Part 5 out of 14
What! shall He not know who hath created? for He is the Subtil,2
It is He who hath made the earth level for you: traverse then its
broad sides, and eat of what He hath provided. Unto Him shall
be the resurrection.
What! are ye sure that He who is in Heaven will not cleave the
Earth beneath you? And lo, it shall quake.
Or are ye sure that He who is in Heaven will not send against you
a stone-charged whirlwind? Then shall ye know what my warning
And verily, those who flourish before you treated their prophets as
liars: and how grievous my wrath!
Behold they not the birds over their heads, outstretching and
drawing in their wings? None, save the God of Mercy, upholdeth
them: for he regardeth all things.
Who is he that can be as an army to you, to succour you, except
the God of Mercy? Truly, the infidels are in the merest delusion.
Or who is he that will furnish you supplies, if He withhold His
supplies? Yet do they persist in pride and in fleeing from Him!
Is he who goeth along grovelling on his face, better guided than he
who goeth upright on a straight path?
Say: It is He who hath brought you forth, and gifted you with
hearing and sight and heart: yet how few are grateful!
Say: It is He who hath sown you in the earth, and to Him shall ye
And they say, "When shall this threat be put in force, if ye speak
Say: Nay truly, this knowledge is with God alone: and I am only
an open warner.
But when they shall see it nigh, sad shall wax the countenances of
the infidels: and it shall be said, "This is what ye have been
Say: What think ye? Whether God destroy me or not, and those
who follow me, or whether he have mercy on us, yet who will
protect the infidels from a woeful torment?
Say: He is the God of Mercy: in Him do we believe, and in Him
put we our trust; and ye shall know hereafter who is in a manifest
Say: What think ye? If at early morn your waters shall have sunk
away, who then will give you clear running water?
1 Thus Shakespeare uses the word braying of clamours of Hell;
and Milton speaks of braying horrible discord. Comp. Sura xxv.
2 Der alles durchdringt. Ullm.; perspicax. Mar.; sagacious. Sale.
The primary meaning of the Arabic root is to draw near; hence the
above signification, in the sense of God's presence as
interpenetrating all things: hence also the other sense of benign,
as in Sura [lxxxiii.] xlii. 18.
SURA XXIII. THE BELIEVERS [LXIV.]
Mecca.1 118 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Happy now the BELIEVERS,
Who humble them in their prayer,
And who keep aloof from vain words,2
And who are doers of alms deeds,
And who restrain their appetites,
(Save with their wives, or the slaves whom their right hands
possess: for in that case they shall be free from blame:
But they whose desires reach further than this are transgressors:)
And who tend well their trusts and their covenants,
And who keep them strictly to their prayers:
These shall be the heritors,
Who shall inherit the paradise, to abide therein for ever.
Now of fine clay have we created man:
Then we placed him, a moist germ,3 in a safe abode;
Then made we the moist germ a clot of blood: then made the
clotted blood into a piece of flesh; then made the piece of flesh
into bones: and we clothed the bones with flesh: then brought forth
man of yet another make4 Blessed therefore be God, the most
excellent of Makers5
Then after this ye shall surely die:
Then shall ye be waked up on the day of resurrection.
And we have created over you seven heavens:6 and we are not
careless of the creation.
And we send down water from the Heaven in its due degree, and
we cause it to settle on the earth; and we have power for its
And by it we cause gardens of palm trees, and vineyards to spring
forth for you, in which ye have plenteous fruits, and whereof ye
And the tree that groweth up on Mount Sinai; which yieldeth oil
and a juice for those who eat.
And there is a lesson for you in the cattle: We give you to drink of
what is in their bellies, and many advantages do ye derive from
them, and for food they serve you;
And on them and on ships are ye borne.
We sent Noah heretofore unto his people, and he said, "O my
people! serve God: ye have no other God than He: will ye not
therefore fear Him?
But the chiefs of the people who believed not said, "This is but a
man like yourselves: he fain would raise himself above you: but
had it pleased God to send, He would have sent angels: We heard
not of this with our sires of old;
Verily he is but a man possessed; leave him alone therefore for a
He said, "O my Lord! help me against their charge of imposture."
So we revealed unto him, "Make the ark under our eye, and as we
have taught, and when our doom shall come on, and the earth's
surface shall boil up,7
Carry into it of every kind a pair, and thy family, save him on
whom sentence hath already passed: and plead not with me for the
wicked, for they shall be drowned.
And when thou, and they who shall be with thee, shall go up into
the ark; say, 'Praise be unto God, who hath rescued us from the
And say, 'O my Lord! disembark me with a blessed disembarking:
for thou art the best to disembark."'
Verily in this were signs, and verily we made proof of man.
We then raised up other generations after them;
And we sent among them an apostle from out themselves, with,
"Worship ye God! ye have no other God than He: will ye not
therefore fear Him?"
And the chiefs of His people who believed not, and who deemed
the meeting with us in the life to come to be a lie, and whom we
had richly supplied in this present life, said, "This is but a man
like yourselves; he eateth of what ye eat,
And he drinketh of what ye drink:
And if ye obey a man like yourselves, then ye will surely be
What! doth he foretell you, that after ye shall be dead and become
dust and bones, ye shall be brought forth?
Away, away with his predictions!
There is no life beyond our present life; we die, and we live, and
we shall not be quickened again!
This is merely a man who forgeth a lie about God: and we will not
He said, "O my Lord! help me against this charge of imposture."
He said, "Yet a little, and they will soon repent them!"
Then did the shout of the destroying angel in justice surprise them,
we made them like leaves swept down by a torrent. Away then
the wicked people!
Then raised we up other generations after them
Neither too soon, nor too late, shall a people reach its appointed
Then sent we our apostles one after another. Oft as their apostle
presented himself to a nation, they treated him as a liar; and we
caused one nation to follow another; and we made them the
burden of a tale. Away then with the people who believe not!
Then sent we Moses and his brother Aaron, with our signs and
To Pharaoh and his princes; but they behaved them proudly, for
they were a haughty people.
And they said, "Shall we believe on two men like ourselves, whose
people are our slaves?"
And they treated them both as impostors; wherefore they became
of the destroyed.
And we gave Moses the Book for Israel's guidance.
And we appointed the Son of Mary, and His mother for a sign; and
we prepared an abode for both in a lofty spot,8 quiet, and watered
"O ye apostles! eat of things that are good: and do that which is
right: of your doings I am cognisant.
And truly this your religion is the one religion;9 and I am your
Lord: therefore fear me."
But men have rent their great concern, one among another, into
sects; every party rejoicing in that which is their own;
Wherefore leave them till a certain time, in their depths of error.
What! think they that what we largely, bestow on them of wealth
We hasten to them for their good? Nay, they have no knowledge.
But they who are awed with the dread of their Lord,
And who believe in the signs of their Lord,
And who join no other gods with their Lord,
And who give that which they give with hearts thrilled with dread
because they must return unto their Lord,
These hasten after good, and are the first to win it.
We will not burden a soul beyond its power: and with us is a book,
which speaketh the truth; and they shall not be wronged:
But as to this Book, their hearts are plunged in error, and their
works are far other than those of Muslims, and they will work
Until when we lay hold on their affluent ones with punishment; lo!
they cry for help:
"Cry not for help this day, for by Us ye shall not be succoured:
Long since were my signs rehearsed to you, but ye turned back on
Puffed up with pride, discoursing foolishly by night."
Do they not then heed the things spoken whether that hath come
to them which came not to their fathers of old?
Or do they not recognise their apostle; and therefore disavow
Or say they, "A Djinn is in him?" Nay! he hath come to them with
the truth; but the truth do most of them abhor.
But if the truth had followed in the train of their desires, the
heavens and the earth, and all that therein is, had surely come to
ruin! But we have brought them their warning; and from their
warning they withdraw.
Dost thou ask them for remuneration? But, remuneration from thy
Lord is best; and He is the best provider.
And thou indeed biddest them to the right path;
But verily they who believe not in the life to come, from that path
do surely wander!
And if we had taken compassion on them, and relieved them from
their trouble, they would have plunged on in their wickedness,
We formerly laid hold on them with chastisement, yet they did not
humble them to their Lord, nor did they abase them;
Until, when we have opened upon them the door of a severe
punishment, lo! they are in despair at it.
It is He who hath implanted in you hearing, and sight, and heart;
how few of you give thanks!
It is He who hath caused you to be born on the earth: and unto
Him shall ye be gathered.
And it is He who maketh alive and killeth, and of Him is the
change of the night and of the day: Will ye not understand?
But they say, as said those of old:
They say,"What! When we shall be dead, and have become dust
and bones, shall we, indeed, be waked to life?
This have we been promised, we and our fathers aforetime: but it
is only fables of the ancients."
SAY: Whose is the earth, and all that is therein; if ye know?
They will answer, "God's." SAY: Will ye not, then reflect?
SAY: Who is the Lord of the seven heavens, and the Lord of the
They will say, "They are God's". SAY: Will ye not, then, fear
SAY: In whose hand is the empire of all things, who protecteth but
is not protected? if ye know:
They will answer, "In God's." SAY: How, then, can ye be so
Yea, we have brought them the truth; but they are surely liars:
God hath not begotten offspring; neither is there any other God
with Him: else had each god assuredly taken away that which he
had created,11 and some had assuredly uplifted themselves above
others! Far from the glory of God, be what they affirm of Him!
He knoweth alike the unseen and the seen: far be He uplifted
above the gods whom they associate with Him!
SAY: O my Lord! If thou wilt let me witness the infliction of that
with which they have been threatened!
O my Lord! place me not among the ungodly people.
Verily, we are well able to make thee see the punishment with
which we have threatened them.
Turn aside evil with that which is better: we best know what they
utter against thee.
And SAY: "O my Lord! I betake me to Thee, against the
promptings of the Satans:
And I betake me to Thee, O my Lord! that they gain no hurtful
access to me."
When death overtaketh one of the wicked, he saith, "Lord, send me
That I may do the good which I have left undone."12 "By no
means." These are the very words which he shall speak:
But behind them shall be a barrier, until the day when they shall
be raised again.
And when the trumpet shall be sounded, the ties of kindred
between them shall cease on that day; neither shall they ask each
They whose balances shall be heavy, shall be the blest.
But they whose balances shall be light, these are they who shall
lose their souls, abiding in hell for ever:
The fire shall scorch their faces, and their lips shall quiver
"What! Were not my signs rehearsed unto you? and did ye not
treat them as lies?"
They shall say, "O our Lord! our ill-fortune prevailed against us,
and we became an erring people.
O our Lord! Bring us forth hence: if we go back again to our sins,
we shall indeed be evil doers."
He will say; "Be ye driven down into it; and, address me not."
A part truly of my servants was there, who said, "O our Lord! we
believe: forgive us, then, and be merciful to us, for of the merciful
art thou the best."
But ye received them with such scoffs that they suffered you to
forget my warning, and ye laughed them to scorn.
Verily this day will I reward then, for their patient endurance: the
blissful ones shall they be!
He will say, "What number of years tarried ye on earth?"
They will say, "We tarried a day, or part of a day;13 but ask the
God will say, "Short indeed was the time ye tarried, if that ye
What! Did ye then think that we had created you for pastime, and
that ye should not be brought back again to us?" Wherefore let
God be exalted, the King, the Truth! There is no god but He! Lord
of the stately throne! And whoso, together with God, shall call on
another god, for whom he hath no proof, shall surely have to give
account to his Lord. Aye, it shall fare ill with the infidels.
And SAY: "O my Lord, pardon, and have mercy; for of those who
show mercy, art thou the best."
1 This Sura is said by Wahidi Intr, and by Assuy–ti, 55, to be the
last Meccan revelation. But there seems to be no reason for this
2 In prayer. Eccl. v. I; Matt. vi. 7. But it may be understood of idle
3 See Sura xxii. 5, n.
4 That is, a perfect man at last, composed of soul and body. The
verb halaka, to create, is used throughout, for which I have
necessarily substituted to make, in order to retain the same word
throughout the verse.
5 These words are said by most commentators on Sura vi. 93, to
have been uttered by Muhammad's scribe, Abdallah, on hearing
the previous part of this verse, and to have been adopted by the
prophet, at the same moment, as identical with his own
6 Lit. seven paths a Talmudic expression.
7 See Sura [lxxv.] xi. 42, n.
8 Comp. Sura xix. 22 ff., p. 119. Wahl understands this passage of
9 Comp. Sura xxi. 92, p. 157.
10 There is no reliable tradition as to the nature of the visitation
here alluded to.
11 That is, each would have formed a separate and independent
12 Or, in the (world) which I have left.
13 That is, our past life seems brevity itself in comparison with
14 Lit. those who number, or keep account, i.e. our torments
distract us too much to allow us to compute.
SURA XXI. THE PROPHETS [LXV.]
MECCA. 112 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
THIS people's reckoning hath drawn nigh, yet, sunk in
carelessness, they turn aside.
Every fresh warning that cometh to them from their Lord they only
hear to mock it,
Their hearts set on lusts: and they who have done this wrong say
in secret discourse, "Is He more than a man like yourselves?
What! will ye, with your eyes open,1 accede to sorcery?"
SAY: "My Lord knoweth what is spoken in the heaven and on the
earth: He is the Hearer, the Knower."
"Nay," say they, "it is the medley of dreams: nay, he hath forged
it: nay, he is a poet: let him come to us with a sign as the prophets
of old were sent."
Before their time, none of the cities which we have destroyed,
believed: will these men, then, believe?
And we sent none, previous to thee, but men to whom we had
revealed ourselves. Ask ye the people who are warned by
Scriptures,2 if ye know it not.
We gave them not bodies which could dispense with food: and
were not to live for ever.
Then made we good our promise to them; and we delivered them
and whom we pleased, and we destroyed the transgressors.
And now have we sent down to you "the book," in which is your
warning: What, will ye not then understand?
And how many a guilty city have we broken down, and raised up
after it other peoples:
And when they felt our vengeance, lo! they fled from it.
"Flee not," said the angels in mockery, "but come back to that
wherein ye revelled, and to your abodes! Questions will haply be
put to you."
They said, "Oh, woe to us! Verily we have been evil doers."
And this ceased not to be their cry, until we made them like reaped
We created not the heaven and the earth, and what is between
them, for sport:
Had it been our wish to find a pastime, we had surely found it in
ourselves; if to do so had been our will.
Nay, we will hurl the truth at falsehood, and it shall smite it, and
lo! it shall vanish. But woe be to you for what ye utter of God!
All beings in the heaven and on the earth are His: and they who
are in his presence disdain not his service, neither are they
They praise Him night and day: they rest not.3
Have they taken gods from the earth who can quicken the dead?
Had there been in either heaven or earth gods besides God, both
surely had gone to ruin. But glory be to God, the Lord of the
throne, beyond what they utter!
He shall not be asked of his doings, but they shall be asked.
Have they taken other gods beside Him? Say; Bring forth your
proofs that they are gods. This is the warning of those who are
with me, and the warning of those who were before me: but most
of them know not the truth, and turn aside.
No apostle have we sent before thee to whom we did not reveal
that "Verily there is no God beside me: therefore worship me."
Yet they say, "The God of Mercy hath begotten issue from the
angels." Glory be to Him! Nay, they are but His honoured
They speak not till He hath spoken;4 and they do His bidding.
He knoweth what is before them and what is behind them; and no
plea shall they offer
Save for whom He pleaseth; and they tremble for fear of Him.
And that angel among them who saith "I am a god beside Him,"
will we recompense with hell: in such sort will we recompense the
Do not the infidels see that the heavens and the earth were both a
solid mass, and that we clave them asunder, and that by means of
water we give life to everything? Will they not then believe?
And we set mountains on the earth lest it should move with them,
and we made on it broad passages between them as routes for
And we made the heaven a roof strongly upholden; yet turn they
away from its signs.
And He it is who hath created the night and the day, and the sun
and the moon, each moving swiftly in its sphere.
At no time 5 have we granted to man a life that shall last for ever:
if thou then die, shall they live for ever?
Every soul shall taste of death:6 and for trial will we prove you
with evil and with good; and unto Us shall ye be brought back.
And when the infidels see thee they receive thee only with
scoffs: "What! is this he who maketh such mention of your
gods?" Yet when mention is made to them of the God of Mercy,
they believe not.
"Man," say they, "is made up of haste."7 But I will shew you my
signs:8 desire them not then to be hastened.
They say, "When will this threat be made good? Tell us, if ye be
men of truth?"
Did the infidels but know the time when they shall not be able to
keep the fire of hell from their faces or from their backs, neither
shall they be helped!
But it shall come on them suddenly and shall confound them; and
they shall not be able to put it back, neither shall they be respited.
Other apostles have been scoffed at before thee: but that doom at
which they mocked encompassed the scoffers.
Say: Who shall protect you by night and by day from the God of
Mercy? Yet turn they away from the warning of their Lord.
Have they gods beside Us who can defend them? For their own
succour have they no power; neither shall the gods they join with
God screen them from Us.
Yes! we have given these men and their fathers enjoyments so long
as their life lasted. What! see they not that we come to a land and
straiten its borders9 Is it they who are the conquerors?
SAY: I only warn you of what hath been revealed to me: but the
deaf will not hear the call, whenever they are warned;
Yet if a breath of thy Lord's chastisement touch them, they will
assuredly say, "Oh! woe to us! we have indeed been offenders."
Just balances will we set up for the day of the resurrection, neither
shall any soul be wronged in aught; though, were a work but the
weight of a grain of mustard seed, we would bring it forth to be
weighed: and our reckoning will suffice.
We gave of old to Moses and Aaron the illumination,10 and a light
and a warning for the God-fearing,
Who dread their Lord in secret, and who tremble for "the Hour."
And this Koran which we have sent down is a blessed warning:
will ye then disown it?
Of old we gave unto Abraham his direction,11 for we knew him
When he said to his Father and to his people, "What are these
images to which ye are devoted?"
They said, "We found our fathers worshipping them."
He said, "Truly ye and your fathers have been in a plain mistake."
They said, "Hast thou come unto us in earnest? or art thou of
those who jest?"
He said, "Nay, your Lord is Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth,
who hath created them both; and to this am I one of those who
And, by God, I will certainly lay a plot against your idols, after
ye shall have retired and turned your backs."
So, he broke them all in pieces, except the chief of them, that to it
they might return, inquiring.
They said, "Who hath done this to our gods? Verily he is one of
They said, "We heard a youth make mention of them: they call him
They said, "Then bring him before the people's eyes, that they may
witness against him."
They said, "Hast thou done this to our gods, O Abraham?"
He said, "Nay, that their chief hath done it: but ask ye them, if
they can speak."
So they turned their thoughts upon themselves, and said, "Ye truly
are the impious persons:"
Then became headstrong in their former error12 and
exclaimed,"Thou knowest that these speak not."
He said, "What! do ye then worship, instead of God, that which
doth not profit you at all, nor injure you? Fie on you and on that
ye worship instead of God! What! do ye not then understand?"
They said:13 "Burn him, and come to the succour of your gods: if
ye will do anything at all."
We said, "O fire! be thou cold, and to Abraham a safety!"14
And they sought to lay a plot against him, but we made them the
And we brought him and Lot in safety to the land which we have
blessed for all human beings:
And we gave him Isaac and Jacob as a farther gift, and we made
all of them righteous:
We also made them models who should guide others by our
command, and we inspired them with good deeds and constancy in
prayer and almsgiving, and they worshipped us.
And unto Lot we gave wisdom, and knowledge; and we rescued
him from the city which wrought filthiness; for they were a people,
And we caused him to enter into our mercy, for he was of the
And remember Noah when aforetime he cried to us and we heard
him, and delivered him and his family from the great calamity;
And we helped him against the people who treated our signs as
impostures. An evil people verily were they, and we drowned them
And David and Solomon; when they gave judgment concerning a
field when some people's sheep had caused a waste therein; and
we were witnesses of their judgment.
And we gave Solomon insight into the affair; and on both of them
we bestowed wisdom and knowledge. And we constrained the
mountains and the birds to join with David in our praise: Our
doing was it!
And we taught David the art of making mail15 for you, to defend
you from each other's violence: will ye therefore be thankful?
And to Solomon we subjected we subjected the strongly blowing
wind; it sped at his bidding to the land we had blessed; for we
know all things:
And sundry Satans16 who should dive for him and perform other
work beside: and we kept watch over them.
And remember Job: When he cried to his Lord, "Truly evil hath
touched me: but thou art the most merciful of those who shew
So we heard him, and lightened the burden of his woe; and we
gave him back his family, and as many more with them, a mercy
from us, and a memorial for those who serve us:
And Ismael, and Edris17 and Dhoulkefl18 all steadfast in patience.
And we caused them to enter into our mercy; for they were of the
And Dhoulnoun; 19 when he went on his way in anger, and
that we had no power over him. But in the darkness he cried
"There is no God but thou: Glory be unto Thee! Verily, I have
been one of the evil doers:"
So we heard him and rescued him from misery: for thus rescue we
And Zacharias; when he called upon his Lord saying, "O my Lord,
leave me not childless: but there is no better heir than Thyself."20
So we heard him, and gave him John, and we made his wife fit for
child-bearing. Verily, these vied in goodness, and called upon us
with love and fear, and humbled themselves before us:
And her who kept her maidenhood, and into whom 21 we breathed
of our spirit, and made her and her son a sign to all creatures.
Of a truth, this, your religion, is the one 22 Religion, and I your
Lord; therefore serve me:
But they have rent asunder this their great concern among
themselves into sects. All of them shall return to us.
And whoso shall do the things that are right, and be a believer, his
efforts shall not be disowned: and surely will we write them down
There is a ban on every city which we shall have destroyed, that
they shall not rise again,
Until a way is opened for Gog and Magog,23 and they shall hasten
from every high land,
And this sure promise shall draw on. And lo! the eyes of the
infidels shall stare amazedly; and they shall say, "Oh, our misery!
of this were we careless! yea, we were impious persons."
Verily, ye, and what ye worship beside God,24 shall be fuel for
hell: ye shall go down into it.
Were these gods, they would not go down into it; but they shall all
abide in it for ever.
Therein shall they groan; but nought therein shall they hear to
But they for whom we have before ordained good things, shall be
far away from it:
Its slightest sound they shall not hear: in what their souls longed
for, they shall abide for ever:
The great terror shall not trouble them; and the angel shall meet
them with, "This is your day which ye were promised."
On that day we will roll up the heaven as one rolleth up25 written
scrolls. As we made the first creation, so will we bring it forth
again. This promise bindeth us; verily, we will perform it.
And now, since the Law was given, have we written in the Psalms
that "my servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth."26
Verily, in this Koran is teaching for those who serve God.
We have not sent thee otherwise than as mercy unto all creatures.
SAY: Verily it hath been revealed to me that your God is one God;
are ye then resigned to Him? (Muslims.)
But if they turn their backs, then SAY: I have warned you all alike;
but I know not whether that with which ye are threatened be nigh
God truly knoweth what is spoken aloud, and He also knoweth that
which ye hide.
And I know not whether haply this delay be not for your trial, and
that ye may enjoy yourselves for a time.
My Lord saith: Judge ye with truth; for our Lord is the God of
Mercy whose help is to be sought against what ye utter.
1 Lit. while ye see it to be such.
2 Lit. the people or family of the admonition. Itq. 34 considers this
verse to have been revealed at Medina.
3 Or, they invent not (concerning Him). Comp. Rev. iv. 8.
4 Lit. they precede him not in speech.
5 Lit. before thee, which might seem to imply that the grant of
immortality had been made to Muhammad. I have therefore
rendered, as in the text, to avoid the ambiguity. Comp. Suras
[xcvii.] iii. 182; [lxxxi.] xxix. 57, and Weil's Life of Mohammad,
6 Comp. Matt. xvi. 28; Heb. ii. 9. Hist. Josephi Fabr. Lign. c. 22 at
7 See the index under the word Man. The Rabbins teach that man
was created with innate evil propensities. See Schr der's Talm.
Rabb.- Judenthum, p. 378.
8 That is, my teaching as to the future lot of the infidels, etc.
9 Muhammad appeals to the rapid progress of Islam as a proof of
his divine mission.
10 Ar. furquan a derived by Muhammad from the Jews,
constantly used in the Talmud, and meaning as in Syr. and ‘th.
deliverance, liberation. Thus, Sura viii. 29, 42, and hence,
illumination, revelation, generally. The usual interpretation here
and in other passages is the distinction, i.e. between good and evil,
lawful and unlawful. The title is applied to the Koran and
11 This story is taken in part verbatim from Midr. Rabbah on Gen.
par. 17. See also Schalscheleth Hakabala, 2; Maimon de Idol. ch.
1; and Yad Hachazakah, vii. 6, who makes Abraham in his 40th
year renounce star-worship, break images, escape the wrath of
the king by a miracle, and preach that there is one God of the
12 Lit. sie neigten sich nach ihren Kopfen. They were turned down
upon their heads. Ullm. and Sale in notes. But Ullm. in the text,
verfielen sie wieder in ihren Aberglauben.
13 The Rabbins make Nimrod to have been the persecutor of
Abraham. Comp. Targ. Jon. on Gen. xv. 7. Tr. Bava Bathra, fol. 91
a. Maimon. More Nevochim, iii. 29. Weil, Legenden, p. 74.
14 Or, let peace be upon Abraham. Comp. Targ. Jon. on Gen. xi.
28, from the mistranslation of which this legend took its rise, the
word ur in Heb. meaning fire. See also Targ. Jon. on. Gen. xv. 7.
The legend was adopted by some of the Eastern Christians; and
commemorated in the Syrian Calendar on Jan. 29. (Hyde de Rel.
V. Pers. 74). Comp. the Abyssinian Calendar on Jan. 25. (Ludolf.
Hist. p. 409).
15 It has been observed that the blacksmith has ever been looked
upon with awe by barbarians on the same principle that made
Vulcan a deity. In Abyssinia all artisans are Budah, sorcerers,
especially the blacksmith, and he is a social outcast, as among the
Somal; Throughout the rest of El-Islam, the blacksmith is
respected as treading in the path of David, the father of the craft.
Burton. First Footsteps in E. Africa, p. 33. The numerous wars in
which David was engaged, may have given rise to the myth of his
being the inventor of mail.
16 See Sura xxxviii. 37, p. 127.
17 See Sura xix. 55, 6, p. 121.
18 The man of the lot of portion. Or, of care, support. According to
some Elias, as others say, Isaiah. It is more probable, however,
that he is he Obadiah of 1 Kings xviii. 4, who supported 100
prophets in the cave, or Ezechiel, who is called Kephil by the
Arabs. See Niebuhr, Travels, ii. 265.
19 The man of the fish Jonah.
20 See Suras [xcvii.] iii. 33; xix. p. 117, for the story of Zacharias
in full. The concluding sentence of this clause is obscure. It
probably means that even if no heir were vouchsafed to Zacharias,
yet since God will be the heir of all things he would take Zacharias
to himself and thus abundantly recompense him. See Sura [lxxix.]
21 See Sura [cix.] lxvi. 12. It is quite clear from these two
passages that Muhammad believed in the Immaculate and
miraculous conception of Jesus.
22 That is, identical with that of the previous prophets, etc.
23 See Sura [lxix.] xviii. 93. Thus, the ancient Jewish and
Christian legend connects Gog and Magog with the end of the
world. Rev. xx. 8. Pseudojon on Lev. xxvi. 44. Comp. Numb. xi.
Gog, however, is probably the mountain Ghef or Ghogh (see
Reinegg's Beschreib. der Caucasus, ii. 79) and the syllable Ma in
Magog, the Sanscrit mah, maha great.
24 "Whenever a people is punished (for idolatry) the beings
honoured by them as gods, shall also be punished, for so it is
written, on all the gods also of Egypt will I inflict judgments."
25 Ar. Sidjill, which is supposed by some to be the name of the
angel who writes down the actions of every man's life upon a
scroll, which is rolled up at his death (comp. Isai. xxxiv. 4); by
others, to be the name of one of Muhammad's secretaries.
26 Ps. xxxvii. 29. This is the only text quoted in the Koran.
SURA XXV. AL FURKAN [LXVI.]
MECCA. 77 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
BLESSED be He who hath sent down AL FURKAN1 (the
illumination) on his servant, that to all creatures he may be a
His the Kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth! No son hath He
begotten! No partner hath He in his Empire! All things hath He
created, and decreeing hath decreed their destinies.
Yet have they adopted gods beside Him which have created
nothing, but were themselves created:
And no power have they over themselves for evil or for good, nor
have they power of death, or of life, or of raising the dead.
And the infidels say, "This Koran is a mere fraud of his own
devising, and others have helped him with it,2 who had come
by outrage and lie."3
And they say, "Tales of the ancients that he hath put in writing!
and they were dictated to him morn and even."
SAY: He hath sent it down who knoweth the secrets of the
and of the Earth. He truly is the Gracious, the Merciful.
And they say, "What sort of apostle is this? He eateth food and he
walketh the streets! Unless an angel be sent down and take part in
Or a treasure be thrown down to him, or he have a garden that
supplieth him with food "4 and those unjust persons say, "Ye
follow but a man enchanted."
See what likenesses they strike out for thee! But they err, and
cannot find their way.
Blessed be He who if he please can give thee better than that of
which they speak Gardens, 'neath which the rivers flow: and
pavilions will He assign thee.
Aye, they have treated the coming of "the Hour" as a lie. But a
flaming fire have we got ready for those who treat the coming of
the Hour as a lie.
When it shall see them from afar, they shall hear its raging and
And when they shall be flung into a narrow space thereof bound
together, they shall invoke destruction on the spot:
"Call not this day for one destruction, but call for destructions
SAY: Is this, or the Paradise of Eternity which was promised to the
God-fearing, best? Their recompense shall it be and their retreat;
Abiding therein for ever, they shall have in it all that they desire!
It is a promise to be claimed of thy Lord.
And on the day when he shall gather them together, and those
whom they worshipped beside God, he will say, "Was it ye who
these my servants astray, or of themselves strayed they from the
They will say, "Glory be to thee! It beseemed not us to take other
lords than thee. But thou gavest them and their fathers their fill of
good things, till they forgat the remembrance of thee, and became
a lost people."
Then will God say to the Idolaters, "Now have they made you liars
in what ye say,5 and they have no power to avert your doom, or to
And whosoever of you thus offendeth, we will make him taste a
Never have we sent Apostles before thee who ate not common
food, and walked not the streets. And we test you by means of each
other. Will ye be steadfast? Thy Lord is looking on!
They who look not forward to meet Us say, "If the angels be not
sent down to us, or unless we behold our Lord. " Ah! they are
proud of heart, and exceed with great excess!
On the day when they shall see the angels, no good news shall
there be for the guilty ones, and they shall cry out, "A barrier that
cannot be passed!"6
Then will we proceed to the works which they have wrought, and
make them as scattered dust.
Happier, on that day, the inmates of the Garden as to abode, and
better off as to place of noontide slumber!
On that day shall the heaven with its clouds be cleft, and the
angels shall be sent down, descending:
On that day shall all empire be in very deed with the God of
Mercy, and a hard day shall it be for the Infidels.
And on that day shall the wicked one7 bite his hands, and say,
"Oh! would that I had taken the same path with the Apostle!
"Oh! woe is me! would that I had not taken such an one8 for my
It was he who led me astray from the Warning which had reached
me! and Satan is man's betrayer."9
Then said the Apostle, "O my Lord! truly my people have
this Koran to be vain babbling."
Thus have we given to every Prophet an enemy from among the
wicked ones But thy Lord is a sufficient guide and helper.
And the infidels say, "Unless the Koran be sent down to him all at
once. " But in this way would we stablish thy heart by it; in
parcels have we parcelled it out to thee;10
Nor shall they come to thee with puzzling questions,11 but we will
come to thee with the truth, and their best solution.
They who shall be gathered upon their faces into hell, shall have
the worst place, and be farthest from the path of happiness.
Heretofore we gave the law to Moses, and appointed his brother
Aaron to be his counsellor:12
And we said, "Go ye to the people who treat our signs as lies."
And them destroyed we with utter destruction.
And as to the people of Noah! when they treated their Apostles as
impostors, we drowned them; and we made them a sign to
mankind: A grievous chastisement have we prepared for the
And Ad and Themoud, and the men of Rass,13 and divers
generations between them:
Unto each of them did we set forth parables for warnings, and
each of them did we utterly exterminate.
Oft are this have the unbelieving Meccans passed by the city on
which was rained a fatal rain. What! Have they not seen it? Yet
have they no hope of a resurrection!
And when they see thee, they do but take thee as the subject of
their railleries. "What! Is this he whom God has sent as an
Indeed he had well nigh led us astray from our gods, had we not
persevered steadfastly in their service." But in the end they shall
know, when they shall see the punishment, who hath most strayed
from the path.
What thinkest thou? He who hath taken his passions as a god wilt
thou be a guardian over him?
Thinkest thou that the greater part of them hear or understand?
They are just like the brutes! Yes! they stray even further from the
Hast thou not seen how thy Lord lengtheneth out the shadow?14
Had He pleased he had made it motionless.15 But we made the sun
to be its guide;
Then draw it in unto Us with easy indrawing.
He it is who ordaineth the night as a garment, and sleep for rest,
and ordaineth the day for waking up to life:
He it is who sendeth the winds as the forerunner of his mercy
(rain); and pure water send we down from Heaven,
That we may revive by it a dead land: and we give it for drink to
our creation, beasts and men in numbers;
And we distribute it among them on all sides, that they may
but most men refuse to be aught but thankless.
Had we pleased, we had raised up a warner in every city.
Give not way therefore to the Infidels, but by means of this Koran
strive against them with a mighty strife.
And He it is who hath let loose the two seas,16 the one sweet,
and the other salt, bitter; and hath put an interspace between
them, and a barrier that cannot be passed.
And it is He who hath created man of water,17 and established
between them the ties of kindred and affinity: and potent is thy
Yet beside God do they worship what can neither help nor hurt
them: and the Infidel is Satan's helper against his Lord:
Still we have sent thee only as a herald and a warner.
SAY: I ask of you no recompense for it,18 except from him who is
willing to take the way to his Lord.
And put thou thy trust in Him that liveth and dieth not, and
celebrate his praise; (He fully knoweth the faults of his servants)
who in six days created the Heavens and the Earth, and whatever
is between them, then mounted his Throne: the God of Mercy! Ask
now of the Wise concerning Him.
But when it is said to them, "Bow down before the God of Mercy,"
they say, "Who is the God of Mercy? Shall we bow down to what
thou biddest?" And they fly from thee the more.
Blessed be He who hath placed in the Heaven the sign of the
Zodiac!19 who hath placed in it the Lamp of the Sun, and the
And it is He who hath ordained the night and the day to succeed
one another for those who desire to think on God or desire to be
And the servants of the God of Mercy are they who walk upon the
Earth softly; and when the ignorant20 address them, they reply,
They that pass the night in the worship of their lord prostrate and
And that say, "O our Lord! turn away from us the torment of Hell,
for its torment is endless: it is indeed an ill abode and resting
Those who when they spend are neither lavish nor niggard, but
keep the mean:
Those who call on no other gods with God, nor slay whom God
hath forbidden to be slain, except for a just cause, and who commit
not fornication (for he who doth this shall meet the reward of his
Doubled to him shall be the torment on the day of Resurrection;
and in it shall he remain, disgraced, for ever:
Save those who shall repent and believe and do righteous
works for them God will change their evil things into good
things, for God is Gracious, Merciful
And whose turneth to God and doeth what is right, he verily will
convert with a true conversion):
And they who bear not witness to that which is false, and when
they pass by frivolous sport, pass on with dignity:
And they who, when monished by the signs of their Lord, fall not
down thereat, as if deaf and blind:
And who say, "O our Lord! give us in our wives and offspring the
joy of our eyes, and make us examples to those who fear thee:"
These shall be rewarded with the High Places of Paradise for their
steadfast endurance, and they shall meet therein with Welcome
For ever shall they remain therein: a fair abode and resting-place!
SAY: Not on your account doth my Lord care if ye call not on
ye have treated his Apostle as an impostor: but bye and bye a
punishment shall cleave to them.
1 See Sura [lxv.] xxi. 49.
2 Comp. Sura [lxxiii.] xvi. 105. The frequency with which
Muhammad feels it necessary to rebut this charge by mere denial
is strongly indicative of its truth.
3 "The meaning may possibly be that the teachers of Muhammad
were persons who had taken refuge in Arabia for offences and
heresies." Sprenger, Life of M. p. 96, n. Or, but they utter an
injustice and a falsehood. N”ldeke combats Dr. Sprenger's
supposition that "Tales of the ancients" (verse 6) is a book. Hist.
of Qoran, p. 13.
4 Supply, we will not believe.
5 In your ascriptions of divinity to them. Beidh.
6 Or, far, far be they removed. The same words occur at the end of
verse 55. The Commentators doubt whether they are spoken by the
wicked of the impossibility of their attaining Paradise, or by the
angels to the wicked.
7 Said by Beidh. to be the polytheist Okbeh, the son of Abu
who by Muhammad's persuasion professed Islam, but afterwards
retracted to please Ubei ben Khalaf. See Gagnier's Vie de Mahom.
8 Ar. fulani (whence the Spanish fulano) identical with the Heb. p.
155, used of a person only in Ruth iv. 1, but by the Rabbinic
9 Or, abandoner.
10 This verse shews that the Koran was of gradual growth in the
time of Muhammad himself.
11 Lit. parables.
12 Lit. vizier.
13 It is uncertain whether Rass is the name of a city in Yemama;
merely, as some interpret it, of a well near Midian; or, according
to others, in the territory of Hadramont.
14 Geiger is mistaken in supposing that this passage alludes to 2
Kings xx. 9 12, and his translation is inaccurate.
15 Lit. quiescent, i.e. always the same.
16 According to some commentators, Muhammad here speaks of
the waters of the Tigris, which do not mingle with the salt water of
the sea till they have reached a considerable distance from the
river-mouth. See Zech. xiv. 8.
17 See Sura [cv.] xxiv. 44, n.
18 "Thou art taught that whoever would make a profit by the Law
depriveth himself of life." Pirke Aboth, i. 4. This precept is of
frequent occurrence in the Talmud.
19 Comp. Sura [xc.] xiii. 29; and the following Sura xvii. 109, n.
20 The idolaters.
SURA XVII. THE NIGHT JOURNEY [LXVII.]
MECCA.1 III Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
GLORY be to Him who carried his servant by night2 from the
sacred temple of Mecca to the temple3 that is more remote, whose
precinct we have blessed, that we might shew him of our signs! for
He is the Hearer, the Seer.
And4 we gave the Book to Moses and ordained it for guidance to
the children of Israel "that ye take no other Guardian than me."
O posterity of those whom we bare with Noah! He truly was a
And we solemnly declared to the children of Israel in the Book,
"Twice surely will ye enact crimes in the earth, and with great
loftiness of pride will ye surely be uplifted."
So when the menace for the first crime5 came to be inflicted, we
sent against you our servants endued with terrible prowess; and
they searched the inmost part of your abodes, and the menace was
Then we gave you the mastery over them6 in turn, and increased
you in wealth and children, and made you a most numerous host.
We said, "If ye do well, to your own behoof will ye do well: and if
ye do evil, against yourselves will ye do it. And when the menace
for your latter crime7 came to be inflicted, then we sent an enemy
to sadden your faces, and to enter the temple as they entered it at
first, and to destroy with utter destruction that which they had
Haply your Lord will have mercy on you! but if ye return, we will
return:8 and we have appointed Hell the prison of the infidels.
Verily, this Koran guideth to what is most upright; and it
announceth to believers
Who do the things that are right, that for them is a great reward;
And that for those who believe not in the life to come, we have got
ready a painful punishment.
Man prayeth for evil as he prayeth for good; for man is hasty.
We have made the night and the day for two signs: the sign of the
night do we obscure, but the sign of the day cause we to shine
forth, that ye may seek plenty from your Lord, and that ye may
know the number of the years and the reckoning of time; and we
have made everything distinct by distinctiveness.
And every man's fate9 have we fastened about his neck: and on the
day of resurrection will we bring forth to him a book which shall
be proffered to him wide open:
"Read thy Book:10 there needeth none but thyself to make out an
account against thee this day."
For his own good only shall the guided yield to guidance, and to
his own loss only shall the erring err; and the heavy laden shall
not be laden with another's load. We never punished until we had
first sent an apostle:
And when we willed to destroy a city, to its affluent ones did we
address our bidding; but when they acted criminally therein, just
was its doom, and we destroyed it with an utter destruction.
And since Noah, how many nations have we exterminated! And of
the sins of his servants thy Lord is sufficiently informed,
Whoso chooseth this quickly passing life, quickly will we bestow
therein that which we please even on him we choose; afterward
we will appoint hell for him, in which he shall burn disgraced,
But whoso chooseth the next life, and striveth after it as it should
be striven for, being also a believer, these! their striving shall be
grateful to God:
To all both to these and those will we prolong the gifts of thy
Lord; for not to any shall the gifts of thy Lord be denied.
See how we have caused some of them to excel others! but the
life shall be greater in its grades, and greater in excellence.
Set not up another god with God, lest thou sit thee down
Thy Lord hath ordained that ye worship none but him; and,
kindness to your parents, whether one or both of them attain to old
age with thee: and say not to them, "Fie!" neither reproach them;
but speak to them both with respectful speech;
And defer humbly to them12 out of tenderness; and say, "Lord,
have compassion on them both, even as they reared me when I was
Your Lord well knoweth what is in your souls; he knoweth
ye be righteous:
And gracious is He to those who return to Him.
And to him who is of kin render his due, and also to the poor and
to the wayfarer; yet waste not wastefully,
For the wasteful are brethren of the Satans, and Satan was
ungrateful to his Lord:
But if thou turn away from them, while thou thyself seekest boons
from thy Lord for which thou hopest, at least speak to them with
And let not thy hand be tied up to thy neck; nor yet open it with all
openness, lest thou sit thee down in rebuke, in beggary.
Verily, thy Lord will provide with open hand for whom he
pleaseth, and will be sparing. His servants doth he scan, inspect.
Kill not your children for fear of want:13 for them and for you will
we provide. Verily, the killing them is a great wickedness.
Have nought to do with adultery; for it is a foul thing and an evil
Neither slay any one whom God hath forbidden you to slay, unless
for a just cause: and whosoever shall be slain wrongfully, to his
heir14 have we given powers; but let him not outstep bounds in
putting the manslayer to death, for he too, in his turn, will be
assisted and avenged.
And touch not the substance of the orphan, unless in an upright
way, till he attain his age of strength: And perform your covenant;
verily the covenant shall be enquired of:
And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with just
balance. This will be better, and fairest for settlement:
And follow not that of which thou hast no knowledge;15 because
the hearing and the sight and the heart, each of these shall be
And walk not proudly on the earth, for thou canst not cleave the
earth, neither shalt thou reach to the mountains in height:
All this is evil; odious to thy Lord.
This is a part of the wisdom which thy Lord hath revealed to thee.
Set not up any other god with God, lest thou be cast into Hell,
rebuked, cast away.
What! hath your Lord prepared sons for you, and taken for himself
daughters from among the angels? Indeed, ye say a dreadful
Moreover, for man's warning have we varied16 this Koran: Yet it
only increaseth their flight from it.
SAY: If, as ye affirm, there were other gods with Him, they would
in that case seek occasion against the occupant of the throne:
Glory to Him! Immensely high is He exalted above their
The seven heavens17 praise him, and the earth, and all who are
therein; neither is there aught which doth not celebrate his praise;
but their utterances of praise ye understand not. He is kind,
When thou recitest the Koran we place between thee and those
who believe not in the life to come, a dark veil;
And we put coverings over their hearts lest they should understand
it, and in their ears a heaviness;
And when in the Koran thou namest thy One Lord, they turn their
backs in flight.
We well know why they hearken, when they hearken unto thee,
when they whisper apart; when the wicked say, "Ye follow no
other than a man enchanted."
See what likenesses they strike out for thee! But they are in error,
neither can they find the path.
They also say, "After we shall have become bones and dust, shall
we in sooth be raised a new creation?"
SAY: "Yes, though ye were stones, or iron, or any other creature,
to your seeming, yet harder to be raised." But they will say, "Who
shall bring us back?" SAY: "He who created you at first." And
they will wag their heads at thee, and say, "When shall this be?"
SAY: "Haply it is nigh."
On that day shall God call you forth, and ye shall answer by
praising Him; and ye shall seem to have tarried but a little while.
Enjoin my servants to speak in kindly sort: Verily Satan would stir
up strifes among them, for Satan is man's avowed foe.
Your Lord well knoweth you: if He please He will have mercy on
you; or if He please He will chastise you: and we have not sent
thee to be a guardian over them.
Thy Lord hath full knowledge of all in the heavens and the earth.
Higher gifts have we given to some of the prophets than to others,
and the Psalter we gave to David.
SAY: Call ye upon those whom ye fancy to be gods beside Him;
they will have no power to relieve you from trouble, or to shift it
Those whom ye call on, themselves desire union with their
striving which of them shall be nearest to him: they also hope for
his mercy and fear his chastisement. Verily the chastisement of thy
Lord is to be dreaded.
There is no city which we will not destroy before the day of
Resurrection, or chastise it with a grievous chastisement. This is
written in the Book.
Nothing hindered us from sending thee with the power of working
miracles, except that the peoples of old treated them as lies. We
gave to Themoud19 the she-camel before their very eyes, yet they
maltreated her! We send not a prophet with miracles but to strike
And remember when we said to thee, Verily, thy Lord is round
about mankind; we ordained the vision20 which we shewed thee,
and likewise the cursed tree of the Koran, only for men to dispute
of; we will strike them with terror; but it shall only increase in
them enormous wickedness:
And when we said to the Angels, "Prostrate yourselves before
Adam:" and they all prostrated them, save Eblis. "What!" said he,
"shall I bow me before him whom thou hast created of clay?
Seest thou this man whom thou hast honoured above me? Verily, if
thou respite me till the day of Resurrection, I will destroy his
offspring, except a few."
He said, "Begone; but whosoever of them shall follow thee, verily,
Hell shall be your recompense; an ample recompense!
And entice such of them as thou canst by thy voice; assault them
with thy horsemen and thy footmen;21 be their partner in their
riches and in their children, and make them promises: but Satan
shall make them only deceitful promises.
As to my servants, no power over them shalt thou have; And thy
Lord will be their sufficient guardian."
It is your Lord who speedeth onward the ships for you in the sea,
that ye may seek of his abundance; for he is merciful towards you.
When a misfortune befalleth you out at sea, they whom ye invoke
are not to be found: God alone is there: yet when he bringeth you
safe to dry land, ye place yourselves at a distance from Him.
Ungrateful is man.
What! are ye sure, then, that he will not cleave the sides of the
earth for you? or that he will not send against you a whirlwind
charged with sands? Then shall ye find no protector.
Or are ye sure that he will not cause you to put back to sea a
second time, and send against you a storm blast, and drown you,
for that ye have been thankless? Then shall ye find no helper
against us therein.
And now have we honoured the children of Adam: by land and by
sea have we carried them: food have we provided for them of good
things, and with endowments beyond many of our creatures have
we endowed them.
One day we will summon all men with their leaders: they whose
book shall be given into their right hand, shall read their book,
and not be wronged a thread:
And he who has been blind here, shall be blind hereafter, and
wander yet more from the way.
And, verily, they had well nigh beguiled thee from what we
revealed to thee, and caused thee to invent some other thing in our
name: but in that case they would surely have taken thee as a
And had we not settled thee, thou hadst well nigh leaned to them a
In that case we would surely have made thee taste of woe23 in life
and of woe in death: then thou shouldest not have found a helper
And truly they had almost caused thee to quit the land, in order
wholly to drive thee forth from it:24 but then, themselves should
have tarried but a little after thee.
This was our way with the Apostles we have already sent before
thee, and in this our way thou shalt find no change.
Observe prayer at sunset, till the first darkening of the night, and
the daybreak reading for the daybreak reading hath its
And watch unto it in the night: this shall be an excess in service:25
it may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a glorious station:
And say, "O my Lord, cause me to enter26 with a perfect entry,
to come forth with a perfect forthcoming, and give me from thy
presence a helping power:"
And SAY: Truth is come and falsehood is vanished. Verily,
falsehood is a thing that vanisheth.
And we send down of the Koran that which is a healing and a
mercy to the faithful: But it shall only add to the ruin of the
When we bestow favours on man, he withdraweth and goeth aside;
but when evil toucheth him, he is despairing.
SAY: Every one acteth after his own manner: but your Lord well
knoweth who is best guided in his path.
And they will ask thee of the Spirit.27 SAY: The Spirit proceedeth
my Lord's command: but of knowledge, only a little to you is
If we pleased, we could take away what we have revealed to thee:
none couldst thou then find thee to undertake thy cause with us,
Save as a mercy from thy Lord; great, verily, is his favour towards
SAY: Verily, were men and Djinn assembled to produce the like of
this Koran, they could not produce its like, though the one should
help the other.
And of a truth we have set out to men every kind of similitude in
this Koran, but most men have refused everything except unbelief.
And they say, "By no means will we believe on thee till thou cause
a fountain to gush forth for us from the earth;
Or, till thou have a garden of palm-trees and grapes, and thou
cause forth-gushing rivers to gush forth in its midst;
Or thou make the heaven to fall on us, as thou hast given out, in
pieces; or thou bring God and the angels to vouch for thee;
Or thou have a house of gold; or thou mount up into Heaven; nor
will we believe in thy mounting up, till thou send down to us a
book which we may read." SAY: Praise be to my Lord! Am I more
than a man, an apostle?
And what hindereth men from believing, when the guidance hath
come to them, but that they say, "Hath God sent a man as an
SAY: Did angels walk the earth as its familiars, we had surely sent
them an angel-apostle out of Heaven.
SAY: God is witness enough between you and me. His servants He
And He whom God shall guide will be guided indeed; and whom
he shall mislead thou shalt find none to assist, but Him: and we
will gather them together on the day of the resurrection, on their
faces, blind and dumb and deaf: Hell shall be their abode: so oft
as its fires die down, we will rekindle the flame.
This shall be their reward for that they believed not our signs and
said, "When we shall have become bones and dust, shall we surely
be raised a new creation?"
Do they not perceive that God, who created the Heavens and the
Earth, is able to create their like? And he hath ordained them a
term; there is no doubt of it: but the wicked refuse everything
SAY: If ye held the treasures of my Lord's mercy ye would
certainly refrain from them through fear of spending them: for
man is covetous.
We therefore gave to Moses nine clear signs. Ask thou, therefore,
the children of Israel how it was when he came unto them, and
Pharaoh said to him, "Verily, I deem thee, O Moses, a man
Said Moses, "Thou knowest that none hath sent down these clear
signs but the Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth; and I surely
deem thee, O Pharaoh, a person lost."
So Pharaoh sought to drive them out of the land; but we drowned
him and all his followers.
And after his death, we said to the children of Israel, "Dwell ye in
the land:" and when the promise of the next life shall come to
pass, we will bring you both up together to judgment. In truth have
we sent down the Koran, and in truth hath it descended, and we
have only sent thee to announce and to warn.
And we have parcelled out the Koran into sections, that thou
mightest recite it unto men by slow degrees, and we have sent it
SAY: Believe ye therein or believe ye not? They verily to whom
knowledge had been given previously, fall on their faces
worshipping when it is recited to them, and say: "Glory be to God!
the promise of our Lord is made good!"
They fall down on their faces weeping, and It increaseth their
SAY: Call upon God (Allah),28 or call upon the God of Mercy
(Arrahman), by whichsoever ye will invoke him: He hath most
excellent names. And be not loud in thy prayer, neither pronounce
it too low;29 but between these follow a middle way:
And SAY: Praise be to God who hath not begotten a son, who hath
no partner in the Kingdom, nor any protector on account of
weakness. And magnify him by proclaiming His greatness.30
1 Verses 12, 23 41, 75 82, 87, are supposed by many
commentators to have originated at Medina.
2 Waquidy says the night-journey took place on the 17th of Rabhy'
1, a twelvemonth before the Hejira.
3 Of Jerusalem; and thence through the seven heavens to the
throne of God on the back of Borak, accompanied by Gabriel,
according to some traditions; while others, and those too of early
date, regard it as no more than a vision. It was, however, in all
probability a dream. Muir ii. 219; N”ld. p. 102, who give the
Muhammadan sources of information.
4 It is probable that as this verse has no real or apparent
connection with the preceding, a verse may have been lost, and
that verse 1 has been placed at the head of the Sura merely
because the night-journey is elsewhere alluded to in it.
5 According to the commentators the slaughter of Isaiah and the
imprisonment of Jeremiah, punished by the invasion of the
6 Over Sennacherib.
7 The slaying Zacharias, John Baptist, and Jesus, punished by the
destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Comp. Tr. Gittin, fol. 57,
where we read of the sufferings drawn down upon the Jews in
consequence of the former of these crimes.
8 That is, if ye return to sin, we will return to punish.
9 Lit. bird.
10 Comp. Mischnah Aboth, 3, 20.
11 Comp. in Heb. Isai. liii. 3.
12 Lit. lower a wing of humility.
13 Comp. Sura [lxxxix.] vi. 151; lxxxi. 8, p. 45. Zaid, the sceptical
seeker after truth, is reported to have discouraged the killing of
daughters, saying, "I will support them." Kitƒb al Wackidi, p. 255.
See note at Sura [xcvii.] iii. 18.
14 Or, next of kin.
15 Or, run not after vain things which will avail nought. Or,
accuse not any of a crime if thou art not sure of his guilt.
16 Used a variety of arguments and illustrations.
17 Thus Tr. Chagiga, fol. 9 b. "There are seven heavens (rakian):
the veil, the firmament, the clouds, the habitation, the abode, the
fixed seat, the araboth." See Wetst. on 2 Cor. xii. 2.
18 In obvious allusion to the saint-worship of the Christians.
19 See Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 71.
20 See note on v. 1. The tree is Zakkoum, Sura [xlv.] lvi. The
Rabbins teach that food of the bitterest herbs is one of the
punishments of Hell. See Schr”der's Rabb. und. Talm. Judenthum,
21 That is, with all thy might.
22 Zamakshary relates that this passage was revealed when the
Thaqyfites in framing the document of agreement between
themselves and Muhammad, required that the words requiring the
prostrations in worship should not be added. The writer looked at
the prophet, who stood by in silence, when Omar stood up and
drew his sword with menacing words. They replied, We speak not
thee but to Muhammad. Then this verse was revealed. Thus Dr.
Sprenger. Life, p. 186. He renders the last clause, but at the right
moment a friend reprehended thee.
23 Lit. weakness, languors.
24 "The Jews, envious of Muhammad's good reception and stay
there, told him, by way of counsel, that Syria was the land of the
Prophets, and that if he was really a prophet, he ought to go
there." Sale from Djelal Eddin ap. Mar. Geiger, p. 12, quotes a
Talmudical saying to the same effect, but without any reference.
25 A work of supererogation, and therefore doubly meritorious.
Thus Tr. Berachoth, fol. 4. The word station (mekam) is still used
of the nearness to God, attained in spiritual ecstacies, etc.
26 That is, to enter the Grave or Mecca. Lit. with an entry of truth.
27 The word spirit is probably to be understood of the Angel
Gabriel. Comp. 1 Kings xxii. 21. Others understand it of the
immaterial soul of man. See note on Sura [xci.] ii. 81.
28 The infidels hearing Muhammad say, Ya Allah! Ya Rahman! in
his prayers, imagined that he was addressing two Deities; hence
this passage. Comp. [lxxiii.] xvi. 52; [lxvi.] xxv. 61. As this title of
God (Rahman) disappears from the later Suras, it has been
inferred that Muhammad's original intention was to have
combined it with Allah, but that through fear lest Allah and
Arrahman should be supposed to be two Gods, he dropped the
latter. This title was applied to their deities by the Himyarites;
and it occurs in Ps. lxxviii. 38, and Ex. xxxiv. 6. The root is not
found in ‘thiopic.
29 The Talm. Tr. Berachoth, 31, 2, forbids loudness in prayer by
the example of Hannah.
30 Lit. magnify Him by magnifying.
SURA XXVII. THE ANT [LXVIII.]
MECCA. 95 Verses
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
TA. SAD.1 These are the signs (verses) of the Koran and of the
Guidance and glad tidings to the believers who observe prayer
and pay the stated alms, and believe firmly do they in the life
As to those who believe not in the life to come, we have made
own doings fair seeming to them, and they are bewildered therein.
These are they whom the woe of chastisement awaiteth; and in the
next life they shall suffer yes shall they greatest loss;
But thou hast certainly received the Koran from the Wise, the
Bear in mind when Moses said to his family, "I have perceived a
I will bring you tidings from it, or will bring you a blazing brand,
that ye may warm you."
And when he came to it, he was called to, "Blessed, He who is in
the fire, and He who is about it; and glory be to God, the Lord of
O Moses! verily, I am God, the Mighty, the Wise!
Throw down now thy staff." And when he saw that it moved itself
as though it were a serpent, he retreated backward and returned
not. "O Moses, fear not; for the Sent Ones fear not in my presence,
Save he who having done amiss shall afterwards exchange the evil
for good; for I am Forgiving, Merciful.
Put now thy hand into thy bosom: it shall come forth white, yet
free from hurt:2 one of nine signs to Pharaoh and his people; for a
perverse people are they."
And when our signs were wrought in their very sight,3 they said,
"This is plain magic."
And though in their souls they knew them to be true, yet in their
wickedness and pride they denied them. But see what was the end
of the corrupt doers!
And of old we gave knowledge to David and Solomon: and they
said, "Praise be to God, who hath made us to excel many of his
And in knowledge Solomon was David's heir. And he said, "O
men, we have been taught the speech of birds,4 and are endued
with everything. This is indeed a clear boon from God."
And to Solomon were gathered his hosts of Djinn5 and men and
birds, and they were marched on in bands,
Till they reached the Valley of Ants. Said AN ANT, "O ye ants,
enter your dwellings, lest Solomon and his army crush you and
know it not."
Then smiled Solomon, laughing at her words, and he said, "Stir
me up, O Lord, to be thankful for thy favour which thou hast
shewed upon me and upon my parents, and to do righteousness
that shall be well pleasing to thee, and bring me in, by thy mercy,
among thy servants the righteous."
And he reviewed the birds, and said, "How is it that I see not the
lapwing? Is it one of the absent?
Surely, with a severe chastisement will I chastise it, or I will
certainly slaughter it, unless it bring me a clear excuse."
Nor tarried it long ere it came and said, "I have gained the
knowledge that thou knowest not, and with sure tidings have I
come to thee from Saba:
I found a woman reigning over them, gifted with everything, and
she hath a splendid throne;
And I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of
God; and Satan hath made their works fair seeming to them, so
that he hath turned them from the Way: wherefore they are not
To the worship of God, who bringeth to light the secret things of
heaven and earth, and knoweth what men conceal and what they
God! there is no god but He! the lord of the glorious throne!"
He said, "We shall see whether thou hast spoken truth, or whether
thou art of them that lie.
Go with this my letter and throw it down to them: then turn away
from them and await their answer."
She said, "O my nobles! an honourable letter hath been thrown
down to me:
It is from Solomon; and it is this: 'In the name of God, the
Compassionate, the Merciful!
Set not up yourselves against me, but come to me submitting
She said, "O my nobles, advise me in mine affair: I decide it not
without your concurrence."6
They said, "We are endued with strength and are endued with
mighty valour. But to command is thine: See therefore what thou
wilt command us."
She said, "Kings when they enter a city spoil it, and abase the
mightiest of its people: and in like manner will these also do.
But I will send to them with a gift, and await what my envoys
And when the messenger came to Solomon, he said, "Aid ye me
with riches? But what God hath given to me is better than what he
hath given you: yet ye glory in your gifts:
Return to them: for we will surely come to them with forces which
they cannot withstand, and we will drive them from their land
humbled and contemptible."
Said he, "O nobles, which of you will bring me her throne before
they come to me, submitting? (Muslims)."
An Efreet7 of the Djinn said: "I will bring it thee ere thou risest
from thy place: I have power for this and am trusty."
And one who had the knowledge of Scripture said, "I will bring it
to thee in the twinkling of an eye."8 And when he saw it set before
him, he said, "This is of the favour of my Lord, to try me whether I
will be thankful or unthankful. And he who is thankful is thankful
to his own behoof; and as for him who is unthankful truly my
Lord is self-sufficient, bounteous!"
Said he, "Make her throne so that she know it not: we shall see
whether she hath or not guidance."
And when she came he said, "Is thy throne like this?" She said,
"As though it were the same." "And we," said he, "have had
knowledge given us before her, and have been Muslims."
But the gods she had worshipped instead of God had led her
astray: for she was of a people who believe not.
It was said to her,"Enter the Palace:" and when she saw it, she
thought it a lake of water, and bared her legs. He said, "It is a
palace paved with glass."
She said, "O my Lord! I have sinned against my own soul, and I
resign myself, with Solomon, to God the Lord of the Worlds."
And of old we sent to Themoud their brother Saleh, with "Serve ye
God:"but lo! they became two sets of disputants wrangling with
He said, "O my people, why, if ye ask not pardon of God that ye
may find mercy, hasten ye on evil rather than good?"
They said,"We augur 9 ill concerning thee and those who are with
thee." He said, "The ills of which ye augur 10 depend on God. But
ye are a people on your trial."