken of in 
the Qur'an. by the name of Munafiqun or 'hypocrites,' 

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the chief man among them being one Abdallah ibn Ubai. 
Although perfectly aware of their designs, Mohammed 
treated them with singular courtesy and forbearance, and 
spared no pains to win them over to his side; even when his 
rule was firmly established, and they were completely in 
his power, he made no difference in dealing with them until 
in the course of time they became absorbed into the general 
band of the faithful. 

The Jews of Medinah were much harder to deal with, 
and although Mohammed, by adapting his religion as far as 
possible to their own, by appealing to their own scriptures 
and religious books, by according them perfect freedom of 
worship and political equality, endeavoured in every way 
to conciliate them, they treated his advances with scorn and 
derision. When it became obvious that Islamism and 
Judaism could not amalgamate, and that the Jews would 
never accept him for their prophet, Mohammed withdrew 
his concessions one by one, changed the qiblah or point to 
which he turned in prayer from Jerusalem which he had at 
first adopted to the Kaabah at Mecca, substituted the fast 
of Ramadan for the Jewish fasts which he had prescribed, 
and, in short, regarded'them as the irreconcilable enemies of 
his creed. 

Soon afterwards he turned his attention to his native city, 
which had rejected him and driven him out ; and feeling 
himself now sufficiently strong to take the offensive, he began 
to preach the Holy War. After some petty raids upon the 
enemies' caravans an event happened which brought the Mus- 
lim and the infidel armies for the first time into open collision. 
In January, 634 a. d., a large caravan from Mecca, which 
had in the autumn of the previous year escaped an attack 
by the Muslims, was returning from Syria laden with 
valuable merchandise, and Mohammed determined to cap- 
ture it. His intention, however, reached the ears of Abu 
Sufiyan, who sent a messenger to Mecca to ask for troops 
for his protection, while he himself followed a different 
route along the coast of the Red Sea. Mohammed, with- 
out waiting for the return of his spies, marched out in the 

C 2 

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hopes of surprising Abu Sufiyan at Bedr, where the caravan 
usually halted, but the Meccan had been too much upon 
his guard, pressed on with all possible haste, and was 
soon out of danger. The caravan comprised most of the 
chief men of Mecca, besides its rich freight. Abu Sufiyan's 
message, therefore, asking for succour, caused a complete 
panic in the city. An army of nearly men was 
immediately equipped and marched forth to the rescue, 
but on the way met a second messenger from Abu Sufiyan 
with the news that all danger was passed. On this 300 
of them returned to Mecca, whilst others hurried to join 
the caravan. Mohammed was still advancing, in hopes of 
surprising the caravan, when he was informed of the ap- 
proach of the Meccan army. After a council of war it 
was decided to advance and meet the enemy first, as, in 
the event of victory, they could afterwards pursue the 
caravan. Arrived at Bedr, the Muslims took up such a 
position that their foes could not approach the wells, and 
during the night the rain fell with such violence that the 
Meccans could scarcely march upon the sodden soil. In 
the morning these latter were at a great disadvantage, 
wearied by the state of the ground, and harassed by the 
blinding sun which shone straight in their faces; but 
Mohammed, whose numbers were far inferior, awaited the 
issue of the combat with no little anxiety. During the 
first part of the engagement the Muslims, by Mohammed's 
order, stood firm to their posts, whilst he encouraged them 
by promising the immediate reward of Paradise to those 
who should fall martyrs in the cause : whilst a fierce 
winter storm of wind which was blowing at the time, and 
which added to the discomfort and embarrassment of the 
enemy, he called the work of Gabriel with a thousand 
angels fighting for the faith. At length Mohammed gave 
the expected signal ; taking up a handful he threw it 
towards the Meccans, and exclaimed, ' May their faces be 
covered with shame! Muslims to the attack V The con- 
dition of the ground so hampered the movements of the 
Meccans that they were soon completely routed. Several 

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of Mohammed's bitterest enemies were slain, and a number 
of prisoners and much booty taken. Of the captives, six 
were executed by the prophet's order, some embraced 
Islam, and others were ransomed by their compatriots. 
This victory was so important for the cause that Moham- 
med himself regarded it as brought about by a special 
miracle, and as such it is spoken of in the Qur'an, Chap. 
Ill, ver. ao. 

Mohammed's military as well as religious supremacy 
was now assured in Medinah, and he lost no time in 
making his enemies there feel his power. The Jews first 
experienced the full weight of his wrath; a woman of 
that persuasion, who had incited her fellow-townsmen 
against him before the battle of Bedr, was put to death, 
and not long after the Benu Qainuqah, a Jewish tribe, who 
had risen against his authority, dwelling in a suburb of 
Medinah, were attacked, their property confiscated, and 
themselves sent into exile. 

The war between Mecca and Medinah in the meantime 

Abu Sufiyan invaded the territory of Medinah, and the 
Muslims, on the other hand, captured a caravan belonging 
to the QuraLr. 

The Meccans, determined to revenge the defeat of Bedr, 
had devoted the profits of the caravan that had been th # e 
cause of the conflict to the equipment of a large army, 
and in January, 625 A.D., three thousand men marched 
on to Medinah with Abu Sufiyan at their head. The 
latter was accompanied by his wife Hind, who had lost 
her father, brother, and uncle at the battle, and longed for 
vengeance. They established their camp near Mount Ohod, 
on the road between the two cities. The Muslims were 
divided in opinion, whether to await the invaders in the 
city, or to make a sortie and attack them where they were ; 
and at length, in spite of Mohammed's advice to the con- 
trary, the latter plan was decided on. 

They marched forth to the number of a thousand, and 
of these three hundred belonged to the Hypocrites, or 

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disaffected party who deserted before the battle com- 

Mohammed had disposed his forces so that his best 
trained archers covered the only vulnerable part of his 
army, the left flank, and these he bade keep to their posts, 
no matter what happened. The battle commenced with 
a few single combats and slight skirmishes, in which the 
Muslims had the advantage, and a few of the latter having 
reached and pillaged the enemies' camp, the archers, think- 
ing the day already won, forgot their orders and joined 
in the loot. V7alid, who commanded the Meccan cavalry, 
seized the opportunity thus afforded, and took the Muslims 
on the flank and completely routed them. Mohammed 
himself was wounded in the mouth and narrowly escaped 
with his life, and 'Hamzah, his uncle, surnamed the Lion 
of God, was slain. 

The Meccans did not pursue their victory, but believing 
Mohammed, whom they had seen fall, to be dead, returned 
to their own city. 

The defeat placed Mohammed in a very critical position, 
and he had great difficulty in restoring confidence to his 
followers \ 

About the beginning of the year 6zy a.d. the Muslims 
were in great jeopardy. 4,000 Meccans and 1,000 men, 
gathered from the neighbouring tribes, marched upon Me- 
dinah, being instigated thereto by the Jews who had been 
expelled from that city. 

Mohammed was only apprised of the movement at the 
last moment, but he at once took measures for the defence. 
On the advice of Salman, a Persian captive, he caused a 
deep trench to be dug round the city, and earthworks to 
be raised in those parts where it was undefended, and behjnd 
the trench he posted his army, numbering 3,000 men. 

The invading Meccans were completely checked by this 
mode of defence, and although the Beni Quraidhah, a 
Jewish tribe, deserted to them from Mohammed's side and 

1 See Chapter HI, vers. 115-168. 

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rendered them every assistance, their attacks were un- 
successful. At length one cold winter's night a violent 
storm of wind and rain arose, and a complete panic took 
place in the camp of the Meccans, who broke up and pre- 
cipitately retired to their homes. This was the siege of 
the Confederates alluded to in the Qur'an 1 . 

The enemy having disappeared, Mohammed at once 
marched against the traitorous tribe of Quraidhah, and be- 
sieged them in their fortress, about six miles south-west 
of Medtnah. Being quite unprepared, these were obliged 
to surrender after fourteen days, which they did on con- 
dition that the Benu Aus, their allies in Medinah, should 
decide their fate. Mohammed chose for arbitrator one 
of the chiefs of the Aus tribe, named Saad ibn Mokdh, a 
fierce soldier, who was at the time dying of the wounds 
which he had received in the attack upon the fortress. He 
ordained that the men should be beheaded one and all, 
the women and children sold as slaves, and the property 
divided amongst the soldiers. This terrible sentence was 
promptly executed, and the men, to the number of 800, 
were beheaded, and the women and children bartered 
to the Bedawln in exchange for arms and horses. 

Mohammed's power and influence was now extending 
every day. 

For six years neither he nor his followers had visited 
the Kaabah, or performed the sacred rites of the pil- 
grimage, and in the year 638 A. D. he resolved to attempt 
it. The time chosen was in the sacred month of Dhu'1 
Qa'hdah, when the Lesser Pilgrimage was wont to be per- 
formed, rather than Dhu'1 'Higg-eh, that of the Greater 
Pilgrimage, as less likely to lead to a collision with the 
other tribes. Fifteen hundred men only accompanied Mo- 
hammed, bearing no other arms than those usually allowed 
to pilgrims, a sheathed sword for each. 

The Meccans contemplated Mohammed's advance with 
no small apprehension, and not believing in his pacific 

Chapter XXXIII. 

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intentions, resolved to bar his progress. Mohammed, thus 
checked, turned aside towards 'Hudaibiyeh, on the frontier 
of the sacred territory. 

Here, after some negotiations, a treaty was concluded 
in which a truce of ten years was agreed upon ; any of 
the Meccans who pleased should be at liberty to join 
Mohammed, and vice versa, any of the Muslims who 
chose might enter the Meccan ranks ; only those who 
were clients of powerful chiefs were not to be allowed to 
become Muslims without the consent of their patrons. Mo- 
hammed and his followers were not to enter Mecca that 
year, but the next year they were to be permitted to 
do so and to remain for three days. 

This was, in reality, a great triumph for Mohammed, as 
it recognised his position as an independent prince, while 
the ten years' truce not only enabled him without hind- 
rance to propagate his doctrines at Mecca, but, by remov- 
ing the constant danger in which he stood from that city, 
gave him the opportunity of turning his attention else- 

He now not only endeavoured to reduce the Bedawin 
tribes to submission, but wrote letters to the great kings 
and emperors of the world, to the Persian Khosrou, to the 
Byzantine Emperor, and to the Abyssinian Najg-ln, peremp- 
torily bidding them embrace the faith and submit to his 
rule. The replies that he received were not flattering to his 
pride, but he or his immediate successors were, ere long, 
to repeat the summons in a form that admitted neither 
of denial nor of delay. 

One potentate only, the governor of Egypt, Maqauqas, 
returned a favourable answer, and he sent amongst other 
presents two slave girls, one of whom, a Coptic girl named 
Mary, Mohammed took to himself, and by so doing es- 
tranged his numerous wives, and was only reconciled by 
a revelation 1 . 

In 629 A. D., in the month of Dhu'1 Qa'hdah (February), 

1 See Chapter LXVI. 

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the long-expected pilgrimage took place. With two thou- 
sand followers the prophet entered the Holy City, and the 
Meccans having retired to the neighbouring hills, all passed 
off quietly. 

In the course of the short three days' sojourn in Mecca 
the Muslim ranks were strengthened by the accession of 
two influential personages, '//alid, who had conquered them 
at Ohod, and 'Amr, the future conqueror of Egypt. 

In this year the Muslim army experienced a terrible 
defeat at Muta on the Syrian frontier, in which the pro- 
phet's friend Zaid was slain. His prestige, however, was 
soon re-established by fresh successors and the accession 
of numerous border tribes. 

Two years after the truce of 'Hudaibiyeh, a tribe who 
were under the protection of Mohammed, were attacked 
unawares by another tribe in alliance with the Meccans, 
and some Meccans in disguise were recognised amongst 
the assailants. This was a violation of the treaty, and Mo- 
hammed, on being appealed to by the sufferers, was nothing 
loth to take advantage of the opportunity afforded him for 
recommencing hostilities. The Meccans sent Abu Sufiyan 
to Medinah to offer explanations and procure a renewal of 
the truce, but without success. Mohammed began to make 
preparations for an expedition against Mecca, but con- 
cealed his plans even from his immediate followers ; his 
Bedawin allies were ordered either to join him at Medinah, 
or to meet him at certain appointed places on the route, 
but it was not until the last moment that his troops knew 
that their destination was the Holy City. While they were 
encamped in the immediate neighbourhood, and before the 
Meccans had any certain knowledge of their approach, the 
camp was visited at night by Abu Sufiyan, who was in- 
troduced to Mohammed by his uncle 'Abbas, the latter 
having become converted to Islam now that he saw that 
its cause must certainly triumph. Mohammed promised 
Abu Sufiyan that all those inhabitants of Mecca who should 
take refuge in his house or in the Kaabah or even in 
private houses, provided the doors were closed, should be 

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xlii the qur'An. 

unmolested, and dismissed him to carry this news to his 
fellow-citizens, not however before he and 'Abbas had 
persuaded the Meccan chief to become a Muslim, which 
he somewhat unwillingly consented to do. There is good 
reason to suppose that the whole affair was arranged be- 
tween Mohammed, 'Abbas, and Abu Sufiyan, and that the 
meeting by night at the camp with the somewhat thea- 
trical details with which the historians relate it, and the 
sudden conversion of the two hitherto irreconcilable chiefs, 
were part of a plan designed to save Mecca from unneces- 
sary bloodshed now that Mohammed's increased power 
and the overwhelming numbers he brought with him made 
a capture of the city inevitable. At any rate it had this 
effect, the Muslim army entered Mecca almost without 
resistance, only a few Bedawin under the command of 
'//alid being assailed with arrows by some of Mohammed's 
bitterest opponents, whom he quickly dispersed. Moham- 
med, seeing him in pursuit of his assailants, was excessively 
angry until it was explained to him that './/alid's action 
was unavoidable and only in self-defence. 

Mohammed was at length master of the capital of 
Arabia ; his first act was to repair to the Kaabah, and after 
making the circuit seven times and respectfully saluting 
the black stone with his staff, he entered the building 
and caused the idols to be destroyed. Actuated both by 
sound policy and by the strong feeling of attachment to 
his own tribe, which is inherent in every Arab's breast, 
he proclaimed a general amnesty, and the Meccans readily 
embraced Islam and marched under its banner, hoping for 
the reward of Paradise, and sure of rich booty here on 
earth. The Bedawin tribes in the neighbourhood gave 
him more trouble, but these too were brought into at least 
nominal subjection ; the tribe of the THaqif at Za'if still 
held out, and Mohammed attacked them in the valley of 
'Honein, where they were surprised by the enemy in a narrow 
defile, and were in imminent danger of a defeat, had not 
Mohammed rallied them by appealing to them as 'Ye men of 
the "Sttrah of the Heifer!" Ye men of the "Tree of Fealty!'" 

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reminding them of the first portion of the Qur'an revealed 
at Medtnah, and of the oath of fealty which they had sworn 
as he sat beneath a tree at 'Hudaibryeh. On this occasion 
he took a rich booty, and in order to conciliate the Meccan 
chiefs he gave them more than their fair share at the 
division of the spoils. This was particularly displeasing 
to his Medtnah followers, who were only appeased by his 
declaring his regard for them, and promising never to 
desert their city or again take up his residence at Mecca. 
These events are alluded to in the Qur'an, Chap. IX. 
After the battle of 'Honein, Mohammed laid siege to 
7a'if, and though he was unable to reduce the place, he 
so devastated the country around that ambassadors were 
sent to propose terms of capitulation ; they offered to 
embrace Islam, provided that their territory should be 
considered sacred, that they should be excused the more 
onerous duties of the creed, and should be allowed to 
retain their favourite idol Allat for at least a year. To 
these conditions Mohammed was at first inclined to ac- 
cede, but after a night's reflection, and indignant remon- 
strance addressed by the fiery Omar to the THaqifite 
messengers, they were definitely refused, and the tribe 
surrendered unconditionally. 

The ninth year after the flight is known as the ' Year of 
Deputations,' the Bedawin tribes one after another sending 
in their adhesion to his cause and acknowledging his spiri- 
tual and temporal supremacy. 

In the same year Mohammed conducted the expedition 
against Tabuk, which was undertaken with a view to re- 
duce the Syrian tribes to submission, they having been 
induced by Byzantine influence to rise in insurrection upon 
the frontier. Surah IX contains a violent denunciation of 
those who on various false pretences held back on the 
occasion. This was the last military enterprise conducted 
by Mohammed in person. 

The Arabs, with their well-known fickleness, did not con- 
tinue for long in their allegiance to Islam and its prophet ; 
even in Mohammed's lifetime, tribe after tribe raised the 

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xllV THE QUR'aN. 

standard of revolt, and the repression of these insurrections 
occupied much of his time and attention during the last 
years of his life. With true political sagacity he saw that 
the only way to prevent the newly established kingdom 
from becoming hopelessly disintegrated was to give its 
members some common interest and ambition. For this 
reason he never relinquished his designs upon Syria, where 
the turbulent tribes might find scope for their warlike pro- 
pensities, and where a rich booty might be gained. It was 
to this common bond of unity, the desire for plunder and 
the love of making border raids, as much as to the religious 
idea, that the triumph of El Islam was due. 

In March, 632 A.D., he made his last pilgrimage to Mecca, 
the ' Farewell Pilgrimage,' as Muslims call it, and standing 
upon Mount Arafat he addressed the assembled multitude, 
— more than forty thousand of pilgrims, — bade them stand 
firm by the faith that he had taught them, and called God 
to witness that he had delivered his message and fulfilled 
his mission. 

In June he fell sick, and himself perceived that his end 
was drawing nigh. 

On Monday, June 8, feeling better, he went to the Mosque 
of Medinah, where Abu Bekr was conducting the prayers 
before a crowded congregation who had flocked there to 
hear news of the prophet. Mohammed's entry was quite 
unexpected, but in spite of the weakness evident from his 
faltering gait, his countenance was bright, and his voice as 
clear and commanding as ever. Mounting the lower steps 
of the pulpit he said a few last words to the people, and 
having given some parting injunctions to Osama, whom he 
had entrusted with the command of an army to Syria, Mo- 
hammed returned to his house and lay down to rest in 
'Ayesha's chamber. Here, resting his head upon her bosom, 
the prophet of Arabia fell asleep. 

The question naturally arises, how could a comparatively 
obscure citizen of a small Arabian town bring about results 
of such magnitude as Mohammed undoubtedly did ? 

The secret of his success was, primarily, enthusiasm com- 

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bined with patriotism. Whether he believed to the full in 
his divine mission and revelations or not, matters but little ; 
but it is certain that he did believe in himself as working 
for the good of his fellow-countrymen. He took the 
political and religious institutions of his country as he 
found them, and he strove to eradicate what was bad and 
to develop what was good. He knew that so long as the 
various tribes wasted their strength in internecine war there 
was no hope of their ever becoming a power ; but he knew 
their character and temperament well enough to perceive 
that any scheme for bringing about national unity must 
fail if it involved the necessity of their submitting to any 
master whatever. He therefore sought to bind them toge- 
ther by what we may call their common religious feeling, 
but which really meant, as it too often does, common in- 
terests, common customs, and common superstitions. At 
Mecca all was ready to his hand : the Kaabah contained 
all the gods of the different tribes ; the annual fairs 
and eisteddfodau (to borrow a Welsh name that ex- 
actly expresses the character of these gatherings) were 
held in the territory, and it was here that the historical and 
religious traditions of the race were circulated and kept 
alive. All the elements of centralisation were there, and 
it only wanted such a master-spirit as Mohammed's to 
turn their thoughts towards the common idea which should 
induce them to unite. 

A prophet who starts in his career with no better stock- 
in-trade than visionary enthusiasm or deliberate imposture 
has but a poor chance. Musailimah, Mohammed's rival, has 
left nothing behind him but his sobriquet of El KeDHDHab, 
'the liar,' and a few bitterly satirical parodies on some 
verses of the Qur'an, which are still occasionally quoted by 
the less reverential of Muslims. El Mukanna', the ' veiled 
prophet of Khorassan,' earned no more immortality than 
an occasional mention in Persian poetry, and the honour of 
being the hero of an English popular poem. Mutanebbt, 
'the would-be prophet,' as his name signifies, who flourished 
in the tenth century of our era, was an Arab of the Arabs, 

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xlvi THE QURAN. 

and one of the greatest poets of his age. He, too, set up 
as a prophet, but with so little success that he had to retire 
from the business at an early period of his career. It was 
probably his wonderful facility in language that induced 
him to imitate Mohammed's example, and rely upon the 
' miraculous ' eloquence of his language in support of his 
pretensions to inspiration. He, however, missed the oppor- 
tunities which Mohammed had ; he was no great reformer 
himself, and there was no urgent need of a reform at the 
time. Moreover, he was entirely destitute of religious feel- 
ing, and, even in his earliest poems, so blasphemes and 
sneers at holy names that his most devoted commentators 
are frequently at a loss to find excuses for him. 

In forming our estimate of Mohammed's character, there- 
fore, and of the religion which we are accustomed to call 
by his name, we must put aside the theories of imposture 
and enthusiasm, as well as that of divine inspiration. Even 
the theory of his being a great political reformer does not 
contain the whole truth ; and although it is certain that 
his personal character exercised a most important influence 
on his doctrine, yet it is not by any means evident that it 
even moulded it into its present shape. 

The enthusiasm which he himself inspired, and the readi- 
ness with which such men as Abu Bekr and Omar, Arabs 
of the noblest birth, ranged themselves amongst his fol- 
lowers, who consisted for the most part of men of the lowest 
rank, slaves, freedmen, and the like, prove that he could 
have been no mere impostor. 

The early portions of the Qur'an are the genuine rhapso- 
dies of an enthusiast who believed himself inspired, and 
Mohammed himself points to them in the later Surahs as 
irrefragable proofs of the divine origin of his mission. In 
his later history, however, there are evidences of that ten- 
dency to pious fraud which the profession of a prophet 
necessarily involves. Although commenced in perfect good 
faith, such a profession must place the enthusiast at last 
in an embarrassing position, and the very desire to prove 
the truth of what he himself believes may reduce him to 

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the alternative of resorting to a pious fraud or of relinquish- 
ing all the results which he has previously attained. 

At the outset of his career he turned to the Jews, imagin- 
ing that, as he claimed to restore the original religion of 
Abraham, and appealed to the Jewish scriptures for con- 
firmation of his teaching, they would support him. Disap- 
pointed in this quarter, he treated them with more bitter 
hostility than any other of his opponents. 

In the latter part of his career he took but little notice 
either of the Jews or Christians, and when he does mention 
the latter it is without any of the conciliatory spirit which 
he at first displayed to them, and they are not only sharply 
reproved for their errors, but are included in the general 
mass of infidels against whom the true believers are to fight. 

Mohammed styles himself in the Qur'an En Nebty 
el'ummty (Chap. VII, vers. 156 and 158), which may be 
interpreted either ' the illiterate prophet ' or ' the prophet 
of the Gentiles/ as the word 'Ummiyun in Chap. II, ver. 73 
means rather ' those who have no scriptures.' 

Mohammedans themselves differ very much as to whether 
the prophet could read or write, the Sunnis denying it and 
the Shi'ahs declaring that he was able to do both. The 
evidence of the fact, though, is very untrustworthy, and in the 
traditional accounts of the occasions on which he is said to 
have written, the words may mean nothing more than that he 
dictated the documents in question. In the Qur'an, XXIX, 
47, it is merely said that he never ' recited a book before 
this,' and the passages in Chap. XCVI, vers. 1-6, which 
begin ' Read,' and in which the angel Gabriel is supposed to 
exhibit the Umm al Kitab (see p. 2, note 2), and to com- 
mand him to read it, the act implied may be nothing more 
than an intuitive perception of the contents of the book 
thus mysteriously shown to him. 

It is probable that he could neither read nor write, and it is 
almost certain that he could not have done so sufficiently to 
have made use of any of the Jewish or Christian scriptures. 

The oral Jewish and Christian traditions incorporated in 
the Qur'an were, no doubt, current among the Jewish and 

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xlviii the qur'An. 

Christian tribes ; there is not the least evidence in support 
of the accusation made against Mohammed by Christian 
writers, that the greater part of his revelations were due to 
the suggestions of a Christian monk. The person referred 
to in the Qur'an, Chapter XVI, ver. 105, is probably Salman 
the Persian ; the Persian legends being in the Arab mind 
the very archetype of those ' old folks' tales ' to which his 
revelations were so often compared by his contemporaries. 

Other stories, such as those of 'Ad and Thamud ; the 
legends of their great forefather Abraham ; of the Seil al 
'Arim, or the bursting of the dyke at Marab, were all com- 
monplaces of the folk lore of the country. 

He, however, told them over again with the additional 
particulars which he had derived from Jewish and Christian 
sources, and appealed to this additional information in 
proof of the divine origin of his version. 

The city of YaTHrib, better known afterwards as El 
Medinah, 'the city* contained many Jewish inhabitants, 
and Mecca itself was no doubt also frequented by Jewish 
Arabs, and the influence of their beliefs and superstitions 
is apparent throughout the Qur'an. 

Christianity too, as we have seen, contributed consider- 
ably to the new religion, though not to so great an extent 
as Judaism. 

It is clear, however, that Mohammed was not acquainted 
with the originals themselves, either of the Jewish or 
Christian scriptures. The only passage of the Old Testa- 
ment quoted in the Qur'an is in Chapter XXI, vers. 104, 105, 
'And already have we written in the Psalms after the 
reminder that "the earth my righteous servants shall in- 
herit," ' which is an Arabic paraphrase of Psalm xxxvii, ver. 
39, ' The righteous shall inherit the land.' The well-known 
exclusiveness of the Jews and their unwillingness that any 
Gentile hand should touch their holy Book, renders it ex- 
tremely improbable that even this sentence was borrowed 
direct from the scriptures themselves, even if Mohammed 
could have understood the language in which they are 

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The Qur'an appeals several times to the prophecies con- 
cerning Mohammed which are alleged to exist in the New 
and Old Testaments: thus in Chap. II, 141, 'Those to 
whom we have given the Book know him as they know 
their own sons, although a sect of them do surely hide the 
truth, the while they know ;' and again, VI, 20, 'Those to 
whom we have brought the Book know him as they know 
their sons, — those who lose their souls do not believe.' 

The allusion is said to be to the promise of the Para- 
clete in John xvi. 7, the suggestion being that the word 
irop<i(tXijTos in the Greek has been substituted for wepiicAuros, 
which would be exactly translated by the name A'hmed, 
or Mohammed. Mohammed, however, certainly had not 
access to the Greek Testament, and it is doubtful whether 
an Arabic version even existed at the time, Syriac only 
being the ecclesiastical language of the Christians of the 
day : it is more probable that Mohammed may have re- 
ceived the suggestion from some of his Christian friends. 

The monotheistic idea, which is the key-word to El 
Islam, was not new to the Arabs, but it was distasteful, 
and particularly so to the Qurair, whose supremacy over 
the other tribes, and whose worldly prosperity arose 
from the fact that they were the hereditary guardians 
of the national collection of idols kept in the sanctuary at 
Mecca. Mohammed's message, therefore, sounded like a 
revolutionary watchword, a radical party-cry, which the 
conservative Meccans could not afford to despise, and which 
they combated very energetically. The prophet, therefore, 
in the first place, met with but little success, '^adl^ah 
accepted her husband's mission without hesitation, so did 
her cousin Waraqah ; and Zaid, ' the enquirer,' a man who 
had spent his life in seeking for the truth, and in fighting 
against this same idolatry that was so repugnant to Mo- 
hammed's ideas, at once gave in his adherence to the new 
doctrine. For three years, however, only fourteen converts 
were added to the Muslim church. 

The mission of Mohammed, then, appealed forcibly to 
the Arabs on many grounds. Compared with the prevalent 
[6] d 

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idolatry of the time, the idea as presented was so grand, so 
simple, and so true, that reason could scarcely hesitate be- 
tween the two systems, unless, as in the case of the QuraLf, 
self-interest were thrown into the scale. Side by side with 
the religion of the Jews and Christians, as practised in 
Arabia at least, it appeared more spiritual and more divine, 
and presented the truths of both religions without the 
blemishes. It harmonized with the traditional Semitic 
belief, Arab as well as Jewish, of the coming of a Messiah, 
or at least of a prophet, who should reveal the truth at 
last, and set right the order of things which had spiritually 
and temporally gone so wrong. And lastly, it made no call 
on their credulity; it only asked them to believe what they 
might well accept as self-evident, and it only laid claim to 
one miracle, that of the marvellous eloquence of its delivery, 
and this neither friends nor foes could deny. It must not 
be forgotten that this claim of the Qur'an to miraculous 
eloquence, however absurd it may sound to Western ears, 
was and is to the Arab incontrovertible. 

In order to understand the immense influence which the 
Qur'an has always exercised upon the Arab mind, it is 
necessary to remember that it consists not merely of the 
enthusiastic utterances of an individual, but of the popular 
sayings, choice pieces of eloquence., and favourite legends 
current among the desert tribes for ages before his time. 
Arabic authors speak frequently of the celebrity attained 
by the ancient Arabic orators, such as Shaiban Wail, but 
unfortunately no specimen of their works have come down 
to us. The Qur'an, however, enables us to judge of the 
nature of the speeches which took so strong a hold upon 
their countrymen. 

The essence of Mohammedanism is its assertion of the 
unity of God, as opposed to polytheism and even to trini- 
tarianism. And this central truth was, we repeat, nothing 
new ; it was, as Mohammed said of it, the ancient faith of 
Abraham, and it was upon that faith that the greatness of 
the Jewish nation was founded ; nay, it was the truth which 
Christ himself made more fully known and understood. 

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One great difference between Judaism and Islam is 
that the former is not a proselytising religion, while the 
latter emphatically is so. All the laws and ordinances of 
the Pentateuch, all the revelations of the Old Testament, 
are for the Jew alone, and the Gentile was excluded with 
jealous care from the enjoyment of any of the divine 
privileges until Christianity proclaimed that revelation was 
for the world at large. The Arab, on the contrary, was 
enjoined to propagate his religion. 'There is no god but 
God/ and man must be ' resigned to His will,' and if he 
will not, he must be made to ; this is what Islam or ' re- 
signation ' really means. 

But, it may be asked, why, if Mohammed preached no- 
thing more than the central truth of Judaism and Chris- 
tianity, did he not rather accept one or other of these creeds, 
than found a new one ? To answer this question, we must 
regard Judaism and Christianity not as they are understood 
now, but as they existed in Arabia in Mohammed's time. 
Judaism was effete, Christianity corrupt. The Hebrew 
nation had fallen, and Magian superstitions and Rabbinic 
inventions had obscured the primeval simplicity of the 
Hebrew faith and marred the grandeur of its law. The 
Christians were forgetful alike of the old revelation and 
of the new, and neglecting the teachings of their Master, 
were split up into numerous sects — ' Homoousians and 
Homoiousians, Monothelites and Monophysites, Jacobites 
and Eutychians,' and the like — who had little in common 
but the name of Christians, and the cordial hatred with 
which they regarded each other. 

Mohammed certainly wished his religion to be looked 
upon as a further fulfilment of Christianity, just as Chris- 
tianity is the fulfilment of Judaism. He regards our Lord 
with particular veneration, and even goes so far as to call 
Him the ' Spirit' and 'Word ' of God ; 'the Messiah, Jesus 
the son of Mary, is but the apostle of God and His Word, 
which He cast into Mary and a spirit from Him ' (Surah IV, 
169). The reservation, ' is but the apostle,' &c, is directed 
against the misconception of the Christian doctrine which 


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Hi the qur'an. 

was then prevalent in Arabia, and which was the only one 
with which Mohammed was acquainted. With the Arab 
Christian, the Trinity meant nothing more nor less than 
tritheism, and these three the Father, Virgin-Mother, and 

The doctrine of the unity of God, as preached by Mo- 
hammed, was a protest against the dualism of Persia as 
well as the degenerate Christianity of the time and the 
polytheism of the Arabs who were his contemporaries. 
Thus the Chapter of Cattle (VI) commences with the 
words, 'Praise belongs to God who created the heavens 
and the earth, and brought into being the darkness and 
the light,' which negatives the Manichaean theory that 
the two principles of light and darkness were uncreate 
and eternal, and by their admixture or antagonism gave 
birth to the material universe. 

As for the angelism and demonology of the Qur'&n, they 
are a mixture of local superstitions, Persian and Jewish 
tradition. The system was certainly not due to Moham- 
med's invention, but was evolved out of what he had heard 
from Jewish, Christian, and other sources, and regarded as 
revelation, and coloured by his individual local beliefs. 

It is a curious thing that the rite of circumcision is not 
mentioned in the Qur'an ; but there is no doubt that Mo- 
hammed insisted upon it as a compromise for more cruel 
and dangerous practices '. 

The Qur'&n itself is not a formal and consistent code 
either of morals, laws, or ceremonies. 

Revealed 'piecemeal,' particular passages being often 
promulgated to decide particular cases, it cannot fail to 
contain many things that are at variance with, or flatly 
contradict others. 

It has, however, a certain unity notwithstanding; for 
Mohammed had his doctrine of the unity of God, according 
to the 'Hanifite conception, always before his mind : he 
had the immemorial customs of his country and their tribal 

1 See note to vol. ii, p. 1 10, of Burton's ' Pilgrimage to EI Medina and Mecca.' 

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usages to guide him in his decisions, only instead of being 
bound by these usages he was able, by virtue of his office 
of prophet, to alter or abrogate such as appeared to him 
not to conduce to the welfare of society. The religious 
observances and ceremonies he retained were also to a great 
extent forced upon him ; the injunctions to prayer and 
fasting were necessary to keep alive the religious fervour of 
the converts, and, indeed, to give the character of a religion 
to the movement and distinguish it from a mere political 
reform. The ceremonies of the pilgrimage could not be 
entirely done away with. The universal reverence of the 
Arab for the Kaabah was too favourable and obvious a 
means for uniting all the tribes into one confederation with 
one common purpose in view. The traditions of Abraham, 
the father of their race and the founder of Mohammed's 
own religion, as he always declared him to be, no doubt 
gave the ancient temple a peculiar sanctity in the prophet's 
eyes, and although he had at first settled upon Jerusalem 
as his Qiblah, he afterwards reverted to the Kaabah itself. 
Here, then, Mohammed found a shrine to which, as well as 
at which, devotion had been paid from time immemorial : 
it was the one thing which the scattered Arabian nation 
had in common — the one thing which gave them even the 
shadow of a national feeling ; and to have dreamed of 
abolishing it, or even of diminishing the honours paid to 
it, would have been madness and ruin to his enterprise. 
He therefore did the next best thing, he cleared it of idols 
and dedicated it to the service of God. Again, the 'Hagg- 
was the occasion on which the tribes assembled at Mecca 
and, therefore, not only the cause of trading and mutual 
profit amongst themselves, but upon it depended entirely 
the commercial prosperity of the QuraLr. 

It has been objected to Islam that neither its doctrines 
nor its rites are original. No religion, certainly no sacred 
books of a religion, ever possessed entire originality. The 
great principles of morality, and the noble thoughts which 
are common to humanity, must find their way into the 
Scriptures, if these are to have any hold upon men ; and 

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it would, indeed, be strange if the writers, however inspired, 
left no trace in their writings of what they had seen, heard, 
or read. The New Testament, it is well known, contains 
much that is not original. Many of the parables &c, as a 
late eminent Orientalist once pointed out, are to be found 
in the Talmud. We know that St. Paul drew upon classic 
Greek sources for many of his most striking utterances, not 
even disdaining to quote the worldly wisdom of the come- 
dian Menander ; and there is at least a curious coincidence 
between the words used in describing the blindness that 
fell on the apostle just before his conversion, and its sub- 
sequent cure, with the description given by Stesichorus in 
his ' Palinodia ' of a similar incident connected with his own 
conversion to the worship of the Dioscuri. Even the most 
divine sentiment in the Lord's Prayer, ' Forgive us our 
trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,' 
is expressed almost in so many words in the advice given 
by Nestor to the angered Achilles in the first book of 
Homer's Iliad. 

Judged then by the standard which we apply to other 
creeds, Mohammed's religion stands forth as something 
strikingly new and original, since it sets before his country- 
men, for the first time, the grand conception of one God, 
which was, as he asserted, the faith of their father Abraham, 
but which their fetishism had so long obscured. 

The Arabs made use of a rhymed and rhythmical prose, 
the origin of which it is not difficult to imagine. The 
Arabic language consists for the most part of triliteral 
roots, i. e. the single words expressing individual ideas 
consist generally of three consonants each, and the deriva- 
tive forms expressing modifications of the original idea 
are not made by affixes and terminations alone, but also 
by the insertion of letters in the root. Thus zaraba 
means 'he struck,' and qatala, 'he killed,' while 
mazrub and maqtul signify 'one struck' and 'one 
killed.' A sentence, therefore, consists of a series of words 
which would each require to be expressed in clauses of 
several words in other languages, and it is easy to see 

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how a next following sentence, explanatory of or com- 
pleting the first, would be much more clear and forcible 
if it consisted of words of a similar shape and implying 
similar modifications of other ideas. It follows then that 
the two sentences would be necessarily symmetrical, and 
the presence of rhythm would not only please the ear but 
contribute to the better understanding of the sense, while 
the rhyme would mark the pause in the sense and em- 
phasize the proposition. 

The Qur'an is written in this rhetorical style, in which 
the clauses are rhythmical though not symmetrically so, 
and for the most part end in the same rhyme throughout 
the chapter. 

The Arabic language lends itself very readily to this 
species of composition, and the Arabs of the desert in the 
present day employ it to a great extent in their more 
formal orations, while the literary men of the towns adopt 
it as the recognised correct style, deliberately imitating the 

That the best of Arab writers has never succeeded in 
producing anything equal in merit to the Qur'an itself is 
not surprising. In the first place, they have agreed before- 
hand that it is unapproachable, and they have adopted 
its style as the perfect standard ; any deviation from it 
therefore must of necessity be a defect. Again, with them 
this style is not spontaneous as with Mohammed and his 
contemporaries, but is as artificial as though Englishmen 
should still continue to follow Chaucer as their model, in 
spite of the changes which their language has undergone. 
With the prophet the style was natural, and the words were 
those used in every-day ordinary life, while with the later 
Arabic authors the style is imitative and the ancient words 
are introduced as a literary embellishment. The natural 
consequence is that their attempts look laboured and unreal 
by the side of his impromptu and forcible eloquence. 

That Mohammed, though, should have been able to chal- 
lenge even his contemporaries to produce anything like the 
Qur'an, ' And if ye are in doubt of what we have revealed 

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unto our servant, then bring a chapter like it . . . But if ye 
do it not, and ye surely shall do it not, &c.,' is at first sight 
surprising, but, as Noldeke * has pointed out, this challenge 
really refers much more to the subject than to the mere style, 
— to the originality of the conception of the unity of God 
and of a revelation supposed to be couched in God's own 
words. Any attempt at such a work must of necessity 
have had all the weakness and want of prestige which 
attaches to an imitation. This idea is by no means foreign 
to the genius of the old Arabs ; thus the learned grammarian 
and rhetorician 'Hariri excuses himself in the preface to his 
celebrated 'Assemblies' for any shortcomings, which might 
possibly be detected in a composition professedly modelled 
on that of another, by quoting an ancient poem : 

''Twas this affected me, that while I lay 
Snatching a breath of sleep for drowsiness, 
There wept a dove upon the Aikah bough 
Trilling her weeping forth with sweetest notes : 
Ah, had I wept — ere she began to weep — 
For Sauda's love, my soul had found relief! 
But 'twas her weeping that excited mine, 
And he who comes first must be always best I' 

Amongst a people who believed firmly in witchcraft and 
soothsaying and who, though passionately fond of poetry, 
believed that every poet had his familiar spirit who in- 
spired his utterances, it was no wonder that the prophet 
should be taken for ' a soothsayer,' for ' one possessed with 
an evil spirit,' or for ' an infatuated poet V 

Each chapter of the Qur'an is called in Arabic a surah, 
a word which signifies a course of bricks in a wall, and is 
generally used in the body of the work for any connected 
or continuous portion complete in itself. 

1 Geschichte des Qorans, p. 43. 

' Mohammed may well have repudiated the charge of being a poet, for he is 
only credited with one verse, and that an involuntary one : 
Ana 'nnablyu IS. KaDHib ; 
Ana 'bnu 'Abd el Mu//alib. 
'I am the prophet who lies not; 
I am the son of Abd el Mu.valib.' 

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The word Qur'an, 'a reading,' comes from the verb qar a'a, 
' to read,' though some lexicographers derive it from qarana, 
' to join,' and interpret it as meaning the 'collected whole.' 

It is also called El Forqan, ' the discrimination,' a word 
borrowed from the Hebrew and also applied in the Qur'an 
to divine inspiration generally. 

The individual portions of the Qur'an were not always 
written down immediately after their revelation, as we find 
that Mohammed often repeated them several times until 
he had learnt them by heart, and the book itself shows 
that he occasionally forgot them and even altered and 
supplemented them : ' Whatever verse we may annul or 
cause thee to forget, we will bring a better one than it, or 
one like it' (Chapter II, ver. ioo). On other occasions he 
employed an amanuensis, as, for instance, Abdallah ibn 
Sa'hd ibn Abi Sar'h (see Part I, p. 126, note 2) and Zaid 
ibn THabit ; and tradition relates that he would frequently 
direct in which Surah the passage dictated was to be placed. 
That the Qur'an was, or that even the individual Surahs 
were, however, arranged in the present order by the pro- 
phet himself is impossible, both from internal evidence and 
that of tradition. 

At the prophet's death no collected edition of the Qur'an 
existed. Scattered fragments were in the possession of 
certain of his followers, written down at different times and 
on the most heterogeneous materials, but by far the greater 
portion was preserved only in the memories of men whom 
death might at any moment carry off. The death of many 
Muslim warriors at the battle of Yemamah opened the 
eyes of the early Caliphs to the danger that the ' Book of 
God' might be, ere long, irrevocably lost : they accordingly 
provided, to the best of their power, against such a contin- 
gency. Abu Bekr, — or rather Omar, during his reign, — was 
the first to take the matter in hand, and employed Zaid 
ibn THabit the Ansari, a native of Medinah, who had acted 
as amanuensis to Mohammed, to collect and arrange the 
text. This he did from ' palm-leaves, skins, blade-bones, 
and the hearts of men,' and presented to the Caliph a copy 

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lviii the qur'An. 

of the Qur'an, which did not probably differ greatly from 
that which we now possess. As we have already seen, the 
whole was strung together without any reference to the 
chronological order, and with very little regard to the 
logical connection of various passages. The longer Surahs 
were placed at the beginning and the short ones at the end, 
although the order of their revelation was for the most part 
just the reverse. And, lastly, many odd verses appear to 
have been inserted into various Sfirahs for no other reason 
than that they suit the rhyme. 

The text was so far fixed by Zaid, but not the read- 
ing of it. In the first place, the vowel points, which 
make often a very great difference in the meaning of a 
word, were probably hardly ever, if at all, used ; again, 
many persons were still alive who themselves remembered 
portions of the Qur'an by heart, but who did not agree as 
to individual words, or who remembering the sense only 
substituted some of the locutions of their own tribe for 
the actual words of Mohammed. 

These tribal dialects often differed diametrically in the 
use of particular words ; thus i'^fa'un means ' to conceal ' 
in the dialect of one tribe and ' to display ' in that of an- 
other ; when such words occurred, as they often do, in the 
Qur'an, they could not fail to give rise to disputes as to 
their interpretation. 

In the present recension of the Qur'an there are com- 
paratively few various readings recognised, but it is clear 
that great variations existed from the very first. On more 
than one occasion Mohammed himself dictated the same 
passage to different persons with different readings ; and 
the ' traditional saying ' ascribed to him, that ' the Qur'an 
was revealed according to seven modes of reading,' shows 
what latitute he himself allowed. The other interpretation 
of this tradition, namely, that 'the Qur'an may be read 
according to the seven Arabic dialects,' was obviously in- 
vented to check the tendency to perversion of the text 
according to individual fancy, and is plainly refuted by the 
fact that the persons to whom the saying was uttered^ 

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and who had appealed to the prophet to decide upon 
the reading of a certain text, were both of the tribe of 

At length, some twenty years afterwards, the Caliph 
Othman, alarmed at the bitter feelings and open quarrels 
which these differences of reading and interpretation had 
already engendered, determined to prevent the Mus- 
lims from differing amongst themselves in their way of 
reading the word of God as the Jews and Christians did. 
He accordingly appointed a commission, consisting of 
Zaid, the original editor, with three men of the Quraif 
(Mohammed's own tribe), to decide, once for all, upon the 
text and to fix the reading definitely according to the 
pure Quraij idiom. 

When this edition was completed, Othman sent copies 
to all the principal cities in the empire, and caused all the 
previous copies to be burned. These copies were perhaps 
not themselves free from small discrepances ; the few slight 
various readings which have, as I have shown, crept in, are 
most of them mere matters of orthography, and the rest are 
unimportant to the general sense. The last named will be 
found mentioned in the notes to the passages in which they 
occur in the course of the following translation. 

Othman's recension has remained the authorised text, 
and has been adopted by all schools of Mohammedan 
theologians from the time it was made (a. d. 660) until 
the present day. 

In this no further attempt was made at chronological 
arrangement than in the preceding one. The individual 
Surahs have prefixed to them the name of the place, 
Mecca or Medtnah, at which they were revealed ; but this 
indication, though derived from authentic tradition, is not a 
sufficient guide, since in many places verses have been in- 
serted in a Meccan Surah which were evidently revealed at 
Medtnah, and vice versa. To clear away this difficulty, and 
to propose an intelligible chronological arrangement of the 
Surahs, has been the aim of scholars, both Arabic and 
European ; but no one has treated the subject in so 

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critical or masterly a manner as Noldeke, and his arrange- 
ment may be taken as the best which Arabic tradition, 
combined with European criticism, can furnish. 

To arrive at a decision on this point we must consider 
first the historical event, if any, to which each text refers ; 
next, the style generally; and lastly, the individual ex- 
pressions used. Thus, in addressing the Meccans the words 
ya aiyuha 'nnas, ' O ye folk ! ' occur, while the expression 
ya aiyuha 'llaDHin amanu is used in speaking to the people 
of Medinah ; though sometimes the former phrase occurs 
in a verse of a Medinah Surah. 

The Surahs resolve themselves into two great classes, 
those revealed at Mecca and those revealed at Medinah 
after the flight; and these are easily distinguished both 
by their style and subject-matter. The earlier ones espe- 
cially are grander in style, and testify in every verse to 
the mental exaltation of the prophet and the earnest 
belief which he certainly had at this time in the reality 
and truth of his divine mission. 

The Qur'an falls naturally into these two classes, which 
represent, in fact, the first development of Mohammed's 
prophetic office at Mecca, and the later career as a leader 
and lawgiver after the flight at Medinah. 

Surahs belonging to the first period of his career are 
therefore ascribed to Mecca, and those of the latter period 
to Medinah, although the actual place at which they were 
delivered may be in certain cases doubtful. 

One of the next earliest Surahs is that entitled Abu 
Laheb. Mohammed had at length called together his 
clansmen, the Band Hashim, and bade them accept the 
new doctrine of Allah's unity. Hereupon 'Abd el 'Huzzah, 
surnamed Abu Laheb, 'he of the flame,' indignantly ex- 
claimed, ' Perdition to you ! is that what thou hast called 
us for?' Mohammed then proclaimed the Surah bearing 
Abu Laheb 's name, in which he enunciates a terrible curse 
against him and his wife Umm Gemil, and made of him an 
irreconcilable foe. 

The CVIth Surah also belongs undoubtedly to an early 

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period. In it Mohammed bids the Qurai^ ' serve the Lord 
of this House,' for the two trading caravans they yearly sent 
out in winter and summer respectively. 

In the Meccan Surahs Mohammed's one and steady pur- 
pose is to bring his hearers to a belief in the one only God ; 
this he does by powerful rhetorical displays rather than 
logical arguments, by appealing to their feelings rather 
than their reason ; by setting forth the manifestations of 
God in his works; by calling nature to witness to His 
presence ; and by proclaiming His vengeance against those 
who associate other gods with Him, or attribute offspring 
to Him. The appeal was strengthened by glowing pictures 
of the happiness in store for those who should believe, and 
by frightful descriptions of the everlasting torments pre- 
pared for the unbelievers. 

The short Surah entitled 'Unity' is said, on the tradi- 
tional authority of Mohammed himself, to be equivalent 
in value to two-thirds of the Qur'&n. 

' Say," He is God, one God the eternal. He begets not, 
and is not begotten ; nor is there like unto Him, one." ' 

This protest is not aimed at the Christian doctrines alone, 
for the Arab, as we have seen, asserted that their angels 
and deities were daughters of Alldh, the supreme God. 

In the earlier chapters, too, the prophetic inspiration, 
the earnest conviction of the truth of his mission, and the 
violent emotion which his sense of responsibility caused 
him are plainly shown. 

The style is curt, grand, and often almost sublime ; the 
expressions are full of poetical feeling, and the thoughts are 
earnest and passionate, though sometimes dim and con- 
fused, indicating the mental excitement and doubt through 
which they struggled to light. 

In the second period of the Meccan Surahs, Mohammed 
appears to have conceived the idea of still further severing 
himself from the idolatry of his compatriots, and of giving 
to the supreme deity All&h another title, Ar-Ra'hman, 
'the merciful one.' 

The Meccans, however, seem to have taken these for 

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lxii the qur'An. 

the names of separate deities 1 , and the name is abandoned 
in the later chapters. 

In the Surahs of the second Meccan period we first find 
the long stories of the prophets of olden time, especial 
stress being laid upon the punishment which fell upon 
their contemporaries for disbelief; the moral is always 
the same, namely, that Mohammed came under precisely 
similar circumstances, and that a denial of the truth of his 
mission would bring on his fellow-citizens the self-same 

They also show the transition stage between the intense 
and poetical enthusiasm of the early Meccan chapters and 
the calm teaching of the later Medinah ones. This change 
is gradual, and even in the later and most prosaic we find 
occasionally passages in which the old prophetic fire flashes 
out once more. 

The three periods again are marked by the oaths 
which occur throughout the Qur'an. In the first period 
they are very frequent and often long, the whole powers 
of nature being invoked to bear witness to the unity of 
God and the mission of His Apostle ; in the second period 
they are shorter and of rarer occurrence ; in the last period 
they are absent altogether. 

To understand the Medinah Surahs we must bear in 
mind Mohammed's position with respect to the various 
parties in that city. 

In Mecca he had been a prophet with little honour in 
his own country, looked on by some as a madman, and by 
others as an impostor, both equally grievous to him, while 
his following consisted only of the poorest and meanest of 
his fellow-townsmen. 

His own clansmen, for the reason that they were his clans- 
men and for no other, resented the affronts against him. 

In Medinah he appears as a military leader and a prince, 
though as yet possessing far from absolute authority. 
Around him in the city were, first, the true believers 
who had fled with him, El Muha^erin ; next, the in- 

1 See Part II, p. 13, note 1. 

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habitants of YaTHrib, who had joined him and who were 
called El Ansar, 'the helpers;' and lastly, a large class 
who are spoken of by the uncomplimentary name of 
Munafiqun or 'hypocrites,' consisting of those who went 
over to his side from fear or compulsion, and lastly those 
' in whose heart is sickness,' who, though believing on him, 
were prevented by tribal or family ties from going over to 
him openly. 

Abdallah ibn Ubai was a chief whose influence operated 
strongly against Mohammed, and the latter was obliged 
to treat him for a long time almost as an equal, even after 
he had lost his political power. 

The other party at Medinah was composed of the Jewish 
tribes settled in and around the city of YaTHrib. The 
Jews were at first looked to as the most natural and likely 
supporters of the new religion, which was to confirm their 

These various parties together with the pagan Arabs of 
Mecca and the Christians are the persons with whom the 
Medinah Surahs chiefly deal. 

The style of the Medinah Siirahs resembles that of the 
third period of the Meccan revelations, the more matter- 
of-fact nature of the incidents related or the precepts 
given accounting in a great measure for the more prosaic 
language in which they are expressed. 

As in the Meccan Surahs it is possible to arrive at a 
tolerably accurate notion of their chronological order by 
noting the events to which they refer, and comparing them 
with the history itself; although the doubtful authority 
of many of the traditions and the frequent vagueness of 
the allusions in the Qur'an itself leave much uncertain. 

In the Medinah Surahs the prophet is no longer merely 
trying to convert his hearers by examples, promises, and 
warnings ; he addresses them as their prince and general, 
praising or blaming them for their conduct, and giving 
them laws and precepts as occasion required. 

Noldeke has given a masterly analysis of the various 
historical and other allusions, and has reduced as far as 

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lxiv THE QUR'AN. 

possible the heterogeneous mass of materials to such order 
that we may accept his arrangement as at least the most 
accurate hitherto proposed. 

Since, however, many passages are no doubt misplaced 
and inserted in Surahs to which they did not originally 
belong, nothing but a comprehensive view of the contents 
of the whole Qur'an, studied side by side with the history 
of Mohammed and his contemporaries, will enable us to 
arrive at an actual decision on the exact chronological 
sequence of the revelation. 

To assist in the investigation of this most important 
subject I have subjoined a precis of the contents of each 

The following is Noldeke's chronological order of the 
Surahs : — 

Meccan Surahs. 

First Period (from the first to the fifth year of Mohammed's 

Second Period (the fifth and sixth year of his mission) : 


Third Period (from the seventh year to the flight) : 


Medinah Surahs. 


The mysterious letters which are placed at the begin- 
ning of certain chapters of the Qur'an are explained in 

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various ways by the Muslim commentators. Some sup- 
pose them to be part of the revelation itself, and to conceal 
sublime and inscrutable mysteries ; others think that they 
stand for the names of Allah, Gabriel, Mohammed, and so on. 

Noldeke has the ingenious theory that they were mono- 
grams of the names of the persons from whom Zaid and 
his companions obtained the portions to which they are 
prefixed ; thus, AL R would stand for Ez-zubair, AL M R for 
Al-Mu^airah, TH for Tal'Hah, and so on. A comparison 
of the Arabic letters themselves with the names suggested 
makes the hypothesis a very probable one. They may 
have been mere numerical or alphabetical labels for the 
boxes of scraps on which the original was written ; the 
authors of the Commentary known as El Jel&lain, however, 
give the prevailing opinion amongst Muslim scholars when 
they say, ' God alone knows what He means by these 

The Surahs are subdivided into 'ayat, 'verses' (literally 
' signs '), which, although they for the most part mark a dis- 
tinct pause either in the rhyme or sense, are sometimes 
mere arbitrary divisions irrespective of either. 

Besides these, the Qur'dn is divided into sixty equal 
portions, called a'hzab (sing, 'hizb), each subdivided into 
four equal parts ; another division is that into thirty 'a^za' 
(sing, g uz') or ' sections, so that the whole may be read 
through during the month of Ramad^&n : these are again 
subdivided into ruku'h (sing, rak'hah), 'acts of bowing.' 
By these, rather than by chapter and verse (Surah and 
'Ayah), the Muslims themselves quote the Book. 

Besides the name Qur'an it is known as El Furqan, 
'the Discrimination,' El Mus'haf, 'the Volume,' El Kitab, 
'the Book,' and EDH-DHikr, 'the Reminder.' The title 
attached to each Surah is taken from some striking word 
which occurs in it. 

The creed of Mohammed and the Qur'an is termed 
Islam, ' Resignation/ scil. to the will of God. The religion, 
as understood and practised, is based upon four rules or 
fundamental principles : 

[6] e 

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hcvi the qur'An. 

i. The Qur'an itself. 

2. 'HadiTH (pi. 'a'hadiTH), the ' traditional ' sayings of 
the prophet which supplement the Qur'an, and provide for 
cases of law or ceremonial observance on which it is silent. 
They also deal with the life of Mohammed and the cir- 
cumstances attending the revelations, and are therefore of 
great use in the exegesis of the Book itself. Although the 
Muslim authorities have been very striGt in the canons laid 
down for the reception or rejection of these traditions, 
tracing them from hand to hand up to their original sources, 
a great deal of uncertainty exists as to the authenticity of 
many of them. The laws embodied in the traditions are 
called the Sunnah. 

3. Jgrna'h or the ' consensus ' of opinion of the highest 
authorities in the Muslim church upon points concerning 
which neither the Qur'an nor the 'HadiTH are explicit; 

4. Qiy&s or ' Analogy,' that is, the reasoning of the theo- 
logical authorities by analogy from the Qur'an, 'HadiTH, 
and Jgroa'h, where anything in any one or more is still 
left undecided. 

The first principle of the Muslim faith is a belief in 
Allah, who, as we have seen, was known to the Arabs 
before Mohammed's time, and under the title Allah 
ta'hala, 'Allah the most high,' was regarded as the chief 
god of their pantheon. The epithet ta'hala is, properly 
speaking, a verb meaning ' be He exalted,' but is used, as 
verbs sometimes are in Arabic 1 , as an epithet. The name 
Allah, ' God,' is composed of the article al, ' the,' and ilah, 
' a god,' and is a very old Semitic word, being connected 
with the el and elohtm of the Hebrew, and entering into 
the composition of a large proportion of proper names in 
Hebrew, Nabathean, and Arabic. 

According to Muslim theology, Allah is eternal and 
everlasting, one and indivisible, not endued with form, 
nor circumscribed by limit or measure; comprehending 
all things, but comprehended of nothing. 

1 See my Arabic Grammar, p. 256. 

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His attributes are expressed by ninety-nine epithets 
used in the Qur'&n, which in the Arabic are single words, 
generally participial forms, but in the translation are some- 
times rendered by verbs, as, ' He hears ' for ' He is the 

These attributes constitute the Asma' el 'Husna, 'the 
good names 1 ,' under which God is invoked by the Muslims; 
they are ninety-nine in number, and are as follows : — 

i. ar-RaTiman, the Merciful. 30. 

2. ar-Ra'hfm, the Compassion- 31, 

ate. 32, 

3. al-Malik, the Ruler. 33. 

4. al-Qaddus, the Holy. 34 

5. as-Salam, Peace. 35. 

6. al-Mfl'min, the Faithful. 36. 

7. al-Muhaimun, the Protector. 37. 

8. al-'Hazfz, the Mighty. 38. 

9. al-Gabbar, the Repairer. 39. 

10. al-Mutakabbir, the Great. 40. 

11. al-Khaliq, the Creator. 41. 

12. al-B&ri', the Creator. 42. 

13. al-Mu«awwir, the Fashioner. 43. 

14. al-GAaMir, the Forgiver. 44. 

15. al-Qahhar, the Dominant. 

16. al-Wahhab, the Bestower. 45. 

17. ar-Razzaq, the Provider. 

18. al-Fatta'h, the Opener. 46- 

19. al-'Alim, the Knowing. 47. 

20. al-Qabis, the Restrainer. 48. 

21. al-Basi/, the Spreader. 49. 

22. al-'Hafis, the Guardian. 50. 

23. ar-Rafi', the Exalter. 51. 

24. al-Mu'hizz, the Honourer. 52. 

25. al-Muzil, the Destroyer. 53. 

26. as-Saml'h, the Hearer. 54. 

27. al-Bazir, the Seer. 55. 

28. al-'Hakim, the Judge. 56. 

29. al-'Hadl, Justice. 57. 

al-La/if, the Subtle. 

al-\ffabfr, the Aware. 

al-'Haltm, the Clement. 

al-'Ha/ftim, the Grand. 

al-G^afur, the Forgiving. 

ar-Sakur, the Grateful. 

al-'Halt, the Exalted. 

al-Kabfr, the Great. 

al-'Hafiz, the Guardian. 

al-Muqtt, the Strengthener. 

al-Hastb, the Reckoner. 

al-Galil, the Majestic. 

al-Karfm, the Generous. 

ar-Raqtb, the Watcher. 

al-Mu^tb, the Answerer of 

al-Wasfh, the Comprehen- 

al-'Hakim, the Wise. 

al-Wadud, the Loving. 

al-Majgid, the Glorious. 

al-Ba'hiTH, the Raiser. 

ar-.Sahtd, the Witness. 

al-Haqq, Truth. 

al-Wakil, the Guardian. 

al-Qaww}, the Strong. 

al-Matin, the Firm. 

al-Walt, the Patron. 

al-Hamid, the Laudable. 

al-Mu'hst, the Counter. 

1 See Chapter VII, ver. 179. 

e 2 

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58. al-Mubdt, the Beginner. 

59. al-Mu'Md, the Restorer. 

60. al-Mo'hyf, the Quickener. 

61. al-Mumtt, the Killer. 

62. al-'Haiy, the Living. 

63. al-Qaiyum, the Subsisting. 

64. al-Wa^id, the Existing. 

65. al-Ma^id, the Glorious. 

66. al -Wahid, the One. 

67. as-Zamad, the Eternal. 

68. al-Qadir, the Powerful. 

69. al-Muqtadir, the Prevailing. 

70. al-Muwa'^ir, the Deferrer. 

71. al-Muqaddim, the Bringej- 


72. al-Awwal, the First. 

73. al-A'^ir, the Last. 

74. AiA-TMhir, the Apparent. 

75. al-Ba/in, the Innermost. 

76. al-Wali, the Governor. 

77. al-Muta'hal, the Exalted. 

78. al-Barr, Righteousness. 

79. at-Tawwab, the Relenting. 




al-Muntaqim, the Avenger. 
al-'Hafu, the Pardoner. 
ar-Ra'uf, the Kind. 
Malik al Mulk, the Ruler of 

the Kingdom. 
DHu'lgulil wa'l ikr&m, Lord 

of Majesty and Liberality. 
al-Muqsi/, the Equitable. 

86. al-Gami'h, the Collector. 

87. al-G^ant, the Independent. 

88. al-Mu^nl, the Enricher. 

89. al-Mu'h/i, the Giver. 

90. al-MSni'h, the Withholder. 

91. a.z-Z&rr, the Distresses 

92. an-Nafi'h, the Profiter. 
an-Nur, Light. 
al-Hadi, the Guide. 
al-Badl'h, the Incomparable. 
al-Baqf, the Enduring. 
al-W&riTH, the Inheritor. 
ar-Rarfd, the Rightly-direct- 

as-Zabur, the Patient. 




These names are used by Muslims in their devotions, 
the rosary (masba'hah) being employed to check their 
repetition. Such an exercise is called a DHikr or ' remem- 
brance,' a word that is also applied to a recitation of the 
whole or portions of the Qur'an and to the devotional exer- 
cises of the dervishes. 

The formula ' In the name of the merciful and compas- 
sionate God,' with which every chapter but one of the Qur'an 
begins, appears to have been adopted from the Persian Zoro- 
astrian phrase, Benam i Yezdan i ba'ArayLrgar dadar, ' In the 
name of God the merciful, the just ;' the later Parsee form 
Benam i '^udawandi ba'&rayenda ba'&rayLrgar is the exact 
equivalent of the Mohammedan phrase. 

Besides a belief in God, the Qur'an requires belief in the 
existence of angels ; they are pure, without distinction of 
sex, created of fire, and neither eat nor drink nor propagate 
their species. 

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The archangels are, Gibra'il, 'Gabriel' (also called er 
Ru'h el Amfn, 'the faithful spirit,' or er Ru'h el Qudus, ' the 
holy spirit '), God's messenger by whom the Qur'an was 
revealed to Mohammed ; Mika'il, the guardian angel of the 
Jews 1 ; Israfil, the archangel who will sound the last 
trumpet at the resurrection ; Azra'il, the angel of death- 
Two angels are appointed to each human being, who 
stand one on his right and one on his left hand, to record 
his every action. 

One angel, called Raswan, 'goodwill,' presides over 
heaven ; and one, named Malik,.' the ruler,' over hell 2 . 

Munkir and Nakir are the two angels who preside at 
'the examination of the tomb.' They visit a man in his 
grave directly after he has been buried, and examine him 
concerning his faith. If he acknowledge that there is but 
one God and that Mohammed is his prophet, they suffer 
him to rest in peace, otherwise they beat him with iron 
maces till he roars so loud that he is heard by all from 
east to west except by men. and ^inns. They then press 
the earth down on the corpse, and leave it to be torn by 
dragons and serpents till the day of resurrection. 

The angelology of Islam is apparently traceable to 
Jewish sources, though the ancient Arab cult had no doubt 
borrowed some portion of it from the Persians, whence too 
it was introduced into Judaism. 

The notions of the bridge over hell, Es Sira/ 1 , and of the 
partition wall, El Aaraf, between paradise and hell 3 , are 
also common to the Jewish and Magian traditions. 

Iblts or .Saitan, ' the devil ' or ' Satan,' was originally an 
angel who fell from paradise on account of his proudly 
refusing to adore Adam *. 

Besides the angels there are the^inn (collectively ^ann), 
of whom I have before spoken. They are created out of 

1 See Part I, p. 13, note a. 

1 Malik is evidently identical with Moloch, as Gehennum, hell, is the same 
as the Gehenna of the Bible. 
' See Part I, p. 138, note 1. * See Chapter II, ver.33. 

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fire and are both good and evil, the latter being generally 
called ' Ifrit/ Their abode is Mount Qaf, the mountain 
chain which encircles* the world. These are the creatures 
over whom Solomon held control, and a tribe of whom 
were converted to Islam by Mohammed's preaching on his 
return from 7"a'if 1 . 

The two classes of beings, human and superhuman, by 
which the world is inhabited are called ETH-THaqalan, 
' the two weighty matters,' or el 'Halamun, ' the worlds,' as 
in the -expression in the Opening Chapter, 'Lord of the 

Heaven, according to the Qur'an and the traditions, 
consists of seven divisions : 

Gannat al *Zruld (Chapter XXV, 16), the Garden of Eternity. 
Dar as SalSm (Chapter VI, 127), the Abode of Peace. 
D&t al Qarar (Chapter XL, 42), the Abode of Rest. 
Gannat 'Hadn (Chapter IX, 7 2), the Garden of Eden. 
Gannat al MS'w& (Chapter XXXII, 19), the Garden of Resort. 
Gannat an Na'htm (Chapter VI, 70), the Garden of Pleasure. 
Gannat al 'Hilliyun (Chapter LXXXIII, 18), the Garden of the 

Most High. 
Gannat al Firdaus (Chapter XVIII, 107), the Garden of Paradise. 

Of the presumed sensual character of the Muslim paradise 
much has been written. It appears, however, from the 
Qur'an, to be little more than an intense realisation of all 
that a dweller in a hot, parched, and barren land could 
desire, namely, shade, water, fruit, rest, and pleasant com- 
panionship and service. 

Hell contains also seven divisions 2 : 

Gehennum (Chapter XIX, 44), Gehenna. 

La/Aa (Chapter LXX, 15), the Flaming Fire. 

Hu/amah (Chapter CIV, .4), the Raging Fire that splits every- 
thing to pieces. 

Sa'hfr (Chapter IV, 11), the Blaze. 

Saqar (Chapter LIV, 58), the Scorching Fire. 

Gahtm (Chapter II, 113), the Fierce Fire. 

Hawiyeh (Chapter CL, 8), the Abyss. 

1 See above, p. xxx. * Cf. Chapter XV, ver. 44. 

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As to the condition of the soul between death and the 
resurrection, Islam has no authoritative teaching ; the 
general opinion is that there is a limbo somewhere or other 
in which the spirits of the good repose, while those of the 
wicked are imprisoned elsewhere in a foul dungeon to await 
their doom. 

A great many wonderful signs are to precede the judg- 
ment day, of which we need only notice the coming of 
Mehdi or ' guide/ who shall have the same name as Mo- 
hammed himself, and whose father's name shall be the same 
as his father's name, and who shall govern the Arabians, 
and fill the earth with righteousness ; the appearance of 
Ed-da^g-al, 'the antichrist;' the release of Gog and Magog 1 '; 
and the convulsions in heaven and earth described in the 
Qur'an itself. 

The chief prophets recognised by the Qur'an are the 
following: each of whom is said to have had a special 
revelation, and to possess an appropriate title : 

Adam, Zafiy allah, the Chosen of God. 
Noah, Nabiy allah, the Prophet of God. 
Abraham, 77alila 'Hah, the Friend of God. 
Jesus, Ru'ha 'Mh, the Spirit of God. 
Mohammed, Rusul allah, the Apostle of God. 

Mohammed is also called * the seal of the prophets,' and 
the saying traditionally attributed to him, 'There is no 
prophet after me,' makes it unlawful to expect the advent 
of another. 

Besides these, there are the minor apostles sent to parti- 
cular tribes, the stories of some of whom are related in 
the Qur'in. 

The practical duties of Islam are, i . The profession of 
faith in the unity of God, and the missioh of Mohammed. 
2. Prayer. 3. Fasting. 4. Almsgiving. 5. Pilgrimage. 

The first consists in the repetition of the Kelimah or 
creed, ' There is no god but God, and Mohammed is the 
Apostle of God.' 

'See Part II, j>. 25. 

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Prayer consists of the recital of a certain prescribed and 
invariable formula at five stated times of the day, namely : 
I. Between dawn and sunrise, a. After the sun has begun 
to decline. 3. Midway between this. 4. Which is said 
shortly after sunset. 5. At nightfall. These are far? or 
' incumbent ; ' all others are nafl, ' supererogatory,' or sun- 
nah, ' in accordance with the practices of the prophet.' The 
prayers are preceded by wuzu'h, 'ablution;' they are 
commenced in a standing position, qiyam, the hands being 
so held that the thumbs touch the lobes of the ears, and 
the face being turned towards the qiblah, that is, in the 
direction of Mecca. During the prayers inclinations of the 
body, ruku'h v , are made, of which a certain number only 
are incumbent. 

The time for prayer is called from the minarets of the 
mosques by Mu'eDHDHins or 'criers,' in the following 
words : 

' God is great !' (four times). ' I bear witness that there is 
no god but God ' (twice). ' I bear witness that Mohammed 
is the Apostle of God ' (twice). ' Come hither to prayers ! ' 
(twice). ' Come hither to salvation! ' (twice). ' God is great ! 
There is no other god but God!' and in the early morning 
the crier adds, ' Prayer is better than sleep ! ' 

This formula appears to have been used by Bilal, Mo- 
hammed's own crier, on the establishment of the first 
mosque in Medinah. It is called the aDHan or ' call.' 

The word 'mosque' is a corruption of mas^id, 'a place 
of adoration ' (sjgxfcah), and is applied to the whole precincts 
of a Muslim place of worship. Another name is ^ami'h, 
'the assembling,' especially applied to a cathedral mosque. 

The mosques are always open for public prayers, but on 
Fridays a special service is held, followed by a '/fti/bah 
or ' homily.' 

Another of the duties incumbent on every believer 

1 ' The lowering of the head, by a person praying [or in prayer], after the act 
of standing, in which the recitation [of portions of the Kur-an] is performed, 
so that the palms of the hand reach the knees, or so that, the bacjc becomes 
depressed," Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, 

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is that of fasting between dawn and sunset throughout 
Rama^/Mn, the ninth month of the Muslim year. The fast 
is a most rigorous one, not even a drop of water being 
allowed to pass the lips even when Ramadan occurs in 
the hot season. Only the sick and infirm are allowed 

One night between the twenty-first and twenty-ninth 
of Ramadan, the exact date being uncertain, is called the 
Lailat el Qadr or • night of power ;' in it the Qur'an was 
said to have been revealed 1 . 

Zakat, ' almsgiving 2 ' or ' poor rate,' must be given either 
in money, stock, or goods, and consists of the bestowal in 
charity of about one-fortieth of all such property as shall 
have been a year in the owner's possession. In Moham- 
med's time the zakat was a contribution by his followers to 
the expenses of the war against the infidels. 

Sadaqah is the name applied to any charitable gifts 
beyond that prescribed by law, especially to the offerings 
on the 'hid al fi/r, or 'feast of breaking fast,' at the expiration 
of Ramadan. 

Waqf is a religious bequest or endowment. 

The 'Ha^g- or ' pilgrimage,' the last of the five incumbent 
practices of the religion, is a very ancient institution, and 
one which, as we have seen, Mohammed could not, if he 
would, have abolished. 

The ceremonies observed, during the season of the pil- 
grimage are as follows : — 

Arrived at the last of the miqat, or six stages in the 
immediate vicinity of Mecca, the pilgrim divests himself 
of his ordinary clothes and assumes the i'hram, or ' garb of 
sanctity.' This consists of two wrappers without seams, 
one of which is bound round the waist, and the other thrown 
loosely over the shoulders, the head being left uncovered. 
After putting on this it is unlawful to anoint the head, 
shave this or any other part of the body, pare the nails, or 
wear any other garment than the i'hram. 

»' Cf. Chapter XCVII, ver. I. 

' The word originally meant ' purity.* 

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On reaching Mecca he performs the legal ablutions, 
proceeds to the Sacred Mosque, and having saluted the 
'black stone,' makes the tawaf or circuit of the Kaabah seven 
times, three times quickly and four times at a slow walk. 

He then visits the Maqam Ibrahim or Abraham's station, 
and afterwards returns and kisses the black stone. 

Passing through the gate of the haram leading to Mount 
Zafa, he runs seven times between the summit of that hill 
and that of Merwah l . 

On the eighth day, called tarwi'h, the pilgrims assemble 
in the valley of Mini, where they pass the night. 

As soon as morning prayers are over they ' rush tumult- 
uously ' to Mount Arafat, stay there until sunset, and then 
proceed to a place called Muzdalifeh, where they again pass 
the night. 

The next day is the 'Hid al Az'ha, when the pilgrims 
again repair to the valley of Mina, and go through the 
ceremony of throwing stones at three pillars, called G^amrah. 
This is in commemoration of Abraham, or, as some say, 
of Adam, who, meeting the devil at the same spot, drove 
him away with stones. 

The next ceremony is the sacrifice of some animal, a 
camel, sheep, or goat, in Mind ; after which they divest 
themselves of the pilgrim garb and get themselves shaved, 
their nails pared, &c. 

The pilgrim should then rest at Mecca for the three 
following days, the aiyam et tarrtq or ' days of drying up,' 
scil. the blood of the sacrifices. 

The sacrifice is said to have been instituted in com- 
memoration of Abraham's proposed sacrifice of his son 
Ishmael (not Isaac as in the Bible) in accordance with the 
divine command. 

The pilgrimage must be performed from the seventh to 
the tenth of the month Dhu'1 'H jgg-eh. A visit at any other 
time of the year is termed 'H omrah, ' visitation,' and though 
meritorious, has not the same weight as the 'Ha^g- itself. 

1 Seep, xiii and Chapter II, ver. 153. 

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The Kaabah is revisited before the pilgrim leaves Mecca, 
and the ceremony of the Tawaf again performed. From 
Mecca the pilgrim proceeds to Medinah to visit the tomb 
of the prophet. He is then entitled to assume the title of 
El 'Ha^g- (in Persian and Hindustani corrupted into 'Ha^t). 

It is worth remarking that the word 'Ha^g- is identical 
with the Hebrew word used in Exodus x. 9, where the 
reason assigned for the departure of the Israelites is 
that they may 'hold a feast fhagg) unto the Lord' in the 

Islam inculcates the doctrine of predestination, every act 
of every living being having been written down from all 
eternity in the Lau'h el Ma'hfu/^, 'the preserved tablet.' 
This predestination is called taqdir, ' meting out,' or qismeh, 
' apportioning.' The reconciliation of such a doctrine with 
the exercise of free-will, and the difficulty, if it be accepted, 
of avoiding the ascription of evil as well as good to God, 
have furnished materials for never-ending disputes amongst 
Muslim theologians, and have given rise to innumerable 
heresies. As the present introduction is only intended to 
furnish the reader with the necessary information to enable 
him to understand the Qur'an and its system, I will not 
dwell upon these and kindred matters which belong to the 
later history of the creed. 

One of the greatest blots on El Islam is that it keeps the 
women in a state of degradation, and therefore effectually 
prevents the progress of any race professing the religion. 
For this Mohammed is only so far responsible that he ac- 
cepted without question the prevalent opinion of his time, 
which was not in favour of allowing too great freedom to 
women, so that when he had ameliorated their condition by 
modifying the unjust laws of divorce, by enjoining kindness 
and equity upon his followers in the treatment of their 
wives, and by sternly repressing the barbarous custom of 
female infanticide, he thought, no doubt, that he had done 
enough for them. Similarly he provided for the better and 
kinder treatment of slaves, but it could never enter his 
mind that slavery was in itself a wrong or impolitic institu- 

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tion. The real fault lies in the unelastic nature of the 
religion : in his desire to shield it from change and to pre- 
vent his followers from 'dividing into sects,' the founder 
has made it impossible for Islam to throw off certain 
customs and restrictions which, however convenient and 
even necessary to the Arabs at the time, became grievous 
and unsuitable for other nations at distant periods and in 
distant lands. The institution of the 'Hagg pilgrimage, for 
example, was an admirable one for consolidating the Arab 
tribes, but it is burdensome and useless to the Muslim 
communities now that they extend over nearly half the 
civilized world. 

That Mohammed had a due respect for the female 
sex, as far as was consistent with the prevailing state of 
education and opinion, is evident both from his own faith- 
ful affection to his first wife '//adi^ah, and from the fact 
that ' believing women ' are expressly included in the pro- 
mises of a reward in the future life which the Qur'an makes 
to all who acknowledge one God and do good works. 

The language of the Qur'an. is universally acknowledged 
to be the most perfect form of Arab speech. The Qurai-r, 
as the guardians of the national temple and the owners of 
the territory in which the great fairs and literary festivals 
of all Arabia were held, would naturally absorb into their 
own dialect many of the words and locutions of other tribes, 
and we should consequently expect their language to be 
more copious and elegant than that of their neighbours. 
At the same time we must not forget that the acknow- 
ledged claims of the Qur'an to be the direct utterance of 
the divinity have made it impossible for any Muslim to 
criticise the work, and it became, on the contrary, the 
standard by which other literary compositions had to be 
judged. Grammarians, lexicographers, and rhetoricians 
started with the presumption that the Qur'an could not 
be wrong, and other works therefore only approached ex- 
cellence in proportion as they, more or less, successfully 
imitated its style. Regarding i% however, from a per- 
fectly impartial and unbiassed standpoint, we find that it 

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expresses the thoughts and ideas of a Bedawt Arab in 
Bedawt language and metaphor. The language is noble 
and forcible, but it is not elegant in the sense of literary 
refinement. To Mohammed's hearers it must have been 
startling, from the manner in which it brought great truths 
home to them in the language of their every-day life. 

There was nothing antiquated in the style or the words, 
no tricks of speech, pretty conceits, or mere poetical embel- 
lishments ; the prophet spoke with rude, fierce eloquence 
in ordinary language. The only rhetorical ornament he 
allowed himself was that of making his periods more or less 
rhythmical, and most of his clauses rhyme, — a thing that 
was and still is natural to an Arab orator, and the necessary 
outcome of the structure of the Arabic tongue *. 

It is often difficult to enter thoroughly into the spirit of the 
old Arab poets, Mohammed's contemporaries or immediate 
predecessors, because we cannot completely realise the 
feelings, that actuated them or identify ourselves with the 
society in which they moved. For this reason they have 
always something remote and obsolete about them, how- 
ever clear their language and meaning may be. With the 
Qur'an it is not so. Mohammed speaks with a living voice, 
his vivid word-painting brings at once before the mind 
the scene he describes or conjures up, we can picture his 
very attitude when, having finished some marvellously told 
story of the days of yore, uttered some awful denunciation, 
or given some glorious promise, he pauses suddenly and 
says, with bitter disappointment, 'These are the true stories, 
and there is no god but God ; and yet ye turn aside!' 

To translate this worthily is a most difficult task. To 
imitate the rhyme and rhythm would be to give the 
English an artificial ring from which the Arabic is quite free ; 
and the same objection lies against using the phraseology 
of our authorised version of the Bible : to render it by fine 
or stilted language would be quite as foreign to the spirit of 

' How natural this was to an Arab may be inferred from the anecdote re- 
lated in Part I, note 2, p. 126 ; see also p. lv. 

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Ixxviii the qur'An. 

the original : while to make it too rude or familiar would 
be to err equally on the other side. I have, therefore, en- 
deavoured to take a middle course ; I have translated each 
sentence as literally as the difference in structure between 
the two languages would allow, and when possible I have 
rendered it word for word. Where a rugged or commonplace 
expression occurs in the Arabic I have not hesitated to 
render it by a similar English one, even where a literal 
rendering may perhaps shock the reader. 

To preserve this closeness of rendering, I have had in 
several instances to make use of English constructions which, 
if not incorrect from a strictly grammatical point of view, are, 
I am aware, often inelegant. Thus a peculiarity of the Arabic 
is to use the same preposition with a passive verb as the 
active and transitive verb required ; for instance, 
'halaihi, 'he was angered against him,' in the passive, 
ghuzibz 'halaihi, 'he was angered-against,' and the pre- 
servation of this construction is often absolutely necessary 
to retain the force of the original. 

An instance of this occurs in the Opening Chapter, where 
the words ellaDHtna an'hamta 'halaihim, gha\\xa\ 
ma^zubi 'halaihim are rendered, 'of those thou art 
gracious to, not of those thou art wroth with;' in Sale's 
translation, ' of those to whom thou hast been gracious, not 
of those against whom thou art incensed ;' the placing the 
preposition before the verb gives a completely different 
ring to the English to that of the Arabic, to say nothing of 
the absence of that colloquial freedom which distinguishes 
the original. 

I have, as far as possible, rendered an Arabic word by the 
same English word wherever it occurs ; in some cases, 
however, where the Arabic word has more than one signi- 
fication, or where it would distort the sense to retain the 
same expression, I have not scrupled to alter it. 

Some of the Arabic words that occur in the Qur'&n are 
ambiguous, and have given rise to numerous differences of 
opinion among commentators. Thus the word istawa is 
applied to God, and is interpreted in some passages to 

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mean * he directed himself by his will to the heaven ' (Lane), 
and in others to mean ' he stood straight or erect ' (Lane). 
The expression occurs often in the Qur'an as descriptive 
of God's taking up a certain position with regard to the 
throne or highest heaven, and Muslim theologians have 
never ceased to debate concerning the exact nature of this 
position. El G^azzai! says that He 'istawi' upon the 
throne in the manner he has himself described, and in 
the sense He himself means, but not by actual contact or 
local situation, while the throne itself is sustained by Him. 
To render it then by ' sitting ' or ' ascending ' would be 
to adopt a particular view of a very debatable question, 
and to give to the Arabic word a precision of meaning 
which it does not possess. The root of the word contains 
the notions of 'equality of surface' or 'uniformity/ of 
'making' or 'fashioning,' and of 'being or going straight.' I 
have, therefore, adopted a rendering which has a similar 
confusion of significations, and translated it ' made for,' as in 
Chapter II, ver. 27, ' He made for the heavens.' Where no 
question can arise concerning its interpretation, as, for 
instance, when it is used of a rider balancing himself on the 
back of his camel, I have rendered it simply ' settled V 

The notes that I have appended are only such as are 
absolutely necessary for understanding the text ; for a full 
account of all the historical allusions, Arabic, Jewish, and 
Magian legends, with which the native commentators illus- 
trate the Qur'dn, the reader is referred to the notes in Sale's 
translation. The version- of that eminent scholar fully 
deserves the consideration it has so long enjoyed, but from 
the large amount of exegetical matter which he has in- 
corporated in his text, and from the style of language 
employed, which differs widely from the nervous energy 
and rugged simplicity of the original, his work can scarcely 
be regarded as a fair representation of the Qur'&n. 

Rodwell's version approaches nearer to the Arabic, but 
even in that there is too much assumption of the literary 

1 See Chapter XLIII, ver. ia. 

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style. The arrangement of the Surahs in chronological 
order, too, though a help to the student, destroys the miscel- 
laneous character of the book, as used by the Muslims, 
and as Mohammed's successors left it. 

In my rendering I have, for the most part, kept to the 
interpretation of the Arabic commentator B&idtevi, and 
have only followed my own opinion in certain cases where 
a word or expression, quite familiar to me from my expe- 
rience of every-day desert life, appeared to be somewhat 
strained by these learned schoolmen. Chapter XXII, ver. 
64, is an instance in which a more simple rendering would 
be preferable, though I have only ventured to suggest it in 
a note K 

I am fully sensible of the shortcomings of my own ver- 
sion, but if I have succeeded in my endeavour to set 
before the reader plainly what the Qur'an is, and what 
it contains, my aim will have been accomplished. 


St. John's College, Cambridge, 
March, 1880. 

See Part II, p. 63, note. 

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I. The Opening Chapter. (Mecca.) 
Prayer for guidance. 

II. The Chapter of the Heifer. (Medmab.) 
The Qur'Sn a guidance. Rebuke to misbelievers : parable of 
one who kindles a fire. God is not ashamed of trifling similitudes. 
The creation of man: Adam taught 'the names:' Iblis refuses to 
adore him : the temptation and fall. The children of Israel : their 
trials in Egypt : the golden calf: the manna and quails : bidden to 
enter the city and say *hi//atun. Moses strikes the rock : he bids 
the people slaughter a dun cow to discover a murder. Charge 
against the Jews of corrupting the Scriptures. The golden calf: 
the mountain held over them. Gabriel reveals the Qur'an : H&rut 
and Marut. Believers are not to say ri'hinS, but unMurnS. 
Verses which are annulled will be replaced by better ones. 
Paradise not exclusively for Jews and Christians. Mosques to 
be free. Story of Abraham : he rebuilds the Kaabah : was a 
'Hanlf. The qiblah fixed. ZafS and Merwah may be compassed. 
Proofs of God's unity. Lawful and unlawful food. The law of 
retaliation for homicide. Testators. The fast of Ramadan. Rites 
of the pilgrimage: its duration. Fighting for religion lawful 
during the sacred months. Wine and gaming forbidden. Marriage 
with idolaters unlawful. The law of divorce. Of suckling children. 
The Muha^erfn to be rewarded. The children of Israel demand 
a king. Saul (71Uut) : the shechina : the ark. Saul and Gideon 
confounded. Goliath. Jesus. The &yat el kursiy ('verse of the 
throne ') asserting the self-subsistence and omnipresence of God. 
Nimrod and Abraham. Almsgiving. No compulsion in religion. 
Proofs of the resurrection: Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones 

[6] f 

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referred to : Abraham and the birds. Almsgiving recommended. 
Usurers denounced. Laws relating to debt and trading. Persons 
mentally incapable are to act by agents. The believers' prayer. 

III. The Chapter of Imran's Family. (Medinah.) 

God's unity and self-subsistence. The Qur'in confirmatory of 
previous Scriptures. The verses are either decisive or ambiguous. 
Example of Pharaoh's punishment. The battle of Bedr. Isl&m 
the true religion. Future torment eternal. Obedience to God 
and the Apostle enjoined. Conception of the Virgin Mary ; she 
is brought up by Zachariah. Birth of John : the annunciation of 
the Virgin. Birth and infancy of Jesus : the miracle of the birds 
of clay: the disciples: allusion to Mohammed's dispute with a 
Christian deputation from Na^ran. Abraham a 'Hanif. Reproof 
to Jews who pretend to believe and then recant;, and who pervert 
the Scriptures. No distinction to be made between the prophets. 
The Jews rebuked for prohibiting certain kinds of food.. The 
foundation of the Kaabah. Abraham's station. Pilgrimage en- 
joined. Schism and misbelief reproved. Battle of Ohod referred 
to. The victory at Bedr due to angelic aid. Usury denounced. 
Fate of those who rejected the prophets of old. Mohammed's 
death must not divert the believers from their faith. Promise of 
God's help. Further account of the battle of Bedr. The 
Muslim martyrs to enter Paradise. The victory of Bedr more 
than counterbalanced the defeat at Ohod. The hypocrites detected 
and reproved. Death the common lot even of apostles. Prayer 
for the believers. Exhortation to vie in good works and be 

IV. The Chapter of Women. (Medinah.) 
God creates and watches over man. Women's dowries. Ad- 
ministration of the property of orphans and idiots. Distribution 
of property among the heirs. Witnesses required to prove adultery. 
Believers are not to inherit women's estates against their will : no 
false charge of adultery to be made with a view of keeping a woman's 
dowry. Women whom it is unlawful to marry. Men are superior 
to women : punishment of refractory wives. Arbitration between 
man and wife. Duty towards parents, kinsmen, orphans, the 
poor, neighbours, &c. Almsgiving for appearance sake a crime. 
Believers must not pray when drunk or polluted. Sand may be 
used for purification when water is not to be had. Charge against 

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of the qur'An. lxxxiii 

Jews of perverting the Scriptures and saying ra'hina: they are 
threatened with transformation, like those who broke the Sabbath, 
for their unbelief. Idolatry the unpardonable sin. Some who have 
the Scriptures believe. Trusts to be paid back. Quarrels to be 
referred to God and the Apostle only. The Apostle will intercede 
for the believers. Mohammed commanded to settle their dif- 
ferences. Believers to take precautions in sallying forth to battle. 
They are exhorted to fight, and promised Paradise if they fall. 
Obedience to the prophet is obedience to God. Salutation to be 
returned. The hypocrites. Deserters are to be slain, unless they 
have taken refuge with a tribe in league with the Muslims. Penalty 
for killing a believer by mistake. Believers are not to plunder 
others on the mere pretence that they are infidels. Fate of the 
half-hearted Muslims who fell at Bedr. Precautions to be taken 
against an attack during prayers. Exhortation to sincerity in 
supporting the faith. Rebuke to the pagan Arabs for their idolatry 
and superstitious practices. Islam the best religion, being that of 
Abraham the 'Hanff. Laws respecting women and orphans : 
equity and kindness recommended. Partiality to one wife rather 
than another reproved. Fear of God inculcated. God does not 
pardon the unstable in faith or the hypocrites. No middle course 
is allowed. The Jews were punished for demanding a book from 
heaven. Of old they asked Moses to show them God openly 
and were punished. They are reproached for breaking their 
covenant with God, for calumniating Mary, and for pretending that 
they killed Jesus, whereas they only killed his similitude, for God 
took him to Himself. Certain lawful foods forbidden the Jews 
for their injustice and usury. Mohammed is inspired in the same 
manner as the other apostles and prophets. Jesus is only an 
Apostle of God and His Word and a spirit from Him. Doctrine 
of the Trinity denounced. God has not begotten a son. The 
law of inheritance in the case of remote kinship. 

V. The Chapter of the Table. (Medfnah.) 
Believers are to fulfil their compacts. Brute beasts, except 
those hereafter mentioned, are lawful; but chase during the 
pilgrimage is unlawful. The rites and sacrifices of the pilgrimage 
are lawful. The Muslims are not to bear ill-will against the Quraif 
who prevented them at 'Hudaibiyeh from making the pilgrimage. 
Forbidden meats. The food of Jews and Christians is lawful 


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to Muslims: so too their women. Ablutions before prayers. 
Rules for purification in cases of pollution. The Muslims are 
bidden to remember the oath of fealty (at 'Akabah), and how God 
made a similar covenant with the children of Israel, and chose 
twelve wardens. Mohammed is warned against their treachery 
as well as against the Christians. Refutation of the doctrine that 
Christ is God ; and of the idea that the Jews and Christians 
are 'sons of God' and His beloved. Mohammed sent as a 
warner and herald of glad tidings. Moses bade the children of 
Israel invade the Holy Land and they were punished for hesitating. 
Story of the two sons of Adam : the crow shows Cain how to 
bury the body of Abel. Gravity of homicide. Those who make 
war against God and His Apostle are not to receive quarter. 
Punishment for theft. Mohammed is to judge both Jews and 
Christians by the Qur'in, in accordance with their own Scriptures, 
but not according to 'their lusts.' Or would they prefer to be 
judged according to the unjust laws of the time of the pagan 
Arabs? The Muslims are not to take Jews and Christians for 
patron's. The hypocrites hesitate to join the believers : they are 
threatened. Further appeal to the Jews and Christians: fate of 
those before them who were transformed for their sins. The 
Jews reproved for saying that 'God's hand is fettered.' Some 
of them are moderate, but the greater part are misbelievers. 
The prophet is bound to preach his message. Sabseans, Jews, 
and Christians appealed to as believers. Prophets of old were 
rejected. Against the worship of the Messiah and the doctrine 
of the Trinity. Jews and idolaters are the most hostile to the 
Muslims ; and the Christians are nearest in love to them. Expia- 
tion for an inconsiderate oath. Wine and gambling forbidden. 
Game not to be hunted or eaten during pilgrimage. Expiation 
for violating this precept: fish is lawful at this time. Rites of 
the 'Ha^ to be observed. Believers must not ask about painful 
things till the whole Qur'an is revealed. Denunciation of the 
superstitious practices of the pagan Arabs with respect to certain 
cattle. Witnesses required when a dying man makes his testament. 
The mission of Jesus : the miracles of the infancy : the apostles 
ask for a table from heaven as a sign : Jesus denies commanding 
men to worship him and his mother as gods. 

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VI. The Chapter of Cattle. (Mecca.) 
Light and darkness are both created by God. Rebuke to idolaters. 
They are exhorted to take warning by the fate of those of old, 
who rejected the prophets. Had the revelation been a material 
book they would have disbelieved it: if the prophet had been 
an angel he would have come in the guise of a man. Attributes 
of God. Mohammed bidden to become a Muslim. Those 
who have the Scriptures ought to recognise Mohammed as the 
one foretold in them. The idolaters will be disappointed of the 
intercession of their gods on the judgment day. They deny 
the resurrection day now, but hereafter they will have awful proof 
of its truth. The next world is preferable to this. Prophets afore- 
time were also mocked at and they were patient. God could send 
them a sign if He pleased. Beasts, birds, and the like are com- 
munities like men : their fate is all written in the Book : they too 
shall be gathered on the judgment day. Arguments in proof of 
the supreme power of God. Mohammed is only a messenger : he 
is to disclaim miraculous power : is not to repulse believers : he is 
bidden to abjure idolatry and not follow the lusts of the Meccans. 
God's omniscience. He takes men's souls to Himself during sleep : 
sends guardian angels to watch over them: preserves men in 
danger by land and sea. Mohammed is not to join in discussions 
on religion with idolaters, nor to associate with those who make a 
sport of it. Folly of idolatry set forth: God the creator : Abraham's 
perplexity in seeking after the true God: worships successively 
the stars, the moon, and the sun, but is convinced that they are 
not gods by seeing them set. Turns to God and becomes a 
'Hanff. Other prophets of old were inspired : the Qur'&n is also 
a special revelation from God to the Meccans, fulfilling their 
Scriptures; but the Jews have perverted or suppressed parts of 
them. Denunciation of one who falsely pretended to be inspired. 
The creation a proof of God's unity. Rebuke to those who call 
the ;ginn His partners, or attribute offspring to Him. Idolaters 
are not to be abused lest they too speak ill of God. The Meccans 
would not have believed even if a sign had been given them. 
Mohammed is to trust to God alone. Men are not to abstain from 
food over which God's name has been pronounced. God will 
vindicate His messenger. Belief or the reverse depends on God's 
grace. The ^inns and false gods, together with their worshippers, 

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will be condemned to everlasting torment. God never punishes 
without first sending "an apostle with warning. The threatened 
doom cannot be averted. Denunciation of the idolatrous practices 
of the Arabs: setting apart portions of the produce of the land for 
God and for the idols, and defrauding God of His portion : in- 
fanticide: declaring cattle and tilth inviolable. God created all 
fruits and all cattle ; both are therefore lawful. Argument proving 
the absurdity of some of these customs. Enumeration of the only 
kinds of food that are unlawful. The prohibition to the Jews 
of certain food"was only on account of their sins. God's revealed 
word is the only certain argument. Declaration of things really 
forbidden, namely, harshness to parents, infanticide, abominable 
sins, and murder. The property of orphans is to be respected, 
and fair dealing to be practised. No soul compelled beyond its 
capacity. The Qur'an to be accepted on the same authority as 
the book of Moses was. Faith required now without signs: no 
later profession on the judgment day shall profit them. Good 
works to be rewarded tenfold, but evil works only by the same 
amount. Islam is the religion of Abraham the 'Hanif : a belief in 
one God, to whom all prayer and devotion is due. Each soul 
shall bear its own burden. The high rank of some of the Meccans 
is only a trial from the Lord whereby to prove them. 

VII. The Chapter of Al Aaraf. (Mecca.) 
Mohammed is bidden to accept theQuT'&n fearlessly. The Meccans 
must take warning by the fate of those who rejected the prophets 
of old. The creation and fall of Adam. Iblis allowed to tempt 
mankind. Men are to go to Mosque decently clad. God has 
only prohibited sinful actions. Men are warned not to reject the 
mission of the apostles: their punishment at and after death if 
they do so. The happiness of believers in Paradise. Description 
of Al Aaraf, the partition between heaven and hell. Immediate 
belief in the Qur'an required. God the Creator. Humble and 
secret prayer enjoined. Proofs of God's goodness. Noah sent to 
warn his people : he is saved in the ark while they are drowned. 
Hud sent to 'Ad : they reject his preaching and are punished. 
Zali'h sent to Thamud: produces the she-camel as a sign: the 
people hamstring her and are punished. Lot sent to the people 
of Sodom: their punishment. Sho'haib sent to Midian: his 
people reject him and are destroyed. Thus city after city was 

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destroyed for rejecting the apostles. Moses sent to Pharaoh : the 
miracles of the snake and the white hand. The magicians con- 
tend with Moses, are overcome, and believe. Pharaoh punishes 
them. The slaughter of the firstborn : the plagues of Egypt. 
The Israelites are delivered. Moses communes with God, who 
appears to him on the Mount. The giving of the Law. The 
golden calf. Moses' wrath against Aaron. The seventy elders. 
The coming of Mohammed 'the illiterate prophet' foretold. 
Some Jews are just and rightly guided. The division into twelve 
tribes. The miracle of smiting the rock : the manna and quails : 
the command to enter the city, saying 'hi//atun, and punishment 
for disobedience. The Sabbath-breaking city : the transformation 
of the wicked inhabitants into apes. The dispersion of the Jews. 
The mountain held over the Jews. The covenant of God with 
the posterity of Adam : 'Am I not your Lord 1 ?' Humiliation of 
one who having foretold the coming of a prophet in the time of 
Mohammed would not acknowledge the latter as such. Many both 
of the ginn and of mankind predestined for hell. The names of 
God are not to be perverted 4 . Mohammed is not 'possessed.' Th? 
coming of ' the .Hour.' Creation of Adam and Eve : conception an i 
birth of their first child, ' 'Abd el 'Hareth :' their idolatry. Idols are 
themselves servants of God: they have neither life nor senses. 
Mohammed is bidden to treat his opponents with mildness. The 
mention of God's name repels devilish influences. Men are 
recommended to listen to the Qur'&n and to humble themselves 
before God, whom the angels adore. 

VIII. The Chapter of the Spoils. (Medtnah.) 
Spoils belong to God and the Apostle. Who are the true be- 
lievers. The expedition of Mohammed against the caravan from 
Syria under Abu Sufian. The miraculous victory at Bedr. Address 
to the Meccans who, fearing an attack from Mohammed, took 
sanctuary in the Kaabah, and prayed to God to decide between 
themselves and him. Exhortation to believe and avoid treachery- 
Plots against Mohammed frustrated by divine interference. The 
revelation treated as old folks' tales. Rebuke of the idolaters for 
mocking the Muslims at prayer. Offer of an amnesty to those 

1 This is constantly alluded to in Persian mystical poetry as R oz i a 1 a s t, ' the 
day of "Am I not?"' 
8 As Allah, not Allat, the name of a goddess. See p. 160, note I. 

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who will believe. Exhortation to fight the infidels : division of the 
spoils : description of the battle. The enemy made to seem few 
in the Muslims' eyes, while they seemed more numerous than they 
really were. The infidels forsaken by Satan, their leader, on the 
day of battle. Fate of the hypocrites. Warning from Pharaoh's 
fate. The infidels who break their treaty. Treachery to be met 
with the like. God will help the prophet against the traitors. A 
few enduring believers shall conquer a multitude of infidels. The 
Muslims are reproved for accepting ransom for the captives taken 
at Bedr. The spoils are lawful. The Muhaf erin who fled with 
Mohammed, and the inhabitants of Medtnah who gave him refuge, 
are to form ties of brotherhood *. 

IX. The Chapter oe Repentance or Immunity. (Medinah.) 

(This chapter is without the initial formula 
'In the name of the merciful,' &c.) 
An immunity for four months proclaimed to such of the idolaters 
as have made a league with the prophet; but they are to be 
killed wherever found when the sacred months have expired. An 
idolater seeking refuge is to be helped in order that he may hear 
the word of God. None are to be included in the immunity but those 
with whom the league was made at the Sacred Mosque. They are 
not to be trusted. Exhortation to fight against the Meccans. 
Idolaters may not repair to the mosques of God. Reproof to Abu '1 
'Abbds, the prophet's uncle, who, while refusing to believe, claimed 
to have done enough in supplying water to the pilgrims and in 
making the pilgrimage himself. The Muha^erin are to hold the 
first rank. Infidels are not to be taken for patrons even when 
they are fathers or brothers. Religion is to be preferred to ties of 
kinship. The victory of 'Honein. The idolaters are not to be 
allowed to enter the Sacred Mosque at Mecca another year. The in- 
fidels are to be attacked. The Jews denounced for saying that Ezra 
is the son of God : the assumption of the title ' Rabbi ' reproved, 
©iatribe against Jewish doctors and Christian monks. Of the 
sacred months and the sin of deferring them. Exhortation to the 
Muslims to march forth to battle. Allusions to the escape of 
Mohammed and Abu Bekr from Mecca and their concealment in a 
cave. Rebuke to those who seek to be excused from fighting, 

* S$e Introduction, p. xxxiy. 

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OF THE QURAN. lxxxix 

and to those who sought to excite sedition in the Muslim ranks. 
Reproof to the hypocrites and half-hearted and to those who found 
fault with the prophet for his use of the alms (zak&t). Proper 
destination of the alms. Hypocrites and renegades denounced : 
they are warned by the example of the people of old, who rejected 
the prophets. Rewards promised to the true believers. Continued 
denunciation of the hypocrites and of those who held back from 
the fight. Mohammed is not to pray at the grave of any one of 
them who dies: their seeming prosperity is not to deceive him. 
Happiness in store for the Apostle, the believers, and the MuhS- 
gerin. Those who may lawfully be excused military service. 
The desert Arabs are among the worst of the ' hypocrites ;' 
though some believe. Some people of Medtnah also denounced 
as hypocrites : others have sinned, but confessed : others wait for 
God's pleasure. Denunciation of some who had set up a mosque 
from motives of political opposition. Mohammed is not to sanction 
this mosque, but rather to use that of Qub&', founded by him while 
on his way from Mecca to Medlnah during the flight. God has 
bought the persons and wealth of the believers at the price of 
Paradise. The prophet and the believers must not ask forgiveness for 
the idolaters however near of kin. Abraham only asked pardon for 
his idolatrous father in fulfilment of a promise. The three Ansirs 
who refused to accompany Mohammed to Tabuk are forgiven. 
The people of Medtnah and the neighbouring Arabs blamed for 
holding back on the occasion. All sacrifices for the sake of the 
religion are counted to them. Exhortation to fight rigorously 
against the infidels. Reproof to those who receive the revelation 
suspiciously. God will stand by His Apostle. 

X. The Chapter of Jonah. (Mecca.) 
No wonder that the Qur'an was revealed to a mere man. Mis- 
believers deem him a sorcerer. God the creator and ruler : no 
one can intercede with Him except by His permission. Creation 
is a sign of His power. Reward hereafter for the believers. Man 
calls on God in distress, but forgets Him when deliverance comes. 
Warning from the fall of former generations. The infidels are not 
satisfied with the Qur'an : Mohammed dare not invent a false 
revelation. False gods can neither harm nor profit them. People 
require a sign. God saves people in dangers by land and sea. 
This life is like grass. Promise of Paradise and threat of Hell. 

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Fate of the idolaters and false gods at the last day. God the 
Lord of all. Other religions are mere conjecture. The Qur'&n could 
only have been devised by God. The Meccans are challenged to 
produce a single surah like it. Unbelievers warned of the last 
day by the fate of previous nations. Reproval of those who 
prohibit lawful things. God is ever watchful over the prophet's 
actions. Happiness of the believers : the infidels cannot harm the 
prophet. Refutation of those who ascribe offspring to God. 
Mohammed encouraged by the story of Noah and the other 
prophets of old. Fate of Pharaoh and vindication of Moses and 
Aaron. The People of the Book (Jews and Christians) appealed 
to in confirmation of the truth of the Qur'Sn. The story of Jonas. 
The people of Nineveh saved, by repenting and believing in time. 
The people are exhorted to embrace Islam, the faith of the 'Hanif. 
God alone is powerful. Belief -or unbelief affect only the individual 
himself. Resignation and patience inculcated. 

XI. The Chapter or Hud. (Mecca.) 
The Qur'an a book calling men to believe in the unity of God : 
nothing is hidden from Him : He is the creator of all. Men will 
not believe, and deem themselves secure because their punishment 
is deferred. They demand a sign, or say the Qur'&n is invented 
by the prophet; but they and their false gods together cannot 
bring ten such surahs. Misbelievers threatened with future punish- 
ment, while believers are promised Paradise. Noah was likewise 
sent, but his people objected that he was a mere mortal like them- 
selves and only followed by the meaner sort of men. He also is 
accused of having invented his revelation : he is saved in the ark 
and the unbelievers drowned: he endeavours to save his son. 
The ark settles on Mount Gudi. Hud was sent to 'Ad: his 
people plotted against him and were destroyed, while he was 
saved. Zdli'h was sent to Thamud: the she-camel given for a 
sign. The people hamstring her and perish. Abraham entertains 
the angels who are sent to the people of Lot : he pleads for them. 
Lot offers his daughters to the people of Sodom, to spare the 
angels : he escapes by night, and Sodom is destroyed. Sho'halb 
is sent to Midian ; and his people, rejecting his mission, perish too. 
Moses sent to Pharaoh, who shall be punished at the resurrection. 
The Meccans too shall be punished: they are threatened with the 
judgment day, when they shall be sent to hell, while the believers 

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are in Paradise. The Meccans are bidden to take warning by 
the fate of the cities whose stories are related above. These stories 
are intended to strengthen the prophet's heart: he is bidden to 
wait and leave the issue to God. 

XII. The Chapter of Joseph. (Mecca.) 
The Qur'in revealed in Arabic that the Meccans may under- 
stand : it contains the best of stories. Story of Joseph : he tells 
his father his dream : Jacob advises him to keep it to himself. 
Jealousy of Joseph's brethren : they conspire to throw him in a 
pit : induce his father to let him go with them: they cast him in 
the pit, and bring home his shirt covered with 'lying blood.' 
Travellers discover him and sell him into Egypt : he is adopted by 
his master : his mistress endeavours to seduce him : his innocence 
proved. His mistress shows him to the women of the city to 
excuse her conduct : their amazement at his beauty. He is im- 
prisoned: interprets the dreams of the baker and the cupbearer. 
Pharaoh's dream : Joseph is sent for to expound it. He is 
appointed to a situation of trust in the land. His brethren arrive 
and do not recognise him : they ask for corn and he requires them 
to bring their youngest brother as the condition of his giving it to 
them. The goods they had brought to barter are returned to their 
sacks. Benjamin is sent back. Joseph discovers himself to him. 
Joseph places the 'king's drinking cup in his brother's pack: 
accuses them all of the theft : takes Benjamin as a bondsman for 
the theft. They return to Jacob, who in great grief sends them 
back again to bring him news. Joseph discovers himself to them, 
and sends back his shirt : Jacob recognises it by the smell. Jacob 
goes back with them to Egypt. This story appealed to as a proof 
of the truth of the revelation. 

XIII. The Chapter of Thunder. (Mecca.) 
The Qur'in a revelation from the Lord, the creator and governor 
of all. Misbelievers are threatened: God knows all, and the 
recording angels are ever present. Lightning and thunder 
celebrate God's praises. All in heaven and earth acknowledge 
Him. God sends rain and causes the torrents to flow : the scum 
thereof is like the dross on smelted ore. The righteous and the 
believers are promised Paradise; and the misbelievers are threatened 
with hell-fire. Exhortation to believe in the Merciful. Were the 

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Qur'an to convulse nature they would not believe. Further threats 
against misbelievers. God notes the deeds of every soul. Stratagem 
unavailing against Him. Paradise and Hell. Mohammed bidden 
to persevere in asserting the unity of God. Had he not followed 
the Qur'an God would have forsaken him. Other apostles have 
had wives and children : none could bring a sign without God's 
permission: for every period there is a revelation. God can 
annul or confirm any part of his revelation which He pleases : 
he has the ' Mother of the Book ' (i. e. the Eternal Original). 
Whether Mohammed live to see his predictions fulfilled or not, 
God only knows : his duty is only to preach the message. The 
conquests of Isl&m pointed to. God will support the prophet 
against misbelievers. 

XIV. The Chapter of Abraham. (Mecca.) 

The Qur'&n revealed to bring men from darkness into light. God 
is Lord of all. No apostle sent except with the language of his 
own people. Moses sent to Pharaoh. The people of Noah, 'Ad, 
and Thamud objected that their prophets were mortals like them- 
selves. The prophets relied on God who vindicated them. Frightful 
description of hell. Misbelievers are like ashes blown away by a 
stormy wind. Helplessness of the damned : Satan will desert 
them. But believers are in Paradise. A good word is like a good 
tree whose root is in the earth and whose branches are in the sky, 
and which gives fruit in all seasons. A bad word is as a tree 
that is felled. God's word is sure. Idolaters are threatened with 
hell-fire. God is the creator of all: He subjects all things to 
man's use. Abraham prayed that the territory of Mecca might be 
a sanctuary. The unjust are only respited till the judgment day. 
The ruins of the dwellings of those who have perished for denying 
the mission of their apostles are a proof of the truth of Mo- 
hammed's mission. The Lord will take vengeance at the last day, 
when sinners shall burn in hell with, shirts of pitch to cover them. 
The Qur'&n is a warning and an admonition. 

XV. The Chapter of El 'Hkcr. (Mecca.) 
Misbelievers will one day regret their, misbelief. No city was 

ever destroyed without warning. The infidels mockingly ask 
Mohammed to bring down angels to punish them. So did the 
sinners of old act towards their apostles. There are signs enough 

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• *• 


in the zodiac, guarded as they are from the devils who are pelted 
with shooting-stars if they attempt to listen. All nature is under 
God's control. Man created from clay, and the ^inn from 
smokeless fire. The angels bidden to adore Adam. Iblls refuses ; 
is cursed and expelled; but respited until the day of judgment. 
Is allowed to seduce mankind. Hell, with its seven doors, pro- 
mised to misbelievers, and Paradise to believers. Story of Abraham's 
angelic guests : they announce to him the birth of a son : they 
proceed to Lot's family. The crime and punishment of the people 
of Sodom. The ruined cities still remain to tell the tale. Similar 
fate of the people of the Grove and of El 'Hagr. The Hour draws 
nigh. The Lord the Omniscient Creator has sent the Qur'Sn and 
the ' seven verses of repetition ' (the Opening Chapter). Mohammed 
is not to grieve at the worldly success of unbelievers. Those who 
'dismember the Qur'a^i 1 ' are threatened with punishment. Mo- 
hammed is encouraged against the misbelievers. 

XVI. The Chapter or the Bee. (Mecca.) 
God's decree will come to pass. He sends the angels to instruct 
his servants to give warning that there is no other God. The 
creation and ordering of all natural objects are signs of His power. 
The false gods are inanimate and powerless. God is but one. 
The unbelievers who call the revelation old folks' tales must 
bear the burden of their own sins. On the resurrection day their 
'associates' will disown them. Reception by the angels of the 
wicked and the good in Hell and in Paradise. The infidels 
strenuously deny the resurrection. The Muha^erin are promised 
a good reward. The Jews and Christians to be asked to confirm 
the Qur'in. All nature adores God. Unity of God affirmed. 
When in distress men turn to God, but forget Him and become 
idolaters when deliverance comes. The practice of setting aside 
part of their produce for the idols reproved. The practice of 
female infanticide, while they ascribe daughters to God, is reproved, 
and disbelief in the future life also rebuked. Satan is the patron 
of the infidels. The Qur'Sn sent down as a guidance and mercy. 
The rain which quickens the dead earth, and the cattle which give 
milk, and the vines which give fruit and wine are signs. The bee 
is inspired from the Lord to build hives and to use those made first 
by men. Its honey is lawful. The rich Arabs are reproved for 

1 Here used for the Scriptures generally. 

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their treatment of their slaves. Helplessness of the false gods 
illustrated by the parable of the slave and of the dumb man. 
Goodness of God in providing food and shelter for men. Idolaters 
shall be disowned by the false gods at the resurrection. Every 
nation shall have a witness against it. on that day. Justice and 
good faith inculcated, especially the duty of keeping to a treaty 
once made. Satan has no power over believers. Verses of the 
Qur'an abrogated : the Holy Spirit (Gabriel) is the instrument of 
the revelation. Suggestion that Mohammed is helped by some 
mortal to compose the Qur'&n : this cannot be, as the person 
hinted at speaks a foreign: language and the Qur'an is in Arabic. 
Denunciation of misbelievers. Warning of the fate Mecca is to 
expect if its inhabitants continue to disbelieve. Unlawful foods. 
God will forgive wrong done through ignorance. Abraham was a 
'Hanif. The ordinance of the Sabbath. Mohammed is to dispute 
with his opponents kindly. The believers are not to take too savage 
revenge. They are exhorted to patience and trust in God. 

XVII. The Chapter of the Night Journey. (Mecca.) 
Allusion to the 'Night Journey' from the Sacred Mosque (at 
Mecca) to the Remote Mosque (at Jerusalem). Moses received 
the Book. Noah was a faithful servant. Israel's two sins and 
their punishment. The Qur'dn a guide and glad tidings. Man prays 
for evil and is hasty. Night and day are two signs. Every man's 
augury is round his neck. Each one shall have a book on the 
resurrection day with an account of his deeds. Each is to bear the 
burden of his own sins. No city is destroyed till warned by an 
apostle. Choice of good in this world or the next. Mohammed 
is not to associate others with God. Kindness to parents enjoined. 
Moderation to be practised. Infanticide and fornication are sins. 
Homicide is to be avenged except for just cause. Honesty and 
humility inculcated. The angels are not the daughters of God. If 
there were other gods they would rebel against God : all in the 
heavens praise Him. Unbelievers cannot understand the Qur'an. 
The unity of God unacceptable to the Meccans. The resur- 
rection. Idolaters not to be provoked. Some prophets pre- 
ferred over others. False, gods themselves have recourse to God. 
All cities to be destroyed before the judgment day. Had Mo- 
hammed been sent with signs, the Meccans would have disbelieved 
them like Thamud. The Vision (of the Night Journey) and the 

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Zaqqum Tree of Hell are causes of contention. IblJs' disobedience 
and fall : he is given permission to delude men. Safety by land and 
sea a special mercy from God. All shall have justice at the last 
day. The Tmqtf tribe at It'if nearly seduced Mohammed into 
promulgating an unauthorised sentence. Injunction to pray. Man 
is ungrateful. Departure of the Spirit. Mankind and #inns toge- 
ther could not produce the like of the Qur'an. Signs demanded 
of Mohammed : he is only a mortal. Fate of those who disbelieve 
in the resurrection. Moses brought nine signs, but Pharaoh dis- 
believed in them : his fate : the children of Israel succeeded him 
in his possessions. The Qur'an was revealed as occasion required: 
those who believe the Scriptures recognise .it. God and the Mer- 
ciful One are not two gods, for God has no partner. 

XVIII. The Chapter of the Cave. (Mecca.) 
The Qur'&n is a warning especially to those who say God has 
begotten a son. Mohammed is not to grieve if they refuse to 
believe. Story of the Fellows of the Cave. Their number known 
only to God. Mohammed rebuked for promising a revelation on 
the subject. He is enjoined to obey God in all things, and not to 
be induced to give up his poorer followers. Hell-fire threatened 
for the unbeliever and Paradise promised to the good. Parable of 
the proud man's garden which was destroyed while that of the 
humble man flourished. This life is like the herb that springs up 
and perishes. Good works are more lasting than wealth and chil- 
dren. The last day. Iblis refuses to adore Adam : the men are not 
to take him for a patron^ They shall be forsaken by their patrons 
at the last day. Men would believe but that the example of those of 
yore must be repeated. Misbelievers are unjust and shall not be 
allowed to understand, or be guided. But God is merciful. Story 
of Moses and his servant in search of El 'Hidbc : they lose their fish 
at the confluence of the two seas : they meet a strange prophet, who 
bids Moses not question anything he may do : he scuttles a ship, 
kills a boy, and builds up a tottering wall : Moses desires an ex- 
planation, which the stranger gives and leaves him. Story of Dhu 
'1 Qarnain : he travels to the ocean of the setting sun : builds a 
rampart to keep in Gog and Magog : these are to be let loose again 
before the judgment day: reward and punishment on that day. 
Were the sea ink it would not suffice for the words of the Lord. 
The prophet is only a mortal. 

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XIX. The Chapter of Mary. (Mecca.) 
Zachariah prays for an heir : he is promised a son, who is to be 
called John: is struck dumb for three days as a sign. John is 
born and given the Book, judgment, grace, and purity. Story of 
Mary : the annunciation : her delivery beneath a palm tree : the 
infant Jesus in the cradle testifies to her innocence and to his own 
mission. Warning of the day of judgment. Story of Abraham : 
he reproves his father, who threatens to stone him : Abraham prays 
for him : Isaac and Jacob are born to him. Moses communes with 
God and has Aaron for a help. Ishmael and Idrls mentioned as 
prophets. Their seed Tvhen the signs of the Merciful are read fall 
down adoring. The Meccans, their successors, are promised reward 
in Paradise if they repent and believe. The angels only descend at 
the bidding of the Lord. Certainty of the resurrection : punishment 
of those who have rebelled against the Merciful. Reproof to one 
who said he should have wealth and children on the judgment day. 
The false gods shall deny their worshippers then. The devils 
sent to tempt unbelievers. The gathering of the judgment day. 
All nature is convulsed at the imputation that the Merciful has 
begotten a son. This revelation is only to warn mankind by the 
example of the generations who have passed away. 

XX. The Chapter of T. H. (Mecca.) 
The Qur'&n a reminder from the Merciful, who owns all things 
and knows all things. There is no god but He. His are the 
excellent names. Story of Moses: he perceives the fire and is 
addressed from it by God in the holy valley 7uv& : God shows 
him the miracle of the staff turned to a snake and of the white 
hand : sends him to Pharaoh : Moses excuses himself because of 
the impediment in his speech. Aaron is given him as a minister. 
Moses' mother throws him in the sea : his sister watches him : he 
is restored to his mother. Slays an Egyptian and flees to Midian. 
Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh and call on him to believe: 
Pharaoh charges them -with being magicians : their contest with the 
Egyptian magicians, who believe and are threatened with punish- 
ment by Pharaoh. Moses leads the children of Israel across the sea 
by a dry road : Pharaoh and his people are overwhelmed : the 
covenant on Mount Sinai : the miracle of the manna and quails. 
Es SSmarty makes the calf in Moses' absence. Moses seizes his 

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of the our' An, xcvii 

brother angrily by the beard and destroys the calf. Misbelievers 
threatened with the terrors of the resurrection day: fate of the 
mountains on that day : all men shall be summoned to judgment : 
no intercession shall avail except from such as the Merciful permits. 
The Qur'an is in Arabic that people may fear and remember. 
Mohammed is not to hasten on its revelation. Adam broke his 
covenant with God. Angels bidden to adore Adam : Iblts refuses : 
tempts Adam : Adam, Eve, and Iblts expelled from Paradise. Mis- 
believers shall be gathered together blind on the resurrection day. 
The Meccans pass by the ruined dwellings of the generations who 
have been aforetime destroyed for unbelief: but for the Lord's 
word being passed they would have perished too. Mohammed is 
exhorted to bear their insults patiently and to praise God through- 
out the day. Prayer enjoined. The fate of those of yore a 
sufficient sign. Let them wait and see the issue. 

XXI. The Chapter o* the Prophets. (Mecca.) 
Men mock at the revelation : they say it is a 'jumble of dreams,' 
and that Mohammed is a poet, and they ask for a sign. The 
prophets of old were but mortal: the people who rejected them 
perished. Heaven and earth were not created in sport. Truth shall 
crush falsehood. All things praise God. If there were other gods 
than He heaven and earth would be corrupted. All former pro- 
phets were taught that there is no god but God. The Merciful has 
not begotten children : the angels are only his servants. The se- 
paration of earth from heaven, the creation of living things from 
water, the steadying of the earth by mountains and placing the sky 
as a roof over it, and the creation of the night and day and of the 
sun and moon are signs. No one was ever granted immortality: 
every soul must taste of death. The unbelievers mock at Mo- 
hammed and disbelieve in the Merciful. Man is hasty. The infidels 
are threatened with punishment in the next world. Those who 
mocked at the prophets of old perished. No one shall be wronged 
at the last day. Moses and Aaron received a scripture. Abraham 
destroys the images which his people worshipped : he tells them 
that it was the largest idol which did it : he is condemned to be 
burnt alive; but the fire is miraculously made cool and safe. 
Abraham, Lot, Isaac, and Jacob all inspired. Lot was brought 
safely out of a city of wrong-doers. Noah also was saved. David 
and Solomon give judgment about a field. The mountains and 

[6] g 

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birds are made subject to David : he is taught the art of making 
coats of mail. The wind and the demons are subjected to 
Solomon. Job was saved. Ishmael, Idrts, and Dhu '1 Kin were 
patient and entered into the mercy of the Lord. Dhu 'nnun 
(Jonah) was saved in the fish's belly. Zachariah had his prayer 
granted and a son (John) given him. The Spirit was breathed 
into the Virgin Mary. But their followers have divided into sects. 
A city once destroyed for unbelief shall, not be restored till Gog 
and Magog are let loose. The promise draws nigh. Idolaters 
shall be the pebbles of hell. But the elect shall be spared the 
terror of that day; when the heavens shall be rolled up as Es- 
Si^ill rolls up books. As is written in the Psalms, ' The righteous 
shall inherit the earth.' Mohammed sent as a mercy to the worlds. 
God is one God : He knows all : He is the Merciful. 

XXII. The Chapter of the Pilgrimage. (Meccai) 

Terrors of the last day; yet men dispute about God and follow 
devils. The conception, birth, growth, and death of men, and 
the growth of herbs in the ground are proofs of the resurrec- 
tion. But some dispute, others waver between two opinions. The 
most desperate means cannot thwart the divine decrees. God will 
decide between the Jews, Christians, Sabaeans, Magians, and Idolaters 
on the judgment day. All nature adores God. The misbelievers 
are threatened with hell-fire, and the believers promised Paradise. 
Punishment threatened to those who prohibit men from visiting 
the Sacred Mosque. Abraham when bidden to cleanse the Kaabah 
was told to proclaim the pilgrimage. The rules of the 'Ha^ en- 
joined. Cattle are lawful food. Warning against idolatry and 
exhortation to become 'Hantfs. Sacrifices at the Kaabah are 
enjoined. All men have their appointed rite. The name of God 
is to be mentioned over cattle when slaughtered. Camels may be 
sacrificed and eaten. God will defend believers, but loves not mis- 
believing traitors. Those who have been driven from their homes 
for acknowledging God's unity are allowed to fight. If men did 
not fight for such a cause, all places of worship would be destroyed. 
The people of Noah, 'Ad, Thamud, Abraham, and Lot called then- 
prophets liars and were allowed to range at large, but at last they 
were punished. Their cities were destroyed and the ruins are visible 
to travellers still. Mohammed is only sent to warn the Meccans 

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of a like fate. Satan contrives to suggest a wrong reading to the 
prophet while reading the Qur'an l . The kingdom shall be God's 
upon the judgment day. Those who flee or are slain in the cause 
shall be provided for and rewarded. Believers who take revenge 
and are again attacked will be helped All nature is subject to God. 
Every nation has its rites to observe. The idolaters treat the reve- 
lation with scorn. The false gods could not even create a fly. 
Exhortation to worship God and fight for the faith of Abraham, 
whose religion the Muslims profess. God is the sovereign and 

XXIII. The Chapter of Believers. (Mecca.) 
The humble, chaste, and honest shall prosper. The creation, 
birth, death, and resurrection of man : God's goodness in providing 
for men's sustenance. Noah sent to his people, who reject him 
because he is a mere mortal : they are drowned, and he is saved in 
the ark. Moses and Aaron were also called liars. Mary and her son 
the cause of their followers' division into sects. The God-fearing 
encouraged. The Quraif rebuked for their pride, and for denying 
Mohammed, and calling him possessed. They are reminded of 
the famine and defeat they have already experienced. Doctrine 
of the resurrection. The unity of God : He has no offspring : is 
omniscient. Mohammed is encouraged not to care for the false 
accusations of the Meccans, but to seek refuge in God. Punish- 
ment, on the day of resurrection, of those who mocked at the little 
party of believers. 

XXIV. The Chapter of Light. (Medinah.) 
(This chapter deals with the accusation of unchastity against 

Punishment of the whore and the whoremonger. Witnesses re- 
quired in the case of an imputation of unchastity to a wife. Vindica- 
tion of Ayesha's character and denunciation of the accusers. Scan- 
dalmongers rebuked and threatened with punishment at the last day. 
Believers are not to enter other persons' houses without permission 
or in the absence of the owners. Chastity and modest deportment 
enjoined particularly upon women. Those by whom women may 

1 An allusion to the tradition of Mohammed's acknowledgment of the 
goddesses Allat, Al 'Huzza, and Manat. See Introduction, pp. xxvi and xxvii. 

g 2 

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be seen unveiled. Slaves to be allowed to purchase their freedom. 
Slave girls not to be compelled to prostitute themselves. God the 
Light of the Heavens. Nothing keeps the believer from the service 
of God ; but the unbeliever's works are like the mirage on a plain 
or like darkness on a deep sea. All nature is subject to God's 
control. Reproof to a sect who would not accept the prophet's 
arbitration. Actual obedience required rather than an oath that they 
will be obedient Belief in the unity of God, steadfastness in prayer, 
and the giving of alms enjoined. Slaves and children not to be 
admitted into an apartment without asking permission, when the 
occupant is likely to be undressed. Rules for the social intercourse 
of women past child-bearing, and of the blind, lame, or sick. Persons 
in whose houses it is lawful to eat food. Salutations to be ex- 
changed on entering houses. Behaviour of the Muslims towards 
the Apostle. He is to be more respectfully addressed than other 

XXV. The Chapter of the Discrimination. (Mecca.) . 
The ' Discrimination ' sent down as a warning that God is one, 
the creator and governor of all ; yet the Meccans call it ' old folks' 
tales:' they object that the prophet acts and lives as a mere mortal, 
or is crazy. Hell-fire shall be the punishment of those who dis- 
believe in the resurrection. Description of the judgment day. 
The Quritw object that the Qur'&n was revealed piecemeal. Moses 
and Aaron and Noah were treated like Mohammed, but those who 
called them liars were punished : 'Ad and Thamud perished for the 
same sin : the ruins of the cities of the plain are existing examples: 
yet they will not accept the prophet. God controls the shadow ; 
gives night for a repose ; quickens the dead earth with rain. He 
lets loose the two seas, but places a barrier between them. He has 
created man. He is the loving and merciful God. The QurSw 
object to the ' Merciful' as a new God. The lowly and moderate 
are His servants : they abstain from idolatry, murder, false witness, 
and frivolous discourse. These shall be rewarded. God cares 
nothing for the rejection of his message by the infidels : their 
punishment shall be lasting. 

- XXVI. The Chapter of the Poets. (Mecca.) 
Mohammed is not to be vexed by the people's unbelief. Though 
called a liar now, his cause shall triumph in the end. Moses sent 

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to Pharaoh : he fears lest he may be killed for slaying the Egyptian. 
Pharaoh charges him with ingratitude. Their dispute about God. 
Pharaoh claims godhead himself. The miracles of the rod and 
the 'white hand.' Moses' contest with the magicians : the magicians 
are conquered and believe : Pharaoh threatens them with condign 
punishment The Israelites leave Egypt and are pursued. The 
passing of the Red Sea and destruction of Pharaoh and his hosts. 
The story of Abraham : he preaches against idolatry. Noah is 
called a liar and vindicated. Hud preaches to the people of 'Ad, 
and Zali'h to Thamud: the latter hamstring the she-camel and 
perish. The crime and punishment of the people of Sodom. 
The people of the Grove and- the prophet Sho'haib. The Qur'an 
revealed through the instrumentality of the Faithful Spirit (Gabriel), 
in plain Arabic. The learned Jews recognise its truth from the 
prophecies in their own Scriptures. The devils could not have 
brought it. Mohammed is to be meek towards believers and to 
warn his clansmen. Those upon whom the devils do descend, 
namely, the poets who ' wander distraught in every vale.' 

XXVII. The Chapter of the Ant. (Mecca.) 
The Qur'an a guidance to believers. God appears to Moses 
in the fire: Moses is sent to Pharaoh with signs, but is called 
a 'sorcerer.' David and Solomon endowed with knowledge. 
Solomon taught the speech of birds. His army of men, ^inns, 
and birds marches through the valley of the ant. One ant bids 
the rest retire to their holes lest Solomon and his hosts crush 
them. Solomon smiles and answers her* He reviews the birds 
and misses the hoopoe, who, returning, brings news of the mag- 
nificence of the queen of Sheba. Solomon sends him back with 
a letter to the queen. A demon brings him her throne. She 
comes to Solomon; recognises her throne; marvels at the palace 
with a glass floor, which she mistakes for water: becomes a 
Muslim. Thamud reject Zali'h and perish. Lot is saved, while the 
people of Sodom are destroyed. The Lord the God of nature; 
the only God and creator. Certainty of the resurrection. The 
ruins of ancient cities an example. The Qur'&n decides disputed 
points for the Jews. Mohammed bidden to trust in God, for he 
cannot make the deaf to hear his message. The beast that shall 
appear at the resurrection. Terrors of the last day. The prophet 
bidden to worship ' the Lord of this land,' to recite the Qur'an, and 
to become a Muslim. 

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XXVIII. The Chapter of the Story. (Mecca.) 

The history of Moses and Pharaoh: the latter and his vizier 
Haman oppress the children of Israel. Moses is exposed on the 
river by his mother : he is adopted by Pharaoh : his sister watches 
him, and his mother is engaged to nurse him. He grows up and 
slays the Egyptian : flees to Midian : helps the two maidens to draw 
water : serves their father Sho'haib for ten years and then marries 
his daughter. God appears to him in the fire in the holy valley of 
Tuva, in Sinai. Is sent with his brother Aaron to Pharaoh. 
Haman builds Pharaoh a high tower to ascend to the God of 
Moses. His punishment. Moses gives the law. These stories 
are proofs of Mohammed's mission. The Arabs reject the book of 
Moses and the Qur'in as two impostures. Those who have the 
Scriptures recognise the truth of the Qur'an. The Meccans 
warned by the example of the cities of old that have perished. 
Disappointment of the idolaters at the day of judgment. Help- 
lessness of the idols before God. Qarun's great wealth : the earth 
opens and swallows him up for his pride and his insolence to 
Moses. Mohammed encouraged in his faith and purpose. 

XXIX. The Chapter of the Spider. (Mecca.) 

Believers must be proved. Kindness to be shown to parents; 
but they are not to be obeyed if they endeavour to lead their chil- 
dren to idolatry. The hypocrites stand by the Muslims only in 
success. The unbelievers try to seduce the believers by offering 
to bear their sins. Noah delivered from the deluge. Abraham 
preaches against idolatry. Is cast into the fire, but saved: flees 
from his native land : Isaac and Jacob born to him. Lot and the 
fate of the inhabitants of Sodom. Midian and their prophet Sho- 
'haib. 'Ad and Thamud. Fate of Qarun, Pharaoh, and Himtn. 
Similitude of the spider. Mohammed bidden to rehearse the 
Qur'&n. Prayer enjoined. Those who have the Scriptures are to 
be mildly dealt with in disputation. They believe in the Qur'in. 
Mohammed unable to read. Signs are only in the power of God. 
The idolaters reproved, and threatened with punishment. The 
believers promised reward. God provides for all. This world is 
but a sport. God saves men in dangers by sea, yet they are un- 
grateful. The territory of Mecca inviolable. Exhortation to strive 
for the faith. 

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XXX. The Chapter of the Greeks. (Mecca.) 
Victory of the Persians over the Greeks : prophecy of the com- 
ing triumph of the latter. The Meccans warned by the fate of 
former cities. The idols shall forsake them at the resurrection: 
the believers shall enter Paradise. God is to be praised in the 
morning and evening and at noon and sunset. His creation of man 
and of the universe and His providence are signs. He is the in- 
comparable Lord of all. Warning against idolatry and schism. 
Honesty inculcated and usury reproved. God only creates and 
kills. Corruption in the earth through sin. The fate of former 
idolaters. Exhortation to believe before the sudden coming of the 
judgment day. God's sending rain to quicken the earth is a sign 
of His power. Mohammed cannot make the deaf hear his 
message. Warning of the last day. 

XXXI. The Chapter of Loqman. (Mecca.) 
The Qur'&n a guidance to believers. Denunciation of one who 
purchased Persian legends and preferred them to the Qur'&n. God 
in nature. Other gods can create nothing. Wisdom granted to 
Loqman: his advice to his son. The obstinacy of the infidels 
rebuked. If the sea were ink and the trees pens they would not 
suffice to write the words of the Lord. God manifest in the night 
and day, in the sun and moon, and in rescuing men from dangers 
by sea. God only knows the future. 

XXXII. The Chapter of Adoration. (Mecca). 
The Qur'&n is truth from the Lord. God the creator and 
governor. The resurrection. Conduct of true believers when 
they hear the word : their reward : the punishment of misbelievers : 
description of hell. The people are exhorted to believe and are 
admonished by the fate of the ruined cities they see around 
them : they are warned of the judgment day. 

XXXIII. The Chapter of the Confederates. (Medtnah.) 
Mohammed is warned against the hypocrites. Wives divorced 
by the formula 'thou art henceforth to me like my mother's back' 
are not to be considered as real mothers and as such regarded as 
unlawful. Neither are adopted sons to be looked upon as real 
sons. The real ties of kinship and consanguinity are to supersede 

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the tie of sworn brotherhood '.. God's covenant with the prophets. 
Miraculous interference in favour of the Muslims when besieged 
by the confederate army at Medinah. Conduct of the ' hypocrites ' 
on the occasion. Departure of the invaders. Siege and defeat of 
the Benu Qurai/Aah Jews : the men are executed : their women and 
children are sold into slavery and their property confiscated. Laws 
for the prophet's wives : they are to be discreet and avoid ostenta- 
tion. Encouragement to the good and true believers of either 
sex. Vindication of Mohammed's conduct in marrying Zainab 
the divorced wife of his ffeedman and adopted son Zaid (who is 
mentioned by name). No term need be observed in the case of 
women divorced before cohabitation. Peculiar privileges granted 
to Mohammed in the matter of women. Limitation of his license 
to take wives. Muslims are not to enter the prophet's house 
without permission : after eating they are to retire without incon- 
veniencing him by familiar discourse : are to be very modest in their 
demeanour to his wives : are not to marry any of his wives after 
him. Those relations' who are permitted to see them unveiled. 
God and His angels bless the prophet. Slander of misbelievers 
will be punished. The women are to dress modestly. Warning 
to the hypocrites and disaffected at Medinah. The fate of the 
• infidels at the last judgment. Man alone of all creation undertook 
the responsibility of faith. 

XXXIV. The Chapter of Seba. (Mecca.) 
The omniscience of God. Those who have received knowledge 
recognise the revelation. The unbelievers mock at Mohammed 
for preaching the resurrection. The birds and mountains sing 
praises with David: iron softened for him: he makes coats of 
mail. The wind subjected to Solomon : a fountain of brass made 
to flow for him : the #inns compelled to work for him : his death 
only discovered by means of the worm that gnawed the staff that 
supported his corpse. The prosperity of SebS. : bursting of the 
dyke (el 'Arim) and ruin of the town. Helplessness of the false 
gods : they cannot intercede for their worshippers when assembled 
at the last day. Fate of the misbelievers on that day : the proud 
and the weak shall dispute as to which misled the others. The 
affluence of the Meccans will only increase their ruin. The angels 
shall disown the worshippers of false gods. The Meccans accuse 

1 See Introduction, p. xxxiv. 

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Mohammed of imposture; so did other nations deal with their 
prophets and were punished for it. Mohammed is cleared of the 
suspicion of insanity. The wretched plight of the misbelievers 
on the last day. 

XXXV. The Chapter of the Angels, or, the Creator. 

Praise of God, who makes the angels his messengers. God's 
unity: apostles before Mohammed were accused of imposture. 
Punishment in store for the unbelievers. Mohammed is not to be 
vexed on their account. God sends rain to quicken the dead 
earth: this is a sign of the resurrection. The power of God 
shown in all nature: the helplessness of the idols. They will 
disclaim their worshippers at the resurrection. No soul shall bear 
the burden of another. Mohammed cannot compel people to 
believe : he is only a warner. Other nations have accused their 
prophets of imposture, and perished. Reward of the God-fearing, 
of believers, and of those who read and follow the Qur'&n : punish- 
ment of hell for the infidels. The idolaters shall be confounded 
on the judgment day. The QurSw in spite of their promises and 
of the examples around them are more arrogant and unbelieving 
than other people. If God were to punish men as they deserve he 
would not leave so much as a beast on the earth ; but He respites 
them for a time. 

XXXVI. The Chapter of Y. S. (Mecca.) 
Mohammed is God's messenger, and the Qur'an is a revelation 
from God to warn a heedless people. The infidels are predestined 
not to believe. All men's works shall be recorded. The apostles 
of Jesus rejected at Antioch : 'Habib en Na^g&r exhorts the people 
to follow their advice : he is stoned to death by the populace : 
Gabriel cries out and the sinful people are destroyed. Men will 
laugh at the apostles who come to them; but they have an ex- 
ample in the nations who have perished before them. The 
quickening of the dead earth is a sign of the resurrection. God's 
power shown in the procreation of species. The alternation of night 
and day, the phases of the moon, the sun and moon in their 
orbits, are signs of God's power. So too the preservation of men 
in ships at sea. Almsgiving enjoined : the unbelievers jeer at the 
command. The sudden coming of the judgment day. Blessed 

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state of the believers in Paradise, and misery of the unbelievers in 
hell. Mohammed is no mere poet. The Qur'an an admonition. 
God's providence. The false gods will not be able to help their 
worshippers. Proofs of the resurrection. 

XXXVII. The Chapter of the Ranged. (Mecca.) 
Oath by the angels ranged in rank, by those who drive the 
clouds, and by those who rehearse the Qur'an that God is one alone 1 
They guard the gates of heaven, and pelt the devils who would 
listen there with shooting-stars. Do the Meccans imagine themselves 
stronger than the angels that they mock at God's signs and deny 
the resurrection ? The false gods and the Meccans shall recriminate 
each other at the judgment day. They say now, ' Shall we leave 
our gods for a mad poet?' They shall taste hell-fire for their 
unbelief, while the believers are in Paradise. Description of the 
delights thereof: the maidens there : the blessed shall see their 
unbelieving former comrades in hell. Immortality of the blessed. 
Ez Zaqqum the accursed tree in hell : horrors of that place. The 
posterity of Noah were blessed. Abraham mocks at and breaks 
the idols. He is condemned to be burnt alive, but is delivered : 
is commanded to offer up his son Ishmael as a sacrifice; obeys, 
but his son is spared. His posterity is blessed. Moses and 
Aaron too left a good report behind them ; so too did Elias, who 
protested against the worship of Baal. Lot was saved. Jonas 
was delivered after having been thrown overboard and swallowed 
by a fish. The gourd. Jonas is sent to preach to the people of 
the city (of Nineveh). The Meccans rebuked for saying that God 
has daughters, and for saying that He is akin to the ^inns. The 
angels declare that they are but the humble servants of God. The 
success of the prophet and the confusion of the infidels foretold. 

XXXVIII. The Chapter of S. (Mecca.) 
Oath by the Qur'an. Example of former generations who 
perished for unbelief and for saying that their prophets were 
sorcerers and the Scriptures forgeries: the Meccans are warned 
thereby. Any hosts of the confederates shall be routed. Fate 
of the people of Noah, 'Ad, Pharaoh, Thamud, and Lot: the 
Meccans must expect the same. Mohammed exhorted to be 
patient of what they say: he is reminded of the powers bestowed 
on David. The parable of the ewe lambs proposed to David by 

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the two antagonists. David exhorted not to follow lust. The 
heaven and earth were not created in vain as the misbelievers think : 
the Qur'an a reminder. Solomon lost in admiration of his horses 
neglects his devotions, but repenting slays them. A ^inn in 
Solomon's likeness is set on his throne to punish him : he repents, 
and prays God for a kingdom such as no one should ever possess 
again. The wind and the devils made subject to him. The 
patience of Job. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob : Elisha and Dhu 1 
Kifl. Happiness of the righteous in Paradise. Misery and mutual 
recrimination of the wicked in hell. Mohammed only sent to warn 
people and proclaim God's unity. The creation of man and dis- 
obedience of I bits, who is expelled : he is respited till the judgment 
day that he may seduce people to misbelief. But he and those 
who follow him shall fill hell. 

XXXIX. The Chapter of the Troops. (Mecca.) 
Rebuke to the idolaters who say they serve false gods as a 
means of access to God himself. The unity of God, the creator 
and controller of the universe. His independence and omnipo- 
tence. Ingratitude of man for God's help. Difference between 
the believers and unbelievers. Mohammed is called to sincerity of 
religion and to Islam : he is to fear the torment at the judgment 
day if he disobeys the call. Hell-fire is prepared for the infidels. 
Paradise promised to those who avoid idolatry. The irrigation of 
the soil and the growth of corn are signs. The Qur'an makes the 
skins of those who fear God creep. Threat of the judgment day. 
The Meccans are warned by the fate of their predecessors not to 
reject the Qur'an. Parable showing the uncertain position of the 
idolaters. Mohammed not immortal. Warning to those who lie 
against God, and promise of reward to those who assert the truth. 
Mohammed is not to be frightened with the idols of the Meccans. 
Their helplessness demonstrated. The Qur'an is a guide, but the 
prophet cannot compel men to follow it. Human souls are taken 
to God during sleep, and those who are destined to live on are 
sent back. No intercession allowed with God. The doctrine of 
the unity of God terrifies the idolaters. Prayer to God to decide 
between them. The infidels will regret on the resurrection day. 
Ingratitude of man for God's help in trouble. The Meccans are 
warned by the fate of their predecessors. Exhortation to repent- 
ance before it is too late. Salvation of the God-fearing. God the 

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creator and controller of everything. Description of the last judg- 
ment. All souls driven in troops to heaven or to hell. 

XL. The Chapter of the Believer. (Mecca.) 
Attributes of God. Mohammed encouraged by the fate of other 
nations who rejected their apostles. The angels' prayer for the 
believers. Despair in hell of the idolaters. The terrors of the 
judgment day. God alone the omniscient judge. The vestiges of 
former nations are still visible in the land to warn the people. The 
story of Moses and Pharaoh : the latter wishes to kill Moses ; but 
a secret believer makes a long appeal : Pharaoh bids Himin con- 
struct a tower to mount up to the God of Moses. God saves the 
believer, and Pharaoh is ruined by his own devices. Mutual re- 
crimination of the damned. Exhortation to patience and praise. 
Those who wrangle about God rebuked. The certain coming of 
the Hour. The unity of God asserted and His attributes enumerated. 
Idolatry forbidden. The conception, birth, life, and death of man. 
Idolaters shall find out their error in hell. Mohammed encouraged 
to wait for the issue. Cattle to ride on and to eat are signs of 
God's providence. The example of the nations who perished of 
old for rejecting the Apostle. 

XLI. The Chapter 'Detailed.' (Mecca.) 
The Meccans are called on to believe the Qur'£n. The creation 
of the heavens and the earth. Warning from the fate of 'Ad and 
Thamud. The very skins of the unbelievers shall bear witness 
against them on the day of judgment. Punishment of those who 
reject the Qur'Sn. The angels descend and encourage those who 
believe. Precept to return good for evil. Refuge to be sought 
with God against temptation from the devil. Against sun and 
moon worship. The angels praise God, though the idolaters are too 
proud to do so. The quickening of the earth with rain is a sign. 
The Qur'£n a confirmation of previous scriptures. If it had been 
revealed in a foreign tongue the people would have objected that 
they could not understand it, and that the prophet being an Arab 
should have had a revelation in his own language. Moses' scripture 
was also the subject of dispute. God is omniscient. The false 
gods will desert their worshippers at the resurrection. Man's in- 
gratitude for God's help in trouble. God is sufficient witness of 
the truth. 

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XLII. The Chapter of Counsel. (Mecca.) 
The Qur'an inspired by God to warn 'the Mother of cities' of 
the judgment to come. God is one, the creator of all things, who 
provides for all. He calls men to the same religion as that of the 
prophets of old, which men have broken up into sects. Mohammed 
has only to proclaim his message. Those who argue about God 
shall be confuted. None knows when the Hour shall come but 
God. The idolaters shall only have their portion in this life. God 
will vindicate the truth of His revelation. His creation and provi- 
dence signs of His power. Men's misfortunes by land and sea are 
due to their own sins. The provision of the next world is best 
for the righteous. It is not sinful to retaliate if wronged, though 
forgiveness is a duty. The sinners shall have none to help them 
on the day of judgment : they are exhorted to repent before it 
comes. Ingratitude of man. God controls all. No mortal has 
ever seen God face to face : He speaks to men only through in- 
spiration or his apostles. This Qur'an was revealed by a spirit to 
guide into the right Way. 

XLIII. The Chapter of Gilding. (Mecca.) 
The original of the Qur'an is with God. The example of the 
nations of old who mocked at the prophets. God the creator. 
Men are bidden to praise Him who provides man with ships and 
cattle whereon to ride. The Arabs are rebuked for attributing 
female offspring to God, when they themselves repine when a 
female child is bprn to any one of them. They are also blamed 
for asserting that the angels are females. The excuse that this 
was the religion of their fathers will not avail : it is the same as 
older nations made: their fate. Abraham disclaimed idolatry. 
The Meccans were permitted to enjoy prosperity only until the 
Apostle came ; and now that he has come they reject him. They 
are reproved for saying that had the prophet been a man of con- 
sideration at Mecca and Ti'if they would have owned him. Mis- 
believers would have had still more wealth and enjoyment, but that 
men would have then all become infidels. Those who turn from 
the admonition shall be chained to devils, who shall mislead them. 
God will take vengeance on them whether Mohammed live to see 
it or not : he is encouraged to persevere. Moses was mocked by 
Pharaoh, whom he was sent to warn. But Pharaoh and his people, 

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were drowned. Answer to the Arabs who objected that Jesus too 
must come under the ban against false gods. But Jesus did not 
assume to be a god. Threat of the coming of the Hour. The 
joys of Paradise and the terrors of Hell. The damned shall beg 
Milik to make an end of them. The recording angels note down 
the secret plots of the infidels. God has no son : He is the Lord 
of all. 

XLIV. The Chapter of Smoke. (Mecca.) 

Night of the revelation of the Qur'£n. Unity of God. Threat 
of the last day, when a smoke shall cover the heavens, and the un- 
believers shall be punished for rejecting the prophet and saying he 
is taught by others or distracted. Fate of Pharaoh for rejecting 
Moses : fate of the people of Tubb&'h. The judgment day : the 
tree Zaqqum and the punishment of hell. Paradise and the virgins 
thereof. The Qur'Sn revealed in Arabic for an admonition. 

XLV. The Chapter of the Kneeling. (Mecca.) 
God revealed in nature : denunciation of the infidels : trading by 
sea a sign of God's providence. The law first given to Israel, 
then to Mohammed in the Qur'an. Answer to the infidels who 
deny the resurrection, and warning of their fate on that day. 

XLVI. The Chapter of El A'hqaf. (Mecca.) 
God the only God and creator. The unbelievers call Mohammed 
a sorcerer or a forger. The book of Moses was revealed before, 
and the Qur"£n is a confirmation of it in Arabic. Conception, birth, 
and life of man. Kindness to parents and acceptance of Islim 
enjoined. The misbelievers are warned by the example of 'Ad, 
who dwelt in A'hqaf ; and by that of the cities whose ruins lie 
around Mecca. Allusion to the ^inns who listened to Mohammed's 
preaching at Na'Aleh on his return from Ti'if. Warning to un- 
believers of the punishment of the last day. 

XLVII. The Chapter of Mohammed, also called Fight. 

Promise of reward to believers. Exhortation to deal severely 
with the enemy. Description of Paradise and of Hell. Reproof 
to some pretended believers and hypocrites who hesitate to obey 
the command to make war against the unbeliever. Their secret 
malice shall be revealed. Exhortation to believe, and to obey 
God and the Apostle, and sacrifice all for the faith. 

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XL VIII. The Chapter of Victory. (Medtnah.) 
Announcement of a victory x . God comforts the believers and 
punishes the hypocrites and idolaters. The oath of fealty: the 
cowardice and excuses of the desert Arabs with regard to the 
expedition of El 'Hudaibiyeh. Those left behind wish to share 
the spoils gained at Khaibar^ The incapacitated alone are to be 
excused. The oath of fealty at the Tree 3 . God prevented a 
collision between the Meccans and the Muslims when the latter 
were prohibited from making the pilgrimage. Prophecy of the 
pilgrimage to be completed the next year. 

XLIX. The Chapter of the Inner Chambers. (Medlnah.) 
Rebuke to some of the Muslims who had presumed too much in 
the presence of the Apostle, and of others who had called out 
rudely to him : also of a man who had nearly induced Mohammed 
to attack a tribe who were still obedient ; of certain Muslims who 
contended together; of others who use epithets of abuse against 
each other; who entertain unfounded suspicions. Exhortation to 
obedience and reproof of the hypocrites. 

L. The Chapter of Q. (Mecca.) 
Proofs in nature of a future life. Example of the fate of the 
nations of old who rejected the apostles. Creation of man : God's 
proximity to him : the two recording angels : death and resurrec- 
tion. The last judgment and exhortation to believe. 

LI. The Chapter of the Scatterers. (Mecca t ) 
Oaths by different natural phenomenon that the judgment day 
will come. Story of Abraham's entertaining the angels: the de- 
struction of Sodom. Fate of Pharaoh, of 'Ad, of Thamud, and of 
the people of Noah. Vindication of Mohammed against the 
charges of imposture or madness. 

LII. The Chapter oe the Mount. (Mecca). 
Oath by Mount Sinai and other things. Terrors of the 
last day. Bliss of Paradise. Mohammed is neither a madman, 
soothsayer, poet, nor imposter. Reproof of the Meccans for their 
superstitions, and for proudly rejecting the prophet. 

1 See note to the passage in the translation. 
9 See Introduction, p. xl. 

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LIII. The Chapter of the Star. (Mecca.) 
Oath by 'the star' that Mohammed's vision of his ascent to 
heaven "was not a delusion. Description of the same. The 
amended passage relating to Allat, El 'Huzzah, and Manat 1 . 
Wickedness of asserting the angels to be females. God's om- 
niscience. Rebuke of an apostate who paid another to take 
upon him his burden at the judgment day. Definition of the 
true religion, and enumeration of God's attributes. 

LIV. The Chapter of the Moon. (Mecca.) 
'The splitting asunder of the moon.' Mohammed accused of 
imposture. The Meccans warned by the stories -of Noah and the 
deluge, of Thamud, the people of Sodom, and Pharaoh. The sure 
coming of the judgment 

LV. The Chapter of the Merciful. (Mecca.) 
An enumeration of the works of the Lord, ending with a descrip- 
tion of heaven and hell. A refrain runs throughout this chapter, 
'Which then of your Lord's bounties do ye twain deny?' 

LVI. The Chapter of the Inevitable. (Mecca.) 
Terrors of the inevitable day of judgment: description of 
heaven and hell. Proofs in nature. None but the clean may 
touch the Qur'an. The condition of a dying man. 

LVII. The Chapter of Iron. (Medinah.) 
God the controller of all nature. Exhortation to embrace Islam. 
Those who do so before the taking of Mecca are to have the pre- 
cedence. Discomfiture of the hypocrites and unbelievers at the 
last day. The powers vouchsafed to former apostles. 

LVIII. The Chapter of the Wrangler. (Medinah.) 
Abolition of the idolatrous custom of divorcing women with the 
formula 'thou art to me as my mother's back.' God's omni- 
science and omnipresence : He knows the secret plottings of the 
disaffected. Discourse on the duties of true believers. Denuncia- 
tion of those who oppose the Apostle. 

LIX. The Chapter of the Emigration. (Medinah.) 
The chastisements of the Jews who would not believe in the 

1 See Introduction, pp. xxvi, xxvii. 

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Qur'&n. The division of the spoils. The treacherous conduct of 
the hypocrites. The power of the Qur'&n. God's mighty attri- 

LX. The Chapter of the Tried. (Medfnah.) 
Exhortations to the Muslims not to treat secretly with the Qur&w. 
Abraham's example. Other idolaters who have not borne arms 
against them may be made friends of. Women who desert from 
the infidels are to be tried before being received into Isldm ; if 
they are really believers they are ipso facto divorced. The husbands 
are to be recompensed to the amount of the women's dowries. 

LXI. The Chapter of the Ranks. (Mecca.) 
Believers are bidden to keep their word and to fight for the faith. 
Moses was disobeyed by his people. Jesus prophesies the coming 
of A'hmed : the Christians rebuked. 

LXII. The Chapter of the Congregation. (Medfnah.) 
God has sent the 'illiterate prophet.' The Jews rebuked for 

unbelief. Muslims are not to leave the congregation during divine 

service for the sake of merchandise. 

LXIII. The Chapter of the Hypocrites. (Medtnah.) 
The treacherous designs of the hypocrites revealed. 

LXIV. The Chapter of Cheating. (Place of origin doubtful.) 
God the creator: the resurrection: the unity of God. Wealth 
and children must not distract men from the service of God. 

LXV. The Chapter of Divorce. (Medlnah.) 
The laws of divorce. The Arabs are admonished, by the fate 
of former nations, to believe in God. The seven stories of heaven 
and earth. . 

LXVI. The Chapter of Prohibition. (Medmah.) 
The prophet is relieved from a vow he had made to please his 
wives. The jealousies in his harem occasioned by his intrigue with 
the Coptic slave-girl Mary. Exhortation to hostilities against the 
infidels. The example of the disobedient wives of Noah and Lot : 
and of the good wife of Pharaoh : and of the Virgin Mary. 
[6] h 

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LXVII. The Chapter or the Kingdom. (Mecca.) 
God the lord of the heavens; the marvels thereof. The dis- 
comfiture of the misbelievers in Hell. The power of God exhibited 
in nature. Warnings and threats of punishment. 

LXVIII. The Chapter of the Pen (also called Nun). (Mecca.) 
Mohammed is neither mad nor an impostor. Denounced by an 
insolent opponent. Example from the fate of the owner of the 
'gardens.' Unbelievers threatened. Mohammed exhorted to be 
patient and not to follow the example of Jonah. 

LXIX. The Chapter of the Infallible. (Mecca.) 
The infallible judgment. Fate of those who denied it, of 'Ad, 
Thamud, and Pharaoh. The deluge and the last judgment. Vindi- 
cation of Mohammed from the charge of having, forged the Qur*in. 

LXX. The Chapter of the Ascents. (Mecca.) 
An unbeliever mockingly calls for a judgment on himself and 
his companions. The terrors of the judgment day. Man's in- 
gratitude. Adultery denounced. Certainty of the judgment day. 

LXXI. The Chapter of Noah. (Mecca.) 
Noah's preaching to the antediluvians : their five idols also wor- 
shipped by the Arabs : their fate. 

LXXII. The Chapter of the Gam. (Mecca.) 
A crowd of <einns listen to Mohammed's teaching at Na'Aleh : 
their account of themselves. Mohammed exhorted to persevere in 

LXXIII. The Chapter of the Enwrapped. (Mecca.) 
Mohammed when wrapped up in his mantle is bidden to arise 
and pray : is bidden to repeat the Qur'an and to practise devotion 
by night : he is to bear with the unbelievers for a while. Pharaoh 
rejected the Apostle sent to him. Stated times for prayer pre- 
scribed. Almsgiving prescribed. 

LXXIV. The Chapter of the Covered. (Mecca.) 
Mohammed while covered up is bidden to arise and preach 1 . 

1 This part of the surah is tie second revelation after the appearance of the 
archangel Gabriel on Mount Hir& ; see Introduction, p. xx. 

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Denunciation of a rich infidel who mocks at the revelation. Hell 
and its nineteen angels. The infidels rebuked for demanding mate- 
rial scriptures as a proof of Mohammed's mission. 

LXXV. The Chapter of the Resurrection. (Mecca.) 
The resurrection. Mohammed is bidden not to be hurried in 
repeating the Qur'&n so as to commit it to memory. Dying agony 
of an infidel. 

LXXVI. The Chapter of Man. (Mecca.) 
Man's conception and birth. Unbelievers warned and believers 
promised a reward. Exhortation to charity. Bliss of the charitable 
in Paradise. The Qur'an revealed by degrees. Only those believe 
whom God wills. 

LXXVII. The Chapter of those Sent. (Mecca.) 
Oath by the angels who execute God's behests. Terrors of the 
last day. Hell and heaven. 

LXXVIII. The Chapter of the Information. (Mecca.) 
Another description of the day of judgment, hell, and heaven. 

LXXIX. The Chapter of those who Tear Out. (Mecca.) 
The coming of the day of judgment. The call of Moses. His 
interview with Pharaoh : chastisement of the latter. The creation 
and resurrection. 

LXXX. The Chapter 'He Frowned.' (Mecca.) 
The prophet rebuked for frowning on a poor blind believer. 
The creation and resurrection. 

LXXXI. The Chapter of the Folding up. (Mecca.) 
Terrors of the judgment day. The female child who has been 
burned alive will demand vengeance. Allusion to the prophet's 
vision of Gabriel on Mount Hir&. He is vindicated from the 
charge of madness. 

LXXXII. The Chapter of the Cleaving asunder. (Mecca.) 
Signs of the judgment day. Guardian angels. 


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LXXXIII. The Chapter of those who give short Weight. 

Fraudulent traders are warned. Sig^to, the register of the acts 
of the wicked. Hell and heaven. 

LXXXIV. The Chapter of the Rending asunder. (Mecca.) 
Signs of the judgment day. The books of men's actions. The 
resurrection. Denunciation of misbelievers. 

LXXXV. The Chapter of the Zodiacal Signs. (Mecca.) 
Denunciation of those who persecuted believers. Example of 
the fate of Pharaoh and Thamud. 

LXXXVI. The Chapter of the Night Star. (Mecca.) 
By the night star ! every soul has a guardian angel. Creation 
and resurrection of man. The plot of the infidels shall be frus- 

LXXXVII. The Chapter of the Most High. (Mecca.) 
Mohammed shall not forget any of the revelation save what God 
pleases. The revelation is the same as that given to Abraham and 


LXXXVIII. The Chapter of the Overwhelming. (Mecca.) 
Description of the last day, heaven, and hell. 

LXXXIX. The Chapter of the Dawn. (Mecca.) 
Fate of previous nations who rejected the apostles. Admonition 
to those who rely too much on their prosperity. 

XC. The Chapter of the Land. (Mecca.) 
Exhortation to practise charity. 

XCI. The Chapter of the Sun. (Mecca.) 
Purity of the soul brings happiness. Example of Thamud. 

XC1I. The Chapter of the Night. (Mecca.) 
Promise of reward to believers and of punishment to idolaters. 

XCIII. The Chapter of the Forenoon. (Mecca.) 
Mohammed encouraged and bidden to remember how God has 

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cared for him hitherto ; he is to be charitable in return, and to 
publish God's goodness. 

XCIV. The Chapter of 'Have we not expanded?' (Mecca.) 
God has made Mohammed's mission easier to him. 

XCV. The Chapter of the Fig. (Place of origin doubtful.) 
The degradation of man : future reward and punishment. 

XCVI. The Chapter of Congealed Blood. (Mecca.) 
Mohammed's first call to ' Read ' the Qur'&n. Denunciation of 
Abu Laheb for his opposition. 

XCVII. The Chapter of ' Power.' (Place of origin doubtful.) 
The Qur'&n revealed on ' the night of power.' Its excellence : 
angels descend thereon. 

XCVIII. The Chapter of the Manifest Sign. (Place of 

origin doubtful.) 
Rebuke to Jews and Christians for doubting the manifest sign of 
Mohammed's mission. 

XCIX. The Chapter of the Earthquake. (Place of origin 

The earthquake preceding the judgment day. 

C. The Chapter of the Chargers. (Mecca.) 
Oath by the charging of war horses. Man is ungrateful : cer- 
tainty of the judgment. 

CI. The Chapter of the Smiting. (Mecca.) 
The terrors of the last day and of hell-fire. 

CII. The Chapter of the Contention about Numbers. 

(Place of origin doubtful.) 
Two families of the Arabs rebuked for contending which was 
the more numerous. Warning of the punishment of hell. 

GIL The Chapter of the Afternoon. (Mecca.) 
Believers only shall prosper. 

CIV. The Chapter of the Backbiter. (Mecca.) 
Backbiters shall be cast into hell. 

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CV. The Chapter of the Elephant. (Mecca.) 
The miraculous destruction of the Abyssinian army under Abraha 
al Afram by birds when invading Mecca with elephants. 

CVI. The Chapter of the Quraw. (Mecca.) 
The Quraw are bidden to give thanks to God for the trade of 
their two yearly caravans. 

CVII. The Chapter of ' Necessaries.' (Place of origin doubtful.) 
Denunciation of the unbelieving and uncharitable. 

CVIII. The Chapter of El Kauthar. (Mecca.) 
Mohammed is commanded to offer the sacrifices out of his 
abundance. Threat that his enemies shall be childless. 

CIX. The Chapter of the Misbelievers. (Mecca.) 
The prophet will not follow the religion of the misbelievers. 

CX. The Chapter of Help. (Mecca.) 
Prophecy that men shall join Islam by troops. 

CXI. The Chapter of Abu Laheb. (Mecca.) 
Denunciation of Abu Laheb and his wife, who are threatened 
with hell fire. 

CXII. The Chapter of Unity. (Place of origin doubtful.) 
Declaration of God's unity. 

CXIII. The Chapter of the Daybreak. (Place of origin 


The prophet seeks refuge in God from evil influences. 

CXIV. The Chapter of Men. (Place of origin doubtful.) 
The prophet seeks refuge in God from the devil and his evil 

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The Opening Chapter. 

(I. Mecca.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

Praise belongs to God, the Lord of the worlds, 
the merciful, the compassionate, the ruler of the 
day of judgment ! Thee we serve and Thee we ask 
for aid. [5] Guide us in the right path, the path of 
those Thou art gracious to * ; not of those Thou art 
wroth with ; nor of those who err. 

1 See Preface. 

[6] B 


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THE QUR AN. II, 1-13. 

The Chapter of the Heifer. 

(II. Medina.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

A. L. M. 1 That 2 is the book ! there is no doubt 
therein ; a guide to the pious, who believe in the 
unseen, and are steadfast in prayer, and of what we 
have given them expend in alms; who believe in 
what is revealed to thee, and what was revealed be- 
fore thee, and of the hereafter they are sure. These 
are in guidance from their Lord, and these are the 
prosperous. [5] Verily, those who misbelieve, it is 
the same to them if ye warn them or if ye warn them 
not, they will not believe. God has set a seal upon 
their hearts and on their hearing ; and on their eyes 
is dimness, and for them is grievous woe. And 
there are those among men who say, 'We believe in 
God and in the last day ; ' but they do not believe. 
They would deceive God and those who do believe; 
but they deceive only themselves and they do not 
perceive. In their hearts is a sickness, and God has 
made them still more sick, and for them is grievous 
woe because they lied. [10] And when it is said to 
them, ' Do not evil in the earth,' they say, ' We do but 
what is right.' Are not they the evildoers ? and yet 
they do not perceive. And when it is said to them, 
' Believe as other men believe,' they say, ' Shall we 

1 For an explanation of these and similar letters see Introduction. 

* Although the Arabic demonstrative pronoun means ' that,' the 
translators have hitherto always rendered it 'this,' forgetting that it 
is not an address to the re ad er, but supposed to be Gabriel's words 
of inspiration to Mohammed while showing him the Umm al Kitab 
— the 'Eternal original of the Qur'an;' cf. Chapter X, which 
begins ' Read,' and others. 

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believe as fools believe ?' Are not they themselves 
the fools ? and yet they do not know. And when 
they meet those who believe, they say, 'We do be- 
lieve ;' but when they go aside with their devils, 
they say, 'We are with you ; we were but mocking!' 
God shall mock at them and let them go on in their 
rebellion, blindly wandering on. 

[15] Those who buy error for guidance, their traffic 
profits not, and they are not guided. Their likeness 
is as the likeness of one 1 who kindles a fire; and 
when it lights up all around, God goes off with their 
light, and leaves them in darkness that they cannot 
see. Deafness, dumbness, blindness, and they shall 
not return ! Or like a storm-cloud from the sky, 
wherein is darkness and thunder and lightning; they 
put their fingers in their ears at the thunder-clap, 
for fear of death, for God encompasses the mis- 
believers. The lightning well-nigh snatches off 
their sight, whenever it shines for them they walk 
therein ; but when it is dark for them they halt ; and 
if God willed He would go off with their hearing 
and their sight ; verily, God is mighty over all. 

ye folk ! serve your Lord who created you and 
those before you ; haply ye may fear! [20] who made 
the earth for you a bed and the heaven a dome; 
and sent down from heaven water, and brought forth 
therewith fruits as a sustenance for you; so make no 
peers for God, the while ye know! 

And if ye are in doubt of what we have revealed 
unto our servant, then bring a chapter like it, and 
call your witnesses other than God if ye tell truth. 
But if ye do it not, and ye shall surely do it not, then 

1 This change of number is of frequent occurrence in the Qur'an, 
and is not incompatible with the genius of the Arabic language. 

B 2 

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,' * 

THE QUR AN. II, 23,28. 

fear the fire whose fuel is men and stones 1 , prepared 
for misbelievers. But bear the glad tidings to those 
who believe and work righteousness, that for them 
are gardens beneath which rivers flow; whenever 
they are provided with fruit therefrom they say, 
' This is what we were provided with before,' and 
they shall be provided with the like 2 ; and there are 
pure wives for them therein, and they shall dwell 
therein for aye. 

Why, God is not ashamed to set forth a parable 
of a gnat 3 , or anything beyond; and as for those who 
believe, they know that it is truth from the Lord ; 
but as for those who disbelieve, they say, 'What is it 
that God means by this as a parable ? He leads 
astray many and He guides many;' — but He leads 
astray only the evildoers; [25] who break God's 
covenant after the fixing thereof, and cut asunder 
what God has ordered to be joined, and do evil in 
the earth ; — these it is who lose. 

How can ye disbelieve in God, when ye were 
dead and He made you alive, and then He will 
kill you and then make you alive again, and then to 
Him will ye return ? It is He who created for you all 
that is in the earth, then he made for the heavens 
and fashioned them seven heavens ; and He knows 
all things. 

And when thy Lord said unto the angels, ' I am 
about to place a vicegerent in the earth,' they said, 

1 That is, the idols. 

* The vagueness is in the original ; it is variously interpreted 
' fruits like each other,' or ' like the fruits of earth.' 

* This is in answer to the objections that had been taken against 
the mention of such small things as the 'spider' and the 'bee/ 
which give their names to two of the chapters of the Qur'dn. 

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' Wilt Thou place therein one who will do evil therein 
and shed blood ? [30] we celebrate Thy praise and 
hallow Thee.' Said (the Lord), ' I know what ye 
know not.' And He taught Adam the names, all of 
them ; then He propounded them to the angels and 
said, 'Declare to me the names of these, if ye are 
truthful 1 .' They said, 'Glory be to Thee! no know- 
ledge is ours but what Thou thyself hast taught us, 
verily, Thou art the knowing, the wise.' Said the 
Lord, 'O Adam declare to them their names;' and 
when he had declared to them their names He said, 
' Did I not say to you, I know the secrets of the 
heavens and of the earth, and I know what ye show 
and what ye were hiding ?' And when we said to 
the angels, 'Adore Adam,' they adored him save 
only Iblts, who refused and was too proud and be- 
came one of the misbelievers. And we said, ' O 
Adam dwell, thou and thy wife, in Paradise, and eat 
therefrom amply as you wish ; but do not draw near 
this tree or ye will be of the transgressors. And 
Satan made them backslide therefrom and drove 
them out from what they were in, and we said, ' Go 
down, one of you the enemy of the other, and in 
the earth there is an abode and a provision for a 
time.' [35] And Adam caught certain words from 
his Lord, and He turned towards him, for He is the 
compassionate one easily turned. We said, ' Go 
down therefrom altogether and haply there may 
come from me a guidance, and whoso follows my 
guidance, no fear is theirs, nor shall they grieve. 

1 That is, truthful in their implied suggestion that man would be 
inferior to themselves in wisdom and obedience. The whole tradi- 
tion here alluded to of the creation accords with the Talmudic 
legends, and was probably current among the Jewish Arab tribes. 

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THE QURAN. II, 37.49. 

But those who misbelieve, and call our signs lies, 
they are the fellows of the Fire, they shall dwell 
therein for aye.' 

O ye children of Israel ! remember my favours 
which I have favoured you with ; fulfil my covenant 
and I will fulfil your covenant ; me therefore dread. 
Believe in what I have revealed, verifying what ye 
have got, and be not the first to disbelieve in it, 
and do not barter my signs for a little price, and 
me do ye fear. Clothe not truth with vanity, nor 
hide the truth the while ye know. [40] Be steadfast 
in prayer, give the alms, and bow down with those 
who bow. Will ye order men to do piety and forget 
yourselves ? ye read the Book, do ye not then under- 
stand ? Seek aid with patience and- prayer, though 
it is a hard thing save for the humble, who think 
that they will meet their Lord, and that to Him will 
they return. 

O ye children of Israel! remember my favours 
which I have favoured you with, and that I have 
preferred you above the worlds. Fear the day 
wherein no soul shall pay any recompense for an- 
other soul, [45] nor shall intercession be accepted for 
it, nor shall compensation be taken from it, nor shall 
they be helped. 

When we saved you from Pharaoh's people who 
sought to wreak you evil and woe, slaughtering 
your sons and letting your women live; in that 
was a great trial for you from your Lord. When 
we divided for you the sea and saved you and 
drowned Pharaoh's people while ye looked on. 
When we treated with Moses forty nights, then ye 
took the calf after he had gone and ye did wrong, 
Yet then we forgave you after that; perhaps ye 

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may be grateful. [50] And when we gave Moses the 
Scriptures and the Discrimination ; perhaps ye will 
be guided. When Moses said to his people, 'O my 
people ! Ye have wronged yourselves in taking this 
calf; repent unto your Creator and kill each other 1 ; 
that will be better for you in your Creator's eyes ; 
and He turned unto you, for He is the compassionate 
one easily turned.' And when ye said to Moses, ' O 
Moses ! we will not believe in thee until we see God 
manifestly,' and the thunderbolt caught you while 
ye yet looked on. Then we raised you up after 
your death ; perhaps ye may be grateful. And we 
overshadowed you with the cloud, and sent down 
the manna and the quails ; ' Eat of the good things 
we have given you.' They did not wrong us, but 
it was themselves they were wronging. [55] And 
when we said, 'Enter this city 2 and eat therefrom as 
plentifully as ye wish ; and enter the gate worship- 
ping and say 'h i //a t u n 8 . So will we pardon you your 
sins and give increase unto those who do well.' 

But those who did wrong changed it for another * 
word than that which was said to them : and we sent 
down upon those who did wrong, wrath from heaven 
for that they had so sinned. 

1 Cf. Exodus xxxii. 24, 26, 27. 

* According to some commentators, Jerusalem ; and according 
to others, Jericho. 

* The word means Remission, or laying down the burden (of 

4 Some say the expression they used was habbah fi sha'hf rah, 
' a grain in an ear of barley,' the idea being apparently suggested 
by the similarity between the words 'hi//ah, as given above, and 
'hin/ah, 'a grain of wheat.' The commentators add that they 
crept in in an indecent posture instead of entering reverently as 
they were bidden. 

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8 THE QUR'AN. II, 57-61. 

When Moses, too, asked drink for his people and 
we said, ' Strike with thy staff the rock,' and from it 
burst forth twelve springs; each man among them 
knew his drinking place. ' Eat and drink of what 
God has provided, and transgress not on the earth 
as evildoers.' 

And when they said, ' O Moses, we cannot always 
bear one kind of food ; pray then thy Lord to bring 
forth for us of what the earth grows, its green herbs, 
its cucumbers, its garlic, its lentils, and its onions.' 
Said he, ' Do ye ask what is meaner instead of what 
is best ? Go down to Egypt, — there is what ye 
ask.' Then were they smitten with abasement and 
poverty, and met with wrath from God. That was 
because they had misbelieved in God's signs and 
killed the prophets undeservedly ; that was for that 
they were rebellious and had transgressed. 

Verily, whether it be of those who believe, or 
those who are Jews or Christians or Sabaeans, 
whosoever believe in God and the last day and 
act aright, they have their reward at their Lord's 
hand, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they 

[60] And when we took a covenant with you and 
held the mountain over you 1 ; 'Accept what we have 
brought you with strong will, and bear in mind 
what is therein, haply ye yet may fear.' 

Then did ye turn aside after this, and were it not 
for God's grace towards you and His mercy, ye 
would have been of those who lose. Ye know too 
of those among you who transgressed upon the 

1 The Mohammedan legend is that this was done by the angel 
Gabriel to terrify the people into obedience* 

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Sabbath, and we said, ' Become ye apes, despised 
and spurned V 

Thus we made them an example unto those who 
stood before them, and those who should come 
after them, and a warning unto those who fear. 

And when Moses said to his people, ' God bids 
you slaughter a cow 2 ,' they said, 'Art thou making 
a jest of us ? ' Said he, ' I seek refuge with God 
from being one of the unwise.' They said, ' Then 
pray thy Lord for us to show us what she is to be.' 
He answered, ' He saith it is a cow, nor old, nor 
young, of middle age between the two ; so do as 
ye are bid.' [65] They said, ' Pray now thy Lord to 
show us what her colour is to be.' He answered, 
' He saith it is a dun cow, intensely dun, her colour 
delighting those who look upon her.' 

Again they said, ' Pray thy Lord to show us what 
she is to be ; for cows appear the same to us ; then 
we, if God will, shall be guided.' He answered, 
' He saith, it is a cow, not broken in to plough the 
earth or irrigate the tilth, a sound one with no 
blemish on her.' They said, ' Now hast thou 
brought the truth.' And they slaughtered her, 
though they came near leaving it undone. 

When too ye slew a soul and disputed thereupon, 
and God brought forth that which ye had hidden, 
then we said, ' Strike him with part of her.' Thus 

1 The tradition is that some inhabitants of Elath (Akabah) were 
transformed into apes for catching fish on the Sabbath in David's 
time. Other commentators say that the expression is only 

* The legend embodied in this passage and what follows ap- 
pears to be a distorted account of the heifer ordered by the Mosaic 
law to be slain in expiation of a murder, the perpetrator of which 
had not been discovered. Deut. xxi. 1-9. 

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IO THE QURAN. II, 69-74. 

God brings the dead to life and shows you His 
signs, that haply ye may understand. 

Yet were your hearts hardened even after that, 
till they were as stones or harder still, for verily of 
stones are some from which streams burst forth, 
and of them there are some that burst asunder and 
the water issues out, and of them there are some 
that fall down for fear of God ; but God is never 
careless of what ye do. 

[70] Do ye crave that they should believe "you when 
already a sect of them have heard the word of God 
and then perverted it x after they had understood it, 
though they knew ? 

And when they meet those who believe they say, 
' We believe,' but when one goes aside with another 
they say, ' Will ye talk to them of what God has 
opened up to you, that they may argue with you 
upon it before your Lord ? Do ye not therefore un- 
derstand ? ' Do they not then know that God know- 
eth what they keep secret and what they make 
known abroad ? 

And some of them there are, illiterate folk, that 
know not the Book, but only idle tales; for they 
do but fancy. But woe to those who write out the 
Book with their hands and say ' this is from ' God ; 
to buy therewith a little price! and woe to them 
for what their hands have written, and woe to 
them for what they gain ! 

And then they say, ' Hell fire shall not touch us 
save for a number of days 2 .' Say, ' Have ye taken 
a covenant with God ?' but God breaks not His 

1 A constant charge against the Jews is that of having cor- 
rupted the Scriptures. 

2 A superstition of certain Jews. 

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covenant. Or do ye say of God that which ye do 
not know ? 

[75] Yea ! whoso gains an evil gain, and is encom- 
passed by his sins, those are the fellows of the 
Fire, and they shall dwell therein for aye ! But 
such as act aright, those are the fellows of Paradise, 
and they shall dwell therein for aye ! 

And when we took from the children of Israel a 
covenant, saying, ' Serve ye none but God, and to 
your two parents show kindness, and to your kin- 
dred and the orphans and the poor, and speak to 
men kindly, and be steadfast in prayer, and give 
alms;' and then ye turned back, save a few of you, 
and swerved aside. 

And when we took a covenant from you, 'shed ye 
not your kinsman's blood, nor turn your kinsmen 
out of their homes * : ' then did ye confirm it and 
were witnesses thereto. Yet ye were those who 
slay your kinsmen and turn a party out of their 
homes, and back each other up against them with 
sin and enmity. But if they come to you as cap- 
tives ye ransom them ! — and yet it is as unlawful 
for you to turn them out Do ye then believe in 
part of the Book and disbelieve in part? But 
the reward of such among you as do that shall be 
nought else but disgrace in this worldly life, and on 
the day of the resurrection shall they be driven to 
the most grievous torment, for God is not unmind- 
ful of what ye do. 

[80] Those who have bought this worldly life with 
the Future, the torment shall not be lightened from 
them nor shall they be helped. 

1 Alluding to some quarrels among the Jewish Arabs. 

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1 2 THE QUR'AN. II, 81-88. 

We gave Moses the Book and we followed him 
up with other apostles, and we gave Jesus the 
son of Mary manifest signs and aided him with 
the Holy Spirit. Do ye then, every time an apo- 
stle comes to you with what your souls love not, 
proudly scorn him, and charge a part with lying 
and slay a part ? 

They say, ' Our hearts are uncircumcised ;' nay, 
God has cursed them in their unbelief, and few it 
is who do believe. And when a book came down 
from God confirming what they had with them, 
though they had before prayed for victory over 
those who misbelieve, yet when that came to them 1 
which they knew, then they disbelieved it, — God's 
curse be on the misbelievers. 

For a bad bargain have they sold their souls, 
not to believe in what God has revealed, grudging 
because God sends down of His grace on whom- 
soever of His servants He will ; and they have 
brought on themselves wrath after wrath and for 
the misbelievers is there shameful woe. 

[85] And when they are told to believe in what 
God has revealed, they say, ' We believe in what 
has been revealed to us ; ' but they disbelieve in all 
beside, although it is the truth confirming what they 
have. Say, ' Wherefore did ye kill God's prophets 
of yore if ye were true believers ?' 

Moses came to you with manifest signs, then ye 
took up with the calf when he had gone and did so 
wrong. And when we took a covenant with you 
and raised the mountain over you, ' Take what 
we have given you with resolution and hear;' 

1 The Qur'Sn. 

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they said, ' We hear but disobey ;' and they were 
made to drink the calf down into their hearts for 
their unbelief 1 . Say, ' An evil thing is it which 
your belief bids you do, if ye be true believers.' 
Say, ' If the abode of the future with God is yours 
alone and not mankind's : long for death then if ye 
speak the truth.' But they will never long for it 
because of what their hands have sent on before; 
but God is knowing as to the wrong doers. 

[90] Why, thou wilt find them the greediest of men 
for life ; and of those who associate others with God 
one would fain live for a thousand years, — but he 
will not be reprieved from punishment by being let 
live, for God seeth what they do. 

Say, 'Who is an enemy to Gabriel 2 ?' for he hath 
revealed to thy heart, with God's permission, con- 
firmation of what had been before, and a guidance 
and glad tidings to believers. Who is an enemy to 
God and His angels and His apostles and Gabriel 
and Michael ? — Verily, God is an enemy to the un- 
believers. We have sent down to thee conspicuous 
signs, and none will disbelieve therein except the 
evildoers. Or every time they make a covenant, 
will a part of them repudiate it? Nay, most of 
them do not believe. 

[95] And when there comes to them an apostle 
confirming what they have, a part of those who 
have received the Book repudiate God's book, cast- 
ing it behind their backs as though they did not 

1 Exodus xxxii. 20. 

* The Jews objected to Mohammed's assertion that the arch- 
angel Gabriel revealed the Qur'an to him, saying that he was an 
avenging angel, and that had it been Michael, their own guardian 
angel (Dan. xii. 1), they would have believed. 

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* *- 

T4 THE QURAN. II, 97-T00. 

know. And they follow that, which the devils 
recited against Solomon's kingdom; — it was not 
Solomon who misbelieved \ but the devils who mis- 
believed, teaching men sorcery, — and what has been 
revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and 
Marut 2 ; yet these taught no one until they said, 
' We are but a temptation, so do not misbelieve.' 
Men learn from them only that by which they may 
part man and wife ; but they can harm no one there- 
with, unless with the permission of God, and they 
learn what hurts them and profits them not. And 
yet they knew that he who purchased it would 
have no portion in the future ; but sad is the price 
at which they have sold their souls, had they but 
known. But had they believed and feared, a reward 
from God were better, had they but known. 

ye who believe! say not 'ra'hina,' but say 
' unMurna 3 ,' and hearken ; for unto misbelievers 
shall be grievous woe. 

They who misbelieve, whether of those who have 
the Book or of the idolaters, would fain that no 
good were sent down to you from your Lord; but 
God specially favours with His mercy whom He 
will, for God is Lord of mighty grace. 

[100] Whatever verse we may annul or cause thee 

1 Solomon's acts of disobedience and idolatry are attributed 
by Muslim tradition to the tricks of devils, who assumed his 

2 Two angels who having fallen in love with daughters of men 
(Gen. vi. 2) were condemned to hang in chains in a pit at Babylon, 
where they teach men magic. 

s The Jewish Arabs used the first of these two words derisively. 
In Arabic it merely means ' observe us,' but the Jews connected 
it with the Hebrew root ru*ha, ' to be mischievous.' UnMurna 
signifies ' behold us.' . 

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to forget, we will bring a better one than it, or one 
like it ; dost thou not know that God is mighty over 
all ? Dost thou not know that God's is the king- 
dom of the heavens and the earth ? nor have ye 
besides God a patron or a help. 

Do ye wish to question your apostle as Moses 
was questioned aforetime ? but whoso takes mis- 
belief in exchange for faith has erred from the level 

Many of those who have the Book would fain 
turn you back into misbelievers after ye have once 
believed, through envy from themselves, after the 
truth has been made manifest to them ; but pardon 
and shun them till God brings His command ; verily, 
God is mighty over all. 

Be ye steadfast in prayer, and give alms; and 
whatsoever good ye send before for your own 
souls, ye shall find it with God, for God in all ye 
do doth see. 

[105] They say, ' None shall enter Paradise save 
such as be Jews or Christians ;' that is their faith. Say 
thou, ' Bring your proofs, if ye be speaking truth.' 

Aye, he who resigns 1 his face to God, and who 
is kind, he shall have his reward from his Lord, 
and no fear shall be on them, and they shall not 

The Jews say, 'The Christians rest on nought;' 
and the Christians say, 'The Jews rest on nought;' 
and yet they read the Book. So, too, say those 
who know not, like to what these say; but God 
shall judge between them on the resurrection day 
concerning that whereon they do dispute. 

1 The word resignation (Islam) is that by which Mohammed's 
religion is known and by which it is spoken of in the Qur'an. 

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I *, 

1 6 THE QURAN. - 11,108-115. 

But who is more unjust than he who prohibits 
God's mosques 1 , that His name should not be 
mentioned there, and who strives to ruin them ? 
'Tis not for such to enter into them except in fear, 
for them is disgrace in this world, and in the future 
mighty woe. 

God's is the east and the west, and wherever ye 
turn there is God's face ; verily, God comprehends 
and knows. 

[no] They say, ' God takes unto Himself a son.' 
Celebrated be His praise 2 ! Nay, His is what is 
in the heavens and the earth, and Him all things 
obey. The Originator of the heavens and the earth, 
when He decrees a matter He doth but say unto it, 
' BE,' and it is. 

And those who do not know (the Scriptures) say, 
' Unless God speak to us, or there comes a sign.' 
So spake those before them like unto their speech. 
Their hearts are all alike. We have made mani- 
fest the signs unto a people that are sure. 

We have sent thee with the truth, a bearer of 
good tidings and of warning, and thou shalt not be 
questioned as to the fellows of hell. 

The Jews will not be satisfied with thee, nor yet 
the Christians, until thou followest their creed. 
Say, ' God's guidance is the guidance ;' and if thou 
followest their lusts after the knowledge that has 
come to thee, thou hast not then from God a 
patron or a help. 

[1 1 5] They to whom we have brought the Book 

1 Probably alluding to the occasion on which the Meccans 
prevented Mohammed from using the Kaabah, in the sixth year 
of the HigTah. 

1 I.e. God forbid ! 

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and who read it as it should be read, believe therein; 
and whoso disbelieve therein, 'tis they who lose 

O children of Israel ! remember my favours with 
which I favoured you, and that I have preferred you 
over the worlds. And fear the day when no soul 
shall pay a recompense for a soul, nor shall an 
equivalent be received therefrom, nor any inter- 
cession avail ; and they shall not be helped. 

And when his Lord tried Abraham with words, 
and he fulfilled them, He said, 'Verily, I will set 
thee as a high priest 1 for men.' Said he, 'And of 
my seed ?' God said, ' My covenant touches not 
the evildoers.' 

And when we made the House 2 a place of resort 
unto men, and a sanctuary, and (said) take the 
station of Abraham 8 for a place of prayer; and 
covenanted with Abraham and Ishmael, saying, 
' Do ye two cleanse my house for those who make 
the circuit, for those who pay devotions there, 
for those who bow down, and for those too who 

[i 20] When Abraham said, ' Lord, make this a town 
of safety, and provide the dwellers there with fruits, 
such as believe in God and the last day!' (God) 
said, ' And he who misbelieves, I will give him but 
litde to enjoy, then will I drive him to the torment 
of the fire, an evil journey will it be.' 

1 Im&m, the name given to the priest who leads the prayer, it 
is equivalent to Antistes. 

* The Kaabah or square temple at Mecca is spoken of as 
Biit Allah=Bethel, 'the house of God.' 

9 The Muqam Ibrahim, in the Kaabah enclosure, where a 
so-called footprint of the patriarch is shown. 
[6] • C 

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1 8 THE QUr'An. 11,121-128. 

And when Abraham raised up the foundations of 
the House with Ishmael, ' Lord! receive it from us, 
verily, thou art hearing and dost know. Lord ! and 
make us too resigned 1 unto Thee, and of our seed 
also a nation resigned unto Thee, and show us 
our rites, and turn towards us, verily, Thou art easy 
to be turned and merciful. Lord! and send them 
an apostle from amongst themselves, to read to 
them Thy signs and teach them the Book and 
wisdom, and to purify them; verily, Thou art the 
mighty and the wise.' 

Who is averse from the faith of Abraham save 
one who is foolish of soul ? for we have chosen 
him in this world, and in the future he is surely 
of the righteous. 

[125] When his Lord said to him, 'Be resigned,' 
he said, ' I am resigned l unto the Lord of the 

And Abraham instructed his sons therein, and 
Jacob (saying), 'O my sons! verily, God has chosen 
for you a religion, do not therefore die unless ye be 
resigned V 

Were ye then witnesses when Jacob was facing 
death, when he said to his sons, 'What will ye serve 
when I am gone?' They said, ' We will serve thy 
God, the God of thy fathers Abraham, and Ishmael, 
and Isaac, one God; and we are unto Him re- 

That is a nation that has passed away, theirs is 
what they gained; and yours shall be what ye have 
gained ; ye shall not be questioned as to that which 
they have done. 

1 See note, p. 15. The last sentence might be rendered 'until 
ye become Muslims.' 

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ll, 129-135. THE CHAPTER OF THE HEIFER. 1 9 

They say, ' Be ye Jews or Christians so shall ye 
be guided.' Say, ' Not so ! but the faith of Abraham 
the 'Hanlf 1 , he was not of the idolaters.' 

[1 30] Say ye, ' We believe in God, and what has 
been revealed to us, and what has been revealed 
to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, 
and the Tribes, and what was brought to Moses and 
Jesus, and what was brought unto the Prophets 
from their Lord; we will not distinguish between 
any one of them, and unto Him are we resigned.' 

If they believe in that in which ye believe, then 
are they guided ; but if they turn back, then are they 
only in a schism, and God will suffice thee against 
them, for He both hears and knows. 

The dye 2 of God ! and who is better than God at 
dyeing ? and we are worshippers of Him. 

Say, ' Do ye dispute with us concerning God, and 
He is our Lord and your Lord ? Ye have your works 
and we have ours, and unto Him are we sincere.' 

Do ye say that Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, 
and Jacob, and the Tribes were Jews or Christians ? 
Say, 'Are ye more knowing than God ? Who is more 
unjust than one who conceals a testimony that he 
has from God ?' But God is not careless of what 
ye do. 

[135] That is a nation that has passed away; theirs 
is what they gained, and yours shall be what ye 
have gained ; ye shall not be questioned as to that 
which they have done. 

1 The word means in Arabic 'inclining to what is right;' it is 
often used technically for one who professes El Islim. 

1 The metaphor is derived from dyeing cloth, and must not be 
translated by the technical word baptism, as in Sale's version. 

C 2 

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> A 

20 THE QUR AN. II, 136-140. 

The fools among men will say, ' What has turned 
them from their qiblah 1 , on which they were agreed?' 

Say, ' God's is the east and the west, He guides 
whom He will unto the right path V Thus have we 
made you a middle nation,to be witnesses against men, 
and that the Apostle may be a witness against you. 

We have not appointed the qiblah on which thou 
wert agreed, save that we might know who follows 
the Apostle from him who turns upon his heels ; 
although it is a great thing save to those whom God 
doth guide. But God will not waste your faith, for 
verily, God with men is kind and merciful. 

We see thee often turn about thy face in the 
heavens, but we will surely turn thee to a qiblah 
thou shalt like. Turn then thy face towards the 
Sacred Mosque 3 ; wherever ye be, turn your faces 
towards it; for verily, those who have the Book 
know that it is the truth from their Lord ; — God is 
not careless of that which ye do. 

[140] And if thou shouldst bring to those who 
have been given the Book every sign, they would 
not follow your qiblah; and thou art not to follow 
their qiblah; nor do some of them follow the qiblah 
of the others : and if thou followest their lusts 
after the knowledge that has come to thee then art 
thou of the evildoers. 

1 The point to which they turn in prayer, from qabala, ' to be 

* At first Mohammed and his followers adopted no point of 
adoration. After the hi^rah, or flight from Mecca to Medina, 
however, he bade them turn their face, as did the Jews, to the 
temple at Jerusalem; but in the second year of the hi^rah he 
resumed the ancient Arab plan, and turned to the Kaabah at 
Mecca when he prayed. 

8 L e. at Mecca. 

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Those whom we have given the Book know him x 
as they know their sons, although a sect of them 
do surely hide the truth, the while they know. 

The truth (is) from thy Lord; be not therefore 
one of those who doubt thereof. 

Every sect has some one side to which they turn 
(in prayer) ; but do ye hasten onwards to good 
works ; wherever ye are God will bring you all 
together 2 ; verily, God is mighty over all. 

From whencesoever thou comest forth, there turn 
thy face towards the Sacred Mosque, for it is surely 
truth from thy Lord; God is not careless about 
what ye do. [145] And from whencesoever thou 
comest forth, there turn thy face towards the Sacred 
Mosque, and wheresoever ye are, turn your faces 
towards it, that men may have no argument against 
you, save only those of them who are unjust ; and 
fear them not, but fear me and I will fulfil my 
favours to you, perchance ye may be guided yet. 

Thus have we sent amongst you an apostle of 
yourselves, to recite to you our signs, to purify you 
and teach you the Book and wisdom, and to teach 
you what ye did not know; remember me, then, 
and I will remember you ; thank me, and do not 
misbelieve 3 . 

ye who do believe ! seek aid from patience and 
from prayer, verily, God is with the patient. And say 
not of those who are slain in God's way* (that they 
are) dead, but rather living ; but ye do not perceive. 

1 I. e. know Mohammed from the prophecies the Scriptures are 
alleged to contain about him. See Introduction. 

J On the last day. 

* Or rather be not ungrateful, the word Kufr implying negation 
of benefits received as well as of faith. 
4 I. e. in the cause of religion. 

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22 THE QURAN. 11,150-159. 

[150] We will try you with something of fear, and 
hunger and loss of wealth, and souls and fruit ; but 
give good tidings to the patient, who when there 
falls on them a calamity say, ' Verily, we are God's 
and, verily, to Him do we return V These, on them 
are blessings from their Lord and mercy, and they 
it is who are guided. 

Verily, Zafa and Merwah 2 are of the beacons of 
God, and he who makes the pilgrimage unto the 
House, or visits it, it is no crime for him to compass 
them both about; and he who obeys his own impulse 
to a good work, — God is grateful and doth know. 

Verily, those who hide what we have revealed of 
manifest signs and of guidance after we have mani- 
fested it to men in the Book, them God shall curse, 
and those who curse shall curse them too. [155] Save 
those who turn and do right and make (the signs) 
manifest ; these will I turn to again, for I am easy 
to be turned and merciful. 

Verily, those who misbelieve and die while still in 
misbelief, on them is the curse of God, and of the 
angels, and of mankind altogether ; to dwell therein 
for aye; the torment shall not be lightened for them, 
nor shall they be looked upon s . 

Your God is one God ; there is no God but He, 
the merciful, the compassionate. 

Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, 
and die alternation of night and day, and in the ship 
that runneth in the sea with that which profits man, 
and in what water God sends down from heaven and 

1 This formula is always used by Mohammedans in any danger 
and sudden calamity, especially in the presence of death. 

2 Two mountains near Mecca, where two idols used to stand. 
s Or, ' respited,' as some interpret it. 

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quickens therewith the earth after its death, and 
spreads abroad therein all kinds of cattle, and in the 
shifting of the winds, and in the clouds that are 
pressed into service betwixt heaven and earth, are 
signs to people who can understand, 

[160] Yet are there some amongst mankind who 
take to themselves peers x other than God ; they love 
them as they should love God; while those who be- 
lieve love God more. O that those who are unjust 
could only see, when they see the torment, that power 
is altogether God's ! Verily, God is keen to torment. 

When those who are followed 2, clear themselves 
of those who followed them, and see the torment, 
and the cords 3 are cut asunder, those who followed 
shall say, 'Had we but another turn 4 , then would we 
clear ourselves of them as they have cleared them- 
selves of us.' So will God show them their works ; 
for them are sighs, and they shall not come forth 
from out the fire. 

O ye folk ! eat of what is in the earth, things law- 
ful and things good, and follow not the footsteps of 
Satan, verily, to you he is an open foe. He does but 
bid you evil and sin, and that ye should speak 
against God what ye do not know. 

[165] When it is said to them, ' Follow what God 
has revealed,' they say, ' Nay, we will follow what we 
found our fathers agreed upon.' What ! and though 
their fathers had no sense at all or guidance — ? 

The likeness of those who misbelieve is as the 
likeness of him who shouts to that which hears him 

1 Variously interpreted ' idols ' and ' chiefs.' 

* Chiefs of sects and founders of false religions. 

* I. e. their mutual relations. 
4 I. e. on earth. 

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24 THE QUR AN. II, 166-172. 

not, save only a call and a cry 1 ; deafness, dumbness, 
blindness, and they shall not understand. 

O ye who do believe! eat of the good things 
wherewith we have provided you, and give thanks 
unto God if it be Him ye serve. He has only for- 
bidden for you what is dead, and blood, and flesh of 
swine, and whatsoever has been consecrated to other 
than God 2 ; but he who is forced, neither revolting 
nor transgressing, it is in no sin for him ; verily, God 
is forgiving and merciful. 

Verily, those who hide what God has revealed of 
the Book, and sell it for a little price, they shall eat 
nothing in their bellies save fire ; and God will not 
speak to them on the day of resurrection, nor will He 
purify them, but for them is grievous woe. 

[1 70] They who sell guidance for error, and pardon 
for torment, how patient must they be of fire ! 

That (is), because God has revealed the Book 
with truth, and verily those who disagree about the 
Book are in a wide schism. 

Righteousness is not that ye turn your faces 
towards the east or the west, but righteousness 
is, one who believes in God, and the last day, 
and the angels, and the Book, and the prophets, 
and who gives wealth for His love to kindred, and 
orphans, and the poor, and the son of the road 3 , and 
beggars, and those in captivity; and who is steadfast 
in prayer, and gives alms; and those who are sure of 

1 I. e. as cattle hear the sound of the drover without understand- 
ing the meaning of his words, so the infidels fail to comprehend the 
meaning and importance of the words that are preached to them. 

2 At the time of slaughtering an animal the Muslims always 
repeat the formula bismi'llah, in the name of God. 

* I. e. the wayfarer. 

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their covenant when they make a covenant; and the 
patient in poverty, and distress, and in time of 
violence ; these are they who are true, and these 
are those who fear. 

O ye who believe ! Retaliation is prescribed for 
you for the slain : the free for the free, the slave 
for the slave, the female for the female; yet he 
who is pardoned at all by his brother, must be 
prosecuted in reason, and made to pay with kind- 
ness \ 

That is an alleviation from your Lord, and a 
mercy; and he who transgresses after that for him 
is grievous woe. 

[175] For you in retaliation is there life, O ye 
possessors of minds ! it may be ye will fear. 

It is prescribed for you that when one of you is 
face to face with death, if he leave (any) goods, the 
legacy is to his parents, and to his kinsmen, in 
reason. A duty this upon all those that fear. 

But he who alters it 2 after that he has heard it, — 
the sin thereof is only upon those who alter it; verily, 
God doth hear and know. 

And he who fears from the testator a wrong 
intention, or a crime, and doth make up the matter 
between the parties, it is no sin to him ; verily, God 
is forgiving and merciful. 

ye who believe ! There is prescribed for you 
the fast as it was prescribed for those before you ; 
haply ye may fear. [180] A certain number of 
days, but he amongst you who is ill or on a journey, 
then (let him fast) another number of days. And 

1 The relations of a murdered man are always allowed to choose 
the fine instead of the blood revenge. 

4 The legacy. 

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26 THE QUR'AN. II, 180-183. 

those who are fit to fast 1 may redeem it by feeding 
a poor man ; but he who follows an impulse to a 
good work it is better for him ; and if ye fast it is 
better for you, if ye did but know. 

The month of RamadMn, wherein was revealed 
the Quran, for a guidance to men, and for mani- 
festations of guidance, and for a Discrimination. And 
he amongst you who beholds this month 2 then let 
him fast it ; but he who is sick or on a journey, then 
another number of days ; — God desires for you what 
is easy, and desires not for you what is difficult, — that 
ye may complete the number, and say, ' Great is 
God,' for that He has guided you ; haply ye may 
give thanks. 

When my servants ask thee concerning me, then, 
verily, I am near; I answer the prayer's prayer 
whene'er he prays to me. So let them ask me for 
an answer, and let them believe in me ; haply they 
may be directed aright. 

Lawful for you on the night of the fast is com- 
merce with your wives; they are a garment unto 
you, and ye a garment unto them. God knows that 
ye did defraud yourselves, wherefore He has turned 
towards you and forgiven you ; so now go in unto 
them and crave what God has prescribed for you, 
and eat and drink until a white thread can be dis- 
tinguished by you from a black one at the dawn. 
Then fulfil the fast until the night, and go not in 
unto them, and ye at your devotions in the mosques 
the while. These are the bounds that God has set, 
so draw not near thereto. Thus does God make 

1 I. e. able to fast but do not. 

* I. e. who Is at home during the month Rama<fMn and not on 
a journey, or in a place where it is impossible to keep the fast 

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manifest His signs to men, that haply they may 

Devour not your wealth among yourselves vainly, 
nor present it to the judges that ye may devour 
a part of the wealth of men sinfully, the while ye 

[185] They will ask thee about the phases of the 
moon; say, 'They are indications of time for men 
and for the pilgrimage.' And it is not righteousness 
that ye should enter into your houses from behind 
them 1 , but' righteousness is he who fears; so enter 
into your houses by the doors thereof and fear God ; 
haply ye may prosper yet. 

Fight in God's way 2 with those who fight with 
you, but transgress 3 not ; verily, God loves not those 
who do transgress. 

Kill them wherever ye find them, and drive them 
out from whence they drive you out; for sedition 
is worse than slaughter ; but fight them not by the 
Sacred Mosque until they fight you there; then 
kill them, for such is the recompense of those that 

But if they desist, then, verily, God is forgiving 
and merciful. 

But fight them that there be no sedition and that 
the religion may be God's ; but, if they desist, then 
let there be no hostility save against the unjust. 

[190] The sacred month for the sacred month*; 

1 The Arabs before Mohammed's time had a superstition that it 
was unlucky to enter their houses by the doors on their return from 
Mecca, so they made holes in the binder walls to enter in by 

8 Or, ' cause,' see note 4, p. 21. 

• By beginning the fight yourselves. 

* The other Arabs had attacked them during the month 

Digitized by 


28 THE QUR'An. II, 190-193. 

for all sacred things demand retaliation * ; and whoso 
transgresses against you, transgress against him like 
as he transgressed against you ; but fear ye God, 
and know that God is with those who fear. 

Expend in alms in God's way and be not cast by 
your own hands into perdition; but do good, for 
God loves those who do good. 

And fulfil the pilgrimage and the visitation to 
God ; but if ye be besieged, then what is easiest 
for you by way of gift. But shave not your heads 
until your gift shall reach its destination ; and he 
amongst you who is sick or has a hurt upon his 
head, then the redemption is by fasting or by alms 
or by an offering. But when ye are safe again, then 
let him who would enjoy the visitation until the 
pilgrimage 2 (bring) what is easiest as a gift. And 
he who cannot find (anything to bring), then let him 
fast three days on the pilgrimage and seven when 
ye return ; these make ten days complete. That is, 
for him whose family are not present in the Sacred 
Mosque ; and fear God and know that God is keen 
to punish. 

The pilgrimage is (in) well-known months : whoso- 
ever then makes it incumbent on himself (let him 
have neither) commerce with women, nor fornication, 
nor a quarrel on the pilgrimage ; and whatsoever of 
good ye do, God knoweth it ; then provide yourself 
for your journey; but the best provision is piety. 
Fear ye me ye who possess minds. 

DHu'lpa'hdah, which was one of their sacred months; the 
Moslems therefore are bidden to attack them if necessary in the 
sacred month of Ramadan. 

1 If a breach of their sanctity be committed. 

2 I.e. going to the visitation at once without waiting for the 
month of the pilgrimage to come round. 

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It is no crime to you that ye seek good 1 from 
your Lord; but when ye pour forth from 'Arafat, 
remember God by the sacred beacon 2 . Remember 
Him how He guided you, although ye were surely 
before of those who err. 

[195] Then pour ye forth from whence men do 
pour forth and ask pardon of God ; verily, God is 
forgiving and merciful. 

And when ye have performed your rites, remem- 
ber God as ye remember your fathers, or with a 
keener memory still. 

There is among men such as says, 'Our Lord! 
give us in this world;' but of the future life no 
portion shall he have. 

And some there be who say, ' Our Lord ! give us 
in this world good and in the future good ; and keep 
us from the torment of the fire ! ' 

These, — they have their portion from what they 
have earned ; for God is swift at reckoning up. 

Remember God for a certain number of days ; 
but whoso hastens off in two days, it is no sin to 
him, and he who lingers on it is no sin to him, — for 
him who fears. So fear ye God and know that unto 
Him shall ye be gathered. 

[200] There is among men one 3 whose speech 
about the life of this world pleases thee, and he calls 
on God to witness what is in his heart ; yet is he most 
fierce in opposition unto thee. And when he turns 
away, he strives upon the earth to do evil therein, and 

1 By trading daring the 'Hagg. 

1 On the rites and stations of the "Ha&g' pilgrimage, see Intro- 


3 A'Anas ibn Suraiq m THaqafi, a fair spoken man of plea- 
sant appearance, who pretended to believe in Mohammed. 

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t A „ 

30 THE QUR AN. II, 201-209. 

to destroy the tilth and the stock ; verily, God loves 
not evil doing. And when it is said to him, ' Fear 
God,' then pride takes hold upon him in sin ; but 
hell is enough for him ! surely an evil couch is 

And there is among men one who selleth his soul 1 , 
craving those things that are pleasing unto God ; 
and God is kind unto His servants. 

O ye who believe! enter ye into the peace 2 , one 
and all, and follow not the footsteps of Satan ; verily, 
to you he is an open foe. [205] And if ye slip after 
that the manifest signs have come to you, then know 
that God is the mighty, the wise. 

What can they expect but that God should come 
unto them in the shadow of a cloud, and the angels 
too ? But the thing is decreed, and unto God do 
things return. 

Ask the children of Israel how many a manifest 
sign we gave to them ; and whoso alters God's 
favours after that they have come to him, then God 
is keen at following up. 

Made fair to those who misbelieve is this world's 
life ; they jest at those who do believe. But those 
who fear shall be above them on the resurrection 
day. God gives provision unto whom He will 
without account. 

Men were one nation once, and God sent pro- 
phets with good tidings and with warnings, and sent 

1 Zuhaib ibn Sin&n er Rum?, who being threatened at Mecca 
with death unless he apostatized from Islam, said, ' I am an old 
man, who cannot profit you if he be with you, nor hurt you if he 
be against you,' and was allowed to escape to Medina. 

' Here used as a synonym for resignation, i. e. Islam. 

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11,209-214- THE CHAPTER OF THE HEIFER. 3 1 

down with them the Book in truth, to judge be- 
tween men in that wherein they disagreed ; but none 
did disagree therein save those who had been given 
it after that manifest signs had come to them, 
through greed amongst themselves ; and God 
guided those who did believe to that truth con- 
cerning which they disagreed by His permission, 
for God guides whom He will unto the right path. 

[210] Did ye count to enter Paradise, while there 
had nothing come to you like those who passed away 
before you ; there touched them violence and harm, 
and they were made to quake, until the Apostle 
and those who believed with him said, ' When 
(comes) God's help ? Is not God's help then surely 

They will ask thee what they are to expend in 
alms : say, ' Whatsoever good ye expend it should 
be for parents and kinsmen, and the orphan and the 
poor, and the son of the road ; and whatsoever good 
ye do, verily, of it God knows.' 

Prescribed for you is fighting, but it is hateful to 
you. Yet peradventure that ye hate a thing while 
it is good for you, and peradventure that ye love 
a thing while it is bad for you ; God knows, and 
ye, — ye do not know ! 

They will ask thee of the sacred month,— of 
fighting therein. Say, ' Fighting therein is a great 
sin ; but turning folks off God's way, and misbelief 
in Him and in the Sacred Mosque, and turning His 
people out therefrom, is a greater in God's sight; 
and sedition is a greater sin than slaughter.' 

They will not cease from fighting you until they 
turn you from your religion if they can ; but who- 
soever of you is turned from his religion and dies 

Digitized by 


32 THE QURAN. 11,214-219. 

while still a misbeliever; these are those whose 
works are vain in this world and the next; they 
are the fellows of the Fire, and they shall dwell 
therein for aye. 

[2 1 5] Verily, those who believe, and those who 
flee 1 , and those who wage war 2 in God's way; these 
may hope for God's mercy, for God is forgiving 
and merciful. 

They will ask thee about wine 3 and el maisar 4 , 
say, ' In them both is sin and profit to men ; but 
the sin of both is greater than the profit of the 

They will ask thee what they shall expend in 
alms : say, ' The surplus.' Thus does God manifest 
to you His signs ; haply ye may reflect on this world 
and the next ! They will ask thee about orphans : 
say, ' To do good to them is best' But if ye inter- 
fere with them — they are your brethren, and God 
knows the evildoer from the well doer ; and if God 
will He will surely trouble you 6 . Verily, God is 
mighty, wise. 

1 In the Arabic hSg-aru, i. e. who fled with Mohammed in his 
higTah or expatriation to Medina, from which the Muslim era 

a The gih&d, or general war of extermination against infidels, 
to threaten or preach which is a favourite diplomatic weapon with 
Mohammedan nations. 

3 '.ffamr, which is rendered 'wine,' includes all alcoholic and 
intoxicating drinks. 

* El mSisar was a game of chance, played with arrows, the 
prize being a young camel, which was slaughtered and given to the 
poor, the price of it being paid by the losers. This distribution to 
the poor Mohammed speaks of as useful, but the quarrels and 
extravagance to which the game gave rise, he considers, over- 
balanced the profit. 

8 I. e. if ye wrong orphans. 

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[220] Wed not with idolatrous women until they 
believe, for surely a believing handmaid is better than 
an idolatrous woman, even though she please you. 
And wed not to idolatrous men until they believe, 
for a believing slave is better than an idolater, 
even though he please you. 

Those invite you to the fire, but God invites you 
to paradise and pardon by His permission, and makes 
clear His signs to men ; haply they may remember. 

They will ask thee about menstruation : say, ' It 
is a hurt.' So keep apart from women in their 
menstruation, and go not near them till they be 
cleansed ; but when they are cleansed come in to 
them by where God has ordered you ; verily, God 
loves those who turn to Him, and those who keep 
themselves clean. 

Your women are your tilth, so come into your 
tillage how you choose ; but do a previous good act 
for yourselves 1 , and fear God, and know that ye are 
going to meet Him; and give good tidings unto 
those who do believe. 

Make not God the butt of your oaths, that ye will 
keep clear and fear and make peace amongst men, 
for God both hears and knows. 

[225] He will not catch you up 2 for a casual word 
in your oaths, but He will catch you up for what 
your hearts have earned ; but God is forgiving and 

Those who swear off 2 from their women, they 
must wait four months ; but if they break their vow 
God is forgiving and merciful. 

1 Either wishing for a child, or saying, ' in the name of God,' 
* See note 1, p. 1. 

[6] * D 

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34 THE QUR AN. II, 227-230. 

And if they intend to divorce them, verily, God 
hears and knows. 

Divorced women must wait for themselves three 
courses ; and it is not lawful to them that they hide 
what God has created in their wombs, if they believe 
in God and in the last day. Their husbands will 
do better to take them back in that (case) if, they 
wish for reconciliation ; for, the same is due to them 
as from them ; but the men should have precedence 
over them. God is mighty and wise. 

Divorce (may happen) twice ; then keep them in 
reason, or let them go with kindness. It is not law- 
ful for you to take from them anything of what you 
have given them, unless both fear that they cannot 
keep within God's bounds. So if ye fear that ye 
cannot keep within God's bounds there is no crime 
in you both about what she ransoms herself with 1 . 
These are God's bounds, do not transgress them; 
and whoso transgresses God's bounds, they it is who 
are unjust. 

[230] But if he divorce her (a third time) she 
shall not be lawful to him after that, until she marry 
another husband ; but, if he divorce her too, it is no 
crime in them both to come together again, if they 
think that they can keep within God's bounds. 
These are God's bounds which He explains to a 
people who know. 

1 The confusion of numbers and persons is in the original. The 
meaning of the passage is that ' divorce is allowed twice only, and 
that on each occasion the man may take the woman back if preg- 
nant during the next four months ; that if a woman be retained 
after divorce she is to be treated kindly, but if she be sent away she 
is not to be deprived of her dowry. If, however, they feel that they 
cannot live Jogether, the woman may give up a part of her dowry to 
induce her husband to part with her.' 

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When ye divorce women, and they have reached 
the prescribed time, then keep them kindly, or let 
them go in reason, but do not keep them by force to 
transgress ; for whoso does that, he is unjust to his 
own soul : and do not take God's signs in jest ; and 
remember God's favours to you, and what He has 
sent down to you of the Book and wisdom, to 
admonish you thereby; and fear God, and know that 
God doth all things know. 

When ye divorce women, and they have reached 
their prescribed term, do not prevent them from 
marrying their (fresh) husbands, when they have 
agreed with each other reasonably. That is what 
he is admonished with who amongst you believes 
in God and in the last day. That is more pure 
for you and cleaner. But God knows, and ye 
know not. 

Mothers must suckle their children two whole 
years for one who wishes to complete the time of 
suckling; and on him to whom it is born its sus- 
tenance and clothing are incumbent ; but in reason, 
for no soul shall be obliged beyond its capacity. A 
mother shall not be forced for her child ; nor he to 
whom it is born for his child. And the same (is in- 
cumbent) on the heir (of the father). But if both 
parties wish to wean, by mutual consent and counsel, 
then it is no crime in them. And if ye wish to pro- 
vide a wet-nurse for your children, it is no crime in 
you when you pay what you have promised her, 
in reason. Fear God, and know that God on what 
ye do doth look. 

Those of you who die and leave wives behind, let 
these wait by themselves for four months and ten 
days ; and when they have reached their prescribed 

d 2 

Digitized by 


36 the qur'An. II, 234-239. 

time, there is no crime in them for what they do 
with themselves in reason ; for God of what ye do is 
well aware. 

[235] Nor is there any crime in you for that ye 
make them an offer of marriage, or that ye keep it 
secret, in your minds. God knows that ye will re- 
member them; but do not propose to them in 
secret, unless ye speak a reasonable 1 speech ; and 
resolve not on the marriage tie until the Book shall 
reach its time 2 ; but know that God knows what is 
in your souls ; so beware ! and know that God is 
forgiving and clement. 

It is no crime in you if ye divorce your women ere 
you have yet touched them, or settled for them a 
settlement. But provide maintenance for them ; the 
wealthy according to his power, and the straitened 
in circumstances according to his power, must pro- 
vide, in reason ; — a duty this upon the kind. 

And if ye divorce them before ye have touched 
them, but have already settled for them a settle- 
ment ; the half of what ye have settled, unless they 
remit it, or he in whose hand is the marriage tie 
remits it 3 ; and that ye should remit is nearer to 
piety, and forget not liberality between you. Verily, 
God on what ye do doth look. 

Observe the prayers 4 , and the middle prayer 8 , and 
stand ye attent before God. 

1 I. e. with honest intentions. 

* Until the time prescribed by the Qur'Sn be fulfilled. 

* That is, unless the wife choose to give up a part of the half 
which she could claim, or the husband do the same on his part, 
in which case an unequal partition is lawful. 

4 See excursus on the Rites and Ceremonies of Islam. 

* Interpreted to mean either the middle or the odd one of the five. 

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11,240-247- THE CHAPTER OF THE HEIFER. 37 

[240] And if ye fear, then afoot 1 or on horseback ; 
but when ye are in safety remember God, how He 
taught you while yet ye did not know. 

Those of you who die and leave wives, should 
bequeath to their wives maintenance for a year, 
without expulsion (from their home) ; but if they 
go out, there is no crime in you for what they do of 
themselves, in reason ; but God is mighty and wise. 

And divorced women should have a maintenance 
in reason, — a duty this on those that fear. Thus 
does God explain to you His signs; haply ye may 

Dost thou not look at those who left their homes 
by thousands, for fear of death ; and God said to 
them ' Die,' and then He quickened them again 2 ? 
Verily, God is Lord of grace to men, but most men 
give no thanks. 

[245] Fight then in God's way, and know that God 
both hears and knows. 

Who is there that will lend to God a good loan ? 
He will redouble it many a double ; God closes 
His hand and holds it out, and unto Him shall 
ye return. 

Dost thou not look at the crowd of the children of 
Israel after Moses' time, when they said to a prophet 
of theirs 3 , ' Raise up for us a king, and we will fight 

1 That is, if ye are in danger, say your prayers, as best you can, 
on foot or horseback, not staying so as to endanger your lives. 

* The legend to which this alludes is variously told, but the 
most usually accepted version is that a number of the Israelites 
fled from their homes to avoid a gihid or 'religious war,' and 
were struck dead, and afterwards revived by the prophet Ezekiel's 
intervention. The story is apparently a distorted version of 
Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones. Ezek. xxxvii. 1-10. 

* Samuel. 

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38 THE QUR AN. II, 247-250. 

in God's way?' He said, 'Will ye perhaps, if it be 
written down for you to fight, refuse to fight?' They 
said, 'And why should we not fight in God's way, 
now that we are dispossessed of our homes and 
sons?' But when it was written down for them 
to fight they turned back, save a few of them, 
and God knows who are evildoers. Then their 
prophet said to them, ' Verily, God has raised up for 
you Zalut 1 as a king ;' they said, ' How can the 
kingdom be his over us ; we have more right to the 
kingdom than he, for he has not an amplitude of 
wealth?' He said, 'Verily, God has chosen him over 
you, and has provided him with an extent of know- 
ledge and of form. God gives the kingdom unto 
whom He will ; God comprehends and knows.' 

Then said to them their prophet, ' The sign of his 
kingdom is that there shall come to you the ark with 
the shechina 2 in it from your Lord, and the relics 
of what the family of Moses and the family of Aaron 
left ; the angels shall bear it.' In that is surely a 
sign to you if ye believe 3 . 

[250] And when T'alut set out with his soldiery, 
he said, ' God will try you with a river, and he who 
drinks therefrom, he is not of mine ; but whoso tastes 
it not, he is of mine, save he who laps it lapping with 
his hand 4 .' 

And they drank from it save a few of them, and 

1 Saul. 

* The commentators do not understand that the word saklnah, 
which is in the original, is identical with the Hebrew shechina, and 
render it ' repose ' or ' tranquillity.' 

8 1 Samuel iv, v, vi. 

4 Gideon and Saul are here confused ; this portion of the story 
is taken from Judges vi. 

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11,250-255- THE CHAPTER OF THE HEIFER. 39 

when he crossed it, he and those who believed with 
him, they said, ' We have no. power this day against 
(S&lut 1 and his soldiery,' those who thought that they 
should meet their Lord said, ' How many a small 
division of men have conquered a numerous divi- 
sion, by the permission of God, for God is with the 

And when they went out against Cr&lut and his 
soldiery, they said, ' Lord, pour out patience over 
us, and make firm our steps, and help us against the 
misbelieving people ! ' 

And they put them to flight by the permission of 
God, and David killed Galut, and God gave him the 
kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of what He 
willed. And were it not for God's repelling men 
one with another the earth would become spoiled; 
but God is Lord of grace over the worlds. 

These are the signs of God, we recite them to 
thee in truth, for, verily, thou art of those who 
are sent. 

These apostles have we preferred one of them 
above another. Of them is one to whom God 
spake 2 ; and we have raised some of them degrees ; 
and we have given Jesus the son of Mary manifest 
signs, and strengthened him by the Holy Spirit. 
And, did God please, those who came after them 
would not have fought after there came to them 
manifest signs. But they did disagree, and of them 
are some who believe, and of them some who mis- 
believe, but, did God please, they would not have 
fought, for God does what He will. 

[255] O ye who believe! expend in alms of what 

1 Goliath. 

a Moses, called Kalf mu 'HSh, ' He with whom God spake.' 

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40 THE QUR AN. II, 255-260. 

we have bestowed upon you, before the day comes 
in which is no barter, and no friendship, and no 
intercession ; and the misbelievers, they are the 

God 1 , there is no god but He, the living, the self- 
subsistent. Slumber takes Him not, nor sleep. His is 
what is in the heavens and what is in the earth. 
Who is it that intercedes with Him save by His 
permission ? He knows what is before them and 
what behind them, and they comprehend not aught 
of His knowledge but of what He pleases. His 
throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and 
it tires Him not to guard them both, for He is high 
and grand. 

There is no compulsion in religion ; the right way 
has been distinguished from the wrong, and whoso 
disbelieves in Ta^ut 2 and believes in God, he has 
got hold of the firm handle in which is no breaking 
off; but God both hears and knows. 

God is the patron of those who believe, He brings 
them forth from darkness into fight. But those who 
misbelieve, their patrons are T&gkiit, these bring 
them forth from light to darkness, — fellows of the 
Fire, they dwell therein for aye. 

[260] Do you not look at him who disputed with 
Abraham about his Lord, that God had given him 
the kingdom 3 ? When Abraham said, ' My Lord is 
He who giveth life and death,' he said, ' I give life 

1 This is the famous Syatu '1 kursty, or * verse of the throne,' 
considered as one of the finest passages in the Qur'&n, and fre- 
quently found inscribed in mosques and the like. 

2 The idols and demons of the ancient Arabs are so called. 

3 Nimrod, who persecuted Abraham, according to the eastern 
legend; see Chapter XXI, verses 52-69. 

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and death.' Abraham said, ' But verily, God brings 
the sun from the east, do thou then bring it from 
the west ? ' And he who misbelieved was dumb- 
founded, for God does not guide unjust folk. 

Or like him who passed by a village 1 , when it 
was desolate and turned over on its roofs, and said, 
' How will God revive this after its death ?' And 
God made him die for a hundred years, then He 
raised him, and said, ' How long hast thou tarried ?' 
Said he, ' I have tarried a day, or some part of a 
day.' He said, 'Nay, thou hast tarried a hundred 
years ; look at thy food and drink, they are not 
spoiled, and look at thine ass ; for we will make thee 
a sign to men. And look at the bones how we 
scatter them and then clothe them with flesh.' And 
when it was made manifest to him, he said, ' I know 
that God is mighty over all.' 

And when Abraham said, ' Lord, show me how 
thou wilt revive the dead,' He said, 'What, dost 
thou not yet believe ?' Said he, ' Yea, but that my 
heart may be quieted.' He said, ' Then take four 
birds, and take them close to thyself; then put a 
part of them on every mountain ; then call them, 
and they will come to thee in haste ; and know that 
God is mighty, wise V 

The likeness of those who expend their wealth in 
God's way is as the likeness of a grain that grows 
to seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains, for God 
will double unto whom He pleases ; for God both 
embraces and knows. 

1 According to the Arabic commentators, 'Huzair (Esdras) ibn 
■Sara'hy& or Al Vffizr (Elias) is the person alluded to; and the 
'village' Jerusalem after its destruction by Ba'^tnazr, Nebuchad- 
nezzar. The legend probably refers to Nehemiah ii. 13. 

* Cf. Genesis xv. 9. 

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42 THE QURAN. 11,264-270. 

Those who expend their wealth in God's way, 
then do not follow up what they expend by 
taunting with it and by annoyance, these have 
their hire with their Lord, and no fear is on them, 
neither shall they grieve. 

[265] Kind speech and pardon are better than 
almsgiving followed by annoyance, and God is rich 
and clement. 

O ye who believe! make not your almsgiving vain 
by taunts and annoyance, like him who expends what 
he has for the sake of appearances before men, and 
believes not in God and the last day; for his likeness 
is as the likeness of a flint with soil upon it, and a 
heavy shower falls on it and leaves it bare rock; 
they can do nought with what they earn, for God 
guides not the misbelieving folk. 

But the likeness of those who expend their wealth 
craving the goodwill of God, and as an insurance for 
their souls, is as the likeness of a garden on a hill. 
A heavy shower falls on it, and it brings forth its 
eatables twofold ; and if no heavy shower falls on it, 
the dew does ; and God on what ye do doth look. 

Would one of you fain have a garden of palms 
and vines, with rivers flowing beneath it, in which is 
every fruit ; and when old age shall reach him, have 
weak seed, and there fall on it a storm wind with fire 
therein, and it gets burnt ? 

Thus does God manifest to you His signs, mayhap 
ye will reflect. 

O ye who believe ! expend in alms of the good 
things that ye have earned, and of what we have 
brought forth for you out of the earth, and do not 
take the vile thereof to spend in alms, — [270] what 
you would not take yourselves save by connivance 

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at it 1 ; but know that God is rich and to be 

The devil promises you poverty and bids you 
sin, but God promises you pardon from Him and 
grace, for God both embraces and knows. He 
bringeth wisdom unto whom He will, and he who is 
brought wisdom 2 is brought much good ; but none 
will remember save those endowed with minds. 

Whatever expense ye expend, or vow ye vow, God 
knows it; but the unjust have no helpers. If ye 
display your almsgiving, then well is it; but if ye 
hide it and bring it to the poor, then is it better for 
you, and will expiate for you your evil deeds ; for 
God of what ye do is well aware. 

Thou 3 art not bound to guide them; but God 
guides whom He will; and whatever good ye expend 
it is for yourselves, and do not expend save craving 
for God's face. 

And what ye expend of good, it shall be repaid 
you, and ye shall not be wronged, — unto the poor 
who are straitened in God's way, and cannot knock 
about * in the earth. The ignorant think them to be 
rich because of their modesty; you will know- them 

1 I. e. by a mutual understanding between seller and buyer. 

2 See note 2, p. i. 
8 I.e. Mohammed. 

* I must again remind the reader of the remarks made in the 
Introduction that the language of the Qur'an is really rude and 
rugged, and that although the expressions employed in it are now 
considered as refined and elegant, it is only because all literary 
Arabic has been modelled on the style of the Qur'an. The word 
which I have ventured to translate by this somewhat inelegant 
phrase (rfjiarban) means literally, 'to beat or knock about,' and as 
colloquial English affords an exact equivalent I have not hesitated 
to use it. 

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44 THE QUR'aN. II, 274-28 f. 

by their mark, they do not beg from men importu- 
nately; but what ye spend of good God knows. 

[275] Those who expend their wealth by night 
and day, secretly and openly, they shall have their 
hire with their Lord. No fear shall come on them, 
nor shall they grieve. 

Those who devour usury shall not rise again, save 
as he riseth whom Satan hath paralysed with a 
touch ; and that is because they say ' selling is only 
like usury,' but God has made selling lawful and 
usury unlawful ; and he to whom the admonition from 
his Lord has come, if he desists, what has gone 
before is his 1 : his matter is in God's hands. But 
whosoever returns (to usury) these are the fellows of 
the Fire, and they shall dwell therein for aye. God 
shall blot out usury, but shall make almsgiving profit- 
able, for God loves not any sinful misbeliever. 

Verily, those who believe, and act righteously, 
and are steadfast in prayer, and give alms, theirs is 
their hire with their Lord ; there is no fear on them, 
nor shall they grieve. 

O ye who believe ! fear God, and remit the 
balance of usury, if ye be believers ; and if ye will 
not do it, then hearken to the proclamation of war 
from God and His Apostle ; but if ye repent, your 
capital is yours. Ye shall not wrong, nor shall 
ye be wronged. 

[280] And if it be one in difficulties, then wait for 
easy circumstances ; but that ye remit it as alms is 
better for you, if ye did but know. 

Fear the day wherein ye shall return to God ; 
then shall each soul be paid what it has earned, and 
they shall not be wronged. 

1 I.e. his former conduct shall be pardoned. 

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11,282-284. THE CHAPTER OF THE HEIFER. 45 

O ye who believe ! if ye engage to one another in 
a debt for a stated time, then write it down, and let a 
scribe write it down between you faithfully; nor let a 
scribe refuse to write as God taught him, but let him 
write, and let him who owes dictate; but let him fear 
God his Lord, and not diminish therefrom aught ; 
but if he who owes be a fool, or weak, or cannot 
dictate himself, then let his agent dictate faithfully, 
and let them call two witnesses out from amongst 
their men ; or if there be not two men, then a man 
and two women, from those whom he chooses for 
witnesses, so that if one of the two should err, the 
second of the two may remind the other; and let 
not the witnesses refuse when they are summoned ; 
and let them not tire of writing it, be it small or 
great, with its time of payment. That is more just in 
the sight of God, and more upright for testimony, 
and brings you nearer to not doubting. Unless, 
indeed, it be a ready-money transaction between 
you, which ye arrange between yourselves, then 
it is no crime against you that ye do not write it 
down ; but bring witnesses to what ye sell one to 
another, and let not either scribe or witness come to 
harm, for if ye do it will be abomination in you ; but 
fear God, for God teaches you, and God knows all 
things. But if ye be upon a journey, and ye cannot 
find a scribe, then let a pledge be taken. But if one 
of you trust another, then let him who is trusted 
surrender his trust, and let him fear God his Lord, 
and conceal not testimony, for he who conceals it, 
verily, sinful is his heart : God knows what ye do. 

God's is what is in heaven and in the earth, and 
if ye show what is in your souls, or hide it, God will 
call you to account ; and He forgives whom He 

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46 THE QUR'AN. II, 284-III, 4. 

will, and punishes whom He will, for God is mighty 
over all. 

[285] The Apostle believes in what is sent down to 
him from his Lord, and the believers all believe on 
God, and His angels, and His Books, and His 
apostles, — we make no difference between any of 
His apostles, — they say, ' We hear and obey, Thy 
pardon, O Lord! for to Thee our journey tends. 
God will not require of the soul save its capacity. It 
shall have what it has earned, and it shall owe what 
has been earned from it. Lord, catch us not up, if 
we forget or make mistake ; Lord, load us not with 
a burden, as Thou hast loaded those who were before 
us. Lord, make us not to carry what we have not 
strength for, but forgive us, and pardon us, and have 
mercy on us. Thou art our Sovereign, then help 
us against the people who do not believe!' 

The Chapter of ImrAn's Family. 
(III. Medina.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 
God. , 

A.L.M. God, there is no god but He, the living, 
the self-subsistent. He has sent down to thee the 
Book in truth, confirming what was before it, and 
has revealed the law, and the gospel before for 
the guidance of men, and has revealed the Dis- 

Verily, those who disbelieve in the signs of God, 
for them is severe torment, for God is mighty and 

Verily, God, there is nothing hidden from Him in 
the earth, nor in the heaven ; He it is who fashions 

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you in the womb as He pleases. There is no God 
but He, the mighty, the wise. 

[5] He it is who has revealed to thee the Book, 
of which there are some verses that are decisive, 
they are the mother * of the Book ; and others 
ambiguous; but as for those in whose hearts is 
perversity, they follow what is ambiguous, and do 
crave for sedition, craving for (their own) inter- 
pretation of it; but none know the interpretation 
of it except God. But those who are well grounded 
in knowledge say, 'We believe in it; it is all from our 
Lord ; but none will remember save those who 
possess minds. ' 

' O Lord ! pervert not our hearts again when Thou 
hast guided them, and grant us mercy from Thee, for 
Thou art He who grants. O Lord! Thou shalt gather 
together men unto the day wherein is no doubt. 
Verily, God will not depart from His promise.' 

Verily, those who misbelieve, their wealth shall 
not help them, nor their children, against God at all ; 
and they it is who are the fuel of the fire. 

As was the wont of Pharaoh's people, and those 
before them, they said our signs were lies, and God 
caught them up in their sins, for God is severe to 

[10] Say to those who misbelieve, ' Ye shall be 
overcome and driven together to hell, an ill couch 
will it be. 

' Ye have had a sign in the two parties who met ; 
one party fighting in the way of God, the other 
misbelieving; these saw twice the same number 
as themselves to the eye-sight 2 , for God aids 

1 I. e. the fundamental part of it 

* On the occasion of the battle of Bedr. See Introduction. 

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48 THE QURAN. HI, n-rp. 

with His help those whom He pleases.' Verily, 
in that is a lesson for those who have perception. 
Seemly unto men is a life of lusts, of women, and 
children, and hoarded talents of gold and silver, 
and of horses well-bred, and cattle, and tilth ; — that 
is the provision for the life of this world ; but God, 
with Him is the best resort. 

Say, ' But shall we tell you of a better thing than 
this ?' For those who fear are gardens with their 
Lord, beneath which rivers flow ; they shall dwell 
therein for aye, and pure wives and grace from 
God; the Lord looks on His servants, who say, 
' Lord, we believe, pardon Thou our sins and keep us 
from the torment of the fire,' [15] — upon the patient, 
the truthful, the devout, and those who ask for 
pardon at the dawn. 

God bears witness that there is no god but He, 
and the angels, and those possessed of knowledge 
standing up for justice. There is no God but He, 
the mighty, the wise. 

Verily, (the true) religion in God's sight is Islam, 
and those to whom the Book was given disagreed 
not until after that there was given to them know- 
ledge, through mutual envy. But whoso disbelieves 
in God's signs, truly God is quick at reckoning up. 

And if they would dispute with thee, then say, ' I 
turn my face with resignation unto God, and whoso 
follows me.' 

And say to those who have been given the Book, 
unto the Gentiles 1 , 'Are ye, too, resigned 2 ?' and 

1 The word also means ' illiterate,' and refers here to the Pagan 
Arabs in Mohammed's time. He seems to have borrowed the 
expression from the Jews, ummfyun having the same signification 
as the Hebrew goyim. * See note, p. 15. 

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if they are resigned, then are they guided. But if 
they turn their backs, then thou hast only to preach, 
and God looks on his servants. 

[20] Verily, those who disbelieve in God's signs, 
and kill the prophets without right, and kill those 
from among men, who bid what is just, — to them 
give the glad tidings of grievous woe ! These are 
they whose works are void in this world and the 
next, and helpers have they none. 

Did ye not see those who have been given a por- 
tion of the Book ? they were called unto the Book 
of God to decide between them ; and then a sect of 
them turned their backs and turned away; — that is 
because they say the fire shall not touch us save 
for a certain number of days. But that deceived 
them in their religion which they had invented. 
How will it be when we have gathered them to- 
gether for a day whereof there is no doubt, when 
each soul shall be paid what it has earned, and 
they shall not be wronged? 

[25] Say, ' O God, Lord of the kingdom 1 Thou 
givest the kingdom to whomsoever Thou pleasest, 
and strippest the kingdom from whomsoever Thou 
pleasest ; Thou honourest whom Thou pleasest, and 
abasest whom Thou pleasest ; in Thy hand is good. 
Verily, Thou art mighty over all. Thou dost turn 
night to day, and dost turn day to night, and 
dost bring forth the living from the dead, and dost 
provide for whom Thou pleasest without taking 

Those who believe shall not take misbelievers 
for their patrons, rather than believers, and he who 
does this has no part with God at all, unless, 
indeed, ye fear some danger from them. But God 

[6] E 

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<0 THE QUR'AN. Ill, 27-31. 

bids you beware of Himself, for unto Him your 
journey is. 

Say, ' If ye hide that which is in your breasts, or if 
ye show it, God knows it : He knows what is in the 
heavens and what is in the earth, for God is mighty 
over all.' 

The day that every soul shall find what it has 
done of good present before it ; and what it has done 
of evil, it would fain that there were between itself 
and that a wide interval. ' God bids you beware of 
Himself, but God is gentle with His servants.' 

Say, ' If ye would love God then follow me, and 
God will love you and forgive you your sins, for 
God is forgiving and merciful.' 

Say, ' Obey God and the Apostle ; but if ye turn 
your backs God loves not misbelievers.' 

[30] Verily, God has chosen Adam, and Noah, 
and Abraham's people, and Imrin's 1 people above 
the world, — a seed, of which one succeeds the 
other, but God both hears and knows. 

When Imrin's wife said, ' Lord ! I have vowed to 
Thee what is within my womb, to be dedicated unto 
Thee, receive it then from me. Verily, Thou dost 
hear and know.' And when she brought it forth 
she said, 'Verily, I have brought it forth a female' — : 
but God knew best what she brought forth ; and 
a male is not like a female — ' I have called hei* 
Mary, and I seek a refuge in Thee for her and for 
her seed from Satan the pelted V 

1 Amram, who, according to the Mohammedans, was the father 
of the Virgin Mary, (Miriam.) A confusion seems to have existed 
in the mind of Mohammed between Miriam 'the Virgin Mary,' 
and Miriam the sister of Moses. 

* The Mohammedan superstition is that the devils listen at the 

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And her Lord received her with a good reception, 
and made her grow up with a good growth, and 
Zachariah took care of her. Whenever Zachariah 
entered the chamber to her he found beside her 
a provision, and said, 'O Mary, how hast thou this ?' 
She said, ' It is from God, for God provides for 
whom He pleases without count.' Therefore prayed 
Zachariah to his Lord, and said, ' Lord, grant me 
from Thee a good seed. Verily, Thou hearest 
prayer.' And an angel cried out to him as he was 
standing praying in the chamber (and said) that 
' God gives thee the glad tidings of John, to confirm 
the Word from God, — of a chief and a chaste one, 
and a prophet from amongst the righteous.' 

[35] He said, ' My Lord, how can there be to me 
a boy when old age has reached me, and my wife is 
barren ? ' Said he, ' Thus God does what He 
pleaseth.' He said, ' My Lord, make for me a sign.' 
He said, ' Thy sign is that thou shalt not speak to 
men for three days, save by gesture ; but remember 
thy Lord much, and celebrate His praises in the 
evening and the morning.' 

And when the angels said, ' O Mary ! verily, God 
has chosen thee, and has purified thee, and has 
chosen thee above the women of the world. O 
Mary ! be devout unto thy Lord, and adore and bow 
down with those who bow. That is (one) of the 
declarations of the unseen world which we reveal to 

gate of heaven for scraps of the knowledge of futurity, and when 
detected by the angels are pelted with shooting stars. The ex- 
pression may also refer to the ceremony of ' pelting the devil/ as 
performed by 'Hagg pilgrims at Mini, in memory, it is said, of 
Abraham's having driven Ibtts away with stones when tempted by 
him to disobey God and refuse to sacrifice Isaac. 

E 2 

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52 THE QUR'AN. Ill, 39-44. 

thee, though thou wert not by them when they 
threw their lots 1 which of them should take care of 
Mary, nor were ye by them when they did dispute.' 
[40] When the angel said, ' O Mary ! verily, God 
gives thee the glad tidings of a Word from Him ; 
his name shall be the Messiah Jesus the son of 
Mary, regarded in this world and the next and of 
those whose place is nigh to God. And he shall 
speak to people in his cradle, and when grown up, 
and shall be among the righteous.' She said, ' Lord ! 
how can I have a son, when man has not yet 
touched me ?' He said, ' Thus God creates what 
He pleaseth. When He decrees a matter He only 
says BE and it is ; and He will teach him the Book, 
and wisdom, and the law, and the gospel, and he 
shall be a prophet to the people of Israel (saying), 
that I have come to you, with a sign from God, 
namely, that I will create for you out of clay as 
though it were the form of a bird, and I will blow 
thereon and it shall become a bird by God's per- 
mission; and I will heal the blind from birth, and 
lepers ; and I will bring the dead to life by God's 
permission ; and I will tell you what you eat and 
what ye store up in your houses. Verily, in that is 
a sign for you if ye be believers. And I will con- 
firm what is before you of the law, and will surely 
make lawful for you some of that which was pro- 
hibited from you. I have come to you with a sign 
from your Lord, so fear God and follow me, for 

1 The legend is, that the priests threw lots by casting arrows 
into the river Jordan. The word used for arrows means simply 
unfeathered and unpointed arrows, and is the same as that used 
in the Arab game maisar, referred to in page 32. 

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Ill, 44-51. THE CHAPTER OF IMrAn's FAMILY. 53 

God is my Lord, and your Lord, so worship Him : — 
this is the right path.' 

[45] And when Jesus perceived their unbelief, 
He said, 'Who are my helpers for God ?' Said the 
apostles 1 , 'We are God's helpers. We believe in 
God, so bear witness that we are resigned 2 . Lord, 
we have believed in what Thou hast revealed, and 
we have followed the Apostle, so write us down with 
those which bear witness.' But they (the Jews) were 
crafty, and God was crafty, for God is the best of 
crafty ones ! 

When God said, ' O Jesus ! I will make Thee die 
and take Thee up again to me 3 and will clear thee 
of those who misbelieve, and will make those who 
follow thee above those who misbelieve, at the day 
of judgment, then to me is your return. I will 
decide between you concerning that wherein ye 
disagree. And as for those who misbelieve, I will 
punish them with grievous punishment in this world 
and the next, and they shall have none to help them.' 
[50] But as for those who believe and do what is 
right, He will pay them their reward, for God loves 
not the unjust 

That is what we recite to thee of the signs and 
of the wise reminder*. Verily, the likeness of Jesus 

1 The Arabic expression is'Havartyun, which means 'fullers,' 
and is explained by the commentators either as referring to their 
' trade ' or to their ' sincerity and candour.' The word is really 
derived from an Ethiopic root signifying ' to send.' 

■ See note 1, page 15. 

1 The Mohammedans believe that it was an eidolon and not 
Jesus himself who was crucified. 

* This word dhikr is used by Mohammedans for the recitation 
of the Qur'an, and is also applied to the religious celebrations of 
the dervishes. 

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54 THE QURAN. Ill, 51-61. 

with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created 
him from earth, then He said to him BE, and he 
was ; — the truth from thy Lord, so be thou not of 
those who are in doubt. And whoso disputeth with 
thee after what has come to thee of knowledge, say, 
' Come, let us call our sons and your sons, and our 
women and your women, and ourselves and your- 
selves : then we will imprecate and put God's curse 
on those who lie.' 

[55] Verily, those are the true stories, and there 
is no god but God, and, verily, God He is the 
mighty, the wise ; but if they turn back, God knows 
the evildoers. 

Say, ' O ye people of the Book, come to a word 
laid down plainly between us and you, that we will 
not serve other than God, nor associate aught with 
him, nor take each other for lords rather than God.' 
But if they turn back then say, ' Bear witness that 
we are resigned.' 

O people of the Book, why do ye dispute about 
Abraham, when the law and the gospel were not 
revealed until after him ? What ! do ye not under- 
stand ? Here ye are, disputing about what ye have 
some knowledge of; why then do ye dispute about 
what ye have no knowledge of? God knows and 
ye know not. 

[60] Abraham was not a Jew, nor yet a Christian, 
but he was a 'Hanif 1 resigned, and not of the 
idolaters. Verily, the people most worthy of 
Abraham are those who follow him and his 
prophets, and those who believe; — God is the 
patron of the believers. 

1 See note 1, p. 19. 

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A sect of the people of the Book would fain they 
could lead you astray, but they only lead themselves 
astray, and they do not perceive. 

O people of the Book ! why do ye disbelieve in 
the signs of God, the while ye witness them ? O 
people of the Book ! why do ye clothe • the truth 
with falsehood and hide the truth the while ye 
know ? [65] A sect of the people of the Book 
say, ' Believe in what was revealed to those who 
believed at the first appearance of the day, and 
disbelieve it at the end thereof,' — that (others) may 
perchance go back (from their faith) 1 — 'do not 
believe save one who followeth your religion.' 

Say, 'Verily, the (true) guidance is the guidance of 
God, that one should be given like what ye are 
given.' Or would they dispute with you before 
your Lord, say, ' Grace is in the hand of God, He 
gives it to whom he pleases, for God both compre- 
hends and knows. He specially favours with his 
mercy whom he pleases, for God is Lord of mighty 

And of the people of the Book, there are some 
of them who, if thou entrust them with a talent 8 
give it back to you ; and some of them, if thou 
entrust them with a dinar 2 , he will not give it 
back to thee except so long as thou dost stand over 
him. That is because they say, ' We owe no duty 

1 This is said to allude to some Jews who professed Islam in 
the morning and recanted at night, saying that they had in the 
meantime consulted their books and found nothing to confirm it, 
hoping by this stratagem to raise doubts in the believers' minds. 

' A 'talent,' qin/ar, is used for any very large sum, a dtn&r 
(' denarius ') was a gold coin worth about 10 s. 

Digitized by 


56 the qur'An. 111,69-75. 

to the Gentiles;' but they tell a He against God, 
the while they know. 

[70] Yea, whoso fulfils his covenant and fears, — 
verily, God loves those who fear. Those who sell 
God's covenant and their oaths for a little price, 
these have no portion in the future life. God will 
not speak to them, and will not look upon them on 
the resurrection day, and will not purify them ; but 
for them is grievous woe. 

And, verily, amongst them is a sect who twist 
their tongues 1 concerning the Book, that ye may 
reckon it to be from the Book, but it is not from 
the Book. They say, ' It is from God,' but it is not 
from God, and they tell a lie against God, the while 
they know. 

It is not right for a man that God should give 
him a Book, and judgment, and prophecy, and that 
then he should say to men, ' Be ye servants of mine 
rather than of God ;' but be ye rather masters 2 of 
teaching the Book and of what ye learn. 

He does not bid you take the angels and the 
prophets for your lords; shall He bid you mis- 
believe again when you are once resigned ? 

[75] And when God took the compact from the 
prophets '(this is) surely what we have given you 
of the Book and wisdom. Then shall come to you 
the Apostle confirming what is with you. Ye must 
believe in him and help him/ He said, moreover, 
'Are ye resolved and have ye taken my compact 
on that (condition) ?' They say, ' We are resolved.' 

1 I. e. pervert it. 

4 In the original Rabb&nfyfn, an expression identical with 
Rabboni, cf. John xx. 16. 

Digitized by 



He said, ' Then bear witness, for I am witness with 
you ; but he who turns back after that, these are 
sinners V 

What is it other than God's religion that they 
crave ? when to Him is resigned whosoever is in 
the heavens and the earth, will he or nill he, and 
to him shall they return ! 

Say, ' We believe in God, and what has been re- 
vealed to thee, and what was revealed to Abraham, 
and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, 
and what was given to Moses, and Jesus, and the 
prophets from their Lord, — we will make no distinc- 
tion between any of them, — and we are unto Him 
resigned. Whosoever craves other than Islam for 
a religion, it shall surely not be accepted from him, 
and he shall, in the next world, be of those who 

[80] How shall God guide people who have 
disbelieved after believing and bearing witness that 
the Apostle is true, and after there come to them 
manifest signs ? God guides the unjust folk. 

These, their reward is, that on them is the curse 
of God, and of the angels, and of men together ; they 
shall dwell therein for aye — the torment shall not be 
alleviated from them, nor shall they be respited; 
save those who repent after that, and act aright, for 
verily, God is forgiving and merciful. 

Verily, those who misbelieve after believing, and 
then increase in misbelief, their repentance shall not 
be accepted ; these are those who err. 

[85] Verily, those who misbelieve and die in mis- 

1 The legend, borrowed from Talmudic sources, is that God 
assembled all past, present, and future prophets on Mount Sinai 
and entered into the compact mentioned in the text. 

Digitized by 


58 THE QUR'AN. 111,85-96. 

belief, there shall not be accepted from any one of 
them the earth-full of gold, though he should give 
it as a ransom. For them is grievous woe, and 
helpers have they none. 

Ye cannot attain to righteousness until ye expend 
in alms of what ye love. But what ye expend in 
alms, that God knows. 

All food was lawful to the children of Israel save 
what Israel made unlawful to himself before that 
the law was revealed. Say, ' Bring the law and 
recite it, if ye speak the truth.' But whoso forges 
against God a lie, after that, they are the unjust. 
Say, ' God speaks the truth, then follow the faith of 
Abraham, a 'hanif, who was not of the idolaters.' 

[90] Verily, the first House founded for men was 
surely that at Bekkah \ for a blessing and a guid- 
ance to the worlds. Therein are manifest signs, — 
Abraham's station, and whosoever enters in is safe. 
There is due to God from man a pilgrimage unto 
the House, for whosoever can find his way there. 
But whoso misbelieves — God is independent of the 

Say, ' O people of the Book ! why do ye mis- 
believe in God's signs, while God is witness of what 
ye do ?' 

Say, ' O people of the Book ! why do ye turn 
from the way of God him who believes, craving to 
make it crooked, while ye are witnesses ? But God 
is not careless of what ye do.' 

[95] O ye who believe ! if ye obey the sect of those 
to whom the Book was brought, they will turn you, 
after your faith, to unbelievers again. How can ye 

1 Another name of Mecca. 

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111,96-105. THE CHAPTER OF IMRAn S FAMILY. 59 

misbelieve while unto you are recited the signs of 
God, and among you is His Apostle ? But whoso 
takes tight hold on God, he is guided into the right 

ye who believe ! fear God with the fear that He 
deserves, and die not save ye be resigned. 

Take tight hold of God's rope altogether, and do 
not part in sects ; but remember the favours of God 
towards you, when ye were enemies and He made 
friendship between your hearts, and on the morrow 
ye were, by His favour, brothers. Ye were on the 
edge of a pit of fire, but he rescued you therefrom \ 
Thus does God show to you His signs, perchance 
ye may be guided ; [100] and that there may be of 
you a nation who shall invite to good, and bid what 
is reasonable, and forbid what is wrong ; these are 
the prosperous. 

Be not like those who parted in sects and dis- 
agreed after there came to them manifest signs ; for 
them is mighty woe, on the day when faces shall be 
whitened and faces shall be blackened. As for those 
whose faces are blackened, — ' Did ye misbelieve 
after your faith, then taste the torment for your mis- 
belief! ' But as for those whose faces are whitened, 
they are in God's mercy, and they shall dwell therein 
for aye. 

These are the signs of God. We recite them to 
you in truth, for God desires not wrong unto the 

[105] God's is what is in the heavens and what 
is in the earth, and unto God affairs return. 

1 Alluding to an occasion in which the ancient rivalry between 
the two tribes of El Aus and El 'Hzzrag, which had been recon- 
ciled by Islam, was on the point of breaking out again. 

Digitized by 


60 THE QUR'AN. III,io6-II3. 

Ye were the best of nations brought forth unto 
man. Ye bid what is reasonable, and forbid what is 
wrong, believing in God. Had the people of the 
Book believed, it would have been better for them. 
There are believers among them, though most of 
them are sinners. 

They shall surely not harm you save a hurt 1 ; and 
if they fight you, they shall show you their backs, 
then they shall not be helped. 

They are smitten with abasement wherever they 
be found, save for the rope of God and the rope of 
man 2 ; and they draw on themselves wrath from 
God. They are smitten, too, with poverty; that is 
because they did disbelieve in God's signs, and kill 
the prophets undeservedly. That is because they 
did rebel and did transgress. 

They are not all alike. Of the people of the 
Book there is a nation upright, reciting God's signs 
throughout the night, as they adore the while, 
[no] They believe in God, and in the last day, and 
bid what is reasonable, and forbid what is wrong, 
and vie in charity; these are among the righteous. 

What ye do of good surely God will not deny, for 
God knows those who fear. 

Verily, those who misbelieve, their wealth is of no 
service to them, nor their children either, against 
God ; they are the fellows of the Fire, and they shall 
dwell therein for aye. 

The likeness of what they expend in this life of 
the world, is as the likeness of wind wherein is a 

1 I. e. only a slight hurt. 

* That is, unless they enter into either the spiritual or temporal 
dominion of Islam, by professing the Mohammedan creed, or by 
paying a tribute. 

Digitized by 


111,113-120. THE CHAPTER OF IMRAn's FAMILY. 6 1 

cold blast that falls upon a people's tilth who 
have wronged themselves and destroys it. It is 
not God who wrongs them, but it is themselves 
they wrong. 

O ye who believe ! take not to intimacy with 
others than yourselves; they will not fail to spoil 
you ; they would fain ye came to trouble, — hatred is 
shown by their mouths ; but what their breasts con- 
ceal is greater still. We have made manifest to you 
our signs, did ye but understand. 

[115] Ye it is who love them, but they love not 
you ; and ye believe in the Book, all of it. But when 
they meet you they say, 'We believe;' and when 
they go aside they bite their finger tips at you 
through rage. Say, ' Die in your rage, for God 
doth know the nature of men's breasts.' 

If good luck touch you it is bad for them, but if 
bad luck befal you they rejoice therein ; yet if ye are 
patient and fear, their tricks shall not harm you, for 
what they do God comprehends. 

When thou didst set forth early 1 from thy people 
to settle for the believers a camp to fight ; — but God 
both hears and knows ; — when two companies of you 
were on the point of showing cowardice ; but God 
was their guardian, for on God surely the believers 
do rely. Why ! God gave you victory at Bedr when 
ye were in a poor way; fear God, then, haply ye 
may give thanks. [120] When thou didst say unto 
the believers, * Is it not enough for you that your 
Lord assists you with three thousand of the angels 

1 This refers to the battle of Ohod, when Mohammed ex- 
perienced a severe check, and lost two teeth by a shot from an 

Digitized by 


62 THE QUR'AN. Ill, I3I-13X. 

sent down from on high ? Yea, if ye are patient and 
fear God, and they come upon you on a sudden, 
now, your Lord will assist you with five thousand of 
His angels, (angels) of mark. God only made this as 
glad tidings for you to comfort your hearts withal, — 
for victory is but from God, the mighty, the wise ; 
— to cut off the flank of those who misbelieve, or 
make them downcast, that they may retire dis- 

Thou hast nothing to do with the affair at all, 
whether He turn towards them again or punish 
them ; for, verily, they are unjust. 

God's is what is in the heavens and in the earth. 
He forgives whom He pleases, and punishes whom 
He pleases; for God is forgiving and merciful. 

[125] O ye who believe ! devour not usury doubly 
doubled, but fear God, perchance ye may be pros- 
perous ; fear the fire which is prepared for the un- 
believers, and obey God and His Apostle, perchance 
ye may get mercy. And vie with one another 
for pardon from your Lord, and for Paradise, the 
breadth of which is as the heaven and the earth, 
prepared for those who fear; — for those who expend 
in alms, in prosperity and adversity, for those who 
repress their rage, and those who pardon men ; God 
loves the kind. Those who when they do a crime, 
or wrong themselves, remember God, and ask for- 
giveness for their sins, — and who forgives sins save 
God? — and do not persevere in what they did, the 
while they know ; — [1 30] — these have their reward : 
— pardon from their Lord, and gardens beneath 
which rivers flow, dwelling therein for aye ; for 
pleasant is the hire of those who act like this. 

Incidents have passed before your time, go on 

Digitized by 


Ill, 131-141. THE CHAPTER OF IMRAn's FAMILY. 63 

then in the earth, and see what was the end of those 
who called (the prophets) liars. 

This is an explanation unto men, and a guidance 
and a warning unto those who fear. Do not give 
way nor grieve, for ye shall have the upper hand if 
ye but be believers. 

If a sore touch you, a sore like it has touched 
people : these are days * which we make to alternate 
amongst mankind that God may know who it is that 
believe, and may take from you witnesses 2 , for God 
loves not the unjust ; [135] and that God may assay 
those who believe, and blot out the misbelievers. 
Do ye think that ye can enter Paradise and God not 
know those of you who have fought well, or know 
the patient ? Why, ye longed for death before ye 
met it ! Now ye have looked upon it and ye halt ! 

Mohammed is but an apostle; apostles have 
passed away before his time ; what if he die or 
is killed, will ye retreat upon your heels? He 
who retreats upon his heels does no harm to God 
at all ; but God will recompense the thankful. It is 
not for any soul to die, save by God's permission 
written down for an appointed time ; but he who 
wishes for the reward of this world we will give him 
of it, and he who wishes for the reward of the future 
we will give him of it, and we will recompense the 

[140] How many prophets have myriads fought 
against! yet they did not give way at what befel 
them in God's way I Nor were they weak, nor did 
they demean themselves : — God loves the patient. 
And their word was only to say, ' Lord, forgive us 

1 Or 'battles.' * Or 'martyrs.' 

Digitized by 


64 THE OUR AN. Ill, 141-148. 

our sins and our extravagance in our affairs ; and 
make firm our footing, and help us against the mis- 
believing folk I ' and God gave them the reward of 
this world, and good reward for the future too, for 
God doth love the kind. 

O ye who believe ! if ye obey those who mis- 
believe, they will turn you back upon your heels, 
and ye will retreat the losers. Nay, God is your 
Lord, He is the best of helpers. We will throw 
dread into the hearts of those who misbelieve, for 
that they associate that with God which He has sent 
down no power for ; but their resort is fire, and evil 
is the resort of the unjust. 

[145] God has truly kept His promise, when ye 
knocked them senseless by His permission, until ye 
showed cowardice, and wrangled, and rebelled, after 
he had shown you what ye loved. Amongst you 
are those who love this world, and amongst you are 
those who love the next. Then He turned you 
away from them to try you ; but He has pardoned 
you, for God is Lord of grace unto believers, — when 
ye went up and looked not round upon any one, 
although the Apostle was calling you from your rear. 
Therefore did God reward you with trouble on 
trouble that ye should not grieve after what ye had 
missed 1 , nor for what befel you, for God is well 
aware of what ye do. Then He sent down upon you 
after trouble safety, — drowsiness creeping over one 
company of you, and one company of you getting 
anxious about themselves, suspecting about God 
other than the truth, with the suspicion of the 
ignorant 2 , and saying, ' Have we any chance in 

1 Plunder. 

* This word is always used for the pagan Arabs. 

Digitized by 



the affair ? ' Say, ' Verily, the affair is God's.' 
They conceal in themselves what they will not 
show to thee, and say, ' If we had any chance in 
the affair we should not be killed here.' Say, ' If ye 
were in your houses, surely those against whom 
slaughter was written down, would have gone forth 
to fight even to where they are lying now ; that God 
may try what is in your, breasts and assay what is in 
your hearts, for God doth know the nature of men's 

Verily, those of you who turned your backs on 
that day when the two armies met, it was but Satan 
who made them slip for something they had earned. 
But God has now pardoned them ; verily, God is 
forgiving and clement 

[150] O ye who believe! be not like those who 
misbelieve, and say unto their brethren when they 
knock about in the earth, or are upon a raid, 'Had 
they but been at home, they had not died and had 
not been killed.' It was that God might make a 
sighing in their hearts, for God gives life and death ; 
and God on what ye do doth look. 

And if, indeed, ye be killed in God's way or die, 
surely forgiveness from God and mercy is better 
than what ye gather ; and if ye die or be killed it is 
to God ye shall be assembled. It was by a sort of 
mercy from God thou didst deal gently with them, 
for hadst thou been rough and rude of heart they 
had dispersed from around thee. But pardon them, 
and ask forgiveness for them, and take counsel with 
them in the affair. As for what thou hast resolved, 
rely upon God ; verily, God loves those who do 
rely. If God help you, there is none can over- 
come you ; but if He leave you in the lurch, who is 

[6] F 

Digitized by 


66 THE QUR'AN. Ill, 154.16a. 

there can help you after Him ? Upon God then let 
believers rely. 

[155] It is not for the prophet to cheat; and he 
who cheats shall bring what he has cheated on the 
resurrection day. Then shall each soul be paid 
what it has earned, and they shall not be wronged. 
Is he who follows the pleasure of God, like him who 
has drawn on himself anger from God, whose resort 
is hell ? An evil journey shall it be ! These are 
degrees with God, and God sees what ye do. 

God was surely very gracious to the believers, 
when He sent amongst them an apostle from them- 
selves, to recite to them His signs, and purify them, 
and teach them the Book and wisdom, although they 
surely were before his time in manifest error. Or 
when an accident befals you, and ye have fallen 
on twice as much, ye say, 'How is this 1 ?' Say, 'It is 
from yourselves. Verily, God is mighty over all.' 

[160] And what befel you the day when the two 
armies met, it was by God's permission ; that He 
might know the believers, and might know those 
who behaved hypocritically ; for it was said to them, 
' Come, fight in God's way,' or ' repel (the foe);' they 
said, ' If we knew how to fight we would surely 
follow you.' They were that day far nigher unto 
misbelief than they were to faith. They say with 
their mouths what is not in their hearts, but God 
doth know best what they hid. Those who said of 
their brethren, whilst they themselves stayed at 
home, ' Had they obeyed us they would not have 

1 He means that the loss at Ohod was more than counter- 
balanced by their previous success at Bedr. For an account of 
these engagements see Introduction. 

Digitized by 


II, 162-174. THE CHAPTER OF IMrAn's FAMILY. 67 

been killed.' Say, ' Ward off from yourselves death, 
if ye do speak the truth.' 

Count not those who are killed in the way of God 
as dead, but living with their Lord ; — provided for, 
rejoicing in what God has brought them of His grace, 
and being glad for those who have not reached them 
yet, — those left behind them ; there is no fear for 
them, and they shall not be grieved; [165] glad at 
favour from God and grace, and that God wasteth 
not the hire of the believers. Whoso answered to 
the call of God and of His prophet after sorrow had 
befallen them, for those, if they do good and fear 
God, is a mighty hire. To whom when men said, 
'Verily, men have gathered round you, fear then 
them,' it only increased their faith, and they said, 
'God is enough for us, a good guardian is He.' 
Then they retired in favour from God and grace; 
no evil touched them ; they followed the pleasure of 
God, and God is Lord of mighty grace. 

It is only that Satan who frightens his friends. 
Do not ye fear them, but fear me, if ye be believers. 

[170] Let them not grieve thee who vie with each 
other in misbelief. Verily, they cannot hurt God 
at all. God wills not to make for them a portion 
in the future life ; but for them is mighty woe. 

Verily, those who purchase misbelief for faith, 
they do not hurt God at all, and for them is grievous 

Let not those who misbelieve reckon that our 
letting them range is good for themselves. We only 
let them have their range that they may increase in 
sin. And for them is shameful woe. God would not 
leave believers in the state which ye are in, until He 
discerns the vile from the good. And God would not 

F 2 

Digitized by 


68 the qur'An. 111,174-180. 

inform you of the unseen, but God chooses of His 
apostles whom He pleases. Wherefore believe ye 
in God and His Apostle ; and if ye believe and fear, 
for you is mighty hire. 

[175] And let not those who are niggard of what 
God has given them of His grace, count that it 
is best for them ; — nay, it is worse for them. What 
they have been niggard of shall be a collar round 
their necks upon the resurrection day. And God's 
is the heritage of the heavens and the earth, and 
God of what ye do is well aware. 

God heard the speech of those who said, ' Verily, 
God is poor * and we are rich.' We will write down 
what they said, and how they killed the prophets 
undeservedly, and say, ' Taste ye the torment of 
burning ;' this shall they suffer for what their hands 
have sent on before ; — for, verily, God is no unjust 
one to His servants, — who say, * Verily, God has 
covenanted with us that we should not believe in 
an apostle until he gives us a sacrifice which fire 
devours V 

[180] Say, 'There have come to you apostles be- 
fore me with manifest signs, and with what ye talk 

1 Mohammed, in his message to the Jewish tribe of Kainuka, 
used the words of the Qur'an, and bade them 'lend to God at 
good interest,' when Phineas Ibn Azura mockingly said, ' Surely, 
God is poor since they try to borrow for him!' Whereupon 
Abu Bekr, who had brought the letter, smote him on the face and 
said, that, but for the truce between them, he would have smitten 
off his head. On complaint being made of this conduct to Mo- 
hammed the above verse was revealed. 

8 The commentators say that the Jewish Rabbis demanded of 
Mohammed this proof of his prophetic mission, having regard, 
probably, to the contest between Elijah and the priests of Baal on 
Mount Carmel. 

Digitized by 


Ill, 180-188. THE CHAPTER OF IMrAn's FAMILY. 69 

about ; why then did ye kill them, if ye speak 
the truth?' 

And if they did call thee a liar, apostles before 
thee have been called liars too, who came with 
manifest signs, and with scriptures, and with the 
illuminating Book* 

Every soul must taste of death ; and ye shall 
only be paid your hire upon the resurrection day. 
But he who is forced away from the fire and brought 
into Paradise is indeed happy; but the life of this 
world is but a possession of deceit. Ye shall surely 
be tried in your wealth, and in your persons, and ye 
shall surely hear from those who have had the Book 
brought them before you, and from those who asso- 
ciate others with God, much harm. But if ye be 
patient and fear, — verily, that is one of the deter- 
mined affairs. 

When God took the compact from those who 
have had the Book brought them that 'Ye shall of a 
surety manifest it unto men, and not hide it,' they 
cast it behind their backs, and bought therewith a 
little price, — but evil is what they buy. 

[185] Count not that those who rejoice in what 
they have produced, and love to be praised for what 
they have not done, — think not that they are in 
safety from woe, — for them is grievous woe ! 

God's is the kingdom of the heavens and the 
earth, and God is mighty over all ! 

Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the 
earth, and in the succession of night and day, 
are signs to those possessed of minds ; who re- 
member God standing and sitting or lying on 
their sides, and reflect on the creation of the 
heavens and the earth. ' O Lord ! thou hast not 

Digitized by 


7<3 THE QUR AN. Ill, 188-198. 

created this in vain. We celebrate Thy praise ; then 
keep us from the torment of the fire ! Lord ! verily, 
whomsoever Thou hast made to enter the fire, Thou 
hast disgraced him ; and the unjust shall have none 
to help them. 

[190] 'Lord! verily, we heard a crier calling to the 
faith, " Believe in your Lord," and we did believe. 
Lord ! forgive us our sins and cover our offences, 
and let us die with the righteous. Lord ! and bring 
us what Thou hast promised us by Thy apostles, 
and disgrace us not upon the resurrection day; for, 
verily, Thou dost not break Thy promises ! ' And 
the Lord shall answer them, ' I waste not the works 
of a worker amongst you, be it male or female, — one 
of you is from the other \ 

' Those who fled, and were turned out of their 
houses, and were harmed in my way, and who fought 
and were killed, I will cover their offences, and 
I will make them enter into gardens beneath which 
rivers flow.' [195] A reward from God; for God, 
with Him are the best of rewards. 

Let it not deceive you that those who misbelieve 
go to and fro in the earth. It is a slight possession, 
and then their resort is Hell ; an evil couch shall it be. 
But those who fear their Lord, for them are gardens 
beneath which rivers flow, and they shall dwell 
therein for aye, — an entertainment from God ; and 
that which is with God is best for the righteous. 

Verily, of the people of the Book are some who 
do believe in God, and in what has been revealed to 

1 This passage was revealed in answer to the objection of Umm 
Salmi, one of Mohammed's wives, when the women who fled with 
him were not mentioned as well as the men in the promised re- 
ward of the future life. ' 

Digitized by 


Ill, 198-IV, 3. THE CHAPTER OF WOMEN. 7 1 

you, and what was revealed to them, humbling 
themselves before God, and selling not the signs 
of God for a little price. These shall have their 
reward with their Lord ; verily, God is quick at 
reckoning up. 

[200] O ye who believe! be patient and vie in 
being patient 1 , and be on the alert, and fear God, 
that haply ye may prosper. 

The Chapter of Women. 

(IV. Medlnah.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

O ye folk ! fear your Lord, who created you from 
one soul, and created therefrom its mate, and diffused 
from them twain many men and women. And fear 
God, in whose name ye beg of one another, and the 
wombs ; verily, God over you doth watch 2 . 

And give unto the orphans their property, and 
give them not the vile in exchange for the good, 
and devour not their property to your own property; 
verily, that were a great sin. But if ye fear that ye 
cannot do justice between orphans, then marry what 
seems good to you of women, by twos, or threes, 
or fours ; and if ye fear that ye cannot be equitable, 
then only one, or what your right hands possess*. 
That keeps you nearer to not being partial. 

And give women their dowries freely; and if they 

1 That is, with their enemies. 

1 That is, fear God, and pay respect to your mothers and 
* That is, female slaves. 

Digitized by 


72 THE QURAN. IV, 3-11. 

are good enough to remit any of it of themselves, 
then devour it with good digestion and appetite 1 . 

But do not give up to fools 2 their property which 
God has made you to stand by; but maintain them 
from it, and clothe them, and speak to them with a 
reasonable speech. [5] Prove orphans until they 
reach a marriageable age, and if ye perceive in them 
right management, then hand over to them their 
property, and do not devour it extravagantly in 
anticipation of their growing up. And he who is 
rich, let him abstain ; but he who is poor, let 
him devour in reason, and when ye hand over 
to them their property, then take witnesses against 
them ; but God sufficeth for taking account. 

Men should have a portion of what their parents 
and kindred leave, and women should have a portion 
of what their parents and kindred leave, whether it 
be little or much, a determined portion. And when 
the next of kin and the orphans and the poor 
are present at the division, then maintain them 
out of it, and speak to them a reasonable speech. 
[to] And let these fear lest they leave behind them 
a weak seed, for whom they would be afraid; and 
let them fear God, and speak a straightforward 
speech. Verily, those who devour the property 
of orphans unjustly, only devour into their bellies 
fire, and they shall broil in flames. 

1 The Arabic idiom for the enjoyment of property being to eat 
it up, Mohammed here gives the men permission to enjoy such por- 
tion of their wives' dowries as the latter might be pleased to remit, 
and adds, with a sort of humour, the colloquial expression used by 
the Arabs when any one is eating. The sentence might be para- 
phrased ' and if they are kind enough to remit any portion of it of 
their own accord, then enjoy it, and much good may it do you 1 ' 

* To idiots or persons of weak intellect. 

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God instructs you concerning your children ; for a 
male the like of the portion of two females, and if 
there be women above two, then let them have two- 
thirds of what (the deceased) leaves ; and if there be 
but one, then let her have a half; and as to the 
parents, to each of them a sixth of what he leaves, if 
he has a son ; but if he have no son, and his parents 
inherit, then let his mother have a third, and if he 
have brethren, let his mother have a sixth after pay- 
ment of the bequest he bequeaths and of his debt. 

Your parents or your children, ye know not which 
of them is nearest to you in usefulness : — an or- 
dinance this from God ; verily, God is knowing 
and wise ! And ye shall have half of what your 
wives leave, if they have no son ; but if they have a 
son, then ye shall have a fourth of what they leave, 
after payment of the bequests they bequeath or of 
their debts. And they shall have a fourth of what 
ye leave, if ye have no son ; but if ye have a son, 
then let them have an eighth of what ye leave, after 
payment of the bequest ye bequeath and of your 

[15] And if the man's or the woman's (property) 
be inherited by a kinsman who is neither parent nor. 
child \ and he have a brother or sister, then let each 
of these two have a sixth ; but if they are more than 
that, let them share in a third after payment of the 
bequest he bequeaths and of his debts, without 
prejudice 2 , — an ordinance this from God, and God 
is knowing and clement ! 

1 The word in the original is that always used to express this 

* I. e. to the heirs. 

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74 THE QUR AN. IV, 17-23. 

These be God's bounds, and whoso obeys God 
and the Apostle He will make him enter into gar- 
dens beneath which rivers flow, and they shall dwell 
therein for aye ; — that is the mighty happiness. 

But whoso rebels against God and His Apostle, 
and transgresses His bounds, He will make him 
enter into fire, and dwell therein for aye ; and for 
him is shameful woe. 

Against those of your women who commit 
adultery, call witnesses four in number from among 
yourselves ; and if these bear witness, then keep the 
women in houses 1 until death release them, or God 
shall make for them a way. 

[20] And if two of you commit it, then hurt 
them both 2 ; but if they turn again and amend, 
leave them alone, verily, God is easily turned, com- 

God is only bound to turn again towards those 
who do evil through ignorance and then turn again. 
Surely, these will God turn again to, for God is 
knowing, wise. His turning again is not for those 
who do evil, until, when death comes before one of 
them, he says, 'Now I turn again ;' nor "yet for those 
who die in misbelief. For such as these have we 
prepared a grievous woe. 

O ye who believe! it is not lawful for you to 
inherit women's estates against their will ; nor to 

1 Women taken in adultery or fornication were at the beginning 
of Islam literally immured. 

8 The commentators are not agreed as to the nature of the 
offence here referred to. The text, however, speaks of two of the 
masculine gender. The punishment to be inflicted is also the 
subject of dispute, the original merely saying, as I have translated 
it, ' hurt them.' ' 

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hinder them 1 , that ye may go off with part of what 
ye brought them, unless they commit fornication 
manifestly ; but associate with them in reason, for if 
ye are averse from them, it may be that ye are averse 
from something wherein God has put much good 
for you. 

But if ye wish to exchange one wife for another, 
and have given one of them a talent 2 , then take not 
from it anything. What! would you take it for 
a calumny and a manifest crime 3 ? 

[25] How can ye take it when one of you has 
gone in unto the other, and they have taken from 
you a rigid compact ? 

And do not marry women your fathers married, — 
except bygones, — for it is abominable and hateful, 
and an evil way; unlawful for you are your mothers, 
and your daughters, and your sisters, and your 
paternal aunts and maternal aunts, and your brother's 
daughters, and your sisters daughters, and your 
foster mothers, and your foster sisters, and your 
wives' mothers, 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, then 
it is no crime in you ; and the lawful spouses of your 
sons from your own loins, and that ye form a con- 
nexion between two sisters, — except bygones, — 
verily, God is forgiving, merciful ; and married 
women, save such as your right hands possess, — 
God's Book against you! — but lawful for you is 

1 That is, from marrying again. 

* That is, a large dowry. 

8 This question is ironical, and intended as a warning against 
bringing a false accusation of infidelity against a wife for the sake 
of keeping her dowry when divorced. 

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76 THE QURAN. IV, 28-35. 

all besides this, for you to seek them with your* 
wealth, marrying them and not fornicating ; but 
such of them as ye have enjoyed, give them their 
hire as a lawful due ; for there is no crime in you 
about what ye agree between you after such lawful 
due, verily, God is knowing and wise. 

But whosoever of you cannot go the length of 
marrying marriageable women who believe, then 
take of what your right hands possess, of your 
maidens who believe; — though God knows best 
about your faith. Ye come one from the other ; 
then marry them with the permission of their 
people, and give them their hire in reason, they 
being chaste and not fornicating, and not receivers 
of paramours. 

[30] But when they are married, if they commit 
fornication, then inflict upon them half the penalty 
for married women ; that is for whomsoever of you 
fears wrong ; but that ye should have patience is 
better for you, and God is forgiving and merciful. 

God wishes to explain to you and to guide you 
into the ordinances of those who were before you, 
and to turn towards you, for God is knowing, wise. 
God wishes to turn towards you, but those who 
follow their lusts wish that ye should swerve with a 
mighty swerving! God wishes to make it light 
for you, for man was created weak. 

O ye who believe ! devour not your property 
amongst yourselves vainly, unless it be a mer- 
chandise by mutual consent. And do not kill your- 
selves ; verily, God is compassionate unto you. 

But whoso does that maliciously and unjustly, we 
will broil him with fire ; for that is easy with God. 

[35] ^ y e avoid great sins from which ye are for- 

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bidden, we will cover your offences and make you 
enter with a noble entrance. 

And do not covet that by which God has preferred 
one of you over another. The men shall have a 
portion of what they earn, and the women a portion 
of what they earn ; ask God for His grace, verily, 
God knows all. 

To every one have we appointed kinsfolk as heirs 
of what parents and relatives and those with whom 
ye have joined right hands leave; so give them their 
portion, for, verily, God is over all a witness. 

Men stand superior to women in that God hath 
preferred some of them over others, and in that they 
expend of their wealth : and the virtuous women, 
devoted, careful (in their husbands') absence, as God 
has cared for them. But those whose perverseness 
ye fear, admonish them and remove them into bed- 
chambers and beat them ; but if they submit to you, 
then do not seek a way against them ; verily, God is 
high and great. 

And if ye fear a breach between the two 1 , then 
send a judge from his people and a judge from her 
people. If they wish for reconciliation, God will 
arrange between them ; verily, God is knowing and 

[40] And serve God, and do not associate aught 
with Him ; and to your parents show kindness, and 
to kindred, and orphans, and the poor, and the 
neighbour who is akin, and the neighbour who is a 
stranger, and the companion who is strange, and the 
son of the road, and what your right hands possess 2 , 
verily, God loves not him .who is proud and boastful ; 

1 Man and wife. 8 I. e. slaves. 

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78 THE QUR'AN. IV, 41-47. 

who are miserly and bid men be miserly too, and who 
hide what God has given them of His grace; — 
but we have prepared for the misbelievers shame- 
ful woe. 

And those who expend their wealth in alms 
for appearance sake before men, and who believe not 
in God nor in the last day; — but whosoever has 
Satan for his mate, an evil mate has he. 

What harm would it do them if they believed 
in God and in the last day, and expended in alms 
of what God has provided them with ? but God 
knows about them. 

Verily, God would not wrong by the weight of an 
atom; and if it's 1 a good work, He will double it 
and bring from Himself a mighty hire. 

[45] How then when we bring from every nation 
a witness, and bring thee as a witness against these 
on the day when those who misbelieve and rebel 
against the Apostle would fain that the earth were 
levelled with them ? but they cannot hide the news 
from God. 

O ye who believe ! approach not prayer while ye 
are drunk, until ye well know what ye say; nor yet 
while polluted, — unless ye be passing by the way, — 
until ye have washed yourselves. But if ye are sick, 
or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy, 
or if ye have touched a woman, and ye cannot find 
water, then use good surface sand and wipe your 
faces and your hands therewith ; verily, God pardons 
and forgives. 

Do ye not see those who have been given a 
portion of the Book ? they buy error, and they 

1 The abbreviated form taku (for takun) is used in the Arabic. 

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wish that ye may err from the way ! But God knows 
best who your enemies are, and God suffices as a 
patron, and sufficient is God as a help. 

And those who are Jews, and those who pervert 
the words from their places, and say, ' We hear but 
we rebel, and do thou listen without hearing,' and 
(who say) 'r&'hin&V distorting it with their tongues 
and taunting about religion. But had they said, 
' We hear and we obey, so listen and look upon us,' 
it would have been better for them and more up- 
right ; — but may God curse them in their misbelief, 
for they will not believe except a few. 

[50] O ye who have been given the Book ! believe 
in what we have revealed, confirming what ye had 
before ; ere we deface your faces and turn them into 
hinder parts, or curse you as we cursed the fellows 
of the Sabbath 2 when God's command was done. 

Verily, God pardons not associating aught with 
Him, but He pardons anything short of that to 
whomsoever He pleases ; but he who associates 
aught with God, he hath devised a mighty sin. 

Do ye not see those who purify themselves? nay, 
God purifies whom He will, and they shall not be 
wronged a straw s . 

Behold, how they devise against God a lie, and 
that is manifest sin enough. 

Do ye not see those to whom a portion of the 
Book has been given ? They believe in Gibt* and 
Tkg Aut 4 , and they say of those who misbelieve, 

1 See note 3, p. 14. 
' See Chapter II, verse 61. 

' The word in the original means a fibre in the cleft of a date 
stone, or the rush wick of a candle. 
* Idols of the ancient Arabs ; see p. 40. 

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8o THE QUR'AN. IV, 54-63. 

'These are better guided in the way than those who be- 
lieve.' [55] These are those whom God has cursed, 
and whom God has cursed no helper shall he find. 

Shall they have a portion of the kingdom ? Why 
even then they would not give to men a jot l . 

Do they envy man for what God has given of His 
grace ? We have given to Abraham's people the 
Book and wisdom, and we have given them a 
mighty kingdom. And of them are some who 
believe therein, and of them are some who turn 
from it, but Hell is flaming enough for them. 

Verily, those who disbelieve in our signs, we will 
broil them with fire ; whenever their skins are well 
done, then we wifl change them for other skins, that 
they may taste the torment. Verily, God is glorious 
and wise. 

[60] But those who believe and do aright, we will 
make them enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, 
and they shall dwell therein for ever and aye, for 
them therein are pure wives, and we will make them 
enter into a shady shade. Verily, God bids you pay 
your trusts to their owners, and when ye judge 
between men to judge with justice. Verily, God, 
excellent is what He admonishes you with ; verily, 
God both hears and sees. 

O ye who believe 1 obey God, and obey the 
Apostle and those in authority amongst you ; and 
if ye quarrel about anything, refer to God and the 
Apostle, if ye believe in God and the last day; that is 
better and fairer as a settlement. 

Do ye not see those who pretend that they believe 
in what has been revealed to them, and what was 

1 Literally, a dent or cleft in a date stone. 

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revealed before thee ; they wish to refer their judg- 
ment to T&ghhx. 1 , but they are bidden to disbelieve 
therein, and Satan wishes to lead them into a remote 
error. And when it is said to them, ' Come round to 
what God has sent down and unto the Apostle,' thou 
seest the hypocrites turning from thee, turning away. 

[65] How then when there befalls them a mis- 
chance through what their hands have sent on before ? 
then will they come to you, and swear by God, ' We 
meant naught but good and concord.' These, God 
knows what is in their hearts. Turn thou away from 
them and admonish them, and speak to them into 
their souls with a searching word. 

We have never sent an apostle save that he 
should be obeyed by the permission of God ; and 
if they, when they have wronged themselves, come to 
thee and ask pardon of God, and the Apostle asks 
pardon for them, then they will find God easy to 
be turned, compassionate. 

But no ! by thy Lord ! they will not believe, until 
they have made thee judge of what they differ 
on ; then they will not find in themselves aught to 
hinder what thou hast decreed, and they will submit 
with submission. But had we prescribed for them, 
' Kill yourselves, or go ye forth out of your houses,' 
they would not have done it, save only a few of 
them ; but had they done what they are admonished, 
then it would have been better for them, and a more 
firm assurance. 

[70] And then we would surely have brought 
them from ourselves a mighty hire, and would have 
guided them into a right path. 

Whoso obeys God and the Apostle, these are 

1 See note 2, p. 40. 
[6] G 

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82 THE QURAN. IV, 71-79. 

with those God has been pleased with, of prophets 
and confessors and martyrs and the righteous ; — a 
fair company are they. 

That is grace from God, and God knows well 

O ye who believe ! take your precautions and 
sally in detachments or altogether. Verily, there is 
of you who tarries behind, and, if a mischance befalls 
you, says, ' God has been gracious to me, since I 
am not with them a martyr.' 

[75] But if there befalls you grace from God, he 
would say — as though there were no friendship 
between you and him — ' O would that I had been 
with thee to attain this mighty happiness ! ' Let those 
then fight in God's way who sell this life of the 
world for the next ; and whoso fights in God's way, 
then, be he killed or be he victorious, we will give 
him a mighty hire. 

What ails you that ye do not fight in God's way, 
and for the weak men and women and children, who 
say, ' Lord, bring us out of this town 1 of oppressive 
folk, and make for us from Thee a patron, and make 
for us from Thee a help ?' 

Those who believe fight in the way of God ; and 
those who disbelieve fight in the way of 7a^ut ; 
fight ye then against the friends of Satan, verily, 
Satan's tricks are weak. 

Do ye not see those to whom it is said, ' Restrain 
your hands, and be steadfast in prayer and give alms ;' 
and when it is prescribed for them to fight then a 
band of them fear men, as though it were the fear 
of God or a still stronger fear, and they say, ' O our 
Lord I why hast thou prescribed for us to fight, 

. * Mecca. 

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couldst thou not let us abide till our near appointed 
time ?' Say, ' The enjoyment of this world is but 
slight, and the next is better for him who fears ;' — 
but they shall not be wronged a straw. 

[80] Wheresoe'er ye be death will overtake you, 
though ye were in lofty towers. And if a good 
thing befall them, they say, ' This is from God,' but 
if a bad thing, they say, ' This is from thee.' Say, 
* It is all from God.' What ails these people ? they 
can hardly understand a tale. 

What befalls thee of good it is from God ; and 
what befalls thee of bad it is from thyself. We 
have sent thee to mankind as an apostle, and God 
sufficeth for a witness. 

Whoso obeys the prophet he has obeyed God ; 
and he who turns back — we have not sent thee 
to watch over them. 

They say, 'Obedience!' but when they sally forth 
from you, a company of them brood by night over 
something else than that which thou hast said ; but 
God writes down that over which they brood. Turn 
then from them and rely on God, for God sufficeth 
for a guardian. Do they not meditate on the Qur'&n ? 
if it were from other than God they would find in it 
many a discrepancy. 

[85] And when there comes to them a matter of 
security or fear they publish it ; but if they were to 
report it to the Apostle and to those in authority 
amongst them, then those of them who would elicit 
it from them would know it; but were it not for 
God's grace upon you and His mercy ye had fol- 
lowed Satan, save a few. 

Fight, then, in the way of God ; impose not aught 
on any but thyself, and urge on the believers ; it 

g 2 

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84 THE QUR'AN. IV, 86-93. 

may be that God will restrain the violence of those 
who misbelieve, for God is more violent and more 
severe to punish. 

Whoso intercedes with a good intercession shall 
have a portion therefrom ; but he who intercedes 
with a bad intercession shall have the like thereof, 
for God keeps watch over all things. 

And when ye are saluted with a salutation, salute 
with a better than it, or return it ; — verily, God of 
all things takes account. 

God, there is no God but He! He will surely 
assemble you on the resurrection day, there is no 
doubt therein; who is truer than God in his dis- 
course ? 

[90] Why are ye two parties about the hypocrites, 
when God hath overturned them for what they 
earned ? Do ye wish to guide those whom God 
hath led astray ? Whoso God hath led astray ye 
shall not surely find for him a path. They would 
fain that ye misbelieve as they misbelieve, that ye 
might be alike ; take ye not patrons from among 
them until they too flee in God's way ; but if they 
turn their backs, then seize them and kill them 
wheresoever ye find them, and take from them nei- 
ther patron nor help, — save those who reach a 
people betwixt whom and you is an alliance — or 
who come to you while their bosoms prevent them 
from fighting you or fighting their own people. But 
had God pleased He would have given you domi- 
nion over them, and they would surely have fought 
you. But if they retire from you and do not fight 
you, and offer you peace, — then God hath given you 
no way against them. 

Ye will find others who seek for quarter from 

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IV, 93-9 6 - THE CHAPTER OF WOMEN. 85 

you, and quarter from their own people ; whenever 
they return to sedition they shall be overturned 
therein : but if they retire not from you, nor offer 
you peace, nor restrain their hands, then seize them 
and kill them wheresoever ye find them; — over 
these we have made for you manifest power. 

It is not for a believer to kill a believer save by 
mistake ; and whosoever kills a believer by mistake 
then let him free a believing neck 1 ; and the blood- 
money must be paid to his people save what they 
shall remit as alms. But if he be from a tribe 
hostile to you and yet a believer, then let him free 
a believing neck. And if it be a tribe betwixt 
whom and you there is an alliance, then let the 
blood-money be paid to his friends, and let him 
free a believing neck ; but he who cannot find the 
means, then let him fast for two consecutive months 
— a penance this from God, for God is knowing, 

[95] And whoso kills a believer purposely, his 
reward is hell, to dwell therein for aye; and God 
will be wrath with him, and curse him, and prepare 
for him a mighty woe. 

O ye who believe ! when ye are knocking about 
in the way of God be discerning, and do not say to 
him who offers you a salutation, ' Thou art no be- 
liever,' craving after the chances of this world's 
life 2 , for with God are many spoils ! So were ye 
aforetime, but God was gracious to you, be ye 
then discerning ; verily, God of what ye do is well 

1 Captive. 

* Because a believer might not be attacked and plundered as 
an infidel might be. 

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86 THE QUR'AN. IV, 97.102. 

Not alike are those of the believers who sit at 
home without harm, and those who are strenuous 
in God's way with their wealth and their persons. 
God hath preferred those who are strenuous with 
their wealth and their persons to those who sit 
still, by many degrees, and to each hath God pro- 
mised good, but God hath preferred the strenuous 
for a mighty hire over those who sit still, — degrees 
from him, and pardon and mercy, for God is for- 
giving and merciful. 

Verily, the angels when they took the souls of 
those who had wronged themselves \ said, ' What 
state were ye in ?' they say, ' We were but weak in 
the earth;' they said, 'Was not God's earth wide 
enough for you to flee away therein ?' These are 
those whose resort is hell, and a bad journey shall 
it be! 

[ioo] Save for the weak men, and women, and 
children, who could not compass any stratagem, 
and were not guided to a way; these it may be 
God will pardon, for God both pardons and for- 

Whosoever flees in the way of God shall find in 
the earth many a spacious refuge ; and he who 
goes forth from his house, fleeing unto God and 
His prophet, and then death catches him up, — his 
hire devolves on God, and God is forgiving and 

And when ye knock about in the earth, it is no 
crime to you that ye come short in prayer, if ye 
fear that those who disbelieve will set upon you ; 
verily, the misbelievers are your obvious foes. 

1 Alluding to some half-hearted Muslims, slain at Bedr. 

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IV, 103-108. THE CHAPTER OF WOMEN. 87 

When thou art amongst them, and standest up 
to pray with them, then let a party of them stand 
up with thee, and let them take their arms ; and 
when they adore, let them go behind you, and let 
another party who have not yet prayed come for- 
ward and pray with thee ; and let them take their 
precautions and their arms. 

Fain would those who misbelieve that ye were 
careless of your arms and your baggage, that they 
might turn upon you with a single turning. And it 
is no crime to you if ye be annoyed with rain or be 
sick, that ye lay down your arms ; but take your 
precautions, — verily, God has prepared for those 
who misbelieve a shameful woe. 

But when ye have fulfilled your prayer, remember 
God standing and sitting and lying on your sides; 
and when ye are in safety then be steadfast in 
prayer ; verily, prayer is for the believers prescribed 
and timed ! 

[105] And do not give way in pursuit of the 
people ; if ye suffer they shall surely suffer too, 
even as ye suffer ; and ye hope from God, but they 
hope not ! and God is knowing, wise. 

Verily, we have revealed to thee the Book in 
truth that thou mayest judge between men of what 
God has shown thee ; so be not with the treacherous 
a disputant ; but ask God's pardon : verily, God is 
forgiving, merciful. 

And wrangle not for those who defraud them- 
selves ; for God loves not him who is a fraudulent 
sinner. They hide themselves from men ; but they 
cannot hide themselves from God, for He is with 
them while they brood at night over speeches 

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88 THE QUR'AN. IV, 108-116. 

that please Him not; — but God doth compass what 
they do ! 

Here are ye, wrangling for them about this world's 
life ; — but who shall wrangle with God for them on 
the day of judgment, or who shall be a guardian 
over them ? 

[no] Yet whoso does evil and wrongs himself, 
and then asks pardon of God, shall find God for- 
giving and merciful ; and whoso commits a crime, he 
only commits it against himself, for God is knowing, 

And whoso commits a fault or a sin and throws it 
on the innocent, he hath to bear a calumny and a 
manifest sin. 

Were it not for God's grace upon thee, and His 
mercy, a party of them would have tried to lead 
thee astray; but they only lead themselves astray; 
they shall not hurt you in aught: for God hath 
sent down upon thee the Book and the wisdom, 
and taught thee what thou didst not know, for God's 
grace was mighty on thee. 

There is no good in most of what they talk in 
private ; save in his who bids almsgiving, or kind- 
ness, or reconciliation between men ; and whoso does 
this, craving the good pleasure of God, we will give 
to him a mighty hire. 

[115] But he who severs himself from the prophet 
after that we have made manifest to him the 
guidance, and follows other than the way of the 
believers, we will turn our backs on him as he 
hath turned his back ; and we will make him reach 
hell, and a bad journey shall it be. 

Verily, God forgives not associating aught with 
Him, but He pardons anything short of that, to 

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IV, 116-124- THE CHAPTER OF WOMEN. 89 

whomsoever He will ; but whoso associates aught 
with God, he hath erred a wide error. 

Verily, they call not beside Him on aught save 
females; and they do not call on aught save a 
rebellious devil. 

God curse him ! for he said, ' I will take from thy 
servants a portion due to me ; and I will lead 
them astray ; and I will stir up vain desires within 
them ; and I will order them and they shall surely 
crop the ears of cattle ; and I will order them and 
they shall surely alter God's creation 1 ;' but he who 
takes the devil for his patron instead of God, he 
loses with a manifest loss. He promises them, and 
stirs up vain desires within them ; but the devil 
promises only to deceive. 

[120] These, their resort is hell; they shall not 
find an escape therefrom ! But those who believe, 
and do what is right, we will make them enter into 
gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein 
for aye, — God's promise in truth ; and who is truer 
than God in speech ? Not for your vain desires, nor 
the vain desires of the people of the Book. He who 
doeth evil shall be recompensed therewith, and shall 
not find for him beside God a patron, or a help. But 
he who doeth good works, — be it male or female, — 
and believes, they shall enter into Paradise, and they 
shall not be wronged a jot 

Who has a better religion than he who resigns his 
face to God, and does good, and follows the faith of 

1 The pagan Arabs used to cut off the ears of cattle, and mu- 
tilate their slaves by branding, and filing their teeth, partly that 
they might recognise them and partly as a superstitious ceremony. 
See p. 112, note 1. 

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90 THE QUR AN. IV, 124-132. 

Abraham, as a ' H anlf ? — for God took Abraham as a 

[125] And God's is what is in the heavens and in 
the earth, and God encompasses all things ! 

They will ask thee a decision about women ; say, 
' God decides for you about them, and that which is 
rehearsed to you in the Book ; about orphan women 
to whom ye do not give what is prescribed for them, 
and whom ye are averse from marrying; and about 
weak children ; and that ye stand fairly by orphans ; — 
and what ye do of good, verily, that God knows.' 

And if a woman fears from her husband perverse- 
ness or aversion, it is no crime in them both that 
they should be reconciled to each other, for recon- 
ciliation is best. For souls are prone to avarice ; 
but if ye act kindly and fear God, of what ye do He 
is aware. 

Ye are not able, it may be, to act equitably to your 
wives, even though ye covet it ; do not however be 
quite partial, and leave one as it were in suspense ; 
but if ye be reconciled and fear, then God is for- 
giving and merciful ; but if they separate, God can 
make both independent out of His abundance ; for 
God is abundant, wise. 

[1 30] God's is what is in the heavens and what is 
in the earth ! We have ordained to those who have 
been given the Book before you, and to you too 
that ye fear God ; — but if ye misbelieve, verily, God's 
is what is in the heavens and what is in the earth, 
and God is rich and to be praised ! 

God's is what is in the heavens and what is in the 
earth ! and God sufficeth for a guardian ! 

If He will He can make ye pass away, O men ! 
and can bring others; — God is able to do all that. 

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IV, 133-139- THE CHAPTER OF WOMEN. Q. 1 

He who wishes for a reward in this world, — with 
God is the reward of this world and of the next, and 
God both hears and sees. 

O ye who believe! be ye steadfast in justice, 
witnessing before God though it be against your- 
selves, or your parents, or your kindred, be it rich 
or poor, for God is nearer akin than either. 

Follow not, then, lusts, so as to act partially; but 
if ye swerve or turn aside, God of what ye do is well 

[135] O ye who believe! believe in God and His 
apostles, and the Book which He hath revealed to 
His Apostle, and the Book which He sent down 
before ; for whoso disbelieves in God, and His 
angels, and His Apostle, and the last day, has erred 
a wide error. 

Verily, those who believe and then misbelieve, and 
then believe and then misbelieve, and then increase 
in misbelief, God will never pardon them, nor will 
He guide them in the path. 

Give to the hypocrites the glad tidings that for 
them is grievous woe ! 

Those who take the misbelievers for their patron 
rather than believers, — do they crave honour from 
them ? Verily, honour is altogether God's ! 

He hath revealed this to you in the Book 1 , that 
when ye hear the signs of God disbelieved in 
and mocked at, then sit ye not down with them 
until they plunge into another discourse, for verily, 
then ye would be like them. Verily, God will gather 
the hypocrites and misbelievers into hell together. 

1 Chap. VI, v. 67, which chronologically precedes the present ; 
see Introduction. 

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92 THE QUR AN. IV, 140-149. 

[140] Those who lie in wait for you, and if the 
victory be yours from God, say, 'Were we not 
with you?' and if the misbelievers have a chance, 
they say, ' Did we not get the mastery over you, 
and defend you from the believers ?' But God shall 
judge between you on the resurrection day; for 
God will not give the misbelievers a way against 

Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive God, but 
He deceives them ; and when they rise up to pray, 
they rise up lazily to be seen of men, and do not 
remember God, except a few; wavering between the 
two, neither to these nor yet to those ! but whomso- 
ever God doth lead astray thou shall not find for him 
a way. 

O ye who believe ! take not misbelievers for 
patrons rather than believers; do ye wish to make 
for God a power against you ? 

Verily, the hypocrites are in the lowest depths of 
hell-fire, and thou shalt not find for them a help. 

[145] Save those who turn again, and do right, 
and take tight hold on God, and are sincere in 
religion to God ; these are with the believers, and 
God will give to the believers mighty hire. 

Why should God punish you, if ye are grateful 
and believe ? for God is grateful and knowing. 

God loves not publicity of evil speech, unless 
one has been wronged; for God both hears and 

If ye display good or hide it, or pardon evil, 
verily, God is pardoning and powerful ! 

Verily, those who disbelieve in God and His 
apostles desire to make a distinction between God 
and His apostles, and say, 'We believe in part and 

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IV, 150-156. THE CHAPTER OF WOMEN. 93 

disbelieve in part, and desire to take a midway course 
between the two :' [150] these are the misbelievers, 
and we have prepared for misbelievers shameful 
woe ! But those who believe in God and His 
apostles, and who do not make a distinction be- 
tween any one of them, — to these we will give their 
hire, for God is forgiving and merciful ! 

The people of the Book will ask thee to bring 
down for them a book from heaven; but they asked 
Moses a greater thing than that, for they said, 'Show 
us God openly;' but the thunderbolt caught them in 
their injustice. Then they took the calf, after what 
had come to them of manifest signs; but we pardoned 
that, and gave Moses obvious authority. And we 
held over them the mountain ' at their compact, and 
said to them, ' Enter ye the door adoring;' and we 
said to them, 'Transgress not on the Sabbath day,' 
and we took from them a rigid compact. 

But for that they broke their compact, and for 
their misbelief in God's signs, and for their killing 
the prophets undeservedly, and for their saying, ' Our 
hearts are uncircumcised,' — nay, God hath stamped 
on them their misbelief, so that they cannot believe 
except a few, — [155] and for their misbelief, and for 
their saying about Mary a mighty calumny, and for 
their saying, ' Verily, we have killed the Messiah, 
Jesus the son of Mary, the apostle of God,' .... 
but they did not kill him, and they did not crucify 
him, but a similitude was made for them. And 
verily, those who differ about him are in doubt con- 
cerning him ; they have no knowledge concerning 
him, but only follow an opinion. They did not kill 

1 See note, p. 8. 

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94 THE QUR AN. IV, 156-163. 

him, for sure ! nay, God raised him up unto Him- 
self ; for God is mighty and wise * ! 

And there shall not be one of the people of the 
Book but shall believe in him before his death 2 ; and 
on the day of judgment he shall be a witness against 

And for the injustice of those who are Jews have 
we forbidden them good things which we had made 
lawful for them, and for their obstructing so much 
the way of God, and for their taking usury when we 
had forbidden it, and for their devouring the wealth 
of people in vain, — but we have prepared for those 
of them who misbelieve a grievous woe. 

[160] But those amongst them who are firm in 
knowledge, and the believers who believe in what 
is revealed to thee, let what is revealed before thee, 
and the steadfast in prayer, and the givers of alms, 
and the believers in God and the last day, — unto 
these we will give a mighty hire. 

Verily, we have inspired thee as we inspired 
Noah and the prophets after him, and as we inspired 
Abraham, and Ishmael, and Jacob, and the tribes, 
and Jesus, and Job, and Jonas, and Aaron, and 
Solomon ; and to David did we give Psalms. 

Of apostles we have already told thee of some 
before ; and of apostles some we have not told 
thee of; — 

But Moses did God speak to, speaking ; — apostles 
giving glad tidings and warning, that men should 
have no argument against God, after the apostles, 
for God is mighty, wise ! 

1 See p. 53, note 3. 

2 This may allude to the time of his death after his second 
advent, when he shall slay the antichrist. 

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IV, 164-173- THE CHAPTER OF WOMEN. 95 

But God bears witness to what He has revealed 
to thee : He revealed it in His knowledge, and the 
angels bear witness too ; though God is witness 

[165] Verily, those who misbelieve and obstruct 
the way of God, have erred a wide error. 

Verily, those who misbelieve and are unjust, God 
will not pardon them, nor will He guide them on the 
road — save the road to hell, to dwell therein for 
aye ; — that is easy enough to God 1 

O ye folk ! the Apostle has come to you with truth 
from your Lord : believe then, for it is better for you. 
But if ye misbelieve, then God's is what is in the 
heavens and the earth, and God is knowing, wise. 

O ye people of the Book ! do not exceed in your 
religion, nor say against God aught save the truth. 
The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, is but the 
apostle of God and His Word, which He cast into 
Mary and a spirit from Him ; believe then in God 
and His apostles, and say not ' Three.' Have done ! 
it were better for you. God is only one God, 
celebrated be His praise that He should beget a 
Son ! His is what is in the heavens and what is in 
the earth ; and God sufficeth for a guardian. 

[170] The Messiah doth surely not disdain to be 
a servant of God, nor do the angels who are nigh to 
Him ; and whosoever disdains His service and is too 
proud, He will gather them altogether to Himself. 

But as for those who believe and do what is right, 
He will pay their hire and will give increase to them 
of His grace. But as for those who disdain and are 
too proud, He will punish them with a grievous 
woe, and they shall not find for them other than 
God a patron or a help. 

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96 the qur'An. IV, 174-V, 2. 

O ye folk! proof has come to you from your 
Lord, and we have sent down to you manifest light. 
As for those who believe in God, and take tight 
hold of Him, He will make them enter into mercy 
from Him and grace ; and He will guide them to 
Himself by a right way. 

[175] They will ask thee for a decision ;. say, 'God 
will give you a decision concerning remote kinship 1 .' 

If a man perish and have no child, but have a 
sister, let her have half of what he leaves ; and he 
shall be her heir, if she have no son. But if there 
be two sisters, let them both have two thirds of what 
he leaves ; and if there be brethren, both men and 
women, let the male have like the portion of two 
females. God makes this manifest to you lest ye 
err; for God all things doth know. 

The Chapter of the Table. 

(V. Medinah.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

O ye who believe ! fulfil your compacts. — Lawful 
for you are brute beasts, save what is here recited 
to you, not allowing you the chase while ye are on 
pilgrimage; verily, God ordaineth what He will. 

O ye who believe ! do not deem the monuments 
of God to be lawful, nor the sacred month 2 , nor the 
offering, nor its neck garlands, nor those who sojourn 
at the sacred house, craving grace from their Lord 
and His pleasure. 

1 See note 1, p. 73. * Mu'harram. 

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But when ye are in lawful state again, then chase ; 
and let not ill-will against the people who turned 
you from the Sacred Mosque 1 make you transgress ; 
but help one another in righteousness and piety, 
and do not help one another to sin and enmity; but 
fear God, — verily, God is keen to punish. 

Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and 
blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is 
devoted to other than God, and the strangled and the 
knocked down, and that which falls down, and the 
gored, and what wild beasts have eaten — except 
what ye slaughter in time — and what is sacrificed to 
idols 2 , and dividing carcases by arrows 3 . 

To-day shall those who disbelieve in your religion 
despair; do ye not then fear them, but fear me — 
[5] To-day is perfected for you your religion, and 
fulfilled upon you is my favour, and I am pleased for 
you to have Islam for a religion. But he who is 
forced by hunger, not inclined wilfully to sin, verily, 
God is forgiving, compassionate. 

They will ask thee what is lawful for them ? say, 
' Lawful for you are good things and what ye have 
taught beasts of prey (to catch), training them like 
dogs ; — ye teach them as God taught you ; — so 
eat of what they catch for you, and mention the 
name of God over it, and fear God, for verily, God 
is swift in reckoning up.' 

Lawful for you to-day are good things, and the 
food of those to whom the Book has been given is 

1 The QurSish, who sent to meet Mohammed with 1400 men 
at 'Hudaibtyeh to prevent him from approaching Mecca, a. h. 6. 

2 Literally, ' stones set up,' Dolmens and the like, which are so 
common throughout Arabia. 

3 By the game of maisar, see p. 32. 

[6] H 

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98 THE QURAN. V, 7-13. 

lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them; and 
chaste women of those who believe, and chaste women 
of those to whom the Book has been given before 
you, — when you have given them their hire, living 
chastely and not fornicating, and not taking para- 
mours. But whoso disbelieves in the faith, of a 
truth his work is vain, and he shall be in the next 
life of those who lose. 

O ye who believe ! when ye rise up to prayer 
wash your faces, and your hands as far as the 
elbows, and wipe your heads, and your feet down to 
the ankles. And if ye are polluted, then purify your- 
selves. But if ye are sick, or on a journey, or if one 
of you comes from the privy, or if ye have touched 
women and cannot find water, then take fine surface 
sand and wipe your faces and your hands therewith. 
God does not wish to make any hindrance for you ; 
but He wishes to purify you and to fulfil his favour 
upon you ; haply ye may give thanks. 

[10] Remember the favour of God to you and 
His covenant which He covenanted with you, when 
ye said, 'We hear and we obey 1 ;' and fear God, 
verily, God knows the nature of men's breasts. 

O ye who believe ! stand steadfast to God as 
witnesses with justice ; and let not ill-will towards 
people make you sin by not acting with equity. 
Act with equity, that is nearer to piety, and fear 
God ; for God is aware of what ye do. 

God has promised to those who believe and work 
righteousness, that for them is pardon and a mighty 
hire. But those who disbelieve and call our signs 
lies, these are the fellows of hell. 

1 Referring to the oath of fidelity which Mohammed's adherents 
took at ' Akabah. 

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O ye who believe ! remember God's favour towards 
you, when a people intended to stretch their hands 
against you, but He withheld their hands from you 1 ; 
and upon God let believers rely. 

[15] God did take a compact from the children of 
Israel, and raised up of them twelve wardens ; and 
God said, ' Verily, I am with you, if ye be steadfast 
in prayer, and give alms, and believe in my apostles, 
and assist them, and lend to God a goodly loan ; 
then will I cover your offences and make you enter 
gardens beneath which rivers flow : and whoso dis- 
believes after that, he hath erred from the level way. 

And for that they broke their compact, we cursed 
them, and placed in their hearts hardness, so that 
they perverted the words from their places, and 
forgot a portion of what they were reminded of 2 . 

But thou wilt not cease to light upon treachery 
amongst them, save a few of them ; but pardon 
them and shun them ; verily, God loves the kind. 

And of those who say, ' Verily, we are Christians,' 
we have taken a compact ; but they have forgotten 
a portion of what they were reminded of ; wherefore 
have we excited amongst them enmity and hatred 
till the resurrection day; but God will tell them 
of what they have done. 

ye people of the Book ! our Apostle has come 
to you to explain to you much of what ye had 
hidden of the Book, and to pardon much. There 
has come to you from God a light, and a perspicuous 

1 Various stories are told in explanation of this passage, but 
they are all obviously apocryphal, the angel Gabriel intervening 
to prevent some mischief either to the Apostle or his followers. 

4 That is, the text foretelling the coming of Mohammed ; see 

H 2 

Digitized by 


IOO THE QURAN. " V, 18-25. 

Book ; God guides thereby those who follow His 
pleasure to the way of peace, and brings them into a 
right way. 

They misbelieve who say, ' Verily, God is the 
Messiah the son of Mary ;' say, ' Who has any hold 
on God, if he wished to destroy the Messiah the 
son of Mary, and his mother, and those who are on 
earth altogether ? ' 

[20] God's is the kingdom of the heavens and the 
earth and what is between the two ; He createth 
what He will, for God is mighty over all ! 

But the Jews and the Christians say, ' We are the 
sons of God and His beloved.' Say, 'Why then does 
He punish you for your sins ? nay, ye are mortals of 
those whom He has created ! He pardons whom He 
pleases, and punishes whom He pleases ; for God's 
is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, 
and what is between the two, and unto Him the 
journey is. 

O people of the Book ! our Apostle has come to 
you, explaining to you the interval of apostles ; lest 
ye say, ' There came not to us a herald of glad 
tidings nor a warner.' But there has come to you 
now a herald of glad tidings and a warner, and God 
is mighty over all ! 

When Moses said to his people, ' O my people ! 
remember the favour of God towards you when He 
made amongst you prophets, and made for you kings, 
and brought you what never was brought to any- 
body in the worlds. O my people ! enter the Holy 
Land which God has prescribed for you ; and be ye 
not thrust back upon your hinder parts and retreat 
losers. [25] They said, ' O Moses ! verily, therein is a 
people, giants ; and we will surely not enter therein 

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until they go out from thence ; but if they go out 
then we will enter in.' Then said two men of those 
who fear, — God had been gracious to them both, — 
' Enter ye upon them by the door, and when ye 
have entered it, verily, ye shall be victorious; and 
upon God do ye rely if ye be believers.' They said, 
'O Moses! we shall never enter it so long as they 
are therein; so, go thou and thy Lord and fight 
ye twain ; verily, we will sit down here.' Said he, 
' My Lord, verily, I can control only myself and my 
brother ; therefore part us from these sinful people.' 
He said, ' Then, verily, it is forbidden them ; for 
forty years shall they wander about in the earth ; 
so vex not thyself for the sinful people.' 

[30] Recite to them the story of the two sons of 
Adam ; truly when they offered an offering and it 
was accepted from one of them, and was not accepted 
from the other, that one said, ' I will surely kill thee;' 
he said, ' God only accepts from those who fear. If 
thou dost stretch forth to me thine hand to kill me, 
I will not stretch forth mine hand to kill thee; verily, 
I fear God the Lord of the worlds ; verily, I wish 
that thou mayest draw upon thee my sin and thy 
sin, and be of the fellows of the Fire, for that is the 
reward of the unjust' But his soul allowed him to 
slay his brother, and he slew him, and in the morn- 
ing he was of those who lose. And God sent a 
crow to scratch in the earth and show him how he 
might hide his brother's shame, he said, ' Alas, for 
me! Am I too helpless to become like this crow 
and hide my brother's shame ?' and in the morning 
he was of those who did repent. 

[35] F° r tn i s caus e have we prescribed .to the 
children of Israel that whoso kills a soul, unless it 

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102 THE QURAN. V, 35-44. 

be for another soul or for violence in the land, it is 
as though he had killed men altogether ; but whoso 
saves one, it is as though he saved men altogether. 

Our apostles came to them with manifest signs ; 
then, verily, many of them did after that commit 
excesses in the earth. 

The reward of those who make war against God 
and His Apostle, and strive after violence in the 
earth, is only that they shall be slaughtered or 
crucified, or their hands cut off and their feet on alter- 
nate sides, or that they shall be banished from the 
land ; — that is a disgrace for them in this world, and 
for them in the next is mighty woe ; save for those 
who repent before ye have them in your power, for 
know ye that God is forgiving, merciful. 

O ye who believe ! fear God and crave the means 
to approach Him, and be strenuous in His way, 
haply ye will prosper then. 

[40] Verily, those who disbelieve, even though 
they had what is in the earth, all of it, and the like 
thereof with it, to offer as a ransom from the punish- 
ment of the resurrection day, it would not be 
accepted from them ; but for them is grievous woe. 
They may wish to go forth from the Fire, but they 
shall not go forth therefrom, for them is lasting 

The man thief and the woman thief, cut off the 
hands of both as a punishment, for that they have 
erred ; — an example from God, for God is mighty, 

But whoso turns again after his injustice and acts 
aright, verily, God will turn to him, for, verily, God 
is forgiving, merciful. 

Do ye not know that God, His is the kingdom of 

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the heavens and the earth ; He punishes whom He 
pleases, and forgives whom He pleases, for God is 
mighty over all ? 

[45] O thou Apostle ! let not those grieve thee 
who vie in misbelief; or those who say with their 
mouths ' We believe,' but their hearts do not believe ; 
or of those who are Jews, listeners to a lie, — listeners 
to other people, but who come not to thee. They 
pervert the words from their places and say, ' If this is 
what ye are given, take it ; but if ye are not given it, 
then beware ! ' but he whom God wishes to mislead, 
thou canst do nothing with God for him ; these are 
those whose hearts God wishes not to purify, for 
them in this world is disgrace, and for them in the 
next is mighty woe, — listeners to a lie, eaters of 
unlawful things ! 

But if they come to thee, then judge between 
them or turn aside from them ; but if thou turnest 
aside from them they shall not harm thee at all, but 
if thou judgest, then judge" between them with justice, 
verily, God loves the just. But how should they 
make thee their judge, when they have the law 
wherein is God's judgment ? Yet they turn back 
after that, for they do not believe. 

Verily, we have revealed the law in which is 
guidance and light ; the prophets who were resigned 
did judge thereby those who were Jews, as did the 
masters * and doctors by what they remembered of 
the Book of God and by what they were witnesses 
of. Fear not men, but fear me, and sell not my 
signs for a little price ; for whoso will not judge by 
what God has revealed, these be the misbelievers. 

1 See note 2, p. 56. 

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104 THE QURAN. V, 49-55. 

We have prescribed for thee therein ' a life for a life, 
and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and an 
ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds 
retaliation ;' but whoso remits it, it is an expiation for 
him, but he whoso will not judge by what God has 
revealed, these be the unjust. 

[50] And we followed up the footsteps of these 
(prophets) with Jesus the son of Mary, confirming 
that which was before him and the law, and we 
brought him the gospel, wherein is guidance and 
light, verifying what was before it of the law, and 
a guidance and an admonition unto those who fear. 

Then let the people of the gospel judge by that 
which is revealed therein, for whoso will not judge 
by what God has revealed, these be the evildoers. 

We have revealed to thee the Book in truth veri- 
fying what was before it, and preserving it ; judge 
then between them by what God has revealed, and 
follow not their lusts, turning away from what is 
given to thee of the truth. 

For each one of you have we made a law and a 
pathway; and had God pleased He would have made 
you one nation, but He will surely try you concerning 
that which He has brought you. Be ye therefore 
emulous in good deeds ; to God is your return alto- 
gether, and He will let you know concerning that 
wherein ye do dispute. 

Wherefore judge thou between them by what 
God has revealed, and follow not their lusts ; but 
beware lest they mislead thee from part of what 
God has revealed to thee; yet if they turn back, 
then know that God wishes to fall on them for some 
sins of theirs, — verily, many men are evildoers. 

[55] Is it the judgment of the Ignorance they 

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crave 1 ? but who is better than God to judge for 
people who are sure ? 

O ye who believe ! take not the Jews and Chris- 
tians for your patrons : they are patrons of each 
other; but whoso amongst you takes them for 
patrons, verily, he is of them, and, verily, God guides 
not an unjust people. 

Thou wilt see those in whose hearts is a sickness 
vieing with them ; they say, ' We fear lest there 
befall us a reverse.' It may be God will give the 
victory, or an order from Himself, and they may 
awake repenting of what they thought in secret to 

Those who believe say, 'Are these they who swore 
by God with their most strenuous oath that they 
were surely with you ?' — their works are in vain and 
they shall wake the losers. 

O ye who believe ! whoso is turned away from 
his religion — God will bring (instead) a people 2 
whom He loves and who love Him, lowly to be- 
lievers, lofty to unbelievers, strenuous in the way 
of God, fearing not the blame of him who blames. 
That is God's grace ! He gives it unto whom He 
pleases, for God both comprehends and knows. 

[60] God only is your patron, and His Apostle and 
those who believe, who are steadfast in prayer and 
give alms, bowing down. Whoso taketh as patrons 
God and His apostles and those who believe ; — 
verily, God's crew, they are victorious ! 

O ye who believe ! take not for patrons those who 

1 The time before the Mohammedan dispensation is always so 
' I. e. to take his place. 

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106 THE QURAN. V, 62-69. 

take your religion for a jest or a sport, from amongst 
those who have been given the Book before and 
the misbelievers ; but fear God if ye be believers. 
Nor those who, when ye call to prayer, take it for a 
jest and a sport ; that is because they are a people 
who do not understand. 

Say, ' O people of the Book ! do ye disavow us, 
for aught but that we believe in God, and what was 
revealed to us before, and for that most of you are 
evildoers ?' 

[65] Say, 'Can I declare unto you something worse 
than retribution from God ?' Whomsoever God has 
cursed and been wroth with — and he has made of 
them apes and swine — and who worship T&gkilt, 
they are in a worse plight and are more erring from 
the level path. When they come to you they say, 
' We believe;' but they entered in with unbelief, and 
they went out therewith, and God knows best what 
they did hide. 

Thou wilt see many of them vieing in sin and 
enmity, and in eating unlawful things, — evil is it that 
they have done. The masters and their doctors 
prohibit them from speaking sin and eating unlawful 
things, — evil is what they have performed. 

The Jews say, 'God's hand is fettered;' their 
hands are fettered and they are cursed for what they 
said; nay! His hands are outspread, He expends 
how He pleases ! and that which has been sent down 
to thee from thy Lord will surely increase many of 
them in their rebellion and misbelief, for we have 
cast amongst them enmity and hatred till the resur- 
rection day. Whenever they light a fire l for war, 

1 The ancient Arabs always lit a beacon-fire as a proclamation 
of war, or a notice of the approach of an enemy. / 

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God puts it out; they strive for corruption in the 
earth, but God loves not the corrupt. 

[70] But did the people of the Book believe and 
fear, we would cover their offences, and we would 
make them enter into gardens of pleasure ; and were 
they steadfast in the law and the gospel, and what 
has been sent down to them from their Lord, they 
should eat from above them and below them. 
Amongst them are a nation who are moderate, but 
many of them — bad is what they do. 

O thou Apostle ! preach what has been revealed 
to thee from thy Lord ; if thou do it not thou hast 
not preached His message, and God will not hold 
thee free from men ; for God guides not people who 

Say, ' O people of the Book ! ye rest on naught 
until ye stand fast by the law and the gospel, and 
what is revealed to you from your Lord.' But what 
has been revealed to thee from thy Lord will of a 
surety increase many of them in rebellion and mis- 
belief, vex not thyself then for a people who 

Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews, 
and the Sabseans, and the Christians, whosoever 
believes in God and the last day, and does what 
is right, there is no fear for them, nor shall they 

We took a compact of the children of Israel, and 
we sent to them apostles ; every time there came to 
them an apostle with what their souls loved not, 
a part of them they did call liars and a part of them 
they slew. 

[75] And they reckoned that there would be no 
disturbance; but they were blind and deaf! and then 

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108 THE QUR'An. V, 75-83. 

God turned again towards them : and then many 
amongst them were blind and deaf! but God saw 
what they did. 

They misbelieve who say, ' Verily, God is the 
Messiah the son of Mary;' but the Messiah said, 
' O children of Israel ! worship God, my Lord and 
your Lord;' verily, he who associates aught with 
God, God hath forbidden him Paradise, and his 
resort is the Fire, and the unjust shall have none to 
help them. 

' They misbelieve who say, ' Verily, God is the 
third of three;' for there is no God but one, and if 
they do not desist from what they say, there shall 
touch those who misbelieve amongst them grievous 

Will they not turn again towards God and ask 
pardon of Him ? for God is forgiving and merciful. 

The Messiah the son of Mary is only a prophet: 
prophets before him have passed away ; and his 
mother was a confessor; they used both to eat food. — 
See how we explain to them the signs, yet see how 
they turn aside ! 

[80] Say, 'Will ye serve, other than God, what 
can neither hurt you nor profit you ?' but God, He 
both hears and knows. 

Say, ' O people of the Book ! exceed not the truth 
in your religion, and follow not the lusts of a people 
who have erred before, and who lead many astray, 
and who go away from the level path.' 

Those of the children of Israel who disbelieved 
were cursed by the tongue of David and Jesus the 
son of Mary ; that is because they rebelled and did 
transgress; they would not desist from the wrong 
they did ; evil is that which they did. Thou wilt 

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see many of them taking those who disbelieve for 
their patrons ; evil is that which their souls have 
sent before them, for God's wrath is. on them, and in 
the torment shall they dwell for aye. But had they 
believed in God and the prophet, and what was 
revealed to him, they had not taken these for their 
patrons ; but many of them are evildoers. 

[85] Thou wilt surely find that the strongest in 
enmity against those who believe are the Jews and 
the idolaters ; and thou wilt find the nearest in love 
to those who believe to be those who say, ' We are 
Christians ;' that is because there are amongst them 
priests and monks, and because they are not proud. 

And when they hear what has been revealed to 
the prophet, you will see their eyes gush with tears 
at what they recognise as truth therein ; and they 
will say, ' O our Lord ! we believe, so write us down 
amongst the witnesses. Why should we not believe 
in God and the truth that is given to us, nor desire 
that our Lord should make us enter with the upright 

Therefore has God rewarded them, for what they 
said, with gardens beneath which rivers flow, to 
dwell therein for aye ; that is the reward of those 
who do good; but those who disbelieve and say 
our signs are lies, they are the fellows of hell. 

O ye who believe ! forbid not the good things 
which God has made lawful for you, nor transgress ; 
verily, God loves not the transgressors. 

[90] But eat of what God has provided you law- 
fully of good things; and fear God, in whom ye 

God will not catch you up for a casual word in 
your oaths, but He will catch you up for having 

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IIO THE QURAN. V, 91-96. 

what ye make deliberate oaths about; and the ex- 
piation thereof is to feed ten poor men with the 
middling food ye feed your families withal, or to 
clothe them, or to free a neck 1 ; but he who has 
not the means, then let him fast three days. That 
is the expiation of your oaths, when ye have sworn 
to keep your oaths ; thus does God explain to you 
His signs, — haply ye may be grateful. 

O ye who believe! verily, wine, and el maisar 2 , 
and statues 3 , and divining (arrows) are only an abomi- 
nation of Satan's work ; avoid them then that haply 
ye may prosper. Satan only desires to place enmity 
and hatred between you by wine and maisar, and to 
turn you from the remembrance of God and from 
prayer ; but will ye not desist, and obey God, and 
obey the apostles, and beware, for if ye turn back 
then know that our Apostle has only his message to 
preach ? 

There is no crime in those who believe and do 
right, for having tasted food, when they fear God, 
and believe, and do what is right, and then fear Him, 
and believe, and then fear, and do good, for God 
loves those who do good. 

[95] O y e w ho believe! God will try you with 
something of the game that your hands and your 
lances take, that God may know who fears Him in 
secret ; and whoso transgresses after that, for him is 
grievous woe. 

ye who believe ! kill not game while ye are on 

1 from the yoke of captivity. 

2 See note 4, p. 32. 

* This has been thought by strict Musselmans to exclude the 
game of chess. Sunnts, however, play the game with plain pieces 
like drafts, though Persians and Indians are not so scrupulous. 

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pilgrimage. But he amongst you who kills it pur- 
posely, his compensation is the like of that which he 
has killed, in sheep — of which two equitable persons 
amongst you shall be judge — an offering brought to 
the Kaabah ; or as an expiation, the food of poor 
persons, or an equivalent thereof in fasting, that he 
may taste the evil result of his deed. God pardons 
bygones; but whoso returns, God will take vengeance 
on him, for God is mighty and the avenger. 

Lawful for you is the game of the sea, and to eat 
thereof ; a provision for you and for travellers ; but 
forbidden you is the game of the land while ye are 
on pilgrimage ; so fear God to whom ye shall be 

God has made the Kaabah, the sacred House, to 
be a station for men, and the sacred month, and the 
offering and its neck garland; this is that ye may 
know that God knows what is in the heavens and 
what is in the earth, and that God knows all things. 
Know that God is keen to punish, but that God is 
forgiving, merciful. 

The Apostle has only to preach his message, but 
God knows what ye show and what ye hide. 

[ioo] Say, ' The vile shall not be deemed equal 
with the good, although the abundance of the vile 
please thee.' Fear God then, O ye who have minds ! 
haply ye may prosper. 

O ye who believe ! ask not about things which if 
they be shown to you will pain you ; but if ye ask 
about them when the (whole) Qur'an is revealed, they 
shall be shown to you. God pardons that, for God 
is -forgiving and clement. People before you have 
asked about that, yet on the morrow did they dis- 
believe therein. 

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I 1 2 THE QUR'An. V, 102-106. 

And God has not ordained any Ba'hlrah or 
Saibah, nor Waztlah nor 'Haml 1 , but those who 
misbelieve invent a lie against God, for most of 
them do not understand. 

And when it is said to them, ' Come round to 
what God has revealed unto His Apostle,' they 
say, ' Enough for us is what we found our fathers 
agreed upon.' What ! though their fathers knew 
nothing and were not guided. 

ye who believe ! mind yourselves ; he who errs 
can do you no hurt when ye are guided : unto God 
is your return altogether, and He will declare to 
you that which ye do not know. 

[105] O ye who believe ! let there be a testimony 
between you when any one of you is on the point of 
death — at the time he makes his will — two equitable 
persons from amongst you ; or two others from some 
other folk, if ye be knocking about in the land, and 
the calamity of death befall you ; ye shall shut them 
both up after prayer, and they shall both swear by 

1 These were the names given to certain animals which were 
marked and allowed to graze at liberty. Ba'hlrah was the name 
given to a camel which had had ten young ones ; her ear was then 
slit and she was turned loose to feed. When she died her flesh 
was eaten by the men only, the women being forbidden to touch 
it. There were, however, cases in which any she-camel was so 
called and treated. Saibah signifies merely a camel turned loose, 
her being so turned out was generally in fulfilment of a vow. 
Waztlah was a term applied to any cattle, including sheep and 
goats, and generally meant a beast who had brought forth a male 
and female at the seventh parturition. 'Hamt was a stallion camel 
which, after begetting ten young ones, was turned loose. As all 
these customs were connected with the idolatrous superstitions of 
the pagan Arabs, and tended to keep alive the rites and beliefs 
of paganism, Mohammed forbade them, with other similar super- 

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God, if ye doubt them, (saying), ' We will not sell 
(our testimony) for a price, though it were to a re- 
lative, nor will we hide God's testimony, verily, then, 
we should be among sinners.' But if it shall be lit 
upon that they too have deserved the imputation of 
sin, then let two others stand up in their place with 
those who think them deserving of the imputation, 
the nearest two in kin, and they shall both swear by 
God, ' Indeed, our testimony is truer than the testi- 
mony of those two, and we have not transgressed, 
for then we should surely be of the unjust :' thus is 
it easier for men to bear testimony according to the 
purport thereof, else must they fear lest an oath be 
given to rebut their own oath ; but let them fear 
God and listen, for God guides not the people who 
do ill. 

On the day when God shall assemble the apostles 
and shall say, ' How were ye answered?' they will 
say, ' We have no knowledge ; verily, thou art He 
who knoweth the unseen.' 

When God said, 'O Jesus, son of Mary! remem- 
ber my favours towards thee and towards thy 
mother, when I aided thee with the Holy Ghost, 
till thou didst speak to men in the cradle and when 
grown up. 

[1 10] ' And when I taught thee the Book and 
wisdom and the law and the gospel ; when thou didst 
create of clay, as it were, the likeness of a bird, by my 
power, and didst blow thereon, it became a bird ; and 
thou didst heal the blind from birth, and the leprous 
by my permission ; and when thou didst bring forth 
the dead by my permission ; and when I did ward 
off the children of Israel from thee, when thou didst 
come to them with manifest signs, and those who 
[6] 1 

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114 THE QUR'AN. V, no-lltf. 

misbelieved amongst them said, " This is naught but 
obvious magic." 

•And when I inspired the apostles that they should 
believe in him and in my Apostle, they said, " We 
believe; do thou bear witness that we are resigned." ' 

When the apostles said, ' O Jesus, son of Mary ! 
is thy Lord able to send down to us a table from 
heaven?' he said, ' Fear God, if ye be believers;' 
and they said, ' We desire to eat therefrom that our 
hearts may be at rest, and that we may know that 
what thou hast told us is the truth, and that we may 
be thereby amongst the witnesses.' Said Jesus the 
son of Mary, ' O God, our Lord ! send down to us a 
table from heaven to be to us as a festival, — to the 
first of us and lb the last, and a sign from Thee, — and 
grant us provision, for Thou art the best of providers.' 

[115] God said, 'Verily, I am about to send it 
down to you ; but whoso disbelieves amongst you 
after that, verily, I will torment him with the torment 
which I have not tormented any one with in all the 

And when God said, ' O Jesus, son of Mary ! is it 
thou who didst say to men, take me and my mother 
for two gods, beside God?' He said, ' I celebrate 
Thy praise ! what ails me that I should say what I 
have no right to ? If I had said it, Thou wouldst 
have known it ; Thou knowest what is in my soul, 
but I know not what is in Thy soul ; verily, Thou art 
one who knoweth the unseen. I never told them 
save what Thou didst bid me, — " Worship God, my 
Lord and your Lord," and I was a witness against 
them so long as I was amongst them; but when 
Thou didst take me away to thyself Thou wert the 
watcher over them, for Thou art witness over all. If 

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Thou shouldst punish them, verily, they are Thy 
servants; if Thou shouldst forgive them, verily, 
Thou art the mighty and the wise.' God said, ' This 
is the day when their confession shall profit the 
confessors, for them are gardens beneath which 
rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever and for aye.' 

God is well pleased with them, and they well 
pleased with Him ; that is the mighty happiness. 

[120] God's is the kingdom of the heavens, and the 
earth, and all that is therein, and He is mighty 
over all. 

The Chapter of Cattle 1 . 
(VI. Mecca.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

Praise belongs to God who created the heavens 
and the earth, and brought into being the darkness 
and the light 2 . Yet do those who misbelieve hold 
Him to have peers. 

He it is who created you from clay; then He 
decreed a term, — a term 8 ordained with Him. And 
yet ye doubt thereof. 

He is God in the heavens and the earth. He 
knows your secret conduct and your plain, and He 
knows what ye earn 4 . 

1 So called from the mention which it contains of the super- 
stitious customs of the Arabs with regard to their cattle. 

* Said to be a protest against the dualistic doctrine that Light 
and Darkness were two co-eternal principles. 

8 I.e. a term for your life and another for your resurrection. 

4 By good or evil works. 

I 2 

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I l6 THE QURAN. VI, 4-12. 

There came not to them any sign of the signs of 
their Lord, but they turned away ; [5] and they have 
called the truth a lie now that it has come to them, 
but there shall come to them the message of that 
at which they mocked. 

Do not they see how many a generation we have 
destroyed before them, whom we had settled in the 
earth as we have not settled for you, and sent the 
rain of heaven upon them in copious showers, and 
made the waters flow beneath them ? Then we 
destroyed them in their sins, and raised up other 
generations after them. 

Had we sent down to thee a book on paper, and 
they had touched it with their hands, still those who 
misbelieve would have said, ' This is naught but 
obvious magic' They say, 'Why has not an angel 
been sent down to him ?' but if we had sent down 
an angel, the affair would have been decided, and 
then they would have had no respite. 

And had we made him 1 an angel, we should have 
made him as a man too ; and we would have made 
perplexing for them that which they deem perplexing 

[10] There have been prophets before thee mocked 
at, but that encompassed them which the scoffers 
among them mocked at. 

Say, ' Go about in the earth, then wilt thou see 
how has been the end of those who called them 

Say, 'Whose is what is in the heavens and the 
earth ?' 

Say, ' God's, who has imposed mercy on himself.' 

* I.e. the prophet 

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He will surely gather you together for the resur- 
rection day. There is no doubt in that, but those 
who waste their souls 1 will not believe. 

His is whatsoever dwells in the night or in the 
day, He both hears and knows. 

Say, ' Other than God shall I take for a patron, 
the Originator of the heavens and the earth ? He 
feedeth men, but is not fed.' Say, ' I am bidden to 
be the first of those resigned;' and it was said to 
me, ' Be not thou of the idolaters.' [15] Say, ' I fear, 
if I rebel against my Lord, the torment of the mighty 

Whomsoever it is averted from on that day, 
God will have had mercy on ; and that is obvious 

And if God touch thee with harm, there is none 
to take it off but He ; and if He touch thee with 
good, He is mighty over all. He is sovereign over 
His servants, He is the wise, the aware ! 

Say, ' What is the greatest witness ?' Say, ' God 
is witness between you and me.' This Qur'an was 
inspired to me to warn you and those it reaches. 
Do ye really bear witness that with God are other 
gods ? Say, ' I bear not witness thereto :' say, 'He 
is but one God, and I am clear of your associating 
(gods with him).' 

[20] Those to whom we have brought the Book 
know him 2 as they know their sons; — those who lose 
their souls do not believe. 

Who is more unjust than he who forges against 
God a lie, or says His signs are lies ? verily, the 
unjust shall not prosper. 

1 I.e. their innate propensities to good and their reason. 
1 Mohammed. 

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Il8 THE QUR'AN. VI, 22.31. 

On the day when we shall gather them all together, 
then shall we say to those who have associated others 
with ourself, 'Where are your associates whom 
ye did pretend?' Then they will have no excuse 
but to say, ' By God our Lord, we did not associate 
(others with thee) ! ' See how they lie against them- 
selves, and how what they did forge deserts them ! 
[25] And they are some who listen unto thee, but 
we have placed a veil upon their hearts lest they 
should understand it, and in their ears is dulness of 
hearing ; and though they saw each sign they would 
not believe therein; until when they come to thee 
to wrangle with thee, the unbelievers say, ' These 
are but old folks' tales.' 

They forbid it and they avoid it; — but they 
destroy none but themselves; yet they do not 

But couldst thou see when they are set over the 
fire and say, ' Would that we were sent back ! we 
would not call our Lord's signs lies, but we would 
be of the believers ? ' Nay ! now is shown to them 
what they did hide before ; and could they be sent 
back, they would return to that they were forbidden, 
for they are very liars. 

They say there is naught but this life of ours 
in the world and we shall not be raised. [30] But 
couldst thou see when they are set before their 
Lord ; he says, ' Is not this the truth ?' They say, 
' Yea, by our Lord ! ' he says, ' Then taste the tor- 
ment, for that ye did misbelieve !' 

Losers are they who disbelieved in meeting God, 
until when the hour comes suddenly upon them they 
say, 'Woe is us for our neglect thereof!' for they 

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shall bear their burdens on their backs, evil is what 
they bear. 

The life of this world is nothing but a game and 
a sport, and surely the next abode were better for 
those who fear. What ! do they not understand ? 

Full well we know that verily that which they say 
grieves thee ; but they do not call thee only a liar, 
for the unjust gainsay the signs of God. Called 
liars too were apostles before thee ; but they were 
patient of being called liars and of being hurt until 
our help came to them ; for there is none to change 
the words of God — now has there come to thee the 
story of those He sent. 

[35] And if their turning from thee be hard for 
thee, and if thou canst seek for a shaft down into the 
earth, or a ladder up into the sky, to bring them a 
sign — but if God pleased He would bring them all 
to guidance, be thou not then of the ignorant. 

He only answers the prayer of those who listen ; 
but the dead will God raise up, then unto Him shall 
they return. They say, ' Unless there be sent down 
some sign from his Lord ' — say, ' Verily, God is able 
to send down a sign, but most of them do not know.' 

There is not a beast upon the earth nor a bird 
that flies with both its wings, but is a nation like to 
you ; we have omitted nothing from the Book ; then 
to their Lord shall they be gathered. Those who 
say our signs are lies — deafness, dumbness, in the 
dark ! whom He pleases does God lead astray, and 
whom He pleases He places on the right way. 

[40] Say, ' Look you now ! if there should come 
God's torment, or there should come to you the 
hour, on other than God would ye call, if ye do tell 
the truth ?' Nay, it is on Him that ye would call, 

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120 THE QUR'An. VI, 41-50. 

and He will avert that which ye call upon Him for if 
He but please ; and ye shall forget that which ye did 
associate with Him. 

Ere this we sent unto nations before thee, and we 
caught them in distress and trouble that haply they 
might humble themselves. And do they not, when 
our violence falls upon them, humble themselves ? — 
but their hearts were hard, and Satan made seemly 
to them that which they had done. 

And when they forgot what they were reminded 
of, we opened for them the gates of everything, until 
when they rejoiced at what they had, we caught them 
up suddenly, and lo ! they were in despair. 

[45] And the uttermost part of the people who 
did wrong were cut off; praise be to God, Lord of 
the worlds ! 

Say, ' Look you now ! if God should catch your 
hearing and your sight, and should set a seal upon 
your hearts — who is god but God to bring you it 
again ?' 

Say, ' Look you now ! if God's torment should 
come upon you suddenly or openly, would any perish 
save the people who do wrong ? ' 

We do not send our messengers save as heralds 
of glad tidings and of warning, and whoso believes 
and acts aright, there is no fear for them, and they 
shall not be grieved, but those who say our signs 
are lies, torment shall touch them, for that they have 
done so wrong. 

[50] Say, ' I do not say to you, mine are the 
treasuries of God, nor that I know the unseen ; I do 
not say to you, I am an angel — if I follow aught but 
what I am inspired with — :' say, ' Is the blind equal 
to him who sees — ?' what ! do ye not reflect ? 

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Admonish therewith those who fear that they 
shall be gathered unto their Lord; there is no patron 
for them but Him, and no intercessor ; haply they 
may fear. 

Repulse not those who call upon their Lord in the 
morning and in the evening, desiring His face ; they 
have no reckoning against thee at all, and thou hast 
no reckoning against them at all ; — repulse them and 
thou wilt be of the unjust. 

So have we tried some of them by others, that they 
may say, ' Are these those unto whom God has been 
gracious amongst ourselves?' Does not God know 
those who give thanks ? 

And when those who believe in our signs come 
to thee, say, ' Peace be on you ! God hath prescribed 
for Himself mercy ; verily, he of you who does evil 
in ignorance, and then turns again and does right, — 
verily, He is forgiving and merciful.' 

[55] Thus do we detail our signs, that the way of 
the sinners may be made plain. 

Say, ' I am forbidden to worship those ye call 
upon beside God ;' say, ' I will not follow your lusts, 
for then should I err and not be of the guided.' 

Say, ' I stand on a manifestation from my Lord, 
which ye call a lie. I have not with me what ye 
fain would hasten on, that the matter might be 
settled between me and you; but God knows best 
who are the unjust.' 

With Him are the keys 1 of the unseen. None 
knows them save He; He knows what is in the 

1 Most of the Mohammedan commentators say this word means 
'treasuries.' The allusion, however, is obviously to the Rab- 
binical tradition of the three keys, in the hands of God. 

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122 THE QUR'AN. VI, 60-66. 

land and in the sea ; and there falls not a leaf save 
that He knows it ; nor a grain in the darkness of the 
earth, nor aught that is moist, nor aught that is dry, 
save that is in His perspicuous Book. 

[60] He it is who takes you to Himself at night 1 , 
and knows what ye have gained in the day; then He 
raises you up again, that your appointed time may 
be fulfilled ; then unto Him is your return, and then 
will He inform you of what ye have done. 

He triumphs over His servants; He sends to 
them guardian angels, until, when death comes to 
any one of you, our messengers take him away; they 
pass not over any one, and then are they returned to 
God, their true sovereign. 

Is not His the rule? but He is very quick at 
reckoning up. 

Say, ' Who rescues you from the darkness of the 
land and of the sea ?' ye call upon Him in humility 
and in secret, ' Indeed, if He would rescue us from 
this, we will surely be of those who give Him 
thanks.' Say, 'God rescues from the darkness 
thereof, and from every trouble, yet ye associate 
others with Him.' 

[65] Say, ' He is able to send torment on you 
from above you and from beneath your feet, and to 
confuse you in sects, and to make some of you taste 
the violence of others.' 

See how we turn about the signs, that haply they 
may discriminate. Thy people called it a lie, and 
yet it is the truth. Say, ' I have not charge over 
you ; to every prophecy is a set time, and in the end 
ye shall know.' 

1 In sleep. 

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When thou dost see those who plunge deeply into 
the discussion of our signs, turn from them until 
they plunge deeply- into some other discourse; for 
it may be that Satan may make thee forget ; but sit 
not, after thou hast remembered, with the unjust 

Those who fear are not bound to take account of 
them at all, but mind ! — haply they may fear. 

Leave those who have taken their religion for a 
play and a sport, whom this world's life hath de- 
ceived, and remind them thereby that a soul shall 
be given up for what it has earned; nor has it, beside 
God, patron or intercessor; and though it should 
compensate with the fullest compensation, it would 
not be accepted. Those who are given up for what 
they have gained, for them is a drink of boiling 
water, and grievous woe for that they have mis- 

[70] Say, ' Shall we call on what neither profits us 
nor harms us, and be thrown back upon our heels after 
God has guided us, like him whom Satan hath led 
away bewildered in the earth, who has companions 
who call him to guidance, " Come to us ?"' Say, 
' Verily, God's guidance is the guidance, and we are 
bidden to resign ourselves unto the Lord of the 
worlds, and be ye steadfast in prayer and fear Him, 
for He it is to whom we shall be gathered.' 

He it is who has created the heavens and the 
earth in truth; and on the day when He says, 
• BE,' then it is. His word is truth ; to Him is the 
kingdom on the day when the trumpets shall be. 
blown ; the knower of the unseen and of the evident ; 
He is wise and well aware. 

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> *. 

124 THE QURAN. VT, 74-82. 

When Abraham said to his father Azar 1 , ' Dost 
thou take idols for gods ? verily, I see thee and 
thy people in obvious error.' [75] Thus did we 
show Abraham the kingdom of heaven and of the 
earth, that he should be of those who are sure. And 
when the night overshadowed him he saw a star and 
said, ' This is my Lord ;' but when it set he said, ' I 
love not those that set.' And when he saw the 
moon beginning to rise he said, ' This is my Lord ;' 
but when it set he said, ' If God my Lord guides me 
not I shall surely be of the people who err.' And 
when he saw the sun beginning to rise he said, 'This 
is my Lord, this is greatest of all ;' but when it set 
he said, ' O my people ! verily, I am clear of what 
ye associate with God ; verily, I have turned my 
face to him who originated the heaven and the 
earth, as a 'Hanif, and I am not of the idolaters.' 
[80] And his people disputed with him; — he said, 
' Do ye dispute with me concerning God, when He 
has guided me ? but I fear not what ye associate 
with Him unless my Lord should wish for anything. 
My Lord doth comprehend all things in His know- 
ledge, will ye not then remember ? How should I 
fear what ye associate with Him, when ye yourselves 
fear not to associate with God what He has sent 
down to you no power to do ? Which then of the 
two sects is worthier of belief, if indeed ye know ?' 

Those who believe and do not obscure their faith 
with wrong, they are those who shall have security, 
and they are guided. 

1 The Hebrew Terah is in Arabic T&rah. Eusebius gives the 
form Athar, which may in some measure account for the name 
here given. 

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These are our arguments which we gave to 
Abraham against his people ; — we raise the rank of 
whom we will ; verily, thy Lord is wise and know- 
ing. And we gave to him Isaac and Jacob, each did 
we guide. And Noah we guided before and all his 
seed, — David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and 
Moses and Aaron, — for thus do we reward those who 
do good. [85] And Zachariah and John and Jesus 
and Elias, all righteous ones; and Ishmael and 
Elisha and Jonas and Lot, each one have we pre- 
ferred above the worlds ; and of their fathers and 
their seed and brethren ; we have chosen them and 
guided them into a right way. 

That is God's guidance ; He guides those whom 
He will of His servants; and if they associate 
aught with Him, — vain is that which they have 

It is to these we give the Book and judgment and 
prophecy; and if these disbelieve therein we have 
given them in charge to a people who shall not 

[90] It is these that God hath guided, and by their 
guidance be thou led. 

Say, ' I will not ask you for it a hire : it is naught 
save a reminder to the worlds.' 

They do not prize God at His true worth when 
they say, ' God has never revealed to mortal anything.' 
Say, 'Who revealed the Book wherewith Moses 
came, a light and a guidance unto men ? Ye put 
it on papers which ye show, though ye hide much * ; 

1 The Jews are here, as frequently in the Qur'in, accused of 
suppressing and altering those parts of their scriptures which 
referred, according to the Mussulman theory, to the mission of 

Digitized by 


126 THE QUR'AN. VI, 91-94. 

and ye are taught what ye knew not, neither you 
nor your fathers/ Say, ' God,' then leave them in 
their discussion to play. 

This is the Book which we have revealed, a bless- 
ing and a confirmation to those which were before 
it, and that the mother of cities 1 may be warned, 
with those who are round about her. Those who 
believe in the last day believe therein, and they 
unto their prayers will keep. 

Who is more unjust than he who devises against 
God a lie, or says, ' I am inspired 2 ,' when he was not 
inspired at all ? and who says, .' I will bring down 
the like of what God has sent down ;' but didst thou 
see when the unjust are in the floods of death, and 
the angels stretch forth their hands, ' Give ye forth 
your souls ; to-day shall ye be recompensed with the 
torment of disgrace, for that ye did say against God 
what was not true, and were too proud .to hear His 
signs 3 . And ye come now single-handed as we 
created you at first, and ye have left behind your 
backs that which we granted you ; and we see not 
with you your intercessors whom ye pretended were 
partners * amongst you ; betwixt you have the ties 

1 Mecca. 

s This refers to Abdallah ibn Sa'hd ibn Abf Sar'h, who acted as 
amanuensis to Mohammed, and when he came to the words ' We 
have created man from an extract of clay . . . . , then we produced 
it another creation,' he said, 'and blessed be God, best of creators,' 
and Mohammed told him to write that down too ; whereupon he 
boasted that he also had been inspired with this sentence which 
Mohammed acknowledged to be part of the Qur'an. 

8 This word is nearly always used for the verses of the Qur'an. 

4 That is, partners with God, idols; to associate being the 
usual phrase in the Qur'an for idolatry. 

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been cut asunder ; and strayed away from you is what 
ye did pretend.' 

[95] Verily, God it is who cleaves out the grain 
and the date-stone ; He brings forth the living from 
the dead, and it is He who brings the dead from 
the living. There is God! how then can ye be 
beguiled ? 

He it is who cleaves out the morning, and makes 
night a repose, and the sun and the moon two 
reckonings— that is the decree of the mighty, the 
wise ! 

He it is who made for you stars that ye might be 
guided thereby in the darkness of the land and of 
the sea. Now have we detailed the signs unto a 
people who do know. 

He it is who made you spring from one soul, and 
gave you a settlement and a depository 1 . Now have 
we detailed the signs unto a people who discern. 

He it is who sends down from the heavens water ; 
and we bring forth therewith growths of everything; 
and we bring forth therefrom green things, where- 
from we bring forth grain in full ear ; and the palm, 
from its spathe come clusters within reach; and 
gardens of grapes and olives and pomegranates, 
alike and unlike; — behold its fruit when it fruits and 
ripens ! verily, in that ye have a sign for the people 
who believe. 

[100] Yet they made the ^inn* partners with 

1 In the womb. 

1 Supernatural beings created, like the devils, of fire instead of 
clay, and possessed of miraculous powers. They are devoutly 
believed in by Muslims, and are supposed to be subject to the 
same controlling laws as mankind, and to have also had prophets , 
sent to them. They are probably a survival of some old worship 

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128 THE QUR'AN. VI, 100-108. 

God, though He created them ! and they ascribed 
to Him sons and daughters, though they have no 
knowledge ; celebrated be His praise ! and exalted be 
He above what they attribute to Him! The inventor 
of the heavens and the earth ! how can He have a 
son, when He has no female companion, and when 
He has created everything, and everything He 
knows ? 

There is God for you, — your Lord ! There is no 
god but He, the Creator of everything; then worship 
Him, for He o'er everything keeps guard ! 

Sight perceives Him not, but He perceives men's 
sights ; for He is the subtle, the aware. 

Now has an insight from your Lord come unto 
you, and he who looks therewith it is for himself; 
but he who is blind thereto, it is against his soul ; 
and I am not your keeper. 

[105] Thus do we turn about the signs, that they 
may say, 'Thou hast studied,' and that we may 
explain to those who know. 

Follow what is revealed to thee from thy Lord ; 
there is no god but He, and shun the idolaters. 

But had God pleased, they would not have asso- 
ciated aught with Him ; but we have not made thee 
a keeper over them, nor art thou for them a warder. 

Do not abuse those who call on other than God, 
for then they may abuse God openly in their igno- 
rance. So do we make seemly to every nation their 
work, then unto their Lord is their return, and He 
will inform them of what they have done. 

of the powers of nature. The word ^inn is the same as that 
which in the old translation of the Arabian Nights is rendered 

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They swore by God with their most strenuous 
oath, that if there come to them a sign they will 
indeed believe therein. Say, 'Signs are only in 
God's hands ; — but what will make you under- 
stand that even when one has come, they will not 
believe ?' 

[no] We will overturn their hearts and their eye- 
sights, even as they believed not at first ; and we will 
leave them, in their rebellion, blindly wandering on. 

And had we sent down unto them the angels, or 
the dead had spoken to them, or we had gathered 
everything unto them in hosts \ they would not have 
believed unless that God pleased — but most of them 
are ignorant. 

So have we made for every prophet an enemy, — 
devils of men and ^inns; some of them inspire 
others with specious speech to lead astray ; but had 
thy Lord pleased they would not have done it ; so 
leave them with what they do devise. 

And let the hearts of those who believe not in the 
hereafter listen to it ; and let them be well pleased 
with it ; and let them gain what they may gain ! 

Of other than God shall I crave a decree, when it 
is He who has sent down to you the Book in detail, 
and those to whom we gave the Book know that it 
is sent down from thy Lord, in truth ? be thou not 
then of those who doubt. 

[115] The words of thy Lord are fulfilled in truth 
and justice ; there is none to change His words, for 
He both hears and knows. 

But if thou followest most of those who are in the 

1 This word may also be rendered ' before them' or 'a surety' 
(for the truth of the revelation). 
[6] K 

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I30 THE QUR'An. VI, 1 16-124. 

land, they will lead thee astray from the path of 
God ; they only follow suspicion and they only (rest 
on) conjecture. 

Thy Lord, He knows best who errs from His 
path, and He knows best the guided. 

Eat then of what God's name has been pro- 
nounced over, if ye believe in His signs. What 
ails you that ye do not eat from what God's name is- 
pronounced over, when He has detailed to you what 
is unlawful for you ? Save what ye are forced to ; 
but, verily, many will lead you astray by their 
fancies, without knowledge. Verily, thy Lord knows 
best the transgressors. 

[120] Leave alone the outside of sin and the 
inside thereof; verily, those who earn sin shall be 
recompensed for what they have gained. 

But eat not of what the name of God has not been 
pronounced over, for, verily, it is an abomination. 
Verily, the devils inspire their friends that they may 
wrangle with you ; but if ye obey them, verily, ye 
are idolaters. 

Is he who was dead and we have quickened 
him, and made for him a light, that he might walk 
therein amongst men, like him whose likeness is 
in the darkness whence he cannot come forth ? 
Thus is made seemly to the misbelievers what they 
have done. 

And thus have we placed in every town the great 
sinners thereof, that they may use craft therein ; but 
they use not craft except against themselves, although 
they do not understand. 

And when there comes to them a sign, they say, 
* We will not believe until we are brought like what 
the apostles were brought ;' God knows best where 

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VI, 124-130. THE CHAPTER OF CATTLE. 131 

to put His message. There shall befall those who 
sin, meanness in God's eyes, and grievous torment 
for the craft they used. 

[125] Whomsoever God wishes to guide, He 
expands His breast to Islam ; but whomsoever He 
wishes to lead astray, He makes his breast tight 
and straight, as though he would mount up into 
heaven * ; thus does God set His horror on those 
who do not believe. 

This is the way of thy Lord — straight. We have 
detailed the signs unto a mindful people ; for them 
is an abode of peace ; and their Lord, He is their 
patron for what they have done. 

And on the day when He shall gather them all 
together, ' O assembly of the ^inns ! ye have got 
much out of mankind.' And their clients from 
among mankind shall say, ' O our Lord ! much ad- 
vantage had we one from another;' but we reached 
our appointed time which thou hadst appointed for 
us. Says He, ' The fire is your resort, to dwell 
therein for aye ! save what God pleases ; verily, thy 
Lord is wise and knowing.' 

Thus do we make some of the unjust patrons of 
the others, for that which they have earned. 

[130] O assembly of ^inns and men! did there 
not come to you apostles from among yourselves, 
relating to you our signs, and warning you of the 
meeting of this very day of yours ? They say, ' We 
bear witness against ourselves.' The life of this 
world deceived them, ar d they bear witness against 
themselves that they were unbelievers. 

1 That is, makes him appear as one who would attempt some 
great but impossible thing and fails therein. 

K 2 

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132 THE QUr'aN. VI, 131-138. 

That is because thy Lord would never destroy 
towns unjustly while their people are careless; but 
for every one are degrees of what they have done ; 
and thy Lord is not careless of that which they do. 

Thy Lord is rich, merciful ; if He pleases He will 
take you off, and will cause what He pleases to 
succeed you ; even as He raised you up from the 
seed of other people. 

Verily, what ye are promised will surely come, 
nor can ye frustrate it. 

[135] Say, 'O my people! act according to your 
power, verily, I am acting too ; and soon shall ye 
know whose is the future of the abode!' verily, the 
unjust shall not prosper. 

They set apart for God, from what He raises of 
tilth and of cattle, a portion, and they say, ' This is 
God's ;' — as they pretend — 'and this is for our asso- 
ciates 1 ;' but that which is for their associates reaches 
not to God, and that which was for God does reach 
to their associates ; — evil is it what they judge 2 . 

Thus too have their associates made seemly to 
many of the idolaters the killing of their children 8 , 

1 I. e. the idols. 

8 The pagan Arabs used to set apart certain of the produce of 
their fields to Allah the chief God, and other portions to minor 
deities of their pantheon. The fruits of the portion of the latter 
were reserved for the priests, who were careful to restore to then- 
lot anything that might have fallen into that of Allah, but seldom 
troubled themselves to do the converse. This custom survives 
to a certain extent in the desert to the present day, where one tree 
in every district is devoted to patron saints, and allowed to grow 
untouched, although the others in the neighbourhood are hacked 
to pieces as food for camels. 

* Alluding both to human sacrifices to idols and the cruel cus- 
tom of burying female children alive. See Introduction. 

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VI, 138-143. THE CHAPTER OF CATTLE. 1 33 

to destroy them, and to obscure for them their 
religion 1 ; but had God pleased they would not have 
done it, leave them alone and that which they have 

And they say, ' These cattle and tilth are inviolable ; 
none shall taste thereof, save such as we please ' — 
as they pretend — and there are cattle whose backs 
are prohibited, and cattle over whom God's name is 
not pronounced, — forging a lie against Him! He 
shall reward them for what they have forged. 

[140] And they say, ' What is in the wombs of 
these cattle is unlawful for our wives, but if it be 
(born) dead, then are they partners therein.' He 
will reward them for their attribution ; verily, He is 
wise and knowing. 

Losers are they who kill their children foolishly, 
without knowledge, and who prohibit what God has 
bestowed upon them, forging a lie against God ; they 
have erred and are not guided. 

He it is who brought forth gardens with trailed 2 
and untrailed vines, and the palms and corn land, 
with various food, and olives, and pomegranates, 
alike and unlike! Eat from the fruit thereof whene'er 
it fruits, and bring the dues thereof on the day of 
harvest, and be not extravagant; verily, He loves 
not the extravagant. 

Of cattle are there some to ride on and to spread 3 . 
Eat of what God has bestowed upon you, and follow 

1 That is, to obscure what little trace it had of the original faith 
of Abraham the 'Hanff. 

* Trailed over an 'Art sh, that is, a sort of hut made of boughs. 

3 That is, spread out when slaughtered, or from the hides and 
wool, &c, of which a bed (farsh) is made. 

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134 THE QURAN. VI, 143-148. 

not the footsteps of Satan ; verily, he is to you an 
open foe. 

Eight pairs, — of sheep two, and of goats two ; say, 
'Are the two males unlawful, or the two females, or 
what the wombs of the two females contain ? inform 
me with knowledge if ye tell the truth.' [145] And 
of camels two, and cows two ; say, ' Are the two 
males unlawful, or the two females, or what the 
wombs of the two females contain ? Were ye wit- 
nesses when God ordained for you these ? — Then 
who is more unjust than he who devises a lie 
against God, to lead men astray without knowledge ? 
verily, God guides not the unjust people 1 .' 

Say, ' I cannot find in what I am inspired with any- 
thing unlawful for the taster to taste ; unless it be 
dead (of itself), or blood that has been shed, or the 
flesh of swine, — for that is a horror — or an abomina- 
tion that is consecrated to other than God. But he 
who is forced, not wilfully nor transgressing, — then, 
verily, thy Lord is forgiving and merciful.' 

To those who were Jews did we prohibit every- 
thing that hath a solid hoof; and of oxen and sheep 
did we prohibit to them the fat, save what the backs 
of both do bear, or the inwards, or what is mixed 
with bone ; with that did we recompense them for 
their rebellion, for, verily, we are true. 

And if they give thee the lie, say, ' Your Lord is 
of ample mercy, nor shall His violence be turned 
back from the sinful people.' 

1 The Arabs alternately made it unlawful to eat the males, and 
then the young of these four kinds of cattle. Mohammed in this 
passage shows the absurdity of their custom by pointing out the 
difficulty of deciding which is lawful and unlawful in the case of 
eight pairs. 

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Those who associate others with God will say, 
' Had God pleased, we had not so associated, nor 
our fathers; nor should we have forbidden aught.' 
Thus did they give the lie to those who came before 
them, until they tasted of our violence ! Say, ' Have 
ye any knowledge ? if so, bring it forth to us : ye 
only follow suspicion, and ye do but conjecture.' 

[150] Say, ' God's is the searching argument; and 
had He pleased He would have guided you all.' 
. Say, ' Come on then with your witnesses, who 
bear witness that God has prohibited these!' but if 
they do bear witness, bear thou not witness with 
them ; nor follow the lust of those who say our 
signs are lies, and those who do not believe in the 
last day, or those who for their Lord make peers. 

Say, ' Come ! I will recite what your Lord has 
forbidden you, that ye may not associate aught with 
Him, and (may show) kindness to your parents, and 
not kill your children through poverty; — we will 
provide for you and them ; — and draw not nigh to 
flagrant sins, either apparent or concealed, and kill 
not the soul, which God hath forbidden save by 
right 1 ; that is what God ordains you, haply ye may 

And draw not nigh unto the wealth of the orphan, 
save so as to better it, until he reaches full age ; and 
give weight and measure with justice. We do not 
compel the soul save what it can compass ; and when 
ye pronounce, then be just, though it be in the case 
of a relative. 

And God's compact fulfil ye; that is what He 

1 That is, commit no homicide unless it be by legal execution 
or the slaying of infidels in war. 

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1 36 THE QURAN. VI, 154-160. 

ordained you, haply ye may be mindful. Verily, 
this is my right way ; follow it then, and follow not 
various paths, to separate yourselves from His way ; 
that is what He has ordained you, haply ye may 

[155] Then we gave Moses the Book, complete 
for him who acts aright, and a decision and a 
guidance and a mercy; haply in the meeting of 
their Lord they will believe. 

This is the Book which we have sent down ; it is 
a blessing ; follow it then and fear ; haply ye may 
obtain mercy. Lest ye say, 'The Book was only sent 
down to two sects before us ; verily, we, for what they 
read, care naught' Or, lest ye should say, ' Had we 
had a book revealed to us we should surely have 
been more guided than they;' but there is come 
to them a manifest sign from their Lord, and a 
guidance and a mercy; who then is more unjust 
than he who calls God's signs lies, and turns from 
them ? we will reward those who turn from our 
signs with an evil punishment for that they turned 

What do they expect but that the angels should 
come for them, or that thy Lord should come, or 
that some signs 1 of thy Lord should come? On the 
day when some signs do come, its faith shall profit 
no soul which did not believe before, unless it has 
earned some good by its faith. Say, 'Wait ye 
expectant, then we wait expectant too.' 

[160] Verily, those who divided their religion and 
became sects, thou hast not to do with them, their 

1 Signs of the approach of the day of judgment 

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matter is in God's hands, He will yet inform them 
of that which they have done. 

He who brings a good work shall have ten like it; 
but he who brings a bad work shall be recompensed 
only with the like thereof, for they shall not be 

Say, ' As for me, my Lord has guided me to the 
right way, a right religion, — the faith of Abraham 
the 'Hanif, for he was not of the idolaters.' 

Say, ' Verily, my prayers and my devotion and my 
life and my death belong to God, the Lord of the 
worlds. He has no partner; that is what I am 
bidden ; for I am first of those who are resigned.' 

Say, 'Other than God shall I crave for a Lord 
when He is Lord of all ?' but no soul shall earn 
aught save against itself 1 ; nor shall one bearing a 
burden bear the burden of another ; and then unto 
your Lord is your return, and He will inform you 
concerning that whereon ye do dispute. 

[165] He it is who made you vicegerents, and raised 
some of you above others in degree, to try you by 
that which he has brought you ; — verily, thy Lord is 
swift to punish, but, verily, He is forgiving and 

1 Not receive the recompense of other than persons' evil actions. 

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138 THE QUR'AN. VII, i-ir. 

The Chapter of al AarAf 1 . 
(VII. Mecca.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

A. L. M. S. A book revealed to thee, — so let 
there be no straitness in thy breast, that thou 
mayest warn thereby, — and a reminder to the 

Follow what has been revealed to you from your 
Lord, and follow not beside Him patrons ; little is it 
that ye mind. 

Yet how many a town have we destroyed, and 
our violence came upon it by night, or while they 
slept at noon ; and their cry, when our violence came 
upon them, was only to say, 'Verily, we were unjust!' 
[5] But we will of a surety question those to whom 
the prophets were sent, and we will narrate to them 
with knowledge, for we were not absent. The 
balance on that day is true, and whosesoever scales 
are heavy, they are prosperous ; but whosesoever 
scales are light, they it is who lose themselves, for 
that they did act unjustly by our signs. 

We have established you in the earth, and we 
have made for you therein livelihoods; little is it that 
ye thank; [10] and we created you, then we fashioned 
you, then we said unto the angels, ' Adore Adam,' 
and they adored, save Iblls, who was not of those 
who did adore. 

Said He, ' What hinders thee from adoring when 

1 The name of the bridge between heaven and hell described 
in this chapter. 

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I order thee ?' he said, ' I am better than he ; Thou 
hast created me from fire, and him Thou hast created 
out of clay.' 

Said He, 'Then go down therefrom; what ails thee 
that thou shouldst be big with pride therein ? go 
forth ! verily, thou art of the little ones.' 

He said, ' Respite me until the day when they 
shall be raised.' He said, ' Verily, thou art of the 
respited;' [15] said he, ' For that Thou hast led me 
into error, I will lie in wait for them in Thy straight 
path ; then I will surely come to them, from before 
them and from behind them; and most of them Thou 
shalt not find thankful.' He said, ' Go forth there- 
from, despised, expelled ; whoso follows thee, I will 
surely fill hell with you altogether. But, O Adam, 
dwell thou and thy wife in Paradise and eat from 
whence ye will, but draw not nigh unto this tree 
or ye will be of the unjust.' 

But Satan whispered to them to display to them 
what was kept back from them of their shame, and 
he said, ' Your Lord has only forbidden you this tree 
lest ye should be twain angels, or should become of 
the immortals;' [20] and he swore to them both, 
'Verily, I am unto you a sincere adviser;' and he 
beguiled them by deceit, and when they twain tasted 
of the tree, their shame was shown them, and they 
began to stitch upon themselves the leaves of the 
garden. And their Lord called unto them, ' Did I 
not forbid you from that tree there, and say to you, 
Verily, Satan is to you an open foe ?' They said, ' O 
our Lord ! we have wronged ourselves — and if Thou 
dost not forgive us and have mercy on us, we shall 
surely be. of those who are lost 1' He said, ' Go ye 
down, one of you to the other a foe ; but for you in 

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I40 THE QURAN. VII, 33-30. 

the earth there is an abode, and a provision for a 
season.' He said, ' Therein shall ye live and therein 
shall ye die, from it shall ye be brought forth.' 

[25] O sons of Adam! we have sent down to 
you garments wherewith to cover your shame, and 
plumage 1 ; but the garment of piety, that is better. 
That is one of the signs of God, haply ye may 

O sons of Adam ! let not Satan infatuate you as 
he drove your parents out of Paradise, stripping from 
them their garments, and showing them their shame ; 
verily, he sees you — he and his tribe, from whence ye 
cannot see them. Verily, we have made the devils 
patrons of those who do not believe, and when they 
commit an abomination they say, 'We found our 
fathers at this, and God bade us do it.' 

Say, ' God bids you not to do abomination ; do ye 
say against God that which ye do not know ?' 

Say, ' My Lord bids only justice : — set steadfastly 
you faces at every mosque and pray to Him, being 
sincere in your religion. As He brought you forth 
in the beginning, shall ye return. A sect He guides, 
and for a sect of them was error due ; verily, they 
did take the devils for their patrons instead of God, 
and they did count that they were guided.' 

O sons of Adam ! take your ornaments to every 
mosque 2 ; and eat and drink, but do not be extra- 
vagant, for He loves not the extravagant 

[30] Say, ' Who has prohibited the ornaments of 
God which He brought forth for His servants, and the 
good things of His providing ?' say, ' On the day of 

1 I.e. fine dresses. 

* That is, wear your best apparel in the mosque. 

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judgment they shall only be for those who believed 
when in the life of this world V Thus do we detail 
the signs unto a people that do know. 

Say, 'My Lord has only prohibited abominable 
deeds, the apparent thereof and the concealed ' 
thereof, and sin, and greed for that which is not 
right, and associating with God what He has sent 
down no power for, and saying against God that 
which ye do not know.' 

Every nation has its appointed time, and when 
their appointed time comes they cannot keep it back 
an hour, nor can they bring it on. 

O sons of Adam ! verily, there will come to you 
apostles from amongst you, narrating unto you my 
signs ; then whoso fears God and does what is right, 
there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve. But 
those who say my signs are lies, and who are too_ 
big with pride for them, these are the fellows of the 
Fire, they shall dwell therein for aye ! 

[35] Who is more unjust than he who devises 
against God a lie, or says His signs are lies ? These, 
their portion of the Book shall reach them 2 , until 
when our messengers come to take their souls away, 
and say, 'Where is what ye used to call upon instead 
of God ?' they say, ' They have strayed away from 
us ;' and they shall bear witness against themselves 
that they have been misbelievers. 

He will say, ' Enter ye — amongst the nations who 

1 Whereas now idolaters share in the good things of this world ; 
but on the day of judgment those only shall enjoy them who 
were believers here. 

g That is, they shall have whatever portion of good or evil is 
written for them in the book of their fate. 

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J 42 THE QURAN. VII, 36-42. 

have passed away before you, both offinns 1 and men 
— into the fire ;' whenever a nation enters therein, it 
curses its mate 2 ; until, when they have all reached 
it, the last of them will say unto the first, ' O our 
Lord ! these it was who led us astray, give them 
double torment of the fire !' He will say, * To each 
of you double ! but ye do not know.' And the first 
of them will say unto the last, 'Ye have no preference 
over us, so taste ye the torment for that which ye 
have earned !' 

Verily, those who say our signs are lies and are too 
big with pride for them; for these the doors of heaven 
shall not be opened, and they shall not enter into 
Paradise until a camel shall pass into a needle's eye. 

It is thus that we reward the sinners ; for them is 
a couch of hell-fire, with an awning above them ! 
thus do we reward the unjust ! 

[40] But those who believe and do what is right — 
we will not oblige a soul more than its capacity 
— they are the fellows of Paradise, they shall dwell 
therein for aye. 

We will strip away what ill feeling is in their 
breasts — there shall flow beneath them rivers, and 
they shall say, ' Praise belongs to God who guided 
us to this ! for we should not have been guided had 
not God guided us ! — the apostles of our Lord did 
come to us with truth !' And it shall be cried out to 
them, 'This is Paradise which ye have as an in- 
heritance for that which ye have done !' And the 
fellows of Paradise will call out to the fellows of the 
Fire, 'We have now found that what our Lord 
promised us is true ; have ye found that what your 

1 See p. 127, note 2. » Literally, his sister. 

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Lord promised you is true ? ' They will say, ' Yea ! ' 
And a crier from amongst them will cry out, ' The 
curse of God is on the unjust who turn from the way 
of God and crave to make it crooked, while in the 
hereafter they do disbelieve !' 

And betwixt the two there is a veil, and on al 
Aaraf are men who know each by marks ; and they 
shall cry out to the fellows of Paradise,' Peace be upon 
you !' they cannot enter it although they so desire. 
[45] But when their sight is turned towards the 
fellows of the Fire, they say, ' O our Lord ! place us 
not with the unjust people/ And the fellows on 
al Aaraf will cry out to the men whom they know by 
their marks, and say, ' Of no avail to you were your 
collections, and what ye were so big with pride about ; 
are these those ye swore that God would not extend 
mercy to ? Enter ye Paradise ; there is no fear for 
you, nor shall ye be grieved.' 

But the fellows of the Fire shall cry out to the 
fellows of Paradise, ' Pour out upon us water, or 
something of what God has provided you with V 
They will say, ' God has prohibited them both to 
those who misbelieve; who took their religion for 
a sport and a play; whom the life of the world 
beguiled.' — To-day do we forget them as they forgot 
the meeting of this day, and for that they did deny 
our signs ! 

[50] Now we have brought them a book explain- 
ing it in knowledge, a guidance and a mercy to a 
people who believe. 

Do they wait now for aught but its interpreta- 
tion ? — on the day when its interpretation shall come, 

1 The fruits of Paradise. 

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144 THE QURAN. VII, 51-57. 

those who forgot it before will say, ' There did come 
to us the apostles of our Lord in truth, have we 
intercessors to intercede for us ? or, could we return, 
we would do otherwise than we did.' They have 
lost themselves, and that which they devised has 
strayed away from them. 

Verily, your Lord is God who created the heavens 
and the earth in six days; then He made for the 
Throne 1 . He covers night with the day — it pur- 
sues it incessantly — and the sun and the moon and 
the stars are subject to His bidding. Aye! — His 
is the creation and the bidding, — blessed be God 
the Lord of the worlds! 

Call on your Lord humbly and secretly, verily, He 
loves not the transgressors. And do not evil in the 
earth after it has been righted ; and call upon Him 
with fear and earnestness ; verily, the mercy of God 
is nigh unto those who do well. 

[55] He it is who sends forth the winds as heralds 
before His mercy ; until when they lift the heavy 
cloud which we drive to a dead land, and send down 
thereon water, and bring forth therewith every kind 
of fruit ; — thus do we bring forth the dead ; haply ye 
may remember. 

And the good land brings forth its vegetation by 
the permission of its Lord ; and that which is vile 
brings forth naught but scarcity. Thus do we turn 
about our signs for a people who are grateful. 

We did send Noah unto his people, and he said, 
' O my people ! serve God, ye have no god but 
Him; verily, I fear for you the torment of the 
mighty day.' Said the chiefs of his people, ' Verily, 

* The highest heaven is so called. 

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we do surely see you in obvious error.' Said he, 
• O my people ! there is no error in me ; but I am 
an apostle from the Lord of the worlds. [60] I 
preach to you the messages of my Lord, and I give 
you sincere advice ; and I know from God what ye 
know not. What ! do ye wonder that there came to 
you a reminder from your Lord by a man from 
amongst yourselves, to warn you, and that ye may 
fear ? but haply ye may receive mercy.' 

But they called him a liar, and we rescued him 
and those who were with him in the ark; and we 
drowned those who said our signs were lies, verily, 
they were a blind people. 

And unto 'Ad 1 (we sent) their brother Hud 2 , who 
said, ' O my people ! serve God, ye have no god save 
Him ; what ! will ye not then fear?' Said the chiefs 
of those who misbelieved amongst his people, 'Verily, 
we see thee in folly, and, verily, we certainly think 
thou art of the liars.' [65] He said, 'O my people ! 
there is no folly in me] but I am an apostle from 
the Lord of the worlds ; I preach to you the mes- 
sages of your Lord ; and, verily, I am to you a 
faithful adviser. What! do ye then wonder that 
there comes to you a reminder from your Lord by a 
man from amongst yourselves, to warn you ? re- 
member when He made you vicegerents after 
Noah's people .and increased you in length of 
stature ; remember, then, the benefits of God, — 

1 An extinct tribe of the ancient Arabs, 

* Hud and Thamud, both mentioned in the works of Ptolemy, 
were two tribes of the ancient Arabs, extinct in Mohammed's time, 
whose disappearance had been attributed, by popular tradition, to 
divine vengeance. 

[6] L 

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I46 THE QURAN. VII, 67-74. 

haply ye may prosper!' They said, 'Hast thou 
come to us that we may worship God alone, and 
leave what our fathers used to worship ? then bring 
us what thou dost threaten us with, if thou art of 
those who tell the truth !' He said, ' There shall 
fall, upon you from your Lord horror and wrath ; do 
ye wrangle with me about names, which ye and your 
fathers have named yourselves, for which God sent 
down no power; wait then expectant, and I with 
you will wait expectant too ! [70] But we rescued 
him and those with him, by mercy from ourselves, 
and we cut off the hindermost parts of those who said 
our signs were lies and who were not believers.' 

Unto Thamud (we sent) their brother Zali'h, who 
said, 'O my people ! worship God ; ye have no god 
but Him : there has come to you a manifest sign 
from your Lord. This she-camel of God's is a sign 
for you ; leave her then to eat in the land of God, 
and touch her not with evil, or there will overtake 
you grievous woe. And remember how he made 
you vicegerents after 'Ad and stablished you in the 
earth, so that ye took for yourselves castles on its 
plains and hewed out mountains into houses 1 ; and 
remember the benefits of God, and waste not the 
land, despoiling it.' Said the chiefs of those who 
were big with pride from amongst his people to 
those who were weak, — to those amongst them who 
believed, ' Do ye know that Zali'h is sent from his 
Lord ?' They said, ' We do believe in that with 
which he is sent.' Said those who were big with 
pride, ' Verily, in what ye do believe we disbelieve.' 

1 Referring to the numerous excavated rock -dwellings in 

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VII, 75. 7 6 - THE CHAPTER OF AL AARAf. I47 

[75] Then they did hamstring the camel, and re- 
belled against the bidding of their Lord and said, 
' O Zali'h ! bring us what thou didst threaten us 
with, if thou art of those who are sent.' Then the 
earthquake took them, and in the morning they lay 
prone in their dwellings ; and he turned away from 
them and said, ' O my people ! I did preach to you 
the message of my Lord, and I gave you good 
advice ; but ye love not sincere advisers V 

1 All that has been hitherto written about the legend Zali'h and 
his camel is pure conjecture; the native commentators add nothing 
but a few marvellous details to the story as given in the Qur'&n, 
and the European annotators can only suggest possible identifica- 
tions for Zali'h himself, such as the Schelah of Gen. xi. 13. My 
own view of the matter is of course an hypothesis too, but it has at 
least some circumstantial evidence in its favour; it is embodied in 
the following extract from my ' Desert of the Exodus,' p. 50 : 'Near 
El Watfyeh is situated the tomb of Nebi Saleh, a wretched little 
building, but accounted by the Bedawin one of the most sacred 
spots on the Peninsula (of Sinai). Hither they resort in great num- 
bers at certain seasons of the year to perform ceremonies and 
sacrificial rites. Who and what was Nebi Saleh, "the Prophet 
Saleh," or, as his name implies, " the Righteous Prophet ?" A great 
saint with the Bedawin, perhaps the ancestor of the Sawaliheh 
tribe, who are named after him ; but this explanation is vague and 
unsatisfactory, and in the absence of any certain information on the 
subject I will venture to propound a theory. I must premise that 
near the summit of Jebel Musa is a peculiar mark in the stone 
which has a strong resemblance to the imprint of a camel's foot 
It is regarded by the Bedawin with great veneration, and the girls, 
when tending their flocks on the mountains, often milk their goats 
into it as a sure means of obtaining increase and prosperity. This 
mark is called Athar Nagat en Nebf, " the footprint of the Pro- 
phet's She-camel." It is generally taken for granted that the 
Prophet in question is Mohammed, but to my mind there are 
several circumstances which seem to connect the Nebi Saleh of the 
tomb with the prophet of the legend. A Bedawin's notions of the 
separate identity of Moses, Elias, and Saleh are of the vaguest 

L 2 

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I48 THE QUR AN. VII, 77-83 

And Lot, when he said to his people, ' Do ye 
approach an abomination which no one in all the 
world ever anticipated you in ? verily, ye approach 
men with lust rather than women — nay, ye are a 
people who exceed.' [80] But his people's answer only 
was to say, ' Turn them out of your village, verily, 
they are a people who pretend to purity.' But we 
saved him and his people, except his wife, who was 
of those who lingered ; and we rained down upon 
them a rain ; — see then how was the end of the 
sinners ! 

And unto Midian did we send their brother 

kind, and if asked to which of his national saints the camel be- 
longed you will find that he has never even thought of the question 
at all. There is no point in attributing the mysterious footprint 
to the camel of Mohammed, for the celebrated " night journey " to 
heaven, the Prophet's only recorded aeronautic trip, was performed 
on Borak, a creature with the feet of a mule. But Mohammed has 
a legend in the Qur'£n of a certain " Nebi Saleh," who was sent as 
a prophet to the people of Thamud, and whose divine mission was 
attested by the production of a she-camel from the rock. The 
author of " El Islam " certainly did visit the Sinaitic mountains, and 
may in all probability have taken the story from the national 
traditions of the Peninsula. The origin and history of Nebi Saleh 
is quite unknown to the present Bedawin inhabitants, but they 
nevertheless regard him with more national veneration than even 
Moses himself. I should therefore conclude that the Nebi Saleh 
of the tomb in Wady es Sheikl, the prophet of the camel's foot- 
print, and the Saleh of the Qur'in are identical, and that the 
" people of Thamud " are the Saracen inhabitants of Sinai, who 
preceded the Mohammedan invasion. Who then was Nebi Saleh ? 
Looking at the veneration in which his memory is held, and at the 
character of the miracle attributed to him — the rock smitten with 
a rod, and a live camel, the greatest of Bedawin blessings, 
miraculously produced therefrom — with the subsequent rebellion 
of the people for whom the Prophet worked the sign, I fancy we 
may recognise in the tradition a distorted reminiscence of the 
Israelitish lawgiver himself.' 

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Sho'haib \ who said, ' O my people ! serve God, ye 
have no god save Him. There has come to you 
a manifest sign from your Lord; then give good 
weight and measure, and be not niggardly of your 
gifts to men, and do not evil in the earth after it has 
been righted. That is better for you if ye are 
believers ; and sit not down in every path, threaten- 
ing and turning from the path of God those who 
believe in Him, and craving to make it crooked. 
Remember when ye were few and He multiplied 
you; and see what was the end of the evildoers ! [85] 
And if there be a party of you who believe in what 
I am sent with, and a party who believe not, then 
wait patiently until God judges between us, for He 
is the best of judges.' Said the crowd of those who 
were big with pride amongst His people, ' We will 
of a surety turn thee out, O Sho'haib ! and those who 
believe with thee, from our village; or else thou 
shalt return unto our faith.' Said he, ' What even 
if we be averse therefrom ? We shall have devised 
a lie against God if we return unto your faith, after 
God has saved us from it ; and what should ail us 
that we should return thereto, unless that God our 
Lord should please ? our Lord embraces everything 
in His knowledge; — on God do we rely. O our 
Lord ! open between us and between our people in 
truth, for Thou art the best of those who open 2 .' 
And the chiefs of those who disbelieved amongst 

1 The Jethro of the Bible. 

* That is, 'give us a chance,' the idiom is still current in modem 
parlance. A shopkeeper, for instance, who has not sold anything 
all day, or who refuses a bargain, always says yefta'h'allah, 'never 
mind ! God will give me a chance of selling it' 

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' *. 

I50 THE QURAN. VII, 88-98. 

his people said, ' If ye follow Sho'haib, verily, ye 
shall be the losers;' then there took them the earth- 
quake, and in the morning they lay in their dwellings 
prone. [90] Those who called Sho'haib a liar, (were) 
as though they had not dwelt therein ! — Those who 
called Sho'haib a liar, they were the losers then ! 
And he turned away from them and said, ' O my 
people ! I preached to you the messages of my 
Lord, and I gave you good advice ; how should I 
be vexed for a people who do misbelieve ? ' 

We have not sent unto a city any prophet 
except we overtook the people thereof with trouble 
and distress, that haply they might humble them- 
selves ; and then did we give them, in exchange for 
evil, good, until they increased and said, ' Distress 
and joy both touched our fathers;' then we overtook 
them suddenly ere they could perceive. — Had the 
people of the town but believed and feared, we would 
have opened up for them blessings from the heavens 
and from the earth ; but they said it was a lie, so 
we overtook them for that which they had earned. 

[95] Were the people of these cities then secure 
that our violence would not come on them by night, 
while they slept ? were the people of these cities 
secure that our violence would not come on them 
in the morning whilst they played ? were they secure 
from the craft of God ? none feel secure from the 
craft of God except a people that shall lose. 

Is it not shown to those who inherit the earth 
after its (former) people, that, did we please, we would 
smite 1 them in their sins, and would set a stamp 
upon their hearts, and then they should not hear ? 

1 The word is used of an arrow that hits a mark, and hence of 
any sudden calamity that falls on a man. 

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These cities, we do relate to thee their stories. 
There came to them our apostles with manifest 
signs ; but they did not at all believe in what they 
called a lie before. — Thus doth God set a stamp 
upon the hearts of those who misbelieve. 

[100] Nor did we find in most of them a cove- 
nant; but we did find most of them workers of 

Then we raised up after them Moses with our 
signs to Pharaoh and his chiefs; but they dealt 
unjustly therewith, and see what was the end of the 
evildoers ! 

Moses said, 'O Pharaoh ! verily, I am an apostle 
from the Lord of the worlds ; it is not right for me 
to speak against God aught but the truth. I have 
come to you with a manifest sign from my Lord ; 
send then the children of Israel 'with me.' Said he, 
' If thou hast come with a sign, then bring it, if thou 
art of those who speak the truth.' Then he threw 
his rod down, and lo ! it was an obvious snake ; [105] 
and he drew out his hand, and lo ! it was white to 
the beholders. Said the chiefs of Pharaoh's people, 
' Verily, this is surely a knowing magician ; he desires 
to turn you out of your land ; — what is it then ye 
bid ?' They said, ' Give him and his brother some 
hope ; and send into the cities to collect and bring you 
every knowing magician.' [no] And the magician 
came to Pharaoh and said, 'Is there indeed a reward 
for us if we are conquerors?' He said, ' Yea! and 
ye shall be of those who draw nigh unto me.' They 
said, ' O Moses ! wilt thou cast down (thy rod) or 
shall we be (first) to throw?' Said he, 'Throw down;' 
and when they threw down, they did enchant the 
people's eyes, and made them dread, and brought a 

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I52 THE QUR'AN. VII, 113-126. 

mighty magic. But we inspired Moses (saying), 
' Throw down thy rod, and it will gulp down that 
which they devise ;' [1 1 5] and the truth stood fast, and 
vain was that which they had done ; and they were 
conquered there, and turned back feeling small ! and 
the magicians threw themselves down adoring. Said 
they, 'We believe in the Lord of the worlds, the 
Lord of Moses and Aaron!' [120] Said Pharaoh, 
' Do ye believe in him ere I give you leave ? This 
is craft which ye have devised in the land, to turn 
its people out therefrom, but soon shall ye know ! I 
will cut off your hands and your feet from opposite 
sides, then I will crucify you altogether!' They 
said, l Verily, we unto our Lord return! nor dost 
thou take vengeance on us, save for that we believe 
in the signs of our Lord, when they come to us. 

' O our Lord ! pour out upon us patience, and take 
us to Thyself resigned V And the chiefs of Pharaoh's 
people said, ' Will ye leave Moses and his people to 
do evil in the land, and to leave thee and thy gods?' 
Said he, 'We will have their sons slain and their 
women we will let live, for, verily, we are triumphant 
over them.' 

[125] Said Moses unto his people, 'Ask for aid 
from God and be patient ; verily, the earth is God's ! 
He gives it for an inheritance to whom He pleases 
of His servants, and the future is for those who 
fear.' They said, ' We have been hurt before thou 
didst come to us, and since thou hast come to us.' 
Said he, ' It may be that your Lord will destroy 
your foe, and will make you succeed him in the 
earth ; and He will see how ye act' 

1 Or, cause us to die Moslems. 

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VII, 127-134. THE CHAPTER OF AL AARAf. 153 

We had overtaken Pharaoh's people with the 
years (of dearth) and scarcity of fruits, that haply they 
might remember ; but when there came to them a 
good thing they said, ' This is ours ; ' and if there 
befel them an evil, they took the augury from 
Moses and those with him ; — is not their augury 
only in God's hands ? — but most of them know not. 

And they said, ' Whatever thou dost bring us as 
a sign to enchant us therewith, yet will we not 
believe in thee.' 

[1 30] Then we sent upon them the flood and the 
locusts and the lice and the frogs and the blood, 
— signs detailed ; but they were big with pride and 
were a people who did sin. 

And when there fell upon them the plague, they 
said, ' O Moses ! call upon thy Lord for us, as 
He has covenanted with thee ; verily, if thou dost 
remove the plague from us, we will believe in thee ; 
and we will assuredly send with thee the children of 
Israel.' But when we removed from them the plague 
until the appointed time which they should reach, 
lo ! then they broke their promise. But we took 
vengeance on them, and we drowned them in the 
sea, for that they said our signs were lies and were 
careless thereof. And we gave as an inheritance 
unto the people who had been weak, the eastern 
quarters of the earth and the western quarters 
thereof, which we had blest ; and the good word of 
thy Lord was fulfilled on the children of Israel, for 
that they were patient; and we destroyed that which 
Pharaoh and his people had made and that which 
they had piled \ And with the children of Israel 

1 The word y'arishun is properly used of making wooden huts t 

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1 54 THE QUR AN. VII, 134-141! 

we passed across the sea ; and they came unto a 
people devoted to their idols, and said, ' O Moses ! 
make for us a god as they have gods.' Said he, 
' Verily, ye are ignorant people.' [135] Verily, these 
— destroyed shall be that which they are given to ; 
and vain is that which they have done. 

He said, ' Other than God then do ye crave for a 
god, when He has preferred you above the worlds ?' 

And when we saved you from Pharaoh's people who 
wrought you evil woe, killing your sons, and letting 
your women live ; and in that was a mighty trial 
from your Lord. 

And we appointed for Moses thirty nights, and 
completed them with ten (more), so that the time 
appointed by his Lord was completed to forty nights. 
And Moses said unto his brother Aaron, ' Be thou 
my vicegerent amongst my people, and do what is 
right, and follow not the path of the evildoers.' 

And when Moses came to our appointment, and his 
Lord spake unto him, he said, 'O my Lord ! show me, 
— that I may look on thee !' He said, ' Thou canst 
not see me ; but look upon the mountain, and if it 
remain steady in its place, thou shalt see me;' but 
when his Lord appeared unto the mountain He 
made it dust, and Moses fell down in a swoon ! 

[140] And when he came to himself, he said, 
' Celebrated be thy praise ! I turn repentant unto 
Thee, and I am the first of those who are resigned.' 

He said, 'O Moses! verily, I have chosen thee 
over the people with my messages and my words, 
take then what I have brought thee, and be of those 

but is here applied to any structures, especially the massive temples 
and other piles of Egyptian buildings. 

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who thank.' And we wrote for him upon tablets 
an admonition concerning everything, and a detail- 
ing of everything : ' Take them then with firmness, 
and bid thy people take them for what is best 
thereof. I will show you the abode of those who 
work abominations ; I will turn from my signs those 
who are big with pride in the earth without right ; 
and if they see every sign they shall not believe 
therein, and if they see the path of rectitude they 
shall not take it for a path ; but if they see the path 
of error they shall take it for a path ; — that is be- 
cause they have said our signs are lies and have 
been careless of them.' 


[145] But those who say our signs and the meet- 
ing of the last day are lies, — vain are their works : 
shall they be rewarded save for that which they 
have done ? 

And Moses' people after him took to themselves of 
their ornaments a corporeal calf that lowed * ; did 
they not see that it could not speak with them, nor 
could it guide them in the path ? They took it and 
they were unjust; but when they bit their hands with 
fruitless rage and saw that they had gone astray, they 
said, ' Verily, if our Lord have not compassion on us 
and forgive us we shall surely be of those who 

And when Moses returned unto his people angry 
and grieved, he said, ' Evil is it that ye have done 
after me ! Would ye hasten on the bidding of your 
Lord ? ' and he threw down the tablets and took his 
brother by the head to drag him towards him, but 
he said, ' O son of my mother ! verily, the people 

1 This is also a Talmudic legend. 

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1 56 THE QUR'AN. VII, 149-156. 

weakened me and well-nigh killed me; make not 
then mine enemies glad about me, and put me not 
with the unjust people.' [150] He said, ' Lord! 
pardon me and my brother, and let us enter into Thy 
mercy; for Thou art the most merciful of the merciful. 
Verily, these have taken to themselves a calf; there 
shall reach them wrath from their Lord, and abase- 
ment in the life of this world ; for thus do we reward 
those who forge a lie. But those who have done 
bad works, and then turn again after them and 
believe, — verily, thy Lord, after that, is forgiving 
and merciful.' 

And when Moses' wrath calmed down he took the 
tables, in the inscription of which was guidance and 
mercy for those who dread their Lord. 

And Moses chose from his people seventy men 
for our appointment ; and when the earthquake took 
them he said, ' O my Lord ! hadst Thou willed, 
Thou hadst destroyed them before and me. Wilt 
Thou destroy us for what the fools amongst us have 
done ? This is naught but Thy trial, wherewith 
Thou dost lead astray whom Thou pleasest and 
guidest whom Thou pleasest ; Thou art our patron ! 
forgive us and have mercy on us, for Thou art the 
best of those who do forgive I 

[155] ' And write down for us in this world good, 
and in the future too; verily, we are guided unto 
Thee.' He said, ' My punishment — with it I fall on 
whom I will ; and my mercy embraceth everything ; 
and I will write it down for those who fear, and who 
give alms, and those who in our signs believe, — who 
follow the Apostle — the illiterate prophet 1 , whom 

1 Or, the apostle of the Geritiles. 

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they find written down with them in the law and the 
gospel, bidding them what is reasonable and for- 
bidding them what is wrong, and making lawful for 
them what is good, and making unlawful evil things ; 
and setting down for them their burdens and the 
yokes which were upon them ; — to those who believe 
in him and aid him and help him and follow the law 
which has been sent down with him — they shall be 
the prosperous.' 

Say, ' O ye folk ! verily, I am the Apostle of God 
unto you all,' — of Him whose is the kingdom of the 
heavens and the earth, there is no god but He ! 
He quickens and He kills! believe then in God and 
His Apostle, the illiterate prophet, — who believes in 
God and in His words — then follow him that haply 
ye may be guided. 

Amongst Moses' people is a nation guided in 
truth, and thereby act they justly. 

[160] And we cut them up into twelve tribes, 
each a nation ; and we revealed unto Moses, when 
his people asked him for drink, ' Strike with thy staff 
the rock!' and there gushed forth from it twelve 
springs, each folk knew their drinking place. And 
we overshadowed them with the cloud; and sent 
down upon them the manna and the quails, ' Eat of 
the good things we have provided you with !' — Yet 
they did not wrong us, but it was themselves they 

And when it was said unto them, ' Dwell in this 
city and eat therefrom as ye will, and say 'hi//atun 
and enter the gate adoring ; so will we pardon you 
your sins ; — we will increase those who do well.' But 
those amongst them who did wrong changed it for 
another word than which was said to them ; and we 

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I58 THE QURAN. VII, 162-168; 

sent upon them a plague from heaven for that they 
were unjust. 

Ask them too about the city which stood by the 
sea, when they transgressed upon the Sabbath ; when 
their fish came to them on the Sabbath day sailing 
straight up to them ; but on the days when they kept 
not the Sabbath, they came not to them, thus did we 
try them for the abominations that they wrought \ 

And when a nation from amongst them said, 
'Why do ye warn a people whom God would 
destroy, or punish with severe torment?' they said, 
' As an excuse to your Lord, that haply they may 
fear.' [165] But when they forgot what they had 
been reminded of, we saved those who forbade evil, 
but we overtook those who did wrong with punish- 
ment ; — evil was the abomination that they did, but 
when they rebelled against what they were forbidden, 
we said to them, ' Become ye apes, despised and 
spurned!' and then thy Lord proclaimed that He 
would surely send against them till the resurrection 
day, those who should wreak them evil torment ; 
verily, thy Lord is quick at following up, but, verily, 
He is forgiving, merciful. 

We cut them up in the earth into nations. Of 
them are the righteous, and of them are the reverse 
of that ; we have tried them with good things and 
with bad things ; haply they may return. 

But there succeeded them successors who in- 
herited the Book! They take the goods of this 
lower world and say, ' It will be forgiven us.' But 
if the like goods came to them they would take them 
too ! Was there not taken from them a covenant by 

1 Cf. Chapter II, 61. 

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the Book, that they should not say against God 
aught but the truth ? Yet they study therein ! But 
the abode of the future life is better for those who 
fear — do ye not then understand ? But those who 
hold fast by the Book and are steadfast in prayer — - 
verily, we will not waste the hire of those who do 

[1 70] And when we shook the mountain over them, 
as though it were a shadow, and they thought it 
would fall upon them (saying), ' Take ye what we 
have given you with firmness, and remember what 
is therein ; haply ye may fear.' 

And when thy Lord took from the children of 
Adam out of their loins their seed, and made them 
bear witness against themselves, ' Am I not your 
Lord?' They said, 'Yea! we do bear witness' — 
lest ye should say on the day of resurrection, 'Verily, 
for this we did not care;' or say, ' Verily, our fathers 
associated others with God before us, and we were 
but their seed after them : wilt Thou then destroy us 
for what vaindoers did ?' j — Thus do we detail the 
signs ; haply they may return. 

Read to them the declaration of him to whom we 
brought our signs, and who stepped away therefrom, 
and Satan followed him, and he was of those who 
were beguiled 1 . [175] Had we pleased we would 
have exalted him thereby, but he crouched upon the 
earth and followed his lust, and his likeness was as 
the likeness of a dog, whom if thou shouldst attack 

1 Said to refer to Balaam, but also to several pretenders of 
prophecy amongst the Arabians. By some it is referred to 'Omaiy- 
yat ibn Abi Zalt, or to a certain Jewish Rabbi, who had prophesied 
the coming of a prophet about Mohammed's time, but would not 
acknowledge the latter as such. 

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l6o THE QUR'aN. VII, 175-185. 

he hangs out his tongue, or if thou should leave him, 
hangs out his tongue too. That is the likeness of 
the people who say our signs are lies. Tell them 
then these tales — haply they may reflect. 

Evil is the likeness of a people who say our signs 
are lies ; themselves it is they wrong ! 

We have created for hell many of the ^inn and 
of mankind ; they have hearts and they discern not 
therewith ; they have eyes and they see not there- 
with ; they have ears and they hear not therewith ; 
they are like cattle, nay, they go more astray ! these 
it is who care not. 

But God's are the good names; call on Him then 
thereby, and leave those who pervert His names 1 ; 
they shall be rewarded for that which they have 

[180] And of those whom we have created is a 
nation who are guided in truth and thereby act with 
equity ; but they who say our signs are lies, we will 
bring them down by degrees from whence they know 
not I will let them range ; — verily, my stratagem 
is efficacious ! 

Do they not then reflect that their companion 2 is 
not possessed 3 ? he is but an obvious warner ! Do 
they not behold the kingdoms of the heavens and of 
the earth, and what things God has created, and (see 
that), it may be, their time is already drawing nigh ? 
in what relation then will they believe ? [185] He 

1 The word yul'hidun a is used in the later Arabic for any form 
of atheism. The expression in the text means the perversion, as 
Mohammed called it, of the name Allah in the names of the other 
gods, such as A 11 at, the feminine form of the same word. 

8 Mohammed. 

8 Literally, under the influence of the ginn* 

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VII, 185-191- THE CHAPTER OF AL AARAF. 1 6 1 

whom God leads astray there is no guide for 
him! He leaves them in their rebellion, blindly 
wandering on. 

They will ask you about the Hour, for what time 
it is fixed ? — say, ' The knowledge thereof is only 
with my Lord ; none shall manifest it at its time but 
He ; it is heavy in the heavens and the earth, it will 
not come to you save on a sudden.' 

They will ask as though thou wert privy to it, 
say, ' The knowledge thereof is only with God,' — but 
most folk do not know. 

Say, ' I cannot control profit or harm for myself, 
save what God will. If I knew the unseen I should 
surely have much that is good, nor would evil touch 
me ; I am but a warner and a herald of good tidings 
unto a people who believe.' 

He it is who created you from one soul, and made 
therefrom its mate to dwell therewith ; and when he 
covered her she bore a light burden and went about 
therewith ; but when it grew heavy they called on 
God, Lord of them both, ' Surely if thou givest us a 
rightly-shaped child we shall of a surety be of those 
who thank.' [190] And when He gave them both a 
rightly-shaped child they joined partners with Him for 
that which He had given them, but exalted be God 
above that which they associate with Him 1 . Will they 
associate with Him those who cannot create aught, 

1 This story is said to refer to Adam and Eve; the act of 
idolatry mentioned being the naming of their first son, at the 
instigation of Satan, 'Abd el 'Hareth, * servant of 'Hareth,' instead 
of ' servant of God,' 'Hareth being Satan's name among the angels. 
The legend arose probably from a misunderstanding of the title 
given to Cain in the Bible, 'Obed Adama, ' a tiller of the ground,' 
which would read word for word in Arabic 'Abd el 'Hareth. 
[6] M 

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» *- 

l62 THE QURAN. VII, 191-202. 

but are themselves created, which have no power to 
help them, and cannot even help themselves ? 

But if ye call them unto guidance they will not 
follow you. It is the same to them if Thou dost call 
them or if Thou dost hold thy tongue. 

Those whom ye call on other than God are ser- 
vants like yourselves. Call on them then, and let 
them answer you, if so be ye tell the truth ! Have 
they feet to walk with ? or have they hands to hold 
with ? or have they eyes to see with ? or have they 
ears to hear with ? Call upon your partners ; then 
plot against me, and do not wait. 

[195] Verily, my patron is God, who hath sent 
down the Book, and He is the patron of the righteous. 
But those whom ye call on beside Him cannot help 
you, nor can they even help themselves. But if ye 
call them unto the guidance they will not hear, thou 
mayest see them looking towards thee, yet they do not 
see. Take to pardon, and order what is kind, and 
shun the ignorant ; and if an incitement from the 
devil incites you, then seek refuge in God : verily, 
He both hears and knows. 

[200] Verily, those who fear God, if a wraith 
from the devil touch, mention Him, and lo! they 
see 1 . 

And their brethren he shall increase in error, then 
they shall not desist. 

Shouldst Thou not bring them a sign 2 they say, 
' Hast Thou not yet made choice of one ?' Say, ' I 
only follow what is inspired to me by my Lord. 

1 I. e. if an evil suggestion occurs to them, they mention God's 
name and immediately see the folly and wickedness thereof. 
8 That is, a verse in the Qur'£n. 

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These are perceptions from my Lord, and a guidance 
and a mercy to a people who believe.' 

And when the Quran is read, then listen thereto 
and keep silence ; haply ye may obtain mercy. 

And remember thy Lord within thyself humbly 
and with fear, not openly in words, in the morning 
and in the evening ; and be not of those who do not 
care. [205] Verily, they who are with my Lord are 
not too big with pride for His service, but they do 
celebrate His praise, and Him they do adore. 

The Chapter of the Spoils. 
(VIII. Medinah.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

They will ask thee about the spoils. Say, ' The 
spoils are God's and the Apostle's ; fear God and 
settle it amongst yourselves; obey God and the 
Apostle if ye do believe.' 

Verily, the believers are those who, when God's 
name is mentioned, their hearts sink with fear ; and 
when His signs are rehearsed to them they increase 
them in faith ; and on their Lord do they rely ; who 
are steadfast in prayer, and of what we have be- 
stowed upon them give in alms ; these are in truth 
believers ; to them are degrees with their Lord, and 
forgiveness, and a generous provision. 

[5] As thy Lord caused thee to go forth from thy 
house 1 with the truth, although a sect of the be- 
lievers were averse therefrom. They wrangled with 
thee about the truth after it was made plain, as 

At Medfnah. 
M 2 

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164 THE QURAN. VIII, 6-13. 

though they were being driven on to death and 
looked thereon ; and when God promised you that 
one of the two troops should be yours, and ye would 
fain have had those who had no arms. God wished 
to prove the truth true by His words, and to cut off 
the hindermost parts of those who misbelieve — to 
prove the truth true, and to make vain the vain, 
although the sinners are averse 1 . 

When ye asked for succour from your Lord, and 
He answered you, ' I will assist you with a thousand 
angels, with others in reserve.' 

[10] God made it only glad tidings to quiet your 
hearts therewith ; for victory is only from God! verily, 
God is mighty and wise. 

When drowsiness covered you as a security from 
Him, and He sent down upon you from the heavens 
water to purify you withal, and to take away from 
you the plague of Satan, and to tie up your hearts 
and to make firm your footsteps 2 . 

When your Lord inspired the angels — ' Verily, I 
am with you ; make ye firm then those who believe ; 
I will cast dread into the hearts of those who mis- 
believe, — strike off their necks then, and strike off 
from them every finger tip.' 

1 The occasion alluded to was one when Mohammed had made 
preparations for attacking an unarmed caravan on its way from 
Syria to Mecca, when Abu Sufian, who was in charge of it, sent to 
Mecca and obtained an escort of nearly a thousand men ; many of 
Mohammed's followers wished to attack the caravan only, but the 
prophet and his immediate followers were for throwing themselves 
on the escort. 

* The Muslims were fewer in number than the enemy, and the 
latter had command of the water, at both of which circumstances 
their hearts sank. In the night, however, rain fell, refreshed them 
and supplied their wants. 

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That is, because they went into opposition against 
God and His Apostle ; for he who goes into oppo- 
sition against God and His Apostle — verily, God is 
keen to punish. 

There, taste it ! since for the misbelievers is the 
torment of the Fire. 

[15] O ye who believe! when ye meet those who 
misbelieve in swarms, turn not to them your hinder 
parts ; for he who turns to them that day his hinder 
parts, save turning to fight or rallying to a troop, 
brings down upon himself wrath from God, and his 
resort is hell, and an ill journey shall it be ! 

Ye did not slay them, but it was God who slew 
them ; nor didst thou shoot when thou didst shoot, 
but God did shoot 1 , to try the believers from Him- 
self with a goodly trial ; verily, God both hears and 
knows. There ! verily, God weakens the stratagem 
of the misbelievers.. 

If ye wish 2 the matter to be decided, a decision 
has now come to you ; but if ye desist, it is better for 
you ; and if ye turn back we will turn too, and your 
troop shall avail nothing, great in number though it 
be, since God is with the believers ! 

[20] O ye who believe 1 obey God and His Apostle, 
and turn not from Him while ye hear, and be not like 
those who say, ' We hear,' and yet they hear not. 

Verily, the worst of beasts in God's sight are the 
deaf, the dumb who do not understand. Had God 

1 Alluding to the alleged miracle of the gravel thrown into the 
eyes of the Quralr at the battle of Bedr, to which the Muslim 
victory was due. 

* An address to the Meccans who, when threatened with an 
attack from Mohammed, took sanctuary in the Kaabah, and prayed 
to God that if they were right He would help them, but that if 
Mohammed was in the right He would help him. 

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1 66 THE QURAN. VIII, 23-31. 

known any good in them, He would have made 
them hear; but had He made them hear, they would 
have turned back and have swerved aside. 

O ye who believe ! answer God and His Apostle 
when He calls you to that which quickens you ; and 
know that God steps in between man and his heart ; 
and that to Him ye shall be gathered. [25] And fear 
temptation, which will not light especially on those 
of you who have done wrong ; but know that God is 
keen to punish. 

Remember when ye were few in number and weak 
in the land, fearing lest people should snatch you 
away; then He sheltered you and aided you with 
victory, and provided you with good things ; haply 
ye may give thanks. 

O ye who believe! be not treacherous to God 
and His Apostle; nor be treacherous to your en- 
gagement while ye know! 

Know that your wealth and your children are but a 
temptation, and that God — with Him is mighty hire! 

O ye who believe ! if ye fear God He will make 
for you a discrimination 1 , and will cover for you 
your offences, and will forgive you ; for God is Lord 
of mighty grace. 

[30] And when -those who misbelieve were crafty 
with thee to detain thee a prisoner, or kill thee, or 
drive thee forth ; they were crafty, but God was crafty 
too, for God is best of crafty ones ! 

But when our verses were rehearsed to them they 
said, 'We have already heard. — If we pleased we 
could speak like this; verily, this is nothing but 
tales of those of yore.' 

Here used in the sense of victory. 

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When they said, ' O God ! if this be truth, and 
from Thee, then rain upon us stones from heaven 
or bring us grievous woe !' 

But God would not torment them while thou art 
amongst them ; nor was God going to torment them 
while they asked Him to forgive. But what ails 
them that God should not torment them while they 
turn folk away from the Holy Mosque, though they 
are not the guardians thereof — its guardians are only 
the pious ? — but most of them know not. 

[35] Their prayer at the House was naught but 
whistling and clapping hands ! — taste then the tor- 
ment for that ye misbelieved! 

Verily, those who misbelieve expend their wealth 
to turn folk from the path of God ; but they shall 
spend it, and then it shall be for them sighing, and 
then they shall be overcome ! Those who misbelieve, 
into hell shall they be gathered ! — that God may 
distinguish the vile from the good, and may put the 
vile, some on the top of the other, and heap all up 
together, and put it into hell! — These are those 
who lose ! 

Say to those who misbelieve, *if they desist they 
will be forgiven what is past ; but if they return, — 
the course of those of former days has passed away 1 . 

[40] Fight them then that there should be no 
sedition, and that the religion may be wholly God's ; 
but if they desist, then God on what they do doth 
look. But if they turn their backs, then know that 
God is your Lord ; a good Lord is He, and a good 
help ; and know that whenever ye seize anything as 

1 That is, they have the doom of former people as a warning 
and an example. 

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1 68 THE QUR'An. VIII, 42-49. 

a spoil, to God belongs a fifth thereof, and to His 
Apostle, and to kindred and orphans, and the poor 
and the wayfarer ; if ye believe in God and what we 
have revealed unto our servants on the day of the 
discrimination, — the day when the two parties met ; 
and God is mighty over all. When ye were on the 
near side of the valley, and they were on the far 
side, and the camels were below you ; had ye made 
an appointment then v ye would have failed to keep 
your appointment — but it was that God might ac- 
complish a thing that was as good as done ! that he 
who was to perish might perish with- a manifest sign ; 
and that he who was to live might live with a 
manifest sign ; for, verily, God hears and knows ! 

[45] When God showed thee them in thy dream 
as though they were but few; but had He shown thee 
them as though they were many, ye would have been 
timid, and ye would have quarrelled about the matter; 
— but God preserved you ; verily, He knows the 
nature of men's breasts! 

And when He showed them to you, as ye en- 
countered them, as few in your eyes ; and made you 
seem few in their eyes ; that God might accomplish 
a thing that was as good as done ; for unto God do 
things return ! 

O ye who believe ! when ye encounter a troop, 
then stand firm and remember God ; and haply ye 
may prosper ! and fear God and His Apostle, and do 
not quarrel or be timid, so that your turn of luck go 
from you ; but be ye patient, verily, God is with the 
patient. And be not like those who went forth from 
their homes with insolence, and for appearance sake 

1 That is, had ye agreed to attack them. 

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before men, and to turn folks off God's way ; for all 
they do God comprehends. 

[50] And when Satan made their works appear 
seemly to them, and said, ' There is none amongst 
mankind to conquer you to-day, for, verily, I am 
your neighbour ! ' and when the two troops came in 
sight of each other, he turned upon his heels and 
said, ' Verily, I am clear of you ! verily, I see what 
you see not * ! verily, I fear God, for God is keen to 
punish V 

And when the hypocrites and those in whose 
hearts was sickness said, ' Their religion hath be- 
guiled these men 2 , but he who relies upon God, 
verily, God is mighty and wise.' 

Couldst thou see when the angels take away the 
souls of those who misbelieve ; they smite them on 
their faces and hinder parts. — ' Taste ye the torment 
of burning ! that is for what your hands have sent 
on before ; and for that God is no unjust one 
towards his servants.' 

As was the wont of Pharaoh's people and those 
before them ! they disbelieved in the signs of God, 
and God overtook them in their sins ; verily, God is 
strong and keen to punish. 

[55] That is because God is not one to change a 
favour He has favoured a people with, until they 
change what they have in themselves, and for that 
God both hears and knows. 

As was the wont of Pharaoh's people and those 
before them ! they said our signs were lies, and 
we destroyed them in their sins, and drowned 

1 The angels who were fighting on the Muslim side. 

* L e. beguiled them into attacking a force superior in numbers. 

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I70 THE QURAN. VIII, 56-66. 

Pharaoh's people ; and all of them were evil- 

Verily, the worst of beasts in God's eyes are 
those who misbelieve and will not believe ; with 
whom if thou dost make a league, they break 
their league each time, for they fear not God ; 
but shouldst thou ever catch them in war, then 
make those who come after them run by their ex- 
ample \ haply they may remember then. 

[60] And shouldst thou ever fear from any people 
treachery, then throw it back to them in like man- 
ner ; verily, God loves not the treacherous. Deem 
not that those who misbelieve can witi ; verily, they 
cannot make (God) powerless ! 

Prepare ye against them what force and com- 
panies of horse ye can, to make the enemies of 
God, and your enemies, and others beside them, 
in dread thereof. Ye do not know them, but God 
knows them ! and whatever ye expend in God's 
way He will repay you ; and ye shall not be 
wronged. But if they incline to peace, incline 
thou to it too, and rely upon God; verily, He 
both hears and knows. 

But if they wish to betray thee, then God is 
enough for thee ! He it is who supports thee with 
His help and with the believers ; and reconciles their 
hearts ! Didst thou expend all that is in the earth 
thou couldst not reconcile their hearts, but God 
reconciled them, verily, He is mighty and wise ! 

[65] O thou prophet! God is sufficient for thee, 
with those of the believers who follow thee ! O thou 

1 That is, make them an example to all future opponents by 
the severity of thy dealing with them. 

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prophet ! urge on the believers to fight If there be 
of you twenty patient men, they shall conquer two 
hundred ; if there be of you a hundred, they shall 
conquer a thousand of those who misbelieve, because 
they are a people who did not discern. — Now has 
God made it light for you ; He knows that there is 
a weakness amongst you : but if there be amongst 
you but a patient hundred, they will conquer two 
hundred ; and if there be of you a thousand, they 
will conquer two thousand, by the permission of 
God, — for God is with the patient ! 

It has not been for any prophet to take captives 
until he hath slaughtered in the land ! Ye wish to 
have the goods of this world, but God wishes for 
the next, for God is mighty, wise ! Were it 
not for a book from God that had gone before, 
there would have touched you, for that which ye 
took, a mighty punishment 1 . 

Eat of what spoils ye have taken, what is lawful 
and good ; and fear God, verily, God is forgiving 
and merciful. 

[70] O thou prophet ! say to such of the captives as 
are in your hands, ' If God knows of any good in 
your hearts, he will give you better than that which 
is taken from you, and will forgive you ; for God is 
forgiving and merciful.' 

But if they desire to betray thee, — they have 
betrayed God before ! but He hath given you power 
over them ; for God is knowing, wise ! 

Verily, those who believe and have fled and 

1 Mohammed here blames them for having accepted ransom 
from the captives which they took at the battle of Bedr; but 
acknowledges that previously revealed passages of the Qur'&n did 
in the strict letter allow of such ransom being taken. 

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1 72 THE QUR AN. VIII, 73-IX, 1. 

fought strenuously with their wealth and persons 
in God's way, and those who have given refuge 1 
and help, these shall be next of kin to each other 2 . 
But those who believe, but have not fled, ye have 
naught to do with their claims of kindred, until 
they flee as well. But if they ask you for aid for 
religion's sake, then help is due from you, except 
against a people between whom and you there is 
an alliance ; for God on what ye do doth look. 

And those who misbelieve, some of them are next 
of kin to others — unless ye act the same there will 
be sedition in the land, and great corruption. 

[75] Those who believe and have fled and fought 
strenuously in God's cause, and those who have 
given a refuge and a help, those it is who believe ; 
to them is forgiveness and generous provision due. 
And those who have believed afterwards and have 
fled and fought strenuously with you ; these too 
are of you, but blood relations are nearer in kin. 
by the Book of God. Verily, God all things doth 

The Chapter of Repentance or Immunity. 

(IX. Medinah.) 
An immunity from God and His Apostle to those 
idolaters with whom ye have made a league 3 . 

1 To the prophet. 

* The Ansirs and Muha^ertn, that is, those who lent aid to, and 
those who fled with Mohammed were at first regarded as next of 
kin and heirs to each other's property to the exclusion of blood 
relationship, until the above passage was abrogated by the last 
words of this chapter. 

3 This chapter is without the initial formula ' In the name of 
God,' &c. The Caliph Othman said that the omission arose from 

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Roam ye at large in the land for four months, 
but know that ye cannot make God helpless, and 
that God disgraces the misbelievers. 

A proclamation from God and His Apostle to 
the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage, 
that God is clear of the idolaters as is His Apostle ! 
If then ye repent it is better for you; but if ye 
turn your backs, then know that ye cannot make 
God helpless. Give to those who misbelieve glad 
tidings of grievous woe ! — Except to those of 
the idolaters with whom ye have made a league, 
and who then have not failed you at all, and have 
not backed up any one against you. Fulfil for them 
then your covenant until the time agreed upon 
with them ; verily, God loves those who fear. 

[5] But when the sacred months are passed away, 
kill the idolaters wherever ye may find them ; and 
take them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for 
them in every place of observation; but if they 
repent, and are steadfast in prayer, and give alms, 
then let them go their way; verily, God is forgiving 
and merciful. 

And if any one of the idolaters ask thee for aid, 
then aid him, in order that he may hear the word 
of God ; then let him reach his place of safety, — 
that is, because they are a folk who do not know. 

How can there be for the idolaters a treaty with 
God and with His Appstle, save those with whom 
ye have made a league at the Sacred Mosque! 

its having been revealed shortly before Mohammed's death, who 
left no instructions on the subject. But some commentators assert 
that it arises from its having originally formed part of the previous 

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1 74 THE QUR'AN. IX, 7-16. 

Then while they stand by you, stand ye by them ; 
verily, God loves those who fear. 

How ! — if they prevail against you, they will 
not observe either ties of blood or ties of client- 
ship ; they please you with their mouths, but their 
hearts refuse ; and most of them do work abomina- 
tion. They barter God's signs for a little price, 
and they turn folk from His way; verily, they — evil 
is that which they have done. 

[10] They will not observe in a believer ties 
of kindred nor ties of clientship ; but they it is 
are the transgressors. 

But if they repent and are steadfast in prayer 
and give alms, then they are your brethren in 
religion — we detail the signs unto a people that 
do know. 

But if they break faith with you after their treaty, 
and taunt your religion, then fight the leaders of 
misbelief; verily, they have no faith, haply they may 

Will ye not fight a people who broke their oaths, 
and intended to expel the Apostle ? They began 
with you at first, are ye afraid of them ? God 
is more deserving that ye should fear Him ! If 
ye be believers, kill them ! God will torment them 
by your hands, and disgrace them, and aid you 
against them, and heal the breasts of a people who 
believe ; [15] and will remove rage from their 
hearts; for God turns unto Him whomsoever He 
pleases, and God is knowing, wise ! 

Did ye reckon that ye would be left, when God 
knows not as yet those of you who fought strenu- 
ously, and who did not take other than God and His 
Apostle, and the believers for an intimate friend ? 

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for God is well aware of what ye do. It is not 
for idolaters to repair to the mosques of God, 
bearing witness against themselves to unbelief; they 
it is whose works are vain, and in the Fire shall 
they dwell for aye ! 

He only shall repair to the mosques of God who 
believes in God and the last day, and is steadfast 
in prayer, and gives the alms, and fears only God ; 
— it may be that these will be of those who are 

Have ye made out the giving drink to the pil- 
grims and the repairing to the Sacred Mosque 1 
to be like being one who believes in God and in 
the last day, and is strenuous in the way of God ? 
— they are not equal in God's sight, and God guides 
not an unjust people. 

[20] Those who believe and who have fled and 
been strenuous in the way of God, with their wealth 
and with their persons, are highest in rank with God, 
and these it is who are happy. Their Lord gives 
them glad tidings of mercy from Himself, and good- 
will ; and gardens shall they have therein and last- 
ing pleasure, to dwell therein for aye ! Verily, God, 
with Him is mighty here. 

ye who believe! take not your fathers and 
your brothers for patrons if they love misbelief 
rather than faith ; for whosoever amongst you 
takes them for patrons these are the unjust. 

Say, * If your fathers, and your sons, and your 
brethren, and your wives, and your clansmen, and 

1 Abu '1 'Abbis, Mohammed's uncle, when taken prisoner and 
reproached with his unbelief, appealed to his having performed 
these duties as entitling him to as much consideration as if he had 
professed Islam. 

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176 THE QURAN. IX, 44-29. 

the wealth which ye have gained, and the merchan- 
dise which ye fear may be slack, and the dwellings 
which ye love are dearer to you than God and 
His Apostle, and than fighting strenuously in His 
way, — then wait awhile, until God brings His bid- 
ding, for God guides not a people who work abomi- 
nation !' 

[25] God has helped you in many a place, and 
on the day of 'Honein 1 when ye were so pleased 
with your numbers ; but it <lid not serve you at all, 
and the road grew too strait for you, where it had 
been broad ; and then ye turned your backs re- 
treating; then God sent down His shechina 2 upon 
His Apostle and upon the believers ; and sent down 
armies which ye could not see, and punished those 
who misbelieved ; for that is the reward of the 
misbelievers, then God turns after that to whom 
He will, for God is forgiving and merciful ! 

ye who believe ! it is only the idolaters who 
are unclean ; they shall not then approach the 
Sacred Mosque after this year. But if ye fear 
want 3 then God will enrich you from His grace 
if He will ; verily, God is knowing, wise ! 

Fight those who believe not in God and in the 
last day, and who forbid not what God and His 
Apostle have forbidden, and who do not practice 

1 'Honein is the name of a valley about three miles to the 
north-east of Mecca, where, in the eighth year of the Flight, a 
battle took place between Mohammed and his followers with an 
army of twelve thousand men, and two tribes of idolatrous Arabs. 
Too confident in their numbers the Moslems at first received a 
check, but were rallied by Mohammed and his immediate followers 
and kindred. 

2 See p. 38, note 2. 

3 That is, from the stoppage of traffic and merchandise. 

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the religion of truth from amongst those to whom 
the Book has been brought, until they pay the 
tribute by their hands and be as little ones. 

[30] The Jews say Ezra is the son of God ; and 
the Christians say that the Messiah is the son of 
God ; that is what they say with their mouths, 
imitating the sayings of those who misbelieved 
before. — God fight them ! how they lie 1 ! 

They take their doctors and their monks for 
lords 2 rather than God, and the Messiah the 
son of Mary; but they are bidden to worship but 
one God, there is no god but He ; celebrated 
be His praise, from what they join with Him ! 

They desire to put out the light of God with 
their mouths, but God will not have it but that we 
should perfect His light, averse although the mis- 
believers be ! 

He it is who sent His Apostle with guidance and 
the religion of truth, to make it prevail over every 
other religion, averse although idolaters may be ! 

ye who believe ! verily, many of the doctors 
and the monks devour the wealth of men openly, 
and turn folk from God's way ; but those who store 
up gold and silver and expend it not in God's way, 

1 The Moslem tradition is that Ezra, after being dead 100 
years, was raised to life, and dictated from memory the whole of 
the Jewish Scriptures which had been lost during the captivity, and 
that the Jews said he could not have done this unless he had been 
the son of God. There is no Jewish tradition whatever in support 
of this accusation of Mohammed's, which probably was entirely due 
to his own invention or to misinformation. B&idA&vi, the well- 
known commentator, says that it must have been true because the 
Jews themselves, to whom the passage was read, did not deny it. 

* Alluding to the word rabbi, which in Arabic is applied to God 

[6] N 

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178 THE QUR'AN. IX, 34-39. 

— give them glad tidings of grievous woe ! [35] On 
the day when it shall be heated in the fire of hell, 
and their brows shall be branded therewith, and 
their sides and their backs ! — * This is what ye 
stored up for yourselves, taste then what ye stored 
up ! ' 

Verily, the number of months with God is twelve 
months in God's Book, on the day when He created 
the heavens and the earth ; of these are four that 
are sacred ; that is the subsisting religion. Then 
do not wrong yourselves therein, but fight the idola- 
ters one and all, as they fight you one and all, and 
know that God is with those who fear. 

Verily, putting off is but an increase in misbelief 1 
to lead astray therewith those who misbelieve. 
They make it lawful one year, but they make it 
unlawful another year, that they may come to an 
understanding as to the number which God has 
made sacred, and make lawful what God has pro- 
hibited. Seemly to them are their evil works, 
but God guides not a misbelieving people. 

O ye who believe ! what ailed you when ye were 
told to march forth in God's way, that ye sank 
down heavily upon the earth ? were ye content 
with the life of this world instead of the next ? but 
the provision of this world's life is but a little to 
the next. Unless ye march forth He will punish 
you with grievous woe, and will put in your stead 
a people other than you 1 ye cannot hurt Him at all, 
for God is mighty over all ! 

1 The pagan Arabs used to put off the observance of a sacred 
month when it was inconvenient to them and observe another 
instead ; this Mohammed deprecates. 

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[40] Unless ye help him 1 — and God did help 
him, when those who misbelieved drove him forth 
the second of two 2 . When they twain were in the 
cave ; when he said to his comrade, ' Grieve not, 
verily, God is with us ;' and God sent down His 
shechina upon him, and aided him with hosts ye 
could not see, and made the word of those who 
misbelieved inferior, and the word of God superior ; 
for God is mighty and wise. March ye then, light 
and heavy, and fight strenuously with your wealth 
and persons in God's way ; that is better for you if 
ye did but know ! 

Were there goods nigh at hand, and a moderate 
journey, they would have followed you ; but the 
distance was too far for them ; they will swear by 
God, ' If we could, we would have gone forth with 
you.' They destroy themselves, but God knows 
that they lie ! 

God forgive thee; why didst thou give them leave 
(to stay) until it was made manifest to thee who spake 
the truth — until thou mightest know the liars ? 

Those who believe in God and in the last day will 
not beg off from fighting strenuously with their 
wealth and their persons; but God knows those 
who fear. 

[45] It is only those who believe not in God and 
in the last day who beg off from thee, and those 
whose hearts are in doubt, and in their doubt do 

Had they wished to go forth, they would have 
prepared for it a preparation ; but God was averse 

1 The prophet. 

J That is, with only one companion, namely Abubekr. 

N 2 

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l8o THE QUR'AN. IX, 46-54. 

from their starting off, and made them halt, and 
they were told to sit with those who sit. Had they 
gone forth with you they would but have made you 
more trouble, and they would have hurried about 
amongst you craving a sedition ; amongst you are 
some who would have listened to them ; but God 
knows those who are .unjust ! They used to crave 
sedition before and upset thy affairs ; until the truth 
came, and God's bidding was made manifest, averse 
although they were. 

Of them are some who say, ' Permit me ', and do 
not try me!' Have they not fallen into the trial 
already, but hell shall encompass the misbelievers. 

[50] If good befall thee it seems ill to them ; but 
if a calamity befall thee they say, ' We had taken 
care for our affair before;' and they turn their 
backs and they are glad. 

Say, ' Nought shall befall us save what God has 
written down for us ; He is our Lord, and upon God 
believers do rely ! ' 

Say, ' Do ye await for us aught but one of the two 
best things 2 ?' we too await for you that God will 
inflict on you torment from Himself, or by our hands. 
Wait then ; and we with you are waiting too ! 

Say, ' Expend ye in alms, whether ye will or no, 
it shall not be accepted from you ; verily, ye are a 
people who do work abomination.' 

But nought hinders their alms-giving from being 
accepted save that they misbelieve in God and His 
Apostle, and perform not prayer save lazily, and 
expend not in alms save reluctantly. 

1 That is, excuse me from the fighting in the cause of religion. 

2 I. e, victory or martyrdom, 

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[55] Let not their wealth please you nor their 
children, God only wishes to torment them there- 
with in the life of this world, and that their souls 
may pass away while still they misbelieve. 

They swear by God that, verily, they are of you ; 
but they are not of you, and they are a people who 
do stand aside in fear. Could they but have found 
a refuge, or some caves, or a place in which to creep, 
they would have turned round in haste thereto. 

Of them are some who defame thee, with respect 
to alms ; though if they are given a part thereof, 
they are content ; and if they are not given a part 
thereof, then are they in a rage. Would that they 
were content with what God and His Apostle had 
brought them, and would say, ' God is enough for 
us ! God will bring us of His grace, and so will 
His Apostle ; verily, unto God is our desire ! ' 

[60] Alms are only for the poor and needy, and 
those who work for them l , and those whose hearts 
are reconciled 2 , and those in captivity, and those 
in debt, and those who are on God's path, and for 
the wayfarer ; — an ordinance this from God, for God 
is knowing, wise. 

And of them are some who are by the ears 3 with 
the prophet, and say, * He is all ear.' Say, ' An ear 
of good for you ! ' he believes in God, and believes 
in those who do believe, and is a mercy unto such 
of you as believe ; but those who are by the ears 
with the Apostle of God, for them is grievous woe ! 

1 I. e. in collecting or distributing them. 

1 Reconciled, that is, to Islam. 

8 That is, reproach or quarrel with the prophet ; I have used the 
old fashion English expression in order to preserve the pun upon 
the word ear which exists in the original. 

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1 82 THE QURAN. IX, 63-70. 

They swear by God to please you ; but God and 
His Apostle are more worthy for them to please 
if they be believers. Do they not know that whoso 
setteth himself against God and His Apostle, for 
him is the fire of hell, to dwell therein for aye ? 
and that is mighty shame ! 

[65] The hypocrites are cautious lest there be 
revealed against them a surah * to inform them of 
what is in their hearts ; say, ' Mock ye ! verily, God 
will bring forth that of which ye are so cautious!' 
But if thou shouldst ask them, they will say, ' We 
did but discuss and jest;' say, ' Was it at God and 
His signs, and His Apostle, that ye mocked ?' 

Make no excuse ! Ye have misbelieved after your 
faith ; if we forgive one sect of you, we will torment 
another sect, for that they sinned ! 

The hypocrites, men and women, some of them 
follow others, bidding what is wrong and forbidding 
what is right, and they clench their hands 2 . They 
forget God and He forgets them ! Verily, the hypo- 
crites, they are the doers of abomination ! 

God has promised unto the .hypocrites, men 
and women, and unto the misbelievers, hell-fire, 
to dwell therein for aye ; it is enough for them ! 
God shall curse them, and theirs shall be enduring 

[70] Ye are like those who were before you. 
They were stronger than you and more abundant 
in wealth and children; they enjoyed their portion 
then, and ye enjoy your portion, as they enjoyed 
their portion before you ; and ye discuss as they 

1 Chapter of the Qur'Sn. 

2 I. e. are niggardly and refuse to give alms. 

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discussed. Their works are vain in this world and 
the next, and they it is who lose. 

Did there not come to them the declaration of 
those who were before them ? of the people of Noah 
and 'Ad and Thamud, and of the people of Abraham, 
and the people of Midian ? and of the overturned 
(cities) * ? Their apostles came to them with mani- 
fest signs ; for God would not wrong them, but it 
was themselves they wronged. 

And the believers, men and women, are some 
the patrons of others ; they bid what is reasonable, 
and forbid what is wrong, and are steadfast in 
prayer, and give alms, and obey God and His 
Apostle. On these will God have mercy ; verily, 
God is mighty, wise ! 

God has promised to believers, men and women, 
gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein 
for aye ; and goodly places in the garden of Eden, 
But good-will from God is the greatest of all ! that is 
the mighty happiness ! 

thou prophet! strive strenuously against the 
misbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern against 
them; for their resort is hell, and an ill journey 
shall it be. 

[75] They swear by God they did not speak it, 
but they did speak the word of misbelief ; and they 
disbelieved after they had embraced Islam, and they 
designed what they could not attain ; and they only 
disapproved it because God and His Apostle had 
enriched them of His grace 2 . If they turn again 'tis 

1 Sodom and Gomorrah. 

* A plot bad been set afoot at Medlnah to kill Mohammed, and 
was only abandoned because of the increased trade and prosperity 
which Mohammed's residence then brought. 

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1 84 THE QUR'An. IX, 75-82. 

better for them ; but if they turn their backs, God 
will torment them with mighty woe in this world 
and in the next, nor shall they have upon the earth 
a patron or protector. 

And of them are some who make a treaty with 
God, that 'If He bring us of His grace, we will give 
alms and we will surely be among the righteous.' 
But when He gave them of His grace they were 
niggardly thereof, and turned their backs and 
swerved aside. So He caused hypocrisy to pursue 
them in their hearts unto the day when they shall 
meet Him, — for that they did fail God in what they 
promised Him, and for that they were liars ! 

Do they not know that God knows their secrets 
and their whisperings, and that God knows the 
unseen things ? 

[80] Those who defame such of the believers as 
willingly give their alms, and such as can find 
nothing to give but their exertions, and who mock 
at them, — God will mock at them, and for them is 
grievous woe ! 

Ask forgiveness for them or ask not forgiveness 
for them ! if they shoukist ask forgiveness for them 
seventy times, yet would not God forgive them ; 
that is because they disbelieved in God and His 
Apostle, for God guides not a people who work 

Those who were left behind * rejoiced in staying 
behind the Apostle of God, and were averse from 
fighting strenuously with their wealth and their 
persons in God's way, and said, 'March not forth 
in the heat.' Say, ' The fire of hell is hotter still, 

1 At the battle of TaMk. 

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if ye could but discern ! ' Let them then laugh 
little, and let them weep much, as a recompense for 
that which they have earned ! 

But if God bring thee back to a sect of them, and 
they ask thee then for leave to sally forth ; say, 
' Ye shall by no means ever sally forth with me, 
nor shall ye ever fight a foe with me ! verily, ye 
were content to sit at home the first time, sit ye then 
now with those who stay behind.' 

[85] Pray not for any one of them who dies, 
and stand not by his tomb ; verily, they disbelieved 
in God and His Apostle and died workers of 
abomination ! 

Let not their wealth and their children please 
you, God only wishes to torment them therewith 
in this world, and that their souls may pass away 
the while they misbelieve. 

Whenever a surah is sent down to them, ' Believe 
ye in God, and fight strenuously together with His 
Apostle,' those of them who have the means will 
ask thee for leave to stay at home and say, ' Let 
us be amongst those who stay behind.' They are 
content to be with those who are left behind. A 
stamp is set upon their hearts that they should not 

But the Apostle and those who believe with him 
are strenuous with their wealth and with their 
persons ; these shall have good things, and these 
it is shall prosper. 

[90] God has prepared for them gardens beneath 
which rivers flow, to dwell therein for aye ; that 
is the mighty happiness ! 

There came certain desert Arabs that they might 
be excused ; and those stayed behind who had called. 

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1 86 THE QUr'An. IX, 91-98. 

God and His Apostle liars. There shall befall 
those of them who misbelieved, a mighty woe. For 
the weak, and the sick, and those who cannot find 
wherewith to expend in alms there is no hindrance, 
so they be only sincere towards God and His 
Apostle. There is no way against those who do 
well ; for God is forgiving and merciful. Nor 
against those to whom, when they came to thee 
that thou shouldst mount them, thou didst say, ' I 
cannot find wherewith to mount you,' turned their 
backs while their eyes poured forth with tears, 
for grief that they could not find wherewith to 
expend. Only is there a way against those who 
ask thee for leave to stay at home while they are 
rich ; content to be with those who are left behind ; 
on whose hearts God has set a stamp, so that 
they should not know. 

[95] They make excuses to you when ye return 
to them : say, ' Make no excuse, we believe you 
not ; God has informed us concerning you. God 
sees your works and His Apostle too 1' Then shall 
ye be brought back unto Him who knows the unseen 
and the seen ; and He shall inform you of that 
which ye have done. 

They will adjure you by God when ye have 
come back to them, to turn aside from them ; turn 
ye aside then from them ; verily, they are a plague, 
and their resort is hell ! a recompense for that 
which they have earned ! 

They will adjure you to be pleased with them ; 
but if ye are pleased with them, God will not be 
pleased with a people who work abomination. 

The Arabs of the desert are keener in misbelief 
and hypocrisy, and are more likely not to know 

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the bounds which God has sent down to His 
Apostle ; but God is knowing and wise. 

And of the Arabs of the desert are some who 
take what they expend to be a forced loan, and 
they wait a turn of fortune against you ; against 
them shall a turn of evil fortune be; for God 
both hears and knows. 

[100] And of the Arabs of the desert are some 
who believe in God and the last day, and who 
take what they expend in alms to be a means of 
approach to God and to the Apostle's prayers, — 
is it not a means of "approach for them ? God will 
make them enter into His mercy; verily, God is 
forgiving and merciful. 

As for the foremost in the race, the first of those 
who fled 1 , and the helpers 3 , and those who followed 
them in their kindness, God is well pleased with 
them, and they are well pleased with Him; He 
has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers 
flow, to dwell therein for aye ; that is the mighty 

And of those who are round about you of the 
Arabs of the desert, some are hypocrites, and of 
the people of Medtnah, some are stubborn in hypo- 
crisy ; thou dost not know them — we know them ; 
we will torment them twice over ; then shall they be 
sent off into mighty woe. 

And others have confessed their sins, — that they 
have mixed with a righteous" action another evil 
action; — haply it may be God will turn again to 
them ; verily, God is forgiving and merciful. 

1 The MuhS^erln, or those who fled with Mohammed from 

* The Ans&rs who helped him while at Medtnah. 

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1 88 THE QURAN. IX, 104- 1 10. 

Take from their wealth alms to cleanse and 
purify them thereby; and pray for them ; verily, 
thy prayer is a repose for them ; for God both 
hears and knows. 

[105] Do they not know that God accepts re- 
pentance from His servants, and takes alms; and 
that God is He who is easily turned and merciful. 

And say, ' Act ye ; ' and God and His Apostle 
and the believers shall see your acts, and ye shall 
be brought back to Him who knows the seen and 
the unseen, and He shall inform you of that which 
ye have done. 

And others are in hopes of God's bidding ; 
whether He will torment them, or whether He 
turn again towards them ; for God is knowing, wise. 

And there are those who have taken to a mosque 
for mischief, and for misbelief, and to make a breach 
amongst the believers, and for an ambush for him 
who made war against God and His Apostle before ; 
they surely swear, ' We only wished for what was 
good ;' but God bears witness that they are liars. 

Never stand up therein! — there is a mosque 
founded on piety from the first day 1 : it is more 
right that thou shouldst stand therein; — therein 
are men who love to be clean ; for God doth love 
the clean. 

[no] Is he who has laid his foundation upon the 

* The Mosque of Quba', about two miles from Medmah, the 
foundation stone of which was laid by Mohammed four days before 
he entered Medmah on his flight from Mecca, was the first place 
of public prayer in Islam. The Beni Gft&nm had built another 
mosque to rival this, at the instigation of Abu 'Hamir, a monk 
who was opposed to Mohammed, and wished the prophet to con- 
secrate it. 

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fear of God and of His good-will better, or he 
who has laid his foundation upon a crumbling 
wall of sand, which crumbles away with him into 
the fire of hell ? — but God guides not a people who 
do wrong. 

The building which they 1 have built will not 
cease to be a source of doubt in their hearts until 
their hearts are cut asunder 2 ; but God is knowing, 

Verily, God hath bought of the believers their 
persons and their wealth, for the paradise they 
are to have ; they shall fight in the way of God, and 
they shall slay and be slain : promised in truth, in 
the law and the gospel and the Qur'an ; — and who 
is more faithful to His covenant than God ? 

Be ye glad then in the covenant which ye have 
made with Him, for that is the mighty happiness ! 
Those who repent, those who worship, those who 
praise, those who fast, those who bow down, those 
who adore, those who bid what is right and forbid 
what is wrong, and those who keep the bounds of 
God, — glad tidings to those who believe ! 

[115] It is not for the prophet and those who 
believe to ask forgiveness for the idolaters, even 
though they be their kindred, after it has been made 
manifest to them that they are the fellows of hell. 

Nor was Abraham's asking pardon for his father 
aught else but through a promise he had promised 
him ; but when it was made manifest to him that 
he was an enemy to God, he cleansed himself of 
him ; verily, Abraham was pitiful and clement. 

1 The Beni Gtfanm. 

9 I. e. they will feel compunctions about it till the day of their 

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IQO THE QUR'AN. IX, 116-iai. 

Nor will God lead astray a people after He has 
guided them until that is made manifest to them 
which they have to fear ; verily, God all things doth 

Verily, God's is the kingdom of the heavens and 
the earth ! He quickens and He kills ! Nor have 
ye beside God a patron or protector. 

God has now turned towards the prophet and 
those who fled with him, and towards the helpers 
who followed him in the hour of difficulty, after 
that the hearts of a part of them had well-nigh 
gone amiss. 

Then He turned unto them ; verily, to them 
He is kind and merciful : — unto the three * who 
were left behind, so that the earth with all its 
ample space was too strait for them, and their 
souls were straitened for them, and they thought 
that there was no refuge for them from God save 
unto Him. 

Then He turned again towards them that they 
might also turn; verily, God, He is easily turned 
and merciful! 

[120] O ye who believe! fear God and be with 
those who speak the truth. 

It was not for the people of Medinah, and those 
around about them of the Arabs of the desert, to 
stay behind the Apostle of God and not to prefer 
their souls to his : that is because neither thirst, nor 
toil, nor heat, nor hunger befel them on God's 
way. Nor do they stop to anger the misbelievers, 
nor do they get any (harm) from the enemy without 

1 Three of the Ansars who refused to accompany Mohammed 
to Tabuk. 

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a good work being written down to them ; verily, 
God wastes not the hire of those who do well. 

Nor do they expend in alms a small or great 
expense, nor do they cross a wady 1 without 
it being written down to them; that God may 
reward them with better than that which they 
have done. 

The believers should not march forth altogether ; 
and if a troop of every division of them march not 
forth, it is only that they may study their religion 
and warn their people when they return to them, 
that haply they may beware. 

ye who believe! fight those who are near to 
you of the misbelievers, and let them find in you 
sternness; and know that God is with those who 

[125] And whenever a surah is sent down, there 
are some of them who say, ' Which of you has this 
increased in faith?' But as for those who believe, 
it does increase them in faith, and they shall rejoice: 
but as for those in whose hearts is sickness, it 
only adds a plague to their plague, and they die 

Do they not see that they are tried in every 
year once or twice ? Yet they do not turn again, 
nor do they mind ! 

And whenever a surah is sent down, some of them 
look at the others — ' Does any one see you ? ' — 
Then they turn away ! God has turned their hearts, 
for that they are a people who do not discern. 

There has come to you an apostle from amongst 

1 A wady is the bed of a torrent, which in Arabia is generally 
dry, but occasionally after a storm is filled with the torrent. 

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192 THE QURAN. IX, i2<rX, 4. 

yourselves ; hard for him to bear is it that ye 
commit iniquity; he is anxious over you after the 
believers, pitiful, compassionate. 

[130] But if they turn their backs, then say, 
' God is enough for me ! there is no god but 
He ! upon Him do I rely, for He is Lord of 
the mighty throne!' 

The Chapter of Jonah, (peace be on him!) 
(X. Mecca.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

A. L. R. Those are the signs of the wise Book ! 
was it a wonder to the folk a that we inspired a 
man from amongst themselves, ' Warn thou the 
folk ; and give glad tidings to those who believe, 
that for them there is an advance of sincerity 2 gone 
before them with their Lord ?' The misbelievers 
say, ' Verily, this is an obvious sorcerer !' 

Verily, your Lord is God, who created the heavens 
and the earth in six days ; then He made for the 
throne, to govern the affair ; there is no intercessor, 
except after His permission. That is God for you 
— your Lord! Then worship Him — do ye not 

To Him is your return all of you — God's promise 
in truth ; verily, He produces the creature, then He 
makes it return again, that He may recompense 

1 Of Mecca. 

* I. e. a reward awaiting them for their sincerity. 

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those who believe and do what is right with justice ; 
but those who misbelieve, for them is a drink of 
boiling water, and grievous woe, for that they did 

[5] He it is who made the sun for a bright- 
ness, and the moon for a light, and decreed for it 
mansions, that ye may know the number of the 
years and the reckoning. — God only created that 
in truth. He details the signs unto a people who 
do know. 

Verily, in the alternation of night and day, and 
in what God has created of the. heavens and the 
earth, are signs unto a people who do fear. 

Verily, those who hope not for our meeting, and 
are content with the life of this world, and are com- 
forted thereby, and those who are neglectful of our 
signs, — these, their resort is fire for that which they 
have earned ! 

Verily, those who believe and do what is right, 
their Lord guides them by their faith ; beneath them 
shall rivers flow in the gardens of pleasure. 

[10] Their cry therein shall be, ' Celebrated be 
Thy praises, O God !' and their salutation therein 
shall be, ' Peace ! ' and the end of their cry shall 
be, ' Praise (belongs) to God, the Lord of the 
worlds ! ' 

And if God should hasten on the bad to men as 
they would hasten on the good, their appointed 
time would surely be fulfilled. But we will let 
those who hope not for our meeting go on in their 
rebellion, blindly wandering on. 

When distress touches man, he calls us to his 
side, whether sitting or standing ; but when we 
have removed from him his distress, he passes on 

[6] O 

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194 THE QURAN. X, 13-20. 

as though he had not called on us in a distress 
that touched him. Thus unto the extravagant is 
made seemly that which they have done. 

We have already destroyed generations before 
you when they did wrong, and there came to them 
their apostles with manifest signs, but they would 
not believe. Thus do we reward the sinful people. 

[15] Then we made you their successors in the 
earth after them, that we may see how ye will act. 

But when our evident signs are recited to them, 
those who hope not for our meeting say, ' Bring 
a Quran other than this ; or change it' Say, ' It 
is not for me to change it of my own accord ; I do 
not follow aught but what I am inspired with ; 
verily, I fear, if I rebel against my Lord, the tor- 
ment of a mighty day!' 

Say, ' Had God pleased, I should not have re- 
cited it to you, nor taught you therewith. I have 
tarried a lifetime amongst you before it ; — have ye 
not then any sense ? ' 

Who is more unjust than he who forges against 
God a lie, or says His signs are lies ? verily, the 
sinners shall not prosper. 

They worship beside God what can neither harm 
them nor profit them, and they say, ' These are our 
intercessors with God ! ' Say, ' Will ye inform God 
of aught in the heavens or the earth, that He knows 
not of?' Celebrated be His praise ! and exalted be 
He, above what they associate with Him ! 

[20] People were but one nation once, then 
they disagreed ; and had it not been for thy Lord's 
word already passed, there would have been de- 
cided between them that concerning which they 

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They say, ' Why is not a sign sent down upon 
him from his Lord ?' Say, ' The unseen is only 
God's ; but wait ye for a while, verily, I with you 
am one of those who wait!' 

When we have let men taste of mercy after 
distress which has touched them, lo ! they use a 
stratagem against our signs ! Say, ' God is quicker 
at stratagem.' Verily, our messengers ' write down 
what stratagem ye use. 

He it is who makes you travel in the land and 
sea, until when ye are in the ships — and these 
carry them 2 afloat with a favouring wind, and they 
rejoice therein, there comes to them a violent wind, 
and there comes to them the wave from every place, 
and they think that they are encompassed about ; 
then they call on God, sincere in religion towards 
Him, ' If thou dost save from this we will surely 
be of those who thank.' But when He has saved 
them, lo! they are wilful in the earth unjustly; — 
O ye folk ! your wilfulness against yourselves is 
but a provision of this world's life ; then unto us 
is your return, and we will inform you of that 
which ye have done ! 

[25] Verily, the likeness of this world's life is like 
water which we send down from the sky, and the 
plants of the earth, from which men and cattle eat, 
are mingled therewith; until when the earth puts 
on its gilding and is adorned, the people thereof 
think that they have power over it. Our order 
comes to it by night or day, and we make it as it 

1 The recording angels. 

* An instance of the frequent abrupt changes of persons with 
•which the Qur'dn abounds. 

O 2 

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I96 THE QUR'An. X, 35-33. 

were mown down — as though it had not yesterday 
been rich ! — Thus do we detail the signs unto a 
people who reflect. 

God calls unto the abode of peace, and guides 
whom He will into the right path. 

To those who do what is good, goodness and 
increase ! nor shall blackness or abasement cover 
their faces ! these are the fellows of Paradise, they 
shall dwell therein for aye. 

But, as for those who have earned ill, the reward 
of evil is the like thereof; abasement shall cover 
them ! they shall have none to defend them 
against God ; — as though their faces were veiled 
with the deep darkness of the night ; these are the 
fellows of the Fire, and they shall dwell therein 
for aye. 

And on the day we gather them all together then 
we will say to those who associated other gods 
(with us), ' To your places, ye and your associates ! ' 
and we will part them ; and their associates will say, 
'It was not us ye worshipped. — [30] But God is 
witness enough between us and you, that we were 
heedless of your worshipping us.' There shall 
every soul prove what it has sent on before ; and 
they shall be returned unto God, their God, their 
true sovereign, and that which they devised shall 
stray away from them. 

Say, ' Who provides you from the heaven and the 
earth ? who has dominion over hearing and sight ? 
and who brings forth the living from the dead, and 
brings forth the dead from the living ? and who 
governs the affair ?' And they will say, ' God.' Say, 
' Do ye not then fear ?' 

That is God, your true Lord ! and what is there 

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after the truth but error ? how then can ye turn 
away ? 

Thus is the word of thy Lord verified against 
those who commit abomination ; verily, they will 
not believe. Say, ' Is there any of your associates 
who can produce a creature and then turn it back 
again ?' Say, ' God produces a creature, then turns 
it back again ; how then can ye lie ?' [35] Say, ' Is 
there any of your associates who guides unto the 
truth?' Say, 'God guides unto the truth*' Is 
then He who guides unto the truth more worthy 
to be followed, or he that guides not except he 
be himself guided ? What ails you then, how ye 
judge ? 

But most of them follow only suspicion ; verily, 
suspicion does not avail against the truth at all ; 
verily, God knows what they do. 

This Qurin could not have been devised by 
any beside God; but it verifies that which was 
before it, and details the Book — there is no doubt 
therein — from the Lord of the worlds. 

Do they say, ' He 1 hath devised it ?' say then, 
'Bring a surah like it, — and call, if ye can, on 
other than God, if ye do tell the truth!' 

[40] Yet they call that a lie, the knowledge of 
which they cannot compass, while its interpretation 
has not yet come to them ; so did those before 
them charge with lying, and see what was the end 
of the unjust ! 

Of them are some who believe therein; and of 
them are some who do not believe therein ; but thy 
Lord knows best who are corrupters. 

1 I. e. Mohammed. 

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I98 THE QUR'AN. X, 42-53. 

But if they call thee liar, say, ' I have my work, 
and ye have your work ; ye are clear of what I 
work, and I am clear of what ye work.' 

There are some of them who listen to thee — canst 
thou make the deaf to hear, although they have 
no sense ? And of them are some who look at 
thee — canst thou guide the blind, although they 
cannot see ? 

[45] Verily, God wrongs not man at all, but men 
do wrong themselves. 

And on the day when we will gather them to- 
gether it will be as though they had not tarried 
save an hour of the day, they shall know each 
other. Lost are those who called the meeting 
with God a lie, and were not guided! 

Either we will show thee something of that 
with which we threatened them, or we will take 
thee to ourself, for unto us is their return ; then 
is God a witness to what they do. 

Every nation has its apostle ; and when their 
apostle comes to them, it is decided between them 
with justice, and they are not wronged. 

But they say, ' When is this threat (to come), if 
ye tell the truth ?' 

[50] Say, ' I have no power over myself for harm 
or for profit, save what God will. Every nation 
has its appointed time; when their appointed time 
comes to them they cannot delay it for an hour 
or bring it on.' 

Say, ' Let us see now when the torment comes 
to you, by night or day, what will the sinners fain 
bring on thereof ? And when it has fallen — will 
ye believe in it now! — And yet ye wish to bring 
it on ! Then shall it be said to those who have done 

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X, 53-63- THE CHAPTER OF JONAH. 1 99 

wrong, Taste ye the torment of eternity ! shall ye be 
recompensed except for that which ye have earned?' 
They will ask thee to inform them whether it be 
true. Say, ' Aye, by my Lord ! verily, it is the 
truth, nor can ye weaken him.' 

[55] And if every soul that hath done wrong 
had whatever is in the earth, it would give it as a 
ransom. They will utter their repentance when they 
see the torment ; and it shall be decided between 
them with justice, nor shall they be wronged. 

Is not indeed what is in the heavens and what 
is in the earth God's ? is not indeed the promise 
of God true ? Though most of them know not. 
He quickens and He kills, and unto Him are ye 
returned ! 

O ye folk ! there has come to you a warning from 
your Lord, and a balm for what is in your breasts, 
and a guidance and a mercy to believers. 

Say, ' By the grace of God and by His mercy, — 
and in that let them rejoice ! It is better than that 
which they collect ! ' 

[60] Let us see now what God has sent down 
to you of provision ! and yet ye have made of it 
unlawful and lawful. Say, ' Does God permit you, 
or against God do ye forge lies ? ' 

What will those who forge lies against God think 
on the resurrection day ? Verily, God is Lord of 
grace towards men, but most of them do not give 
thanks ! 

Nor shalt thou be in any affair, nor shalt thou 
recite concerning it a Qur'an x — nor shall ye do a 
work, without our being witness against you, when 

1 A portion of the Qur'Sn. The word means reading. 

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200 THE QUR AN. X, 62-72. 

ye are engaged therein : nor does the weight of 
an atom escape thy Lord in earth or in heaven ; 
nor is there less than that or greater, but it is in 
the perspicuous Book. 

Are not, verily, the friends of God those on whom 
there is no fear, neither shall they be grieved ? — 
They who believed and who did fear — [65] for them 
are good tidings in the life of this world, and in 
the future too ; there is no changing the words of 
God ! That is the mighty happiness ! 

Let not their speech grieve thee ; verily, power 
is wholly God's ! He both hears and knows. 

Is not, verily, whoever is in the heavens and 
whoever is in the earth God's ? What then do 
they follow who call on associates other than God ? 

Verily, they follow nothing but suspicion, and 
verily, they are telling naught but lies. 

He it is who made for you the night, that ye 
might rest therein, and the day to see therein ; 
verily, in that are signs unto a people who can hear. 

They say, ' God has taken to Himself a son.' 
Celebrated be His praises! He is the rich one! 
His is whatever is in the heavens, and whatever 
is in the earth. Ye have no authority for this ! will 
ye say against God, that which ye do not know ? 

[70] Say, ' Verily, those who forge against God a 
lie shall not prosper !' 

A provision in this world — then unto us is their 
return ! then we will make them taste keen torment 
for that they misbelieved. 

Recite to them the story of Noah, when he said 
to his people, ' O my people ! if my stay with you 
be grievous to you, and my reminding you of the 
signs of God, yet upon God do I rely ! Collect 

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X, 72-81. THE CHAPTER OF JONAH. 20t 

then your affairs and your associates 1 ; nor let 
your affair (be ordered) for you in the dark ; then 
decide respecting me, and do not wait ; and if ye 
turn your backs, I ask you not for hire ; my hire 
is only due from God, and I am bidden to be of 
those resigned.' But they called him a liar ; and 
we saved him, and those with him, in the ark ; 
and we made these 2 successors, and drowned those 
who had said our signs were lies; see then how 
was the end of those who had been warned ! 

[75] Then we raised up after him apostles unto 
their people, and they came to them with manifest 
signs ; but they would not believe in what they 
had called a lie before. Thus do we set a stamp 
upon the hearts of the transgressors. 

Then we raised up after them Moses and Aaron, 
unto Pharaoh and his chiefs with our signs ; but 
they were too big with pride, and were a sinful 
people ; and when the truth came to them from us 
they said, verily, ' This is obvious sorcery.' 

Moses said, ' Will ye say of the truth when it 
comes to you, Is this sorcery? But sorcerers shall 
not prosper.' 

They said, ' Hast thou come to turn us away 
from what we found our fathers at, that there 
may be for you twain grandeur in the earth ? but 
we will not believe you.' 

[80] And Pharaoh said, ' Bring me every knowing 
sorcerer ;' and when the sorcerers came, Moses said 
to them, ' Throw down what ye have to throw ! ' 
and when they threw down, Moses said, ' What 
ye have brought is sorcery ! verily, God will make 

1 Your idols. 2 Noah's people. 

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202 THE QURAN. X, 81-90. 

it vain; verily, God rights not the work of evil- 
doers ! ' 

But God verifies the truth by His words, although 
the sinners are averse therefrom. 

But none believed in Moses, save a race of his 
own people, through fear of Pharaoh and his chiefs ; 
lest he should afflict them, for verily, Pharaoh was 
lofty in the earth, and verily, he was extravagant. 

And Moses said, ' O my people ! if ye did be- 
lieve in God, then on Him rely, if ye be resigned.' 
[85] They said, ' Upon God do we rely. O our 
Lord! make us not a cause of trial for a people 
who do wrong, but save us by Thy mercy from the 
people who misbelieve !' 

And we inspired Moses and his brother thus, 
' Establish, ye twain, houses for your people in 
Egypt; and make ye your houses a qiblah 1 ; 
and be ye steadfast in prayer, and give glad tidings 
to those who believe.' 

Moses said, ' O our Lord ! verily, Thou hast 
brought to Pharaoh and his chiefs ornaments and 
wealth in the life of this world ; O our Lord ! that 
they may err from Thy way ! O our Lord ! confound 
their wealth and harden their hearts that they may 
not believe until they see grievous woe!' He said, 
' Your prayer is answered ; be upright then, ye two, 
and follow not the path of those who do not know !' 

[90] And we brought the children of Israel across 
the sea ; and Pharaoh and his hosts followed them 
eager and hostile, until when drowning overtook 
him, he said, ' I believe that there is no god but 

' I.e. adapt them by their position and construction to become 
places in which prayer may be performed. 

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X, 90-99- THE CHAPTER OF JONAH. 203 

He in whom the children of Israel believe, and I 
am of those who are resigned ! ' — ' Now 1 ! but thou 
didst rebel aforetime, and wert of those who do 
evil ; but to-day we will save thee in thy body, that 
thou mayest be to those who come after thee a sign, 
for verily, many men are careless of our signs 2 !' 

And we established the people of Israel with a 
sure establishment, and we provided them with 
good things ; nor did they disagree until there came 
to them the knowledge. Verily, thy Lord shall 
decide between them on the resurrection day con- 
cerning that whereon they did dispute. 

And if thou art in doubt of that which we have 
sent down unto thee, ask those who read the Book 
before thee ; verily, the truth is come to thee from 
thy Lord, be not then of those who are in doubt. 
And be not of those who say the signs of God 
are lies, or thou wilt be of those who lose! 
[95] Verily, those against whom God's word is 
pronounced will not believe, even though there 
come to them every sign, until they see the 
grievous woe. Were it not so, a city would have 
believed and its faith would have profited it. But 
(none did) except the people of Jonas ; when they 
believed we removed from them the torment of 
disgrace in this world, and we gave them provision 
for a while. But had thy Lord pleased, all who 
are in the earth would have believed altogether ; as 
for thee, wilt thou force men to become believers ? 

1 This is supposed to be the taunting reply of the angel Gabriel. 

* Compare Exodus xiv. 30. The Mohammedan legend is that 
as some of the children of Israel doubted whether Pharaoh was 
really drowned, the angel Gabriel caused the naked corpse to 
swim that they might see it. 

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204 THE QUR AN. X, 100-109. 

[100] It is not for any person to believe save by 
the permission of God ; He puts horror on those 
who have no sense. 

Say, ' Behold what is in the heavens and in the 
earth! but signs andwarners avail not a people who 
do not believe. Do they await aught but the like 
of the days of those who passed away before them?' 
Say, ' Wait ye then ! verily, I am with you one of 
those who wait.' Then we will save our apostles 
and those who believe ; thus is it due from us to 
save believers. 

Say, ' O ye folk ! if ye are in doubt concerning 
my religion, I will not worship those ye worship 
other than God ; but I worship God, who takes you 
to Himself, and I am bidden to be of the believers ! ' 
[105] And, ' Make steadfast thy face to the religion 
as a 'Han If 1 ; and be not of the idolaters ; and call 
not besides God on what can neither profit thee 
nor harm thee; for if thou dost, verily, thou art 
then of the unjust ! ' 

And should God touch thee with harm, there is 
none to remove it save He ; and if He wish thee 
well, there is none to repel His grace ; He makes it 
fall on whom He will of His servants ; for He is 
pardoning and merciful ! 

Say, ' O ye people I there has come to you the 
truth from your Lord, and he who is guided, his 
guidance is only for his soul; and he who errs, 
errs only against it; and I am not a guardian 
over you.' 

Follow what is revealed to thee, and be patient 
until God judges, for He is the best of judges. 

1 See p. 19, note 1. 

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XI, i-ii. THE CHAPTER OF hOd. 205 

The Chapter of HOd. 

(XI. Mecca.) 

A. L. R. A book whose signs are confirmed and 
then detailed, from the wise one, the aware : that ye 
worship not other than God, — verily, I am to you 
from Him a warner and a herald of glad tidings ; 
and that ye seek pardon from your Lord, then turn 
again to Himl He will cause you to enjoy a good 
provision to a named and appointed time, and will 
give His grace to every one deserving grace ; but if 
ye turn your backs, I fear for you the torment of a 
great day. 

Unto God is your return, and He is mighty 
over all. 

[5] Do they not, verily, fold up their breasts, that 
they may hide from Him ? But when they cover 
themselves with their garments, does He not know 
what they conceal and what they display ? verily, 
He knows the nature of men's breasts ! 

There is no beast that walks upon the earth but 
its provision is from God. He knows its settle- 
ment and its resting-place ; all is in the perspicuous 

He it is who created the heavens and the earth 
in six days, and His throne was upon the water 1 
that He might try you, which of you did best. 

[10] But shouldst thou say, ' Ye will be raised up 
after death,' those who misbelieve will surely say, 
' This is naught but obvious sorcery;' and if we keep 
back from them the torment to a stated generation, 

1 That is, before the creation ; see Genesis i. 2. 

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206 THE QUR'AN. XI, n-30. 

they will surely say, ' What hinders it ? ' — Aye ! 
on the day it comes to them there is no turning 
it away from them, but that shall close in on them 
at which they mocked. 

And if we make man taste of mercy from us and 
then strip it off from him, verily, he is despairing, 
ungrateful ; and if we make him taste of comfort 
after distress has touched him, he will surely say, 
'The evils have gone away from me ;' verily, then 
he is joyful and boasting. Save those who are 
patient and do right ; these — for them is pardon and 
a mighty hire ! 

[15] Haply thou art leaving part of what is re- 
vealed to thee and thy breast is straitened thereby, 
lest they should say, ' Why is not a treasure sent 
down to him ? or why did not an angel come with 
him ? — thou art only a warner, and God is guardian 
over all.' 

Or they will say, 'He hath devised it;' say, 'Bring 
ten surahs like it devised; and call upon whom ye 
can beside God, if ye do tell the truth ! ' And if 
they do not answer, then know that it is revealed 
by the knowledge of God, and that there is no god 
but He — are ye then resigned ? 

Whosoever shall wish for the life of this world 
and its ornaments, we will pay them their works 
therein, and they shall not be cheated. These are 
those for whom there is nothing in the hereafter 
save the Fire ; and void is what they made therein, 
and vain what they were doing ! 

[20] Is he (like them) who stands upon a manifest 
sign from his Lord, which is a witness from Him, and 
recites it, with the book of Moses before him for a 
model and a mercy ? These believe in it ; and 

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XI, 20-39. THE CHAPTER OF hOd. 207 

whosoever of the crews x disbelieves in him, the Fire 
is his promise. 

Be not thou in doubt about it ; verily, it is truth 
from thy Lord, though most men do not believe. 

Who is more unjust than he who forges against 
God a lie ? they shall be set before their Lord, and 
the witnesses shall say, ' These it is who lied against 
their Lord.' Aye ! God's curse is on the unjust who 
turn men away from the path, and crave to make it 
crooked, and in the hereafter disbelieve! They 
cannot make Him helpless in the earth, nor have they 
other than God for patrons. Doubled for them is 
the torment. They could not hear, nor did they see ! 
Those it is who lose themselves ; and that which 
they did devise has strayed away from them. No 
doubt but that in the hereafter these are those who 
lose ! 

[25] Verily, those who believe and do what is 
right, and humble themselves to their Lord, they 
are the fellows of Paradise ; they shall dwell therein 
for aye. The two parties' likeness is as the blind 
and the deaf, and the seeing and the hearing ; shall 
they two be equal in likeness ? will ye not mind ? 

We did send Noah unto his people, ' Verily, I am 
to you an obvious warner; that ye should not 
worship any save God. Verily, I fear for you the 
torment of the grievous day. But the chiefs of 
those who misbelieved amongst his people said, 
' We only see in thee a mortal like ourselves ; nor do 
we see that any follow thee except the reprobates 
amongst us by a rash judgment ; nor do we see 
that you have any preference over us; nay more, 

1 That is, of the idolater. 

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208 THE QUR'AN. XI, 39-38. 

we think you liars!' [30] He said, 'O my people! 
let us see ! if I stand upon a manifest sign from my 
Lord, and there come to me mercy from him, and ye 
are blinded to it ; shall we force you to it while 
ye are averse therefrom ? 

' O my people ! I do not ask you for wealth in 
return for it ; my hire is only from God ; nor do I 
repulse those who believe ; verily, they shall 
meet their Lord. But I see you, a people who 
are ignorant. O my people! who will help me 
against God, were I to repulse you ? do ye 
not then mind ? I do not say that I have the 
treasures of God ; nor do I know the unseen ; nor 
do I say, " Verily, I am an angel ; " nor do I say of 
those whom your eyes despise, " God will never give 
them any good ! " — God knows best what is in their 
souls — verily, then should I be of the unjust.' 

They said, ' O Noah ! thou hast wrangled with 
us, and hast multiplied wranglings with us ; bring us 
then what thou hast threatened us with, if thou art 
of those who tell the truth.' [35] Said he, 'God will 
only bring it on you if He pleases, nor can ye make 
Him helpless ; nor will my advice profit you, should 
I wish to advise you, if God wish to lead you into 
error. He is your Lord, and unto Him shall ye be 

Do they say, 'He has devised it 1 ?' Say, 'If I 
have devised it, then on me be my sin. But I am 
clear of that wherein ye sin.' 

And Noah was inspired, ' None shall surely 
believe amongst thy people but those who have 
believed already ; take not then ill that which they 

1 The Qur'an. 

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do. . And make the ark under our eyes, and at our 
inspiration ; and plead not with me for those who 
have done wrong ; verily, they shall be drowned.' 

[40] So he made the ark, and every time the 
chiefs of his people passed by him they jested at 
him. Said he, ' If ye jest at us, verily, we shall jest 
at you even as ye are jesting, and ye shall surely 

' He to whom a torment comes, it shall shame him, 
and there shall light upon him lasting torment.' 

Until at length when our order came, and the 
oven boiled 1 , we said, ' Load therein of every kind 
two, and likewise thy family, — save those on whom 
the sentence has already been passed — likewise 
those who believe;' but there believed not with 
him save a few. And he said, ' Ride ye therein ; 
in the name of God is its course, and its mooring. 
Verily, my Lord is forgiving and merciful.' " 

And it floated on with them mid waves like 
mountains; and Noah cried to his son who had 
gone aside, ' O my boy ! ride with us and be not 
with the misbelievers.' [45] Said he, ' I will betake 
me to a mountain that shall save me from the water.' 
Said he, 'There is none to save to-day from the 
command of God, except for him on whom He may 
have mercy.' And the wave came between them, 
and he was amongst the drowned 2 . 

And it was said, 'O earth! swallow down thy 

1 Tannur (oven) signifies also a reservoir of water. Its use in 
this passage has, however, given rise to some ridiculous supersti- 
tions amongst the Mohammedans as to the origin of the deluge. 

* This story and the further allusion to Noah's son in the next 
page were probably suggested by Genesis ix. 20-25. 
[6] P 

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' *. 

2IO THE QURAN. XI, 46-53. 

water!' and, 'O heaven! hold!' and the water 
abated ; and the affair was decided, and it 1 settled 
on Gddi 2 , and it was said, ' Away with the people 
who are evildoers!' 

And Noah went unto his Lord and said, 'My 
Lord, verily, my son is of my people, and, verily, 
Thy promise is true, and Thou art the justest of 
judges.' He said, ' O Noah ! he is not of thy 
people ; verily, it is a work that is not right Then, 
ask me not for that of which thou knowest naught 
Verily, I admonish thee that thou shouldst not be 
of the ignorant.' He said, ' My Lord, verily, I seek 
refuge in Thee from asking Thee for aught of which 
I know nothing ; and, unless Thou dost forgive me 
and have mercy on me, I shall be of those who 

[50] It was said, ' O Noah! descend in safety 
from us, and blessings upon thee and upon (some) 
nations of those who are with thee 3 ; but (some) 
nations we will allow to enjoy prosperity and then 
there shall touch them from us grievous woe.' 
These are stories of the unseen which we reveal 
to thee; thou didst not know them, thou nor thy 
people before this. Be patient, then; verily, the 
issue is for those who fear. 

And unto 'Ad (we sent) their brother Hud ; he 
said, ' O my people ! serve God ; ye have no god 
but Him. Ye do but devise a lie. O my people ! 
I do not ask you for hire in return ; my hire is 

1 The ark. 

* Gudi is a corruption apparently for Mount Giordi, the Gordyaei 
of the Greeks, situated between Armenia and Mesopotamia. 

5 I. e. upon some of the nations who are to form the posterity 
of thyself and the members of thy family saved with thee. 

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XI, 53-64- THE CHAPTER OF H^D. 211 

only from Him who created me : have ye then no 
sense ? 

' O my people ! ask pardon of your Lord ; then 
turn to Him ; He will send the skies down on you in 
torrents; [55] and He will add strength to your 
strength : do not then turn back sinners.' 

They said, ' O Hud ! thou hast not come to us 
with a manifest sign ; nor will we leave our gods 
at thy word ; nor will we believe in thee. We can 
only say that some of our gods have attacked thee 
with evil.' Said he, ' Verily, I call God to witness, 
and do ye bear witness too, that I am free from that 
which ye associate beside Him. 

' Plot then against me altogether, and give me no 
delay. Verily, I rely upon God, my Lord and your 
Lord. There is no beast that walks, but He taketh 
it by its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the right 

[60] ' But if ye turn your backs, — then I have 
conveyed to you what I was sent to you with ; and 
my Lord will make another people your successors. 
Ye cannot harm Him at all; verily, my Lord is 
guardian over all!' 

And when our order came we saved Hud, and 
those who believed with him, by mercy from us ; 
and we saved them from harsh torment. That 
(tribe of) 'Ad denied the signs of their Lord, and 
rebelled against His aposdes, and followed the 
bidding of every headstrong tyrant. They were 
followed in this world by a curse, and on the resur- 
rection day — ' Did not 'Ad disbelieve their Lord ? 
Aye ! away with 'Ad the people of Hud !' 

And unto Thamud (we sent) their brother Zali'h ; 
said he, ' O my people ! worship God ; ye have no 

p 2 

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» *. 

212 THE QURAN. XI, 64-72. 

god but Him. He it is that produced you from the 
earth, and made you live therein ! Then ask pardon 
of Him ; then turn again to Him : verily, my Lord 
is nigh and answers !' 

[65] They said, ' O Zali'h ! thou wert amongst 
us one we hoped in before this : dost thou forbid 
us to worship what our fathers worshipped ? verily, 
we are in hesitating doubt as to that to which thou 
callest us.' 

He said, ' O my people ! let us see ; if I stand 
upon a manifest sign from my Lord, and there 
come from Him mercy, who will help me against 
God if I rebel against Him ? Ye will add only 
to my loss. 

' O my people ! this she-camel * of God is a sign 
for you; leave her, then, to feed in God's earth, 
and touch her not with evil, or there will catch you 
torment that is nigh.' But they did hamstring her, 
and he said, ' Enjoy yourselves in your houses for 
three days ; — that is the promise that shall not be 

And when our order came we saved Zali'h, and 
those who believed with him, by our mercy, from 
disgrace upon that day. Verily, thy Lord He is 
powerful and mighty. 

[70] And the noise caught those who had done 
wrong ; and on the morrow they were lying corpses 
in their houses, as though they had never dwelt 
therein. Did not Thamud indeed disbelieve in their 
Lord ? Aye ! away with Thamud ! 

Our messengers did come to Abraham with glad 
tidings; they said, 'Peace!' He said, 'Peace be 

1 See note, p. 107. 

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XI, 73-82. THE CHAPTER OF hOd. 2 1 3 

it ! ' nor did he delay to bring the roasted calf. But 
when he saw that their hands reached not thereto, 
he could not understand them, and harboured fear 
of them. They said, ' Fear not. Verily, we are 
sent unto the people of Lot' And his wife was 
standing by, laughing; and we gave her the glad 
tidings of Isaac, and of Jacob after Isaac. [75] Said 
she, ' Alas for me ! shall I bear a son when I am an 
old woman, and this husband of mine an old man ? 
Verily, this is a wonderful thing ! ' They said, ' Dost 
thou wonder at the bidding of God ? God's mercy 
and blessings upon you, ye people of the house ! 
Verily, He is to be praised and glorified.' 

And when his terror left Abraham, and the glad 
tidings came to him, he wrangled with us about the 
people of Lot ; verily, Abraham was clement, pitiful, 

' O Abraham ! avoid this ; verily, the bidding of 
thy Lord has come ; verily, there is coming to them 
torment that cannot be put off.' 

[80] And when our messengers came to Lot, he" 
was grieved for them ; but his arm was straitened for 
them 1 , and he said, 'This is a troublesome day!' 
And his people came to him, rushing at him, for 
before that they used to work evil. He said, ' O 
my people ! here are my daughters, they are purer 
for you; then, fear God, and do not disgrace me 
through my guests; — is there not among you one 
right-thinking man ? ' 

They said, ' Thou knowest that we have no claim 
on thy daughters; verily, thou knowest what we 
want!' He said, 'Had I but power over you; or 

1 I. e. he was powerless to help them. 

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214 THE QURAN. XI; 82-87. 

could I but resort to some strong column 1 ! ' (The 

angels) said, ' O Lot ! verily, we are the messengers 
of thy Lord, they shall certainly not reach thee ; 
then travel with thy people in the darkness of the 
night, and let none of you look round except thy 
wife : verily, there shall befall her what befalls them. 
Verily, their appointment is for the morning! and 
is not the morning nigh ? ' 

And when our bidding came, we made their 
high parts their low parts 2 . And we rained down 
upon them stones and baked clay 3 one after another, 
marked *, from thy 'Lord, and these are not so far 
from the unjust 8 J 

[85] And unto Midian (we sent) their brother 
Sho'haib 6 . He said, ' O my people ! serve God ; ye 
have no god but Him, and give not short measure 
and weight. Verily, I see you well off; but, verily, I 
fear for you the torments of an encompassing day. 
O my people! give measure and weight fairly, and 
defraud not men of their things; and wreak not 
wrong in the earth, corrupting it. God's residue 7 

1 I. e. some support, such as -a powerful clan or chieftain. 
* That is, overturned the cities of the plain. 

3 The Abyssinians, who had invaded Mecca some years before, 
are mentioned in the Chapter of the Elephant (CV) as being 
destroyed in a similar manner by flocks of birds, who threw down 
such missiles upon them. 

4 The legend is that they each contained the name of the per- 
son for whom they were destined ; so the old saying, ' every bullet 
has its billet.' 

8 I. e. the same punishment is likely to overtake other wrong- 
doers, the threat being especially directed against the unbelieving 
inhabitants of Mecca. 

6 See Chapter VII. 

I A little which God leaves you after paying every one his due. 

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XI, 87-96. THE CHAPTER OF hCd. 215 

is better for you if ye be believers. But I am not 
a guardian over you.' 

They said, ' O Sho'haib ! Do thy prayers bid thee 
that we should forsake what our fathers served, 
.or that we should not do as we please with our 
wealth ? Thou art, forsooth, the clement and straight- 
forward one!' 

[90] He said, ' O my people ! -Do ye see ? If I 
stand upon a manifest sign from my Lord, and He 
provides me from Himself with a goodly provision, 
and I consent not with you to that which I forbid 
you, I only wish to better you so far as I can, — nor 
comes my grace through any one but God ; on Him 
do I rely, and unto Him I turn. O my people! 
let not a breach with me make you so sin that there 
befall you the like of that which befel the people 
of Noah, or the people of Hud, or the people of 
Zali'h — nor are the people of Lot so far from you ! 
Ask pardon, then, from your Lord, then turn to 
Him; verily, my Lord is merciful, loving!' 

They said, ' O Sho'haib ! we do not understand 
much of what thou sayest, and we see that thou 
art weak amongst us ; and were it not for thy family 
we would stone thee, nor couldst thou be powerful 
over us.' 

He said, ' O my people! are my family more 
esteemed by you than God ? or have you taken Him 
as something to cast behind your backs ? Verily, 
my Lord, whate'er ye do, doth comprehend. [95] O 
my people ! act according to your power ; verily, I 
too will act, and ye at length shall know ! To whom- 
soever torment comes it shall disgrace him, and 
him who is a liar. Watch then ; verily, I with you 
am watching too !' 

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' *- 

2l6 THE QURAN. XI, 97-105. 

And when our bidding came we saved Sho'hiib, 
and those who believed with him, by our mercy; 
and the noise caught those who had done wrong, 
and on the morrow they were in their houses prone, 
as though they had not dwelt therein. Aye ! 'Away 
with Midian!' as it was, 'Away with Thamud!' 

And we sent Moses with our signs and with 
obvious power unto Pharaoh and his chiefs ; but 
they followed Pharaoh's bidding, and Pharaoh's 
bidding was not straightforward. 

[100] He shall approach his people on the resur- 
rection day, and take them down to water 1 at the 
Fire, — an evil watering-place to water at ! 

In this (world) were they followed by a curse ; 
and on the resurrection day evil shall be the aid 
they are aided with ! 

That is one of the stories of the cities which we 
recite to thee — some of them are standing now and 
some mown down ! 

We did not wrong them, but they wronged them- 
selves. Their gods availed them naught, on which 
they called instead of God, when once the bidding 
of thy Lord had come; nor did they add save to 
their downfall! 

Thus is thy Lord's overtaking when He overtakes 
the cities that have done wrong; verily, His over- 
taking is grievous, keen. 

[105] Verily, in that is a sign to him who fears 
the torment of the last day ; — that is a day unto 
which men shall be gathered ; — that is a witnessed 

1 The word used is that always applied by desert Arabs to going 
to a spring for water. 

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XI, 106-115. THE CHAPTER OF H^JD. 21 7 

We will not delay it, save unto a numbered and 
appointed time. The day when it shall come no soul 
shall speak save by His permission, and amongst 
them (shall be) the wretched and the glad. 

And as for those who are wretched — why, in the 
Fire ! there shall they groan and sob ! to dwell 
therein for aye, so long as the heavens and the 
earth endure; save what thy Lord will. Verily, 
thy Lord is one who works His will. 

[no] And as for those who are glad — why, in 
Paradise ! to dwell therein for aye, so long as the 
heavens and the earth endure ; save what thy Lord 
will 1 , — a ceaseless boon ! 

Be not then in doubt concerning what these men 
do serve; — they only serve as their fathers served 
before ; and we will give them their portion un- 

We gave Moses the Book before, and then they 
disagreed concerning it, and, had it not been for a 
word that had been passed by thy Lord, it would 
have been decided between them ; but, verily, they 
are (still) in hesitating doubt concerning it. 

But, verily, every one thy Lord will surely repay 
for their works; verily, He of what they do is well 
aware ! 

Do thou then be upright, as thou art bidden, and 
whosoever turns repentantly with thee ; and trans- 
gress ye not: — verily, He on what ye do doth 

[115] Lean not unto those who do wrong, lest the 
Fire touch you, for ye have no patrons but God ; 
and, moreover, ye shall not be helped ! 

1 I. e. unless He please to increase their happiness. 

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2l8 THE QUR'An. XI, i 16-123. 

And be thou steadfast in prayer at the two ends 
of the day, and the (former and latter) parts of the 
night. Verily, good works remove evil works ; — 
that is a reminder to the mindful ! And be thou 
patient, for God wastes not the hire of those who 
do good. 

And were there among the generations before 
you any endowed with a remnant (of piety) for- 
bidding evildoing in the earth, save a few of those 
whom we saved ; but the evildoers followed what 
they enjoyed, and were sinners. 

Thy Lord would not have destroyed the cities 
unjustly while the people of them were welldoers. 

[120] Had thy Lord pleased, He would have 
made men one nation ; but they will not cease to 
differ, save those thy Lord has had mercy on. For 
this has He created them, and the word of thy Lord 
is fulfilled, ' I will surely fill hell with ^inns and 
mankind altogether.' 

And all that we relate to thee of the stories of the 
apostles is what will stablish thy heart : and herein 
has the truth come to thee, and an admonition and 
a reminder to the believers. 

Say to those who believe not, ' Act according to 
your power, verily, we are acting too ! And wait ye, 
verily, we are waiting too ! ' 

God's are the unseen things of the heavens and 
of the earth ; and unto Him the affair doth all 
return. Then serve Him and rely on Him; for 
thy Lord is not heedless of that which ye do. 

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The Chapter of Joseph, (peace be on him!) 
(XII. Mecca.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

A. L. R. Those are the signs of the perspicuous 
Book. Verily, we have revealed it, an Arabic 
Quran; haply ye may understand. 

We tell thee the best of stories, in inspiring thee 
with this Quran, though thou wert before it among 
the heedless. 

When Joseph said to his father, 'O my sire! 
verily, I saw eleven stars, and the sun, and the 
moon, — I saw them adoring me!' 

[5] He said, ' O my boy ! tell not thy vision to 
thy brethren, for they will plot a plot against thee ; 
verily, the devil is to man an open foe.' 

Thus does thy Lord choose thee, and teach thee 
the interpretation of sayings, and fulfil His favour 
upon thee, and upon Jacob's people, as He fulfilled 
it upon thy two forefathers before thee, Abraham 
and Isaac, — verily, thy Lord is knowing, wise ! 

In Joseph and his brethren were signs to those 
who enquire ! 

When they said, ' Surely, Joseph and his brother 
are dearer to our father than we, a band * although 
we be ; verily, our father is in obvious error. 

' Slay Joseph, or cast him in some land ; that your 
father's face may be free for you, and ye may be, 
after he is gone, a people who do right' 

[10] A speaker from amongst them spake, 'Slay 

1 The word means a band of between twenty and forty persons. 

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220 THE QURAN. XII, 10-19. 

not Joseph, but throw him into the bottom of the pit; 
some of the travellers may pick him up, if so ye do.' 

Said they, ' O our father ! what ails thee that 
thou wilt not trust us with Joseph while we are unto 
him sincere ? Send him with us to-morrow to revel 
and to play, and, verily, we over him will keep good 

Said he, ' Verily, it grieves me that ye should 
go off with him, for I fear lest the wolf devour him 
while ye of him do take no heed.' 

Said they, ' Why, if the wolf should devour him 
while we are (such) a band, verily, we then should 
deserve to lose ! ' 

[15] And when they had gone off with him and 
agreed to put him in the depths of the pit, and we 
inspired him, ' Thou shalt surely inform them of this 
affair of theirs and they shall not perceive V 

And they came to their father at eve and weeping 
said, ' O our father ! verily, we went forth to race 
and left Joseph by our goods, and the wolf devoured 
him, — but thou wilt not believe us, truth tellers 
though we be.' 

And they brought his shirt with lying blood upon 
it. Said he, ' Nay, but your souls have induced you 
to do this; but patience is fair! and God is He 
whom I ask for aid against that which ye describe.' 

And travellers came and sent their water-drawer ; 
and he let down his bucket. Said he, 'O glad 
tidings ! this is a youth.' And they kept him 
secret, as a chattel ; but God knew what they were 

1 This is a prophetic intimation to Joseph of his future inter- 
view with his brethren in Egypt. 

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[20] And they sold him for a mean price, — 
drachmae counted out, — and they parted with him 

And the man from Egypt who had bought him 
said to his wife, ' Honour his abiding here ; it may 
be he will be of use to us, or we may adopt him as 
a son.' 

Thus did we stablish Joseph in the land ; and we 
did surely teach him the interpretation of sayings; 
for God can overcome His affairs, though most men 
do not know. 

And when he had reached his strength 1 we brought 
him judgment and knowledge, for thus do we reward 
those who do good. 

And she in whose house he was desired him for 
his person ; and she locked the doors and said, 
'Come along with thee!' Said he, 'Refuge in 
God ! verily, my Lord has made good my abiding 
here ; verily, the wrong-doers shall not prosper.' 

And she was anxious for him, and he would have 
been anxious for her, had it not been that he saw 
the demonstration 2 of his Lord ; thus did we turn 
evil and fornication from him ; verily, he was of our 
sincere servants. 

[25] And they raced to the door and she rent his 
shirt from behind ; and they met her master at the 
door. Said she, ' What is the recompense of him 
who wishes evil for thy family, but that imprison- 
ment or a grievous torment ?' 

Said he, ' She desired me for my person.' And 

1 The age of puberty. 

* The angel Gabriel in the form of his father appeared with a 
warning gesture, according to the Muslim commentators. 

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222 THE QURAN. XII, 26-35. 

a witness from among her family bore witness : ' If 
his shirt be rent from in front, then she speaks the 
truth and he is of the liars ; but if his shirt be rent from 
behind, then she lies and he is of the truth tellers.' 

And when he saw his shirt rent from behind he 
said, ' This is one of your tricks ; verily, your tricks 
are mighty ! Joseph ! turn aside from this. And 
do thou, woman, ask pardon for thy fault j verily, 
thou wert of the sinners.' 

[30] And women in the city said, ' The wife of 
the prince desires her young man for his person ; 
he has infatuated her with love : verily, we see her 
in obvious error.' And when she heard of their 
craftiness, she sent to them and prepared for them 
a banquet, and gave each of them a knife ; and she 
said, 'Come forth to them!' And when they saw 
him they said, 'Great God I' and cut their hands 1 
and said, 'God forbid! This is no mortal, this is 
nothing but an honourable angel.' Said she, ' This 
is he concerning whom ye blamed me. I did desire 
him for his person, but he was too continent. But 
if he do not what I bid him he shall surely be 
imprisoned and shall surely be among the small!' 
Said he, ' My Lord ! Prison is dearer to me than 
what they call on me to do ; and unless Thou turn 
from me their craftiness I shall feel a passion for 
them and shall be among the ignorant!' And his 
Lord answered him and turned from him their 
craftiness ; verily, He both hears and knows ! 

[35] Then it appeared good to them, even after 
they had seen the signs 2 , to imprison him until a 

1 In their sudden emotion at his beauty. " Of his innocence. 

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And there entered the prison with him two young 
men. Said one of them, ' Verily, I see myself ' 
pressing wine.' And the other said, ' Verily, I see 
myself bearing on my head loaves from which the 
birds do eat; inform us of the interpretation thereof; 
verily, we see that thou art of those who do good.' 

He said, 'There shall not come to you any food 
with which ye are provided, but I will inform you 
both of its interpretation before it comes to you. 
That is (some) of what my Lord has taught me ; 
verily, I have left the faith of a people who do not 
believe in God, while in the future too they dis- 
believe. And I have followed the faith of my fathers, 
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob ; we could not asso- 
ciate aught with God ; that is from God's grace upon 
us and upon men : but most men give not thanks. 
O ye twain fellow-prisoners! Are manifold lords 
better, or God, the one, the dominant ? [40] What 
ye worship beside Him are naught but names which 
ye have named, ye and your fathers, for which God 
has sent down no authority. Judgment is only 
God's; He bids you worship only Him. That is 
the standard of religion, — but most men do not 
know. O ye twain fellow-prisoners ! as for one of 
you, he shall pour out wine for his lord : and as for 
the other, he shaH be crucified, and the birds shall 
eat of his head. The matter is decreed whereon ye 
asked me for a decision V 

And he said to him whom he thought would 
escape of those two, ' Remember me with thy lord !' 
But Satan made him 2 forget the remembrance of his 
lord, so he tarried in prison a few years. 

1 In a dream. 

* The application of the pronoun is vague in the text of this 

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' * 

224 THE QURAN. XII, 43-51. 

Then said the king, ' Verily, I see seven fat kine 
which seven lean kine devoured ; and seven green 
ears of corn and others dry. O ye chiefs! Explain 
to me my vision, if a vision ye can expound ! ' 

Said they, ' Confused dreams, and naught of the 
exposition of such dreams know we !' 

[45] Then he who had escaped of those twain 
said, — remembering after a while, — 'Verily, I will in- 
form you of the interpretation thereof, so send me.' 

'Joseph! O thou truth teller! explain to us the 
seven fat kine which seven lean devoured ; and the 
seven green ears of corn and others dry. Haply 
I may go back to the men, haply they then may 
know ! ' 

He said, ' Ye shall sow for seven years, as is your 
wont ; but what ye reap, let it remain in the ear, ex- 
cept a little whereof ye shall eat. Then there shall 
come after that seven severe (years) which shall de- 
vour what ye have put by before for them, save a 
little of what ye shall preserve. Then there will 
come after that a year in which men shall have rain 
and in which they shall press V 

[50] Then said the king, ' Bring him to me.' 

And when the messenger came to him, he said, 
' Go back to thy lord, and ask him, " What meant 
the women who cut their hands ? Verily, my lord 
knows their craftiness !" ' 

He said, ' What was your design when ye de- 
sired Joseph for his person ?' They said, ' God 

passage, which is variously interpreted, either that Satan made the 
butler forget to mention Joseph to his lord Pharaoh, or that Satan 
made Joseph forget for the moment his Lord God, and place his 
trust on the man rather than on Him. 
1 I. e. press wine and oil. 

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forbid ! we know no bad of him.' Said the wife of 
the prince, ' Now does the truth appear! I desired 
him for his person and, verily, he is of those who tell 
the truth.' 

That' (said Joseph) 'was that he might know that 
I did not betray him in his absence, and that God 
guides not the craft of those who do betray! Yet 
I do not clear myself, for the soul is very urgent to 
evil, save what my Lord has had mercy on ; verily, 
my Lord is forgiving and merciful ! ' 

And the king said, ' Bring him to me. I will take 
him specially for myself.' And when he had spoken 
with him he said, ' Verily, to-day thou art with us in 
a permanent place of trust.' 

[55] He said, ' Place me over the treasures of the 
land ; verily, I will be a knowing keeper.' 

Thus did we stablish Joseph in the land that he 
might settle in what part thereof he pleased — we 
overtake with our mercy whom we will, nor do we 
waste the hire of those who do good; and surely 
the hire of the future life is better for those who 
believe and who have feared. 

And his brethren came to Joseph, and they en- 
tered in unto him and he knew them, but they 
recognised not him. 

And when he had equipped them with their 
equipment he said, ' Bring me a brother that ye 
have from your father; do ye not see that I give 
good measure, and that I am the best of enter- 
tainers ? [60] But if ye bring him not to me, no 
measure shall ye have with me, nor shall ye come 
nigh me.' 

They said, 'We will desire him of our father, 
and we will surely do it.' 
[6] Q 

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2 26 THE QURAN. XII, 62-67. 

Then he said to his young men, ' Put their 
chattels 1 in their packs, haply they may know it 
when they are come back to their family; haply 
they may return.' 

And when they returned to their father, they 
said, ' O our father ! Measure is withheld from us ; 
so send with us our brother that we may get mea- 
sure, and, verily, him we will keep ! ' 

He said, 'Shall I entrust you with him, save as 
I entrusted you with his brother before ? but God 
is the best of keepers, and He is the most merciful 
of the merciful.' 

[65] And when they opened their goods they 
found their chattels restored to them. Said they, 
' O our father ! What more can we crave ? Here 
are our chattels restored to us, and we shall guard 
our brother, and shall have an additional measure 
beside that — a small measure V 

He said, ' I will by no means send him with you 
until you give me a compact from God that ye will 
surely bring him to me, unless ye be encompassed 3 .' 

So when they had given him their compact he 
said, ' God over what ye say has charge.' 

And he said, 'O my sons ! enter not by one gate, 
but enter by several gates ; but I cannot avail you 
aught against God. Judgment is only God's ; upon 
Him do I rely, and on Him do the reliant rely.' 

1 The goods which they had brought to barter, or the money 
they had paid for the corn. 

2 Commentators differ as to whether this means that what they 
had brought was insufficient, or whether the additional measure 
was a small quantity for Pharaoh to bestow, or whether Jacob 
utters the words meaning that it is not enough to induce him to 
part with his son. ' 

* By some unavoidable hindrance. 

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And when they had entered as their father bade 
them, it availed them nothing against God, save for 
a want in Jacob's soul which it fulfilled ; for, verily, 
he was possessed of knowledge, for that we -had 
taught him ; — but most men do not know. 

And when they entered in unto Joseph, he took 
his brother to stay with him, and said, ' Verily, I am 
thy brother — then take not ill that which they have 
been doing.' 

[70] And when he had equipped them with their 
equipment he placed the drinking cup in his bro- 
ther's pack ; then a crier cried out, ' O ye caravan ! 
verily, ye are thieves ! ' 

They said, approaching them, ' What is it that 
ye miss ?' 

Said they, ' We miss the goblet of the king, and 
whoso brings it shall have a camel-load, and I am 
guarantee thereof.' 

They said, ' By God ! Ye knew we came not 
to do evil in the land, and that we were not 

They said, ' And what shall be the recompense 
thereof if ye be liars ?' 

[75] They said, ' The recompense thereof is he in 
whose pack it is found — he shall be the recompense 
thereof; thus do we recompense the unjust' 

And he began with their sacks before the sacks of 
his brother ; then he drew it forth from his brother's 
sack. Thus did we devise a stratagem for Joseph. 
He could not take his brother by the king's reli- 
gion 1 except God pleased ; — we raise the degrees of 

1 I. e. by the law of Egypt it was not lawful for Joseph to take 
his brother for a bondsman as a punishment for theft. 

Q 2 

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228 THE QURAN. XII, 76-84. 

whomsoever we please, and over every possessor of 
knowledge is one who knows. 

They said, ' If he has stolen, a brother of his has 
stolen before him.' 

But Joseph kept it secret in his soul and dis- 
closed it not to them. Said he, 'Ye are in a 
bad case, and God knows best about what ye 

They said, ' O prince ! Verily, he has a father, a 
very old man ; take then one of us instead of him ; 
verily, we can see that thou art of those who do 

Said he, ' (I seek) refuge in God from taking any 
save him with whom we found our property; verily, 
we should then be certainly unjust.' 

[80] And when they despaired of him they retired 
to consult privately. Said the eldest of them, ' Do 
ye not know that your father has taken a compact 
from God against you ? Aforetime ye exceeded in 
the matter of Joseph — I will surely not quit the 
land until my father give me leave, or God judge for 
me, for He is the best of judges. 

' Return ye to your father and say, "O our father ! 
verily, thy son has committed theft, and we bore 
testimony to naught but what we knew ; for of the 
unforeseen we were not keepers !" 

'Ask then in the city where we were, and of the 
caravan in which we approached it, for, verily, we 
tell the truth.' 

Said he, ' Nay, your souls have induced you to do 
this thing. But patience is fair. It may be that 
God will give me them all together; — verily, He is 
knowing, wise.' 

And he turned away from them and said, ' O my 

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lament for Joseph ! ' and his eyes grew white with 
grief, for he repressed (his woe). 

[85] They said, 'By God! thou wilt not cease to 
remember Joseph till thou art at the point of death, 
or art of those who perish !' 

Said he, ' I only complain of my emotion and my 
grief to God, for I know that from God which ye 
know nothing of. 

' O my sons ! go and enquire concerning Joseph 
and his brother, and despair not of God's comfort ; 
for, verily, none need despair of God's comfort save 
a misbelieving people ! ' 

And when they entered in unto him they said, 
' O prince ! distress has touched both us and our 
families, and we have brought trifling chattels. So 
give us full measure and bestow upon us in charity; 
verily, God rewards the charitable.' 

He said, ' Do ye know what ye did with Joseph 
and his brother, while ye were ignorant ?' 

[90] They said, 'Art thou then indeed Joseph ?' 
He said, ' I am Joseph, and this is my brother ; 
God has been gracious towards us. Verily, whoso 
fears God and is patient, — verily, God wastes not 
the hire of those who do good!' 

They said, ' By God ! God has chosen thee over 
us ; and we indeed were sinners.' 

He said, ' No reproach against you to-day ! God 
will pardon you, for He is the most merciful of the 
merciful. Take this my shirt, and throw it over 
the face of my father, he will become able to see ; 
and bring me your families all together.' 

And when the caravan departed, their father said, 
' Verily, I find the smell of Joseph, unless ye think 
I dote!' 

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23O THE QURAN. XII, 95-104. 

[95] They said, ' By God ! thou art in thy old 
error.' And when the herald of glad tidings came he 
threw it on his face, and he was restored to sight. • 

Said he, ' Did I not tell you that I know from 
God that of which ye know not ?' 

They said, ' O our father ! ask pardon for us of 
our sins ; — verily, we were sinners !' 

He said, ' I will ask pardon for you from my 
Lord ; verily, He is the pardoning and merciful.' 

[100] And when they entered in unto Joseph, he 
took his father to stay with him, and said, ' Enter ye 
into Egypt, if it please God, safe.' And he raised 
his father upon the throne, and they fell down before 
him adoring. 

And he said, 'O my sire! This is the inter- 
pretation of my vision aforetime ; my Lord has 
made it come true, and He has been good to me, 
in bringing me forth out of prison, and bringing you 
from the desert, after Satan had made a breach 
between me and my brethren ; — verily, my Lord is 
kind to whomsoever He will ; — verily, He is the 
knowing, the wise ! 

' O my Lord ! thou hast given me dominion, and 
hast taught me the interpretation of sayings ; O 
originator of the heavens and the earth ! Thou art 
my patron in this world and the next ; take me to 
Thyself resigned, and let me reach the righteous !' 

That is one of the stories of the unseen which we 
inspire thee with, though thou wert not with them 
when they agreed in their affair, when they were so 
crafty. — And yet most men, though thou shouldst 
be urgent, will not believe. 

Thou dost not ask them for it a hire ; it is naught 
but a reminder to the world. 

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[105] How many a sign in the heavens and the 
earth do they pass by and turn away therefrom ! 

Nor do most of them believe in God without asso- 
ciating (other gods) with Him. 

Are they safe, then, from overwhelming vengeance 
coming on them from the torment of God ? or from 
the Hour coming upon them suddenly while they 
do not perceive ? 

Say, ' This is my way; I call now unto God on 
clear proof, I and those who follow me ; and 
celebrated be God's praises, for I am not of the 

Nor did we ever send before thee any save men 
whom we inspired, of the people of the cities. Have 
they not journeyed on in the earth, and beheld how 
was the end of those before them ? But the abode 
of the future is surely better for those who believe ; — 
what ! have they then no sense ? 

[no] Until when the apostles despaired and they 
thought that they were proved liars, our help came 
to them, and whosoever we pleased was saved ; 
but our violence is not averted from the sinful 

Their stories were a lesson to those endowed with 
minds. It was not a tale forged, but a verification 
of what was before it, and a detailing of every- 
thing, and a guide and a mercy to a people who 

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232 THE QURAN. XIII, 1-7. 

The Chapter of Thunder. 

(XIII. Mecca.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

A. L. M. R. Those are the signs of the Book, 
and that which is sent down to thee from thy Lord 
is the truth ; but most people will not believe. 
God it is who has raised the heavens without 
columns that ye can see ; then He made for the 
throne, and subjected the sun and the moon ; each 
one runs on to a stated and appointed time ; He 
governs the affair, details the signs ; — haply of the 
meeting with your Lord ye will be sure. 

And He it is who has stretched out the earth and 
placed therein firm mountains and rivers, and of 
every fruit has He placed therein two kinds. He 
makes the night cover the day; — verily, in that are 
signs unto a people who reflect. 

And on the earth are neighbouring portions, and 
gardens of grapes and corn and palms growing to- 
gether (from one root) and not growing together; 
they are watered with one water, yet we distinguish 
one over the other as food; — verily, in that are 
signs unto a people who have sense. 

[5] And if thou shouldst wonder, wondrous is 
their speech : ' What ! when we have become dust, 
shall we really then be created anew ? ' 

These are they who disbelieve in their Lord, and 
these are they with fetters round their necks, and 
these are the fellows of the Fire ; they shall dwell 
therein for aye ! 

They will wish thee to hasten on the evil rather 

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than the good ; examples have passed away before 
them : but thy Lord is possessor of forgiveness unto 
men, notwithstanding their injustice ; but, verily, thy 
Lord is keen to punish. 

Those who misbelieve say, ' Unless a sign be 
sent down upon him from his Lord . . . .' — Thou art 
only a warner, and every people has its guide. 

God knows what each female bears, and what the 
wombs fall short of or add ; for dimensions of every- 
thing are with Him. 

[10] He who knows the unseen and the visible, — 
the great, the lofty one. 

Alike among you is he who keeps secret his 
speech and he who displays it ; and he who hides 
by night and he who stalks abroad by day. Each 
of them has pursuers 1 before him and behind him, 
to keep guard over him at the command of God ; 
verily, God changes not what a people has until 
they change it for themselves. And when God 
wishes evil to a people there is no averting it, nor 
have they a protector beside Him. 

He it is who shows you the lightning for fear 
and hope 2 ; and He brings up the heavy clouds. 

And the thunder celebrates His praise, and the 
angels too for fear of Him; and He sends the 
thunder-clap and overtakes therewith whom He 
will ; — yet they wrangle about God ! But He is 
strong in might. 

[15] On Him is the call of truth, and those who 
call on others than Him shall not be answered at all, 

1 Guardian angels. 

* I. e. hope of rain ; lightning is always hailed with joy by the 
Arabs as a precursor of rain. 

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234 THE QURAN. XTII, 15-19. 

save as one who stretches out his hand to the 
water that it may reach his mouth, but it reaches 
it not ! The call of the misbelievers is only in 

And God do those who are in the heavens and 
the earth adore, whether they will or no ! as do 
their shadows also morn and eve. 

Say, 'Who is Lord of the heavens and the earth?' 
say, 'God;' say, ' Do ye take beside God patrons 
who cannot control profit or harm for themselves ? ' 
say, ' Shall the blind and the seeing be held equal ? 
or shall the darkness and the light be held equal ? 
or have they made associates with God who can 
create as He creates, so that the creation seem 
familiar to them ?' say, 'God is the creator of every- 
thing, and He is the one, the dominant' 

He sends down from the sky water, and the 
water-courses flow according to their bulk, and the 
torrent bears along the floating scum : and from 
what they set fire to, craving ornaments or utensils, 
comes a scum like that ; — thus does God hit the 
truth and the falsehood ; — and as for the scum it is 
thrown off, and as for what profits man it stays on 
the earth. Thus does God strike out parables ! 

For those who respond to their Lord is good ; 
but those who respond not to Him, had they all 
that is in the earth and the like thereof as well, they 
would give it for a ransom ; these shall have an evil 
reckoning up! and their resort is hell, — an evil 
couch shall it be ! 

Is he who knows that naught but the truth is 
sent down upon thee from thy Lord like him who 
is blind ? Only those possessed of minds will re- 
member ! 

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[20] Those who fulfil God's covenant and break 
not the compact, and those who attain what God has 
bidden to be attained, and dread their Lord and 
fear the evil reckoning up ; and those who are 
patient, craving their Lord's face, and are steadfast 
in prayer, and expend in alms of what we have be- 
stowed upon them secretly and openly, and ward off 
evil with good, — these shall have the recompense 
of the abode, gardens of Eden, into which they shall 
enter with the righteous amongst their fathers and 
their wives and their seed ; and the angels shall 
enter in unto them from every gate : — ' Peace be 
upon you ! for that ye were patient ; and goodly is 
the recompense of the abode.' 

[25] And those who break God's covenant after 
compacting for it, and who cut asunder what God 
hath bidden to be joined, and who do evil in the 
earth, these — upon them is the curse of God, and 
for them is an evil abode. 

God extends his bounty freely to whomsoever 
He will, or He metes it out; and they rejoice in 
the life of this world, but the life of this world is 
naught but a (temporary) provision compared with 
the next. 

Those who misbelieve say, ' Unless a sign is sent 
down upon him from his Lord . . . .' Say, ' God 
leads whom He will astray, but guides unto Him 
those who turn again. 

' Those who believe and whose hearts are com- 
forted by the mention of God, — aye ! by the men- 
tion of God shall their hearts be comforted, who 
believe and do what is right. Good cheer for them 
and an excellent resort.' 

Thus have we sent thee to a nation before 

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236 THE QURAN. XIII, 29-33. 

which other nations have passed away, to recite to 
them that which we have inspired thee with ; yet 
they misbelieve in the merciful ! Say, ' He is my 
Lord; there is no god but He; upon Him do I 
rely, and unto Him is my repentance.' 

[30] And though it were a Quran by which the 
mountains were moved, or by which the earth were 
cut up, or the dead made to speak * — nay, God's is 
the command altogether ! Did not those who be- 
lieved know 2 that if God had pleased He would 
have guided men altogether ? 

And a striking calamity shall not cease to over- 
take those who misbelieve for what they have 
wrought, or to alight close by their dwellings ; 
until God's promise comes — verily, God fails not 
in His promise. 

Before thee have apostles been mocked at ; and 
those who misbelieved have I allowed to range at 
large ; and then it caught them up ! How then 
was my punishment ? 

Shall He who is standing over every soul (to 

note) what it has earned ? And they join 

partners with God ! Say, ' Name them ; can ye 
inform Him of what He does not know in the 
earth ? or is it for name's sake only (that ye call 
upon them) ? 

' Nay, then, stratagem is made seemly to those 
who misbelieve, and they turn folks from the path 
of God! But whomsoever God doth lead astray, 
no guide has he.' 

1 They would not believe. 

2 The word used in the original, yai'as, means ' despair,' but in 
the patois of the Na'Aa'h tribe signifies 'know,' and is so inter- 
preted by the native commentators on this passage. 

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For them is torment in this world's life ; but surely 
the torment of the next is more wretched still— nor 
have they against God a keeper. 

[35] The likeness* of the Paradise which those 
who fear God are promised, beneath it rivers flow, 
its food is enduring, and likewise its shade ! That 
is the recompense of those who fear; but the re- 
compense of misbelievers is the Fire ! 

And those to whom we brought the Book rejoice 
in that which we have sent down to thee ; but of the 
confederates are some who deny a part thereof. 

Say, ' I am only bidden to serve God and not to 
associate any with Him ; on Him I call and to Him 
is my recourse.' 

Thus have we sent it down, an Arabic judgment, 
but hadst thou followed their lusts, after the know- 
ledge that has come to thee, thou hadst not had 
against God a patron or a keeper. 

And we sent apostles before thee, and we made 
for them wives and seed ; and no apostle could 
bring a sign save by God's permission ; — for every 
period there is a book. 

God blots out what He will, or He confirms ; and 
with Him is the Mother of the Book \ 

[40] Either we will let thee see a part of what 
we threaten them with, or we will take thee to 
Ourself ; but thy duty is only to deliver thy mes- 
sage, and ours to reckon up. 

Did they not see that we come to the land and 
diminish the borders thereof 2 ? God judges, and 
there is none to reverse His judgment, and He is 
swift at reckoning up ! 

1 See p. 2, note 2. 2 Alluding to the conquests of IsUlm. 

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238 THE QUR'AN. XIII, 42-XIV, 5. 

And those who were before them were crafty 
too; but God's is the craft altogether! He knows 
what every soul earns; and the misbelievers shall 
know whose is the recompense of the abode. 

And those who misbelieve say, ' Thou art not 
sent ! ' Say, ' God is witness enough between me 
and you ; and so is he who has the knowledge of 
the Book!' 

The Chapter of Abraham, (peace be on him!) 

(XIV. Mecca.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

A. L. M. A book which we have sent down to 
thee, to bring men forth from darkness into light, 
by permission of their Lord, unto the way of the 
mighty and praiseworthy one. 

God is He whose is whatsoever is in the heavens 
and whatsoever is in the earth. Alas for the mis- 
believers, for their torment is keen ! Who love this 
world's life better than the next, and turn folks from 
the path of God, and crave tc> make it crooked ; 
these are in remote error. 

We have not sent any apostle save with the 
language of his people, that he might explain to 
them. But God leads whom He will astray, and 
guides whom He will ; and He is the mighty, the 

[5] We did send Moses with our signs, ' Bring 
forth thy people from the darkness into the light, 

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and remind them of the days 1 of God ! ' verily, in 
that are signs to every patient, grateful one. 

When Moses said to his people, ' Remember 
the favours of God towards you, when He saved 
you from Pharaoh's people, who sought to wreak 
you evil woe, slaughtering your sons and letting 
your women live ; ' in that was a great trial for you 
from your Lord. When your Lord proclaimed, ' If 
ye give thanks I will surely give you increase ; but 
if ye misbelieve, verily, my torment is severe!' 
And Moses said, ' If ye misbelieve, ye and those 
who are on the earth altogether — then, verily, God 
is rich, and to be praised !' 

Has not the story come to you of those who 
were before you, of the people of Noah, and 'Ad, 
and Thamud, [10] and those who came after them ? 
none knows them save God. Apostles came unto 
them with manifest signs ; but they thrust their 
hands into their mouths 2 and said, 'Verily, we 
disbelieve in that which ye are sent with, and we 
are in hesitating doubt concerning that to which ye 
call us ! ' Their apostles said, ' Is there doubt about 
God, the originator of the heavens and the earth ? 
He calls you to pardon you for your sins, and to 
respite you until an appointed time.' 

They said, ' Ye are but mortals like ourselves ; 
ye wish to turn us from what our fathers used 
to serve. Bring us, then, obvious authority !' 

Their apostles said unto them, 'We are only 

1 This may, according to the Arab idiom, mean either ' battles ' 
in which God had given victory to the believers ; or simply ' days' 
on which God has shown them favour. 

s Easterns, when annoyed, always bite their hands ; see Chapter 
III, verse 115. 

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» A , 

24O THE QUR AN. XIV, 13-22. 

mortals like yourselves ; but God is gracious unto 
whomsoever He will of His servants, and it is not 
for us to bring you an authority, save by His per- 
mission ; but upon God do the believers rely!' 
[15] What ails us that we should not rely on God 
when He has guided us in our paths ? we will be 
surely patient in your hurting us ; for upon God 
rely those who do rely. 

And those who misbelieved said to their apostles, 
' We will drive you forth from our land ; or else ye 
shall return to our faith !' And their Lord inspired 
them, ' We will surely destroy the unjust ; and we 
will make you to dwell in the land after them. 
That is for him who fears my place and fears my 
threat !' 

Then they asked for an issue ; and disappointed 
was every rebel tyrant! Behind such a one is 
hell, and he shall be given to drink liquid pus 1 ! 
[20] He shall try to swallow it, but cannot gulp 
it down ; and death shall come upon him from 
every place, and yet he shall not die ; and behind 
him shall be rigorous woe ! 

The likeness of those who disbelieve on their 
Lord, — their works are as ashes whereon the wind 
blows fiercely on a stormy day. They have no 
power at all over that which they have earned. — 
That is the remote error ! 

Dost not thou see that God created the heavens 
and the earth in truth ? If He please He can take 

1 Sale and Rodwell have softened down this filthy expression, 
one rendering it 'filthy water' and the other 'tainted water;' the 
Arabic, however, will not bear this rendering. The first word 
meaning 'water' or 'liquid,' and the second, in apposition with it, 
' pus,' or purulent matter oozing from a corpse or a sore. 

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you off and bring a new creation ; nor is that hard 
for God ! 

They all come out to God ; and the weak say to 
those who were big with pride, ' We were followers 
of yours, can ye now avail us aught against God's 
torment ?' 

[25] They say, 'If God had guided us we would 
have guided you. It is the same to us if we 
are agonized or if we are penitent, we have no 

And Satan says, when the affair is decided, 
' Verily, God promised you a promise of truth ; 
but I promised you and failed you; for I had no 
authority over you. I only called you, and ye 
did answer me ; then blame me not, but blame 
yourselves ; I cannot help you, nor can you help 
me. I disbelieved in your associating me (with 
God) before; verily, the wrong-doers, for them is 
grievous woe !' 

But I will cause those who believe and do aright 
to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell 
therein for aye by the permission of their Lord ; 
their salutation therein is 'Peace!' 

Dost thou not see how God strikes out a parable ? 
A good word is like a good tree whose root is firm, 
and whose branches are in the sky; [30] it gives 
its fruit at every season by the permission of its 
Lord — but God strikes out parables for men that 
haply they may be mindful. 

And the likeness of a bad word is as a bad 
tree, which is felled from above the earth, and has 
no staying place. 

God answers those who believe with the sure 
word in this world's life and in the next ; but 
[6] R 

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242 THE QURAN. XIV, 32-39. 

God leads the wrong-doers astray; for God does 
what He will. 

Dost not thou see those who have changed God's 
favours for misbelief, and have made their people 
to alight at the abode of perdition ? — in hell they 
shall broil, and an ill resting-place shall it be ! 

[35] And they made peers for God, to lead men 
astray from His path. Say, ' Enjoy yourselves, for, 
verily, your journey is to the Fire.' 

Say to my servants who believe, that they be 
steadfast in prayer and expend in alms of what we 
have bestowed upon them in secret and in public, 
before there comes the day when there shall be no 
buying and no friendship. 

God it is who created the heavens and the earth ; 
and sent down from the sky water, and brought 
forth therewith fruits as a provision for you ; and 
subjected to you the ships, to float therein upon 
the sea at His bidding; and subjected for you the 
rivers; and subjected for you* the sun and the moon, 
constant both ; and subjected for you the night and 
the day; and brought you of everything ye asked 
Him: but if ye try to number God's favours, ye 
cannot count them ; — verily, man is very unjust and 

And when Abraham said, ' My Lord, make this 
land 1 safe, and turn me and my sons away from 
serving idols! 

' My Lord, verily, they have led many men 
astray ; but he who follows me, verily, he is of me ; 
but he who rebels against me, — verily, thou art 
pardoning, merciful ! 

1 Mecca and its neighbourhood. 

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[40] ' O our Lord ! verily, I have made some of 
my seed dwell in a valley without corn, by thy 
Sacred House x . O our Lord ! let them be steadfast 
in prayer and make the hearts of men yearn towards 
them, and provide them with fruits, haply they may 
give thanks. 

' O our Lord ! verily, Thou knowest what we hide 
and what we publish ; for naught is hid from God 
in the earth or in the sky. Praise to God who 
hath bestowed on me, notwithstanding my old age, 
Ishmael and Isaac! — verily, my Lord surely hears 

' O my Lord ! make me steadfast in prayer, and 
of my seed likewise ! O our Lord ! and accept my 
prayer ! O our Lord ! pardon me and my parents 
and the believers on the reckoning day!' 

So think not God careless of what the unjust do ; 
He only respites them until the day on which all 
eyes shall stare! 

Hurrying on, raising up their heads, with their 
looks not turned back to them 2 , and their hearts 
void ; and warn men of the day when the torment 
shall come! 

[45] And those who have done wrong shall say, 
'O our Lord! respite us until an appointed time 
nigh at hand, and we will respond to Thy call, and 
follow the apostles!' — 'What! did ye not swear 
before, ye should have no decline?' 

And ye dwelt in the dwellings of those who had 
wronged themselves ; and it was made plain to you 
how we did with them ; and we struck out parables 

1 The Kaabah at Mecca. 

a I.e. with their looks fixed straight in front of them through terror. 

R 2 

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244 THE QUR AN. XIV, 47-XV, 2. 

for you : but they plotted their stratagems, but with 
God is a stratagem for them, although at their 
stratagem the mountains should give way. 

Think then not indeed that God fails in his 
promise to his apostles ; — verily, God is mighty, 
the Lord of vengeance ; on the day when the earth 
shall be changed for another earth, and the heavens 
too ; and (all) shall go forth unto God, the one, the 

[50] Thou shalt see the sinners on that day 
bound together in fetters ; with shirts of pitch, 
and fire covering their faces ; — that God may 
reward each soul according to what it has earned ; 
verily, God is swift at reckoning up! 

This is a message to be delivered to men that 
they may be warned thereby, and know that only 
He is God, — one, — and that those who have minds 
may remember. 

The Chapter of El 'Hagr 1 . 
(XV. Mecca.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

A. L. R. Those are the signs 2 of the Book and 
of a perspicuous Qur'an. 

Many a time will those who disbelieve fain they 
had been resigned 3 . 

1 El 'JIagr, literally, ' the rock : ' the Petra of Strabo, and the 
traditional habitation of ' the people of Thamud.' 

2 Verses. 

* See note r, p. 15. 

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XV, 3-19- THE CHAPTER OF EL 'ffAGR. 245 

Leave them to eat and enjoy themselves and 
let hope beguile them, but they at length shall 
know ! 

We never destroyed a city without it had its 
noted doom. 

[5] No nation can hasten on its appointed time, 
nor put it off. 

But they say, ' O thou to whom the Reminder has 
been sent down! verily, thou art possessed. Why 
dost thou not bring us the angels if thou dost tell 
the truth ?' 

We sent not down the angels save by right ; 
nor even then would these be respited. 

Verily, we have sent down the Reminder, and, 
verily, we will guard it. 

[10] And we sent before thee among the sects of 
those of yore. But there never came an apostle 
to them but they mocked at him. Such conduct 
also will we put into the hearts of the sinners. 
They will not believe therein, but the course of 
those of yore is run. But had we opened to them 
a door of the sky and they had mounted up into 
it all the while; [15] then also had they said, ' Our 
eye-sight is only intoxicated; nay, we are an en- 
chanted people!' 

And we have placed in the sky the signs of the 
zodiac, and have made them seemly to the be- 
holders; and we have guarded them from every 
pelted devil l ; save from such as steal a hearing, 
and there follows him an obvious shooting-star. 

And the earth we have stretched out and have 
thrown on it firm mountains, and have caused to 

1 See note 2, pp. 50, 51. 

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246 THE QUR'AN. XV, 19-32. 

grow upon it of everything a measured quantity. 
[20] And we have made for you means of livelihood 
therein, and for those for whom ye have not to 

Nor is there aught but the treasuries of it are 
with us, and we do not send it down save in a noted 

And we send forth the impregnating winds \ and 
we send down water from the sky, and we give it 
to you to drink, nor is it ye who store it up. 

And we, verily, we quicken and kill ; and we are 
of (all things) heirs. 

And we already know the foremost of you, and 
we know the laggards too! 

[25] And, verily, it is your Lord who will gather 
you ; verily, He is wise and knowing. 

And we did create man from crackling clay of 
black mud wrought in form. 

And the ^inns had we created before of smoke- 
less fire. 

And when thy Lord said to the angels, ' Verily, I 
am creating a mortal from crackling clay of black 
mud wrought into shape ; 

[30] ' And when I have fashioned it, and breathed 
into it of my spirit, then fall ye down before it 

And the angels adored all of them together, 
save Iblis, who refused to be among those who 

He said, ' O Iblis ! what ails thee that thou art 
not among those who adore ?' 

1 I. e. the winds that bring the rain-clouds and fertilise the 

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xv » 33-5 1 - THE CHAPTER OF EL 'HAGR. 247 

Said he, ' I would not adore a mortal whom Thou 
hast created from crackling clay of black mud 
wrought into form.' 

He said, ' Then get thee forth therefrom, and, 
verily, thou art to be pelted! [35] And, verily, 
the curse is upon thee until the day of judgment.' 

Said he, ' O my Lord ! respite me until the day 
when they shall be raised.' He said, ' Then, verily, 
thou art of the respited until the day of the noted 

He said, 'O my Lord! for that Thou hast seduced 
me I will surely make it seem seemly for them on 
earth, and I will surely seduce them all together; 
[40] save such of Thy servants amongst them as are 
sincere.' Said He, ' This is a right way against me. 
Verily, my servants thou hast no authority over, 
save over those who follow thee of such as are 
seduced : and, verily, hell is promised to them all 
together. It has seven doors; at every door is 
there a separate party of them.' 

[45] Verily, those who fear God shall dwell 
amidst gardens and springs : ' Enter ye ' therein 
with peace in safety!' And we will strip off what- 
ever ill-feeling is in their breasts; as brethren on 
couches face to face 1 . 

No toil shall touch them therein, nor shall they 
be brought forth therefrom. 

Inform my servants that I am the pardoning, 
the merciful ; [50] and that my woe is the grievous 

And inform them concerning Abraham's guests 

1 Because to turn their backs on each other would appear con- 

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248 THE QUR'AN. XV, 52-70. 

when they entered in unto him and said, ' Peace ! ' 
he said, ' Verily, we are afraid of you.' They said, 
4 Be not afraid ! verily, we give thee glad tidings 
of a knowing boy.' He said, ' Do ye give me this 
glad tidings although old age has touched me ? 
give me the glad tidings then!' [55] They said, 
'We give the glad tidings of the truth, then be 
not of those who despair ! ' He said, ' Who would 
despair of the mercy of his Lord save those who 
err ? ' He said, ' What is your business, O ye mes- 
sengers?' They said, 'Verily, we are sent unto a 
sinful people ; save only Lot's family, them will 
we save all together, [60] except his wife ; we have 
decreed, verily, she shall be of those who linger.' 

And when the messengers came unto Lot's family, 
he said, ' Verily, ye are a people whom I recognise 
not.' They said, ' Nay, but we have come to thee 
with that whereof they 1 did doubt. And we have 
brought thee the truth, and, verily, we speak the 
truth ! [65] Travel then with thy family in the 
deep darkness of the night, and follow thou their 
rear; and let not any one of you turn round to 
look ; but go on to where ye are bidden.' 

And we decided for him this affair because the 
uttermost one of these people should be cut off 
on the morrow. 

Then the people of the city came, glad at the 
tidings. Said he, 'Verily, these are my guests, 
therefore disgrace me not; but fear God, and put 
me not to shame.' 

[70] They said, ' Have we not forbidden thee 2 
everybody in the world ? ' He said, ' Here are 

1 I. e. thy people. i I. e. to protect. 

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XV, 70-77- THE CHAPTER OF EL 'HAGK. 249 

my daughters, if do it ye must.' — By thy life 1 ! 
verily, they were surely in their intoxication blindly 
wandering on ! — 

And the noise caught them at the dawn. And 
we made the higher parts (of the cities) their 
lower parts, and rained down on them stones of 
baked clay. [75] Verily, in that is a sign to those 
who mark. And, verily, the (cities) are on a path 
that still remains 2 . Verily, in that is a sign to 
the believers. 

And the fellows of the Grove 3 too were unjust ; 
and we took vengeance on them, and, verily, they 
both 4 are for an obvious example. 

[80] And the fellows of El 'Ifagr 5 called the 
messengers liars, and we brought them our signs, 
but they therefrom did turn away. And they did 
hew them in the mountain houses to dwell in in 

But the noise caught them in the morn ; and that 
which they had earned availed them naught. 

[85] We did not create the heavens and the earth 
and all that is between them both, save in truth. 
And, verily, the Hour is surely coming; then do 
thou pardon with a fair pardon, 

Verily, thy Lord He is the creator, the knowing ! 
We have already brought thee Seven of the Repe- 
tition 6 , and the mighty Quran. 

1 Addressed to Mohammed. 

a On the road from the territory of the Qurai* to Syria. 

3 The Midianites, who are spoken of as dwelling in a grove, and 
to whom Jethro, or, as he is called in the Qur'&n, Sho'haib, was sent 
as an apostle ; see p. 148. 

4 I. e. both Sodom and Midian. 

5 The tribe of Thamud, see p. 146. 

* The Opening Chapter, which contains seven verses, and is 

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250 THE QURAN. XV, 78-XVI, 1. 

Let not thine eyes strain after what we have 
allowed a few pairs of them 1 to enjoy, nor grieve 
for them; but lower thy wing 2 to the believers, 
and say, ' Verily, I am an obvious warner.' 

[90] As we sent down (punishment) on the sepa- 
ratists 3 who dismember the Qur'an. 

But, by thy Lord ! we will question them, one and 
all, about what they have done. 

Therefore, publish what thou art bidden, and 
turn aside from the idolaters. 

[95] Verily, we are enough for thee against the 

Who place with God other gods ; but they at 
length shall know! And we knew that thy breast 
was straitened at what they say. 

Then celebrate the praises of thy Lord, and be 
thou of those who adore. 

And serve thy Lord until the certainty shall 
come to thee. 

The Chapter of the Bee. 
(XVI. Mecca.) 

In the name of the merciful and compassionate 

God's bidding will come ; seek not then to hasten 
it on. Celebrated be His praises from what they 
join with Him ! 

named the Seven of Repetition (sab'h al MathSnt), from this pas- 
sage, and because it is to be repeated on so many occasions. 
1 The unbelievers. 

* Behave with humility and gentleness. 

* Probably referring to the Jews and Christians who are here 
and elsewhere accused of mutilating and altering the Scriptures. 

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He sends down the angels with the Spirit at His 
bidding upon whom He will of His servants (to 
say), ' Give warning that there is no god but Me ; 
Me therefore do ye fear/ He created the heavens 
and the earth in truth ! Exalted be He above that 
which they join with Him ! 

He created man from a clot; and yet, behold, 
he is an open opponent ! 

[5] The cattle too have we created for you; in them 
is warmth and profit, and from them do ye eat 

In them is there beauty for you when ye drive 
them home to rest, and when ye drive them forth 
to graze. And they bear your heavy burdens to 
towns which ye could not otherwise reach, except 
with great wretchedness of soul ; — verily, your Lord 
is kind and merciful. 

And horses too, and mules, and asses, for you to 
ride upon and for an ornament. — He creates also 
what ye know not of. God's it is to show the path ; 
from it some turn aside : but had He pleased He 
would have guided you one and all. 
. [10] He it is who sends down water from the 
sky, whence ye have drink, and whence the trees 
grow whereby ye feed your flocks. 

He makes the corn to grow, and the olives, and the 
palms, and the grapes, and some of every fruit; — 
verily, in that is a sign unto a people who reflect. 

And He subjected to you the night and the day, 
and the sun, and the moon, and the stars are sub- 
jected to His bidding. Verily, in that are signs 
to a people who have sense. 

And what He has produced for you in the earth 
varying in hue, verily, in that is a sign for a people 
who are mindful. 

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252 THE QURAN. XVI, 14-37. 

He it is who has subjected the sea, that ye may 
eat fresh flesh therefrom ; and ye bring forth from it 
ornaments which ye wear, — and thou mayest see the 
ships cleaving through it, — and that ye may search 
after His grace, — and haply ye may give thanks. 

[15] And He has cast firm mountains on the 
earth lest it move with you ; and rivers and roads ; 
haply ye may be guided. 

And landmarks; and by the stars too are they 

Is He who creates like him who creates not? — 
are they then unmindful ? 

But if ye would number the favours of God, 
ye cannot count them. Verily, God is forgiving, 

God knows what ye keep secret, and what ye 

[20] And those on whom ye call beside God 
cannot create anything, for they are themselves 
created. Dead, not living, nor can they perceive ! 

When shall they be raised ? 

Your God is one God, and those who believe not 
in the hereafter their hearts are given to denial, 
and they are big with pride ! 

Without a doubt God knows what ye keep secret 
and what ye disclose ! 

[25] Verily, He does not love those big with 
pride ! 

And when it is said to them, 'What is it that your 
Lord has sent down ?' they say, ' Old folks' tales !' 

Let them bear the burden of their sins entirely 
on the resurrection day, and some of the burdens 
of those whom they led astray without knowledge. — 
Aye ! an ill burden shall they bear. 

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Those who were before them devised a stratagem, 
but God brought their building off its foundations, 
and the roof fell over them, and the torment came 
to them, from whence they could not perceive 1 . 

Then on the resurrection day He will put them 
to shame, and say, 'Where are your associates whom 
ye divided into parties about?' Those to whom 
knowledge is brought will say, ' Verily, disgrace 
to-day, and evil are upon the misbelievers !' 

[30] Those whom the angels took away were 
wronging themselves; then they offered peace : 'We 
have done no evil.' — ' Yea ! verily, God knows what 
ye did. Wherefore enter ye the doors of hell, to 
dwell therein for aye ; for ill is the resort of the 

And it will be said to those who fear God, 
' What is it that your Lord has sent down ?' They 
will say, ' The best,' for those who do good, good 
in this world ; but certainly the abode of the next 
is best, and surely pleasant is the abode of those 
who fear. 

Gardens of Eden which they shall enter, beneath 
them rivers flow ; therein shall they have what they 
please ; — thus does God reward those who fear Him. 

To those whom the angels take off in a goodly 
state they shall say, ' Peace be upon you ! enter ye 
into Paradise for that which ye have done.' 

[35] Do they expect other than that the angels 
should come to take them off, or that thy Lord's 
bidding should come ? — thus did those before them ; 
God did not wrong them ; but it was themselves 
they wronged. 

1 Said to refer to the building and overthrow of the tower of 

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254 THE QURAN. XVI, 36-46. 

And the evil which they had done befel them, 
and that environed them at which they used to 
mock ! 

And those who associated (others with God) said, 
'Had God pleased we had not served aught be- 
side Him, neither we nor our fathers ; nor had we 
prohibited aught without Him ;' — thus did those 
before them : but have messengers aught to do but 
to deliver their message plainly ? 

We have sent in every nation an apostle (to say), 
'Serve ye God, and avoid 7*a^ut!' and amongst 
them are some whom God has guided, and amongst 
them are some for whom error is due ; — go ye about 
then on the earth, and behold how was the end of 
those who called (the apostles) liars ! 

If thou art ever so eager for their guidance, 
verily, God guides not those who go astray, nor 
have they any helpers. 

[40] They swear by their most strenuous oath, 
' God will not raise up him who dies.' — Yea ! a 
promise binding on him true! — but most men do 
not know. To explain to them that which they 
disputed about, and that those who misbelieved 
may know that they are liars. 

We only say unto a thing we wish, 'BE,' and it is. 

But those who fled for God's sake, after they 
were wronged, we will surely establish them in this 
world with good things ; but the hire of the future 
life is greater, if ye did but know. 

Those who are patient, and upon their Lord rely! 

[45] And we have not sent before thee any but 
men whom we inspire, — ask ye those who have the 
Reminder ', if ye know not yourselves, — with mani- 

1 The Pentateuch and Gospels. 

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fest signs and with scriptures ; and we have sent 
down the Reminder to thee too, that thou mayest 
explain to men what has been sent down to them, 
and haply they may reflect. 

Are those who were so crafty in evil sure that 
God will not cleave open the earth with them, or 
bring them torment from whence they cannot per- 
ceive, or seize them in their going to and fro ? for 
they cannot make Him helpless. 

Or that He should seize them with a gradual 
destruction ? for, verily, your Lord is kind, mer- 

[50] Do they not regard whatever thing God 
has created ; its shadow falls on the right or the 
left, adoring God and shrinking up ? 

Whatever is in the heavens and in the earth, 
beast or angel, adores God ; nor are they big 
with pride! 

They fear their Lord above them, and they do 
what they are bidden. 

And God says, ' Take not to two gods ; God is 
only one ; me then do ye fear !' 

His is what is in the heavens and in the earth ; 
to Him is obedience due unceasingly ; other than 
God then will ye fear ? 

[55] And whatever favours ye have, they are from 
God ; then, whenever distress touches you, unto 
Him ye turn for succour. Yet, when He removes 
the distress from you, lo ! a party of you join part- 
ners with their Lord. 

That they may disbelieve in what we have 
brought them and may enjoy, — but at length they 
shall know! 

And they set aside for what they know not a 

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256 THE QURAN. XVI, 58-65. 

portion of what we have bestowed upon them '. — 
By God ! ye shall be questioned concerning that 
which ye have devised. 

They make for God daughters; — celebrated be 
His praise! — and for themselves they like them 
not 2 . 

[60] When any one of them has tidings of a 
female child, his face is overclouded and black, and 
he has to keep back his wrath. 

He skulks away from the people, for the evil 
tidings he has heard; — is he to keep it with its 
disgrace, or to bury it in the dust ? — aye ! evil is it 
that they judge ! 

For those who disbelieve in the future life is 
a similitude of evil : but for God is the loftiest 
similitude ; for He is the mighty, the wise ! 

If God were to punish men for their wrong-doing 
He would not leave upon the earth a single beast ; 
but He respites them until a stated time ; and when 
their time comes they cannot put it off an hour, nor 
can they bring it on. 

They set down to God what they abhor them- 
selves ; and their tongues describe the lie that 
'good is to be theirs.' Without a doubt theirs is 
the Fire, for, verily, they shall be sent on there ! 

[65] By God ! we sent (messengers) to nations 
before thee, but Satan made their works seemly to 
them, for he is their patron to-day, and for them is 
grievous woe ! 

1 See note 2, p. 132. 

3 The Arabs used to call the angels ' daughters of God.' They, 
however, objected strongly (as do the modern Bedawtn) to female 
offspring, and used to bury their infant daughters alive. This 
practice Mohammed elsewhere reprobates. See p. 132, note 3. 

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We have only sent down to thee the Book, that 
thou mayest explain to them that which they did 
dispute about, and as a guidance and a mercy to a 
people who believe. 

And God sends down water from the sky, and 
quickens therewith the earth after its death ; verily, 
in that is a sign to a people who can hear. 

Verily, ye have in cattle a lesson ; we give you 
to drink from that which is in their bellies, betwixt 
chyme and blood, — pure milk, — easy to swallow for 
those who drink. 

And of the fruit of the palms and the grapes 
ye take therefrom an intoxicant and a goodly pro- 
vision ; verily, in that is a sign to a people who 
have sense ! 

[70] And thy Lord inspired the bee, ' Take to 
houses in the mountains, and in the trees, and in 
the hives they build. 

' Then eat from every fruit, and walk in the 
beaten paths of thy Lord ;' there cometh forth from 
her body a draught varying in hue \ in which is 
a cure for men ; verily, in that are signs unto a 
people who reflect 

God created you ; then He will take you to Him- 
self; but amongst you are some whom He will 
thrust into the most decrepit age ; so that he may 
not know aught that once he knew. Verily, God 
is knowing, powerful. 

And God has preferred some of you over others 
in providing for you ; but those who have been 
preferred will not restore their provision to those 

1 The Arab writers mention several varieties of honey differing 
in colour, and some of which are used as medicine. 
[6] S 

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258 THE QURAN. XVI, 73-80. 

whom their right hands possess x that they may 
share equally therein: — is it God's favours they 
gainsay ? 

And God has made for you from amongst your- 
selves wives, and has made for you from your wives 
sons and grandchildren ; and has provided you with 
good things ; — is it in vanity that they believe, 
while for God's favour they are ungrateful ? 

[75] And they serve beside God what cannot 
control for them any provision from the heavens 
or the earth, and have no power at all. 

Do not then strike out parables for God ! Verily, 
God knows, but ye do not know. 

God has struck out a parable; an owned slave, 
able to do nothing ; and one whom we have provided 
with a good provision, and who expends therefrom 
in alms secretly and openly : — shall they be held 
equal ? — Praise be to God, most of them do not 

And God has struck out a parable : two men, 
one of them dumb, able to do nothing, a burden 
to his lord ; wherever -he directs him he comes not 
with success ; is he to be held equal with him who 
bids what is just and who is on the right way ? 

God's are the unseen things of the heavens and 
the earth ; nor is the matter of the Hour aught but 
as the twinkling of an eye, or nigher still ! Verily, 
God is mighty over all ! 

[80] God brings you forth out of the wombs of 
your mothers knowing naught; and He makes for 
you hearing, and sight, and hearts, — haply ye may 
give thanks ! 

1 Their slaves. 

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Do they not see the birds subjected in the vault 
of the sky ? — none holds them in but God : verily, in 
that is a sign unto a people who believe. 

God made for you in your houses a repose ; and 
made for you, of the skins of cattle, houses \ that 
ye may find them light, on the day ye move your 
quarters and the day when ye abide ; and from their 
wool, and from their fur, and from their hair come 
furniture and chattels for a season. 

And God has made for you, of what He has 
created, shades ; and has made for you shelters 
in the mountains ; and He has made for you shirts 
to keep you from the heat, and shirts 2 to keep 
you from each other's violence : — thus does He 
fulfil His favours towards you, — haply ye yet may 
be resigned. 

But if they turn their backs, — thine is only to 
preach thy plain message. 

[85] They recognise the favours of God, and yet 
they deny them, for most men are ungrateful. 

And on the day when we shall send from every 
nation a witness; then shall those who misbelieve 
not be allowed (to excuse themselves), and they 
shall, not be taken back into favour. 

And when those who join their partners with God 
say, ' Our Lord ! these be our partners on whom 
we used to call beside Thee.' And they shall 
proffer them the speech, ' Verily, ye are liars !' And 
they shall proffer on that day peace unto God ; and 
that which they had devised shall stray away from 

1 ' Tents ' are called ' houses of hair ' or ' of hide ' by the desert 
* Of mail. 

S 2 

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■l60 THE QUR'AN. XVI, 90-96. 

[90] Those who misbelieve and turn folks off 
God's path, we will add torment to their torment, 
for that they were evildoers. 

And on the day when we will raise up in every 
nation a witness against them from among them- 
selves, and we will bring thee as a witness against 
these 1 ; for we have sent down to thee a book 
explaining clearly everything, and a guidance, and 
a mercy, and glad tidings to the believers. 

Verily, God bids you do justice and good, and 
give to kindred (their due), and He forbids you to 
sin, and do wrong, and oppress ; He admonishes 
you, haply ye may be mindful ! 

Fulfil God's covenant when ye have covenanted, 
and break not your oaths after asseverating them, 
for ye thereby make God your surety; verily, God 
knows what ye do. 

And be not like her who unravels her yarn, 
fraying it out after she hath spun it close, by taking 
your oaths for mutual intrigue, because one nation 
is more numerous than another ; God only tries 
you therewith, but He will make manifest to you 
on the resurrection day that whereon ye did 
dispute 2 . 

[95] But had God pleased He would have made 
you one nation; but He leads astray whom He 
will, and guides whom He will; — but ye shall be 
questioned as to that which ye have done. 

Take not therefore your oaths for mutual intrigue, 
lest a foot slip after being planted firmly, and ye 

' The Meccans. 

2 The Arabs, like most half-savage tribes, used to consider superior 
numerical strength as entitling them to disregard a treaty. 

Digitized by 


XVI. 96-106. THE CHAPTER OF THE BEE. 26 1 

taste of evil for that ye turned folks off the path 
of God, and for you there be mighty woe ! 

And sell not God's covenant for a little price ; 
with God only is what is better for you, if ye did 
but know. 

What ye have is spent, but what God has endures ; 
and we will recompense the patient with their hire 
for the best deeds they have done. 

Whoso acts aright, male or female, and is a 
believer, we will quicken with a goodly life ; and 
we will recompense them with their hire for the 
best deeds they have done. 

[100] When thou dost read the Quran, ask refuge 
with God from Satan the pelted one 1 . 

Verily, he has no power over those who believe 
and who upon their Lord rely. His power is only 
over those who take him for a patron, and over the 

And whenever we change one verse for another, 
— God knows best what He sends down. They 
say, 'Thou art but a forger!' — Nay, most of them 
do not know. Say, ' The Holy Spirit 2 brought it 
down from thy Lord in truth, to stablish those who 
believe, and for a guidance and glad tidings to those 
who are resigned a .' 

[105] We knew that they said, ' It is only some 
mortal who teaches him.' — The tongue of him 
they lean towards is barbarous, and this is plain 
Arabic *. 

Verily, those who believe not in God's signs, God 
will not guide them, and for them is grievous woe. 

1 See p. 50, note 2. * Gabriel 8 See p. 15, note r. 

4 For an account of the persons supposed to have helped Moham- 
med in the compilation of the Qur'an, see Introduction. 

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262 THE QUR'AN. XVI, 107-115. 

Only they are the forgers of a lie who believe 
not in God's signs ; and these, they are the liars. 

Whoso disbelieves in God after having believed, 
unless it be one who is forced and whose heart is 
quiet in the faith, — but whoso expands his breast 
to misbelieve, — on them is wrath from God, and for 
them is mighty woe ! 

That is because they preferred the love of this 
world's life to the next; — but, verily, God guides 
not the unbelieving people, [no] These are they on 
whose hearts, and hearing, and eyesight, God has 
set a stamp, and these, they are the careless. With- 
out a doubt that in the next life they will be the 

Then, verily, thy Lord, to those who fled x after 
they had been tried, and then fought strenuously 
and were patient, — verily, thy Lord after that will 
be forgiving and merciful. 

On the day every soul will come to wrangle for 
itself, and every soul shall be paid what it has 
earned, and they shall not be wronged. 

God has struck out a parable : a city 2 which 
was safe and quiet, its provision came to it in 
plenty from every place, and then it denied God's 
favours, and God made it feel 3 the clothing of 
hunger and fear, for that which they had wrought. 

And there came to them an apostle from 
amongst themselves, but they called him a liar, 
and the torment seized them, while yet they were 
unjust. • 

[115] Eat, then, from what God has provided 

1 The Ans&rs. s Any town, but Mecca in particular. 

8 Literally, ' taste.' 

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5EVI, 115-125. THE CHAPTER OF THE BEE. 263 

you with, things lawful and good, and give thanks 
for the favours of God, if it be Him ye serve. 

He has only forbidden you that which dies of 
itself, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that 
which is devoted to other than God ; but he who is 
forced, neither revolting nor transgressing, it is no 
sin for him : verily, God is forgiving and merciful. 

And say not of the lie your tongues pronounce, 
' This is lawful, and this is unlawful,' forging against 
God a lie ; verily, those who forge against God a 
lie shall not prosper. A little enjoyment — then for 
them is grievous woe ! 

For those who are Jews we have forbidden what 
we have narrated to thee before 1 ; we did not wrong 
them, but it was themselves they wronged. 

[120] Then, verily, thy Lord to those who have 
done evil in ignorance and then repented after that 
and done aright, — verily, thy Lord afterwards is 
forgiving and merciful. 

Verily, Abraham was a high priest 2 , a 'Han if, 
and was not of the idolaters : thankful for His 
favours ; He chose him and He guided him unto 
the right way. 

And we gave him in this world good things ; and, 
verily, in the next he will be among the righteous. 

Then we inspired thee, ' Follow the faith of Abra- 
ham, a 'Hanif, for he was not of the idolaters.' 

[125] The Sabbath was only made for those who 
dispute thereon; but, verily, thy Lord will judge 

1 See p. 134. 

2 Some commentators take this word ummatan as equivalent 
to imiman, 'antistes,' and this interpretation I have followed. 
Others take it in its ordinary sense of ' nation ;' but the use of the 
other epithets seems to favour the former interpretation. 

Digitized by 


264 THE QUR AN. XVI, 125-128' 

between them on the resurrection day concerning 
that whereon they do dispute. 

Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and 
goodly warning; and wrangle with them in the 
kindest way; verily, thy Lord He knows best who 
has erred from His way, for He knows best the 
guided ones. 

But if ye punish, punish (only) as ye were punished ; 
but if ye are patient, it is best for those who are 
patient 1 . 

Be thou patient then ; but thy patience is only 
in God's hands. Do not grieve about them ; and 
be not in a strait at their craftiness ; — verily, God 
is with those who fear Him, and with those who 
do well. 

1 This passage refers to the killing of 'Hamzah, Mohammed's 
uncle, at the battle of O'hod, and the subsequent mutilation of his 
corpse by the Meccans, and is a protest against taking too severe 
a revenge. 

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